Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Deathbed #1 Review and **SPOILERS**

I Hope You Brought Your Dancing Shoes

Written by: Joshua Williamson
Art by: Riley Rossmo, Ivan Plascencia, and Deron Bennett
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: February 21, 2018


Well, I'm not sure what to expect heading into this book. I have been pretty high on Vertigo's books lately and I consider myself a Joshua Williamson fan. On the other hand, Williamson's Flash run started off very slow for me and I rarely like any art by Riley Rossmo. So that leaves me in a weird spot with this one. The concept seems pretty cool but also very out there, and the cover doesn't really tell me much. So, with all of that, I'm going to keep an open mind and not go in with any preconceived biases. Let's take a peak in and see what this new book is all about.

Explain It!

The book opens with a child, Antonio Luna, being born in the middle of a swamp filled with zombies, tiny flying dragons, and all sorts of other critters. A man, presumably Antonio's father, holds him up and tells him that he's going to be the greatest man to ever live... or die trying. Now we're going to jump to Valentine Richards, a down-on-her-luck writer looking for her big break. Her friend calls her with an offer from Luna to tell his life story. Despite declining at first to work on her novel, Val eventually accepts after she's told that she might not have a job anymore if she doesn't take this story.

On her way to meet Luna, Val tries to look him up. To her surprise, she can't find a single thing about him online, including on social media. She is greeted at the door by two servants who tell her that the mansion was built by Luna with his bare hands and filled with trophies he gained on his adventures. And this place is huge and beautiful. It's filled with intricately carved golden lions, golden bells, and huge throne-like chairs. The servants lead her past huge paintings and stone gargoyles and eventually make it to the room containing a bed-ridden Luna.

The two of them go back and forth on asking each other questions without really answering any of them, and eventually they get to Luna telling Val why he wants to tell his story now. He claims that his story is the greatest story of all time, but Val says that she's never heard of him before. As he tells her that he always tried to do what was right, you see dozens of mummified creatures moving in towards him with blades raised, unbeknownst to Val. He says that he has lived his life with no regrets and wanted the world to know that the greatest man ever is dying.

Then he jumps up, dick swinging, yells that he lied and starts fucking up some mummies. For the first time in a long time, Val feels alive. She watches in silence as Luna massacres each and every one of the mummies, blood splattering all over her. Luna apologizes for being naked, then says that he needed the mummies to believe that he was truly dying. He ends up telling Luna that this ruse is all because he's been bored.

Luna has lived an incredible life, and even though he has evaded death for years, he can feel death creeping up on him. He wants Val to follow him and tell the story of his ending as he hunts down all of his enemies. In the midst of his declaration, one of the mummies manages to get out that they will hunt down and kill every person that Luna has ever cared about so there is nobody left to tell his story. Val initially rejects, but as the two storm away from his burning home, he tells her that it doesn't matter if they threaten his family because no one messes with his story. And Val finally agrees.

I started off this review by saying that I don't know how to feel about this book, and I honestly still don't. Riley Rossmo's art was actually solid. It wasn't great and I still don't like his style, but it did the job here. I'm just not sure where this story is going to go. It started off seeming like it would be a good story going through Luna's adventures and telling different stories from his life, but then shit got really goofy. I'm optimistic moving forward, but things could go south really quickly if the tone of the book doesn't get tied down soon.

Bits and Pieces:

While Riley Rossmo surprised me with some solid art here, I'm not sure where the tone of the story is headed. I did have some fun with it, but I hope the storytelling becomes more consistent as the series progresses. This book has started off on a decently high note, but the next couple of issues need to up the ante to keep me interested. I could see it going either way, but for right now I'm cautiously optimistic that Joshua Williamson will put together a fun story and keep the Vertigo train rolling.


1 comment:

  1. Thought the idea of this was interesting enough, but really didn't think it was a good first issue in that it didn't really give me an idea of a premise and it didn't really pull me in.