In an Internet filled with overwhelming negativity and pointless hatred of frivolous stuff, it's sometimes necessary to take a step back, take a deep breath and remember why we enjoy comics in the first place. Character Spotlight is a weekly feature showcasing some of the Outhouse's favorite characters that epitomize why we read comics. Maybe you'll learn something, maybe you won't, but regardless we hope you enjoy the Outhouse's Character Spotlight!
-Lord Death Man-
Originally Lord Death Man was just a common criminal who knew a secret yoga technique to give the illusion of death. Now, the modern version is still a criminal who has solved the impossible mystery: how to cheat death! Immortal, the world is now Lord Death Man's playground, and one must pity the hero who has to challenge the “lord” of death.
The remastered costume design and addition of Lord (by Jiro Kuwata) adds a new dimension to the character. Additionally, thanks to writer Grant Morrison, any story with the character is pretty much “Grand Theft Auto” starring Lord Death Man. He can commit any crime and do just about anything. Even after the police or the hero kill him, he'll just respawn at his current location and start the madness over again.
Additionally he's a bastard. With no fear of dying, there are no inhibitions for the mighty Lord Death Man. He cares not for life because all he wishes to bring is the message of death, and death will take any who dare cross his path. Add that he's an underused Batman villain that's aching to be put onto the grand stage like the other top tier Gotham Rogues.
Oh did I mention his name is LORD DEATH MAN? The name itself is a perfect supervillain name.
Batman vol. 1 #180 was the character's first appearance under the guise of just “Death-Man”. After pulling off a jewelry heist, he's apprehended by Batman and Robin. At his trial, after mocking the judge, Death-Man drops dead after suffering from a heart attack. After attending his funeral (to which the dynamic duo are the only followers save the grave digger), Batman has a nightmare of the unkillable foe who mocks him. Not soon after, several murders occur and Death-Man is the culprit! After several fights, the comic ends with Death-Man being struck down by lightning, death finally claiming him.
Bat Manga! The Secret History of Batman in Japan: Now called Lord Death Man, this story is a Japanese adaptation of the comic above, though it does have slight variations on select scenes (a dream sequence and the actual ending) along with extended sequences. The starter for new fans of this character.
Batman Inc vol. 1 #1-2 : The criminal sets his sights on Japan and brutally murders the country's hero, Mr. Unknown. When Unknown's body double, Jiro Osamu walks in to witness the aftermath, the mighty lord of death's sights are set on the young hero. What follows is a bristling rampage of destruction and murder with Lord Death Man being killed several times before finally Batman gives him a fate worse than death.
Batman Inc Special: Leviathan Strikes! #1: In the second story of the book, Lord Death Man awaits the Outsiders who've infiltrated the space base of the villainous group, Leviathan. Lord Death Man greets them as he has activated the base's self destruct sequence behind him.
The base explodes, but the Outsiders escape with their lives in Batman Inc vol. 2 #1 (save Katana since she got Nu52ed and is now not part of the group when Batman Inc is relaunched). Given the man has conquered death, no doubt one day the world will quake in fear when Lord Death Man returns again!
Lord Death Man Can Even Beat Superman:
How can Superman beat a man who can cheat death?! Even if he does kill Lord Death Man, he'll just respawn and keep trying to kill the Man of Steel. The villain could push the Big Blue Boy Scout to his limits ethically as well. Will Superman do what he's done only once before? Or will he elect to use the Phantom Zone Projector on a mere human?! Hee Hee Hee! Lord Death Man laughs in the face of whatever the Big Blue dishes out to him.
Where the Character is Today:
Nowhere at the moment, but it wouldn't be surprising to see a random, out-of-nowhere appearance in the final issue of Grant Morrison's Batman Inc v. 2 #13 ,or the Special, which will have various short stories featuring the heroes of the group.
It's more than likely Lord Death Man will never be seen again for quite awhile, at least until another writer chooses to dig him up (no pun intended) and the chaos can begin again. Maybe SCOTT SNYDER, KYLE HIGGINS, JAMES TYNION IV, or PETE TOMASI will decide Lord Death Man shall rise from the grave yet again!!! Come on Tomasi this villain was born for your five stages of death arc!!
That's it for DC Villains' Month! Next week we take a look at a new character that isn't from DC or Marvel!!! That's right we're going to the Indy Comics side and shining the light on Chico Bustamante!!!