Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Resurrection Man #12

"The Reborn Identity"

Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning Writers
Javier Pina Artist
Jeromy Cox Colorist
Rob Leigh Letterer
Katie Kubert Assistant Editor
Brian Cunningham Editor
Resurrection Man created by Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning and Butch Guice

How neat is it that two of the character's creators worked on this issue? That is pretty rare in the world of DC nowadays. It also means that we can rest assured that the title character will be portrayed accurately. Anyway, the cover is by Francesco Francavilla, and it really doesn't make any sense. I have no idea what's going on with this cover, and it does not compel me to read the inside story, which is a shame, since the story is actually pretty good. I think they would have been better served to get the book's artist, Javier Pina, to draw an action scene of something that happens in the issue, not this vague ... what is it? He's just standing there! And who's behind him? Such a waste of a cover.

Oh, and if you're curious about my chronology, this issue falls under my Passive Appearances list. These are issues where we see the Flash (or something that looks just like him), but he's not "really" there. This counts pictures, dreams, holograms, zombies, etc. So basically, since the Flash is not actively present in this issue, the timeline doesn't really matter that much for my purposes, and I'll review these passive appearances whenever I can.

Our story begins with Mitch Shelley, the Resurrection Man, flying above Gotham City. He has the ability to rise from the dead, and whenever he does, he gains a new power. He last remembers visiting a secret lab in Viceroy, South Carolina, to try to discover the secret behind his powers. Currently, he is quite surprised to find himself flying and in Gotham.

Shelley is shot down by a police helicopter and he falls to the ground and dies. He quickly wakes up, only to be attacked by Batman. Resurrection Man fends off the Dark Knight with his new power — telekinetic explosive blasts — but he is stabbed from behind by Aquaman and the Justice League.

We then find out that Shelley really is in the lab, and a team of scientists are projecting a series of simulations into his brain to fool his body into thinking it's dying over and over again. The scientists are carefully recording each new power Shelley exhibits, as well as trying to determine the extent of his powers.

Resurrection Man then gains laser eyes, which he uses to vaporize Aquaman and Flash in the virtual reality. He's then killed by Wonder Woman, but resurrects as a lava man and defeats the Justice League just in time for Darkseid to show up. His fight with Darkseid is ended when one of his friends saves him from the virtual reality. They try to escape from the lab and they get into a few fights, a few people die, and the issue ends with Shelley meeting the CEO of the lab, who appears to be a female version of himself.

The Good:

The story. I know I skimmed through that synopsis, but I actually really enjoyed this issue. I had no idea what was going on, so I didn't delve into any details, but this a great science fiction story that involves a lot of characters with powers that come with a price. For instance, there's one guy who's immortal, but can never heal, so he's always walking around with an open, festering wound on his face. It's really neat stuff, and I wish I had the time and money to read it all. And I think that is precisely why this title only lasted 13 issues. It may be a great story with good art, but the only people who'll buy it are those who buy pretty much everything. For the rest of us comic book fans, we have to carefully pick and choose where to allocate our resources, which means we'll usually stick to the big stuff like Batman, Superman, or the Flash. Resurrection Man is great and all, but I'm not going to drop the Flash to read him. Hopefully DC can find a way to resurrect him once more.

The Bad:

No Flash. Because this is a Flash blog, I review and recommend issues based on how well the Flash is portrayed in them. In this issue, we see the Flash in two panels. In one, he's just standing there, and in the other, he's being blown to bits by an optic blast that would make Cyclops jealous. I know that was just a virtual reality world, but it would have been nice to see Flash do something. As such, this is not a good Flash story, but it was never meant to be. As much as I criticized the cover, I have to give it props for not shamelessly throwing the whole Justice League out there attacking Resurrection Man.

My final verdict: Flash fans can easily skip this issue and not miss anything, but this is a good comic book that started to wrap up what I assume was a good series. I do recommend reading Resurrection Man, even though I haven't read it myself ... yet.

Final score: 5 out of 10.

Next time: I will review one more passive appearance of the Flash in Stormwatch #0.

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