Review: New Talent Showcase #1: Deadman: Killing Time

by Matthew Lloyd
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[Editor’s Note:  This review may contain spoilers.]

Writer: Christopher Selba
Artist:  David Messina
Colorist:  Moreno Dinisio

Anthology books are a rarity these days, and it’s almost just as unusual to have a book with two features or a back up story.  New Talent Showcase, while giving new creators exposure, also gives some less-used characters some much needed exposure.  In the case of “Killing Time,” Selba, Messina and Dinisio craft a Deadman story that utilizes well some of the traditional themes in Deadman stories, while at the same time getting the reader to ponder some things about the character from a new angle.

Deadman is floating above Gotham waiting to save a life as directed by Rama, as part of his sentence of remaining on Earth as a ghost.  Deadman does the usual body hopping tricks he is known for to stop a hit and run driver and saving a lawyer.  Afterwards, he heads to one of those supernatural bars where he can be seen.  He is crying in his beer when Rama shows up to chastise him because he did not actually save the lawyer, he’s still going to die in three minutes…

As Boston Brand muses over his fate, he recounts some of the things his predicament allows him to do and things it doesn’t allow him to do.  He can read, but he can’t turn a page.  He sees all movies.  He can visit anywhere at anytime and see anything no matter how seemingly secure and if he wanted to, he could start a war.  A short story for an anthology book is unique these days because it is so different in format from the 4-6 book length chapters that have dominated the industry in recent years.  It really takes a different kind of writing.  The end was well done in that it left it somewhat open ended, while at the same time being a complete tale.

The “woe is me”aspect of Deadman can get a little boring if overdone.  This story used just enough and balanced it out with some new perspective.

All in all, this is a well done Deadman story that brought something new to the character and a story that reinvigorates the character and functions as a starting point for another chapter.


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