[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Written, Drawn and Colored by: Neal Adams
The story picks up after Deadman has been dropped off in Nanda Parbat by the Eloi. He is greeted by an old friend, Taj Ze and they are soon joined by many of DC’s magical/supernatural characters. Etrigan and the Spectre have already been appearing and they are joined by Dr. Fate and Zatanna.
There is a great force approaching Nanda Parbat and Taj believes it is his duty to fight them off single handed. The rest of the assemblage disagrees and throws in with Taj. A mighty battle ensues between our heroes and a mixture of monsters, zombies, robots and more.
Unsurprisingly, Deadman and his allies prevail, but Taj leads the ones who remain through the gates of Nanda Parbat. As they enter Nanda Parbat, everyone, including those in the enemy force, is suddenly overcome with a sense of inner peace and happiness, save Deadman, the Spectre and Etrigan who appear to be in torment.
The Spectre steps in to assist the Demon and Taj announces that it’s finally time for Boston Brand to see Rama Kushna. Alone and immediately.
Adams reveals a bit about Deadman during the fight and upon entering Nanda Parbat. It is suggested that perhaps, Deadman has no soul. During the fight, he is unable to enter the robots and control them because they have no soul. Using all these magical characters is fun and changes the tenor of the series from mystery to mysterious. Deadman stories almost always have a spiritual element to them, and this issue made it more significant to this tale.
The varied reactions to the inner peace of Nanda Parbat is effective. It’s intriguing that Deadman and the Spectre are in the same boat, since they share the same fate of having already died. It is equally interesting to see how the Demon reacts to inner peace.
As nice as it is to see Zatanna and Dr. Fate, their roles in the larger story really aren’t clear. Fate’s dialogue is nearly impenetrable. While the device Adams is using is clear, it seems more challenging than entertaining. Zatanna’s power set should’ve ended the battle almost immediately. As it was, she took out most of the enemy force with a couple of spells. This rendered the whole sequence fairly pointless.
As this series progresses, there are a lot of ideas thrown in that could have more significance if they were explored more deeply. While I appreciate the less decompressed story telling, this series needs some more time to explore all the ideas presented.
While next issue promises a big reveal, it’s been a little rocky along the way. Battle issues tend to be a bit of a snoozer and this one suffers from that. It reads like a delay before getting to the payoff in the finale next issue. Except for the insinuations about Deadman’s soul, not much of real importance happens.