Deadman #5 – Neal Adams, Writer/Artist
Ray – 4/10
Neal Adams’ absurdist Deadman miniseries approaches its conclusion in Deadman #5, and one would assume that there are major plot developments in this penultimate issue with all the new concepts and characters that Adams has introduced. Nope!
That’s the kind of thing normies do. Instead, Adams treats us to a twenty-two-page segment of Deadman and a motley crew of allies battling all sorts of weird enemies that don’t actually make sense together in any way. At the start of the issue, Deadman is greeted by Taj Ze, a sumo samurai of some sort of who guards the gates to Nanda Parbat. They’re joined by Doctor Fate, who attempts to warn and educate Deadman about the dangers ahead…and gets insulted, because Deadman is apparently a cab driver from Brooklyn in this series. This is soon followed by Etrigan and Zatanna showing up, and the five of them are ready to begin their journey into the hidden city.
That’s when Adams gets to show off his bizarre two-page spread of the enemies the group is going to face, which features robots straight out of the Terminator, Yetis with futuristic guns, green troll-men of some kind, and zombies. Yes, zombies. Why not?
For the next fifteen pages or so, the characters ping-pong between various enemies, dispatching them in violent ways, but as always the action is too jumbled and confusing to really work as a story. It seems like all four of the groups of villains have their own agenda, but none of them are actually explained well, and we don’t exactly know who they’re working for. Eventually, they get to the gates of Nanda Parbat, and some of the villains are instantly converted into kind, harmless beings because of the aura of the city. The issue doesn’t so much end as stop, cutting out after a seemingly random bit of dialogue, so Adams has a lot to do in the final issue. I’m sure it’ll make total sense and have nothing to do with hollow earth theory.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.