Deadman #1 Review: Solid Art, But A Dense And Confusing Plot

Deadman #1
4.5 / 10 Reviewer
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Summary
Writer: Neal Adams, Artist: Neal Adams, Letters: Clem Robins, Cover by: Neal Adams, Editor: Kristy Quinn, Publisher: DC Comics, Release Date: Out Now, Price: $3.99

Commissioner Gordon is inspecting a nuclear power plant in Gotham. Unfortunately, the assassin known as Hook, who killed Boston Brand, was hired to murder Gordon. Deadman is on the trail of the assassin, but can he save the Commissioner?

There’s more to this plot, but, for the life of me, I had a pretty difficult time hashing it out. It goes into Deadman’s backstory some. It goes into a tangent about how Boston’s twin brother took up his mantle in the circus. Deadman almost killed Hook once, but was interrupted by the Sensei of the League of Assassins. Batman may have killed that Sensei, but he didn’t. It’s surprisingly dense and confusing. I could barely piece it together.

Deadman #1 cover by Neal Adams
Deadman #1 cover by Neal Adams

The confusing nature of the plot is honestly my main takeaway from this story. I could barely figure out what the hell was going on. You may call me stupid or just not trying hard enough, but the plot is very loosely held together while still managing to be dense. It’s hard to evaluate because of the bizarre plot.

Deadman #1 art by Neal Adams
Deadman #1 art by Neal Adams

Comics vet Neal Adams did the story and art for this one. His monologue directed at Deadman is pretty entertaining and has some potential implications given the nature of the protagonist.

Adams’s artwork is really solid. It’s intentionally rough, and its grainy nature fits Deadman perfectly. It’s a style that is highly expressive, too. It adds a fair bit to the plot, even if it doesn’t clear up any of the confusing nature of the story (especially towards the beginning with Commissioner Gordon). His colors looks really good too, with darks and lights playing off each other in a strong balance.

Unfortunately, the strong artwork of Neil Adams doesn’t make up for how impossible it is to piece the story together. Even if one can interpret something from this reading, it is a shallow tale at best. Despite an appreciation for both Adams and Deadman, I can’t recommend this one. Give it a pass.

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About Joshua Davison

Josh is a longtime super hero comic fan and an aspiring comic book and fiction writer himself. He also trades in videogames, Star Wars, and Magic: The Gathering, and he is also a budding film buff. He's always been a huge nerd, and he hopes to contribute something of worth to the wider geek culture conversation. He is also happy to announce that he is the new Reviews Editor for Bleeding Cool. Follow on Twitter @joshdavisonbolt.