Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Deadman #5 Review and **SPOILERS**

Frogmen and Yetis and Zombies, Oh My!

Written, Drawn and Colored By: Neal Adams
Lettered By: Clem Robins
Cover By: Neal Adams
Cover Price: $3.99
On Sale Date: March 21, 2018


Oh boy, I hope you have your kooky caps screwed on tight, because it’s time for another issue of Deadman! No introduction could do this series any justice, so let’s forget the formalities and dive right into my review of issue #5!

Explain It!

So Deadman has made it to Nanda Parbat, unwillingly, yet knowing that forces wanted him to go unwillingly, so it’s sort of like he journeyed of his own volition. Even though he was brought there by two gigantic Sumo wrestlers via magic portal. But still, he meant to do that. Deadman’s task here is to find Ra’s Al Ghul, a mission helpfully expressed on the front cover because I wasn’t sure why he’d shown up. Once arrived, he’s greeted by Taj Ze, who is Deadman’s boss Rama Kushna’s minion…er, her non-dead minion. Then, Dr. Fate shows up and says some out-and-out bonkers shit before explaining that he’s there to defend Nanda Parbat. And Zatanna and Etrigan have shown up too, how about that? It’s a regular old party. The Spectre is also in attendance, but he hangs back because he feels he’s there for another purpose…frankly, I’m so confused that I would probably hang back too if I were summoned to this fray.
What forces are attacking Nanda Parbat, you ask? Why, it’s just Yetis, a group of bloated green guys in goggles called the Armorers, and Zombies. There also appear to be robots involved, but I think they were created by the Armorers. Some of these characters, lacking souls, present a problem for Deadman, who can’t assume the bodies of those who don’t have a soul…though I thought he could? Like, he can’t reanimate dead people, but I could swear he’s given the ghostly goose to a few soulless automotons in the day. Etrigan and the rest of the gang have no such problem, removing heads and obliterating skulls with gusto. The most powerful appears to be Zatanna, who eliminates waves of aggressors with some backwards-talking magic. Then, Deadman assumes the body of a zombie—wait just a cotton-pickin’ minute, didn’t we just establish that he can’t assume the bodies of those without souls?! As Deadman says, “The rules…change and morph for some reason.” I’m guessing because no editor has the balls to tell Neal Adams that his story is insane.
After Deadman and Etrigan spat, they make it into…I guess this is Ra’s Al Ghul’s castle or something? Or maybe Rama Kushna’s. Wherever it is, once all the Yetis and monsters walk through the gates, they turn all smiley-faced and pleasant, calmed by the something something of the whatsitz. It also causes Etrigan unbelievable pain, which is fun to see. When Taj Ze tells Deadman that he’s without a soul, this gives him pause…but now it’s time for Deadman to see Rama Kushna—alone! So…we’re not looking for Ra’s Al Ghul anymore, I guess?
What can be said about this series? It’s weird, it’s confusing, and if it weren’t for the bizarre dialogue and absolutely bananas exchanges, there’d be nothing to enjoy. Still, because it is rife with inanity, it’s one of the most fun books I read every month. Especially when I get on the podcast and talk about it with Jim and Eric, then the fun really flies. So listen to the podcast (this issue will be a Patreon Spotlight this week! and save your shekels for…oh, I dunno. Drugs or something productive like that.

Bits and Pieces:

The cover says this is a search for Ra's Al Ghul, but instead it turns into a big magic brawl against monsters and robots. Same difference, really.


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