The Review 52: DC Universe Presents 1
Why make a series focus on one character, when you can have it tell shorter stories from various characters. DC Universe Presents offers short spotlight series that feature different heroes. The first up is Deadman, with a five issue story arc.
The story, by Paul Jenkins, is a darker view of reincarnation. Boston Brand was a total asshole, until he died. After death he is given a chance at redemption. In order to achieve enlightenment he must live sections of other’s lives, and try to help them become better people. In doing this he comes closer to being a good person himself. But recently the lives he has found himself in are less adventurous and have complex problems he can’t figure out.
The art, by Bernard Chang, is dark and reflective of the pain that the characters go through. The characters look realistic and there is great attention to detail. The appearance of powers is kept low key, since Deadman is not supposed to be seen by the living and they can’t tell what it is that he’s doing.
Deadman himself is the only character to get enough time on the pages to be worth analysing. While it is clear that he has come a long way from the egotistic asshole he once was it’s hard to see him becoming the enlightened do-gooder he’s supposed to become either. We get to see him struggling with what he’s done for the people in his past and what he must do for the people in his future and grappling with the thought that he’s incapable of doing the right thing. We really get to see how his task has in fact become a punishment for him as well as a path to enlightenment.
Deadman earns a 4.5/5. The story is deep and interesting, the main character is realistically troubled and the artwork helps convey the mood of the story really well. DC Universe Presents will be a series worth reading.
Final Score: 4.5/5