DC Universe Presents #1 – Paul Jenkins and Bernard Chang
There is nothing particularly good, or bad, about DC Universe Presents #1 featuring Deadman. Scratch that, the Ryan Sook cover is exceptional. Let me try this again. There is nothing inside DC Universe Presents #1 that really stands out. It is a straightforward, if not slightly boring, introduction to the B-list character Deadman.
As a Deadman origin story, DC Universe Presents #1 is decent. The script is by Paul Jenkins, while the pencils come from Bernard Chang. The comic sets Boston Brand AKA Deadman up as a man (ghost?) in search of redemption. In life Brand was a jerk, completely focused on himself at the expense of others. After being assassinated, he now wanders the Earth inhabiting the bodies of the depressed and lost. His experiences, he is told by the god Rama, will help him become the being he is meant to be.
Bernard Chang’s artwork is pretty good throughout the book. It reminds me of John Romita Jr.’s work in Amazing Spider-Man a few years back. The title page is a very cool depiction of Brand’s fall from the land of the living to realm of the dead. The other part that really stands out art wise are the war flashbacks. The six rotated panels really convey the in-and-out of consciousness effect.
I have a few reservations about DC Universe Presents #1. First, it isn’t a very exciting comic. Overall, it makes for a rather depressing read; Boston possesses all manners of down and out people. It doesn’t make Deadman all that interesting. The other times I’ve encountered Deadman in the DCU, first in Jack Kirby’s Forever People and later, in Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing run, he was much more intriguing. Second, I was expecting one-and-done storytelling from DC Universe Presents. Based on the end of the issue, I’m not 100% sure the story will be continued in #2, but it appears that way.
Overall, I found DC Universe Presents #1 to be completely mediocre. A lack of action is further hindered by an over-written script. As a result, the comic feels like it’s 22 pages of wheel-spinning. Unlike other comics released this week, there is nothing offensive about DC Universe Presents #1. It’s a rather pedestrian comic that painlessly introduces readers to Deadman.
Rating: 2 out of 5 Stars!