DC Universe Presents! It's a DC Book! Read the Review!
Welcome to 52apolooza, the Outhouse feature focusing on DC's September Relaunch. All of DC's 52 titles will be reviewed by our pool of reviewers to point out the best and worst that DC's new comic book line has to offer. To see how this book ranks among the other new DC titles, be sure to check out our 52apolooza Rankings!
DC Universe Presents is a bit of an enigma. A grab bag title that will feature rotating creative teams and characters, there's no easy way of describing the book. So how does the book read? Look below and find out!
Grab Bag Reviewer: Veggieleezy
The purpose of this series (DC Universe Presents) is to give some of the B- and C-list heroes who don't have their own titles a story or two. This run features recently "promoted" Deadman, Boston Brand. The best part of the story in my opinion is the section in which Rama explains Deadman's destiny. It provides a nice explanation for what he does and his purpose in the DC Universe. Beyond that, though, I honestly got lost. As much as I hate to say it, I couldn't read this whole thing in one go. Half of it seems to be Deadman talking about all of the past people he's "been" and the rest is almost incomprehensible to me.
If I could sum up the writing of this book with one word it would have to be "dense". In the first two pages, the reader is bombarded with Deadman's inner monologue. I will say that it certainly seems to fit the "voice" of the character, at least what I imagine Deadman to sound like. I'm not saying that the writing is bad, it was just very hard for me to follow.
On the plus side, this book looks very good. The best way I can describe the art in this book is somewhere between a cartoon and a comic book. While that may sound like in insult, I mean it in the best possible way. If some of the shading were to be tweaked, this could easily be transferred into an animated special. Also, nice touch by featured artist Bernard Chang making the goddess Rama blue. I also love the panel showing Deadman's teetering fate.
When the art in the book isn't mystical, it goes for gritty. I felt like I was reading "Call of Duty #1" some of the time. And that's not entirely due to the fact that Deadman's next "life" is that of a former soldier (warning: there is one rather graphic panel involving an attack on the soldier's convoy). There are very few bright colors used in this book's palette, but when they are present they are used quite well. I personally would've preferred a little more color and life and less dreariness and depression. But that's the tone the book goes for and achieves it.
Given the nature of this series, this book is completely accessible. The reader doesn't even need to have heard of Deadman before. His origins, purpose, and powers are all explained in one book. I will give writer Paul Jenkins credit for that much, as Deadman had to my knowledge been relatively dormant until Geoff Johns' Blackest Night and Brightest Day. Neither of those stories have an impact on this version of Deadman.
However, as I said before, this book is very dense. I personally found it hard to read in one go, but going back over it and reading it fully made it a little easier. Fans of Deadman will see that he's practically unchanged in the aftermath of the reboot and those wanting to see what he's all about can do that as well. Just be prepared for a tricky read.
This one is a little hard for me. I didn't really enjoy this book, as much as I wanted to. Still, I suppose that's partly because I'm just not that big of a Deadman fan. For those of you who are, it's the same old Boston Brand. For new readers, Deadman is a pretty interesting character who's a bit of a wiseass learning to mature.
The story itself is probably what prevented me from enjoying it. If it were more of an adventure where something actually happened, I would enjoy it. Instead, it seems to be an extended soliloquy (SAT word for monologue). Also, I wasn't expecting this series to be done the way it's going to be; I thought it was going to be one-shots for each featured character, not arcs.
I'm sorry to be so harsh on this book; I really wanted to enjoy it. However, it was just boring in my opinion. Nothing really happened and I'm just not that big of a Deadman fan. That said if you were someone who wants to learn a little bit about the DCU's resident body-hopper, I really wouldn't discourage you from picking up this book and the subsequent arc. Five'll get you ten that the rest of the arc will be good. I'm just waiting until this series features someone I'm more a fan of, so don't take this score too much to heart in weighing your decision.
Final Score: 60/100