Thursday, July 14, 2011
Review: Resurrection Man #17
With the DCnU and a new Resurrection Man comic right around the bend, I figured I would conclude my look at the PAD Supergirl/Resurrection Man team-up.
Resurrection Man #17 finishes up the three part arc which tied Mitch 'Resurrection Man' Shelley's nemesis The Rider into Supergirl's town's Chaos Stream and overall weirdness. It was revealed in part 2 that Leesburg town founder and secret dabbler in the Dark Arts, Wanda Lee, was the Rider. And she was apparently ripped from Mitch's body and seared in holy fire last issue when Supergirl flash-flamed the Chaos Stream.
As I have said in the earlier reviews, one thing I liked about this team-up was that it sort of mattered to both titles, moving along sub-plots both had been percolating. There was also devotion to both characters regardless of which title the actual chapter was in. Supergirl gets great moments in Resurrection Man, and vice versa.
Writers Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning and artist Butch Guice do a nice job here, ramping up the horror aspect but also adding some really nice quiet moments in the midst of the carnage and fighting. I have to say, I hadn't reread this arc in a while. It is very good.
For some reason, ripping the Rider from Shelley has killed him again. But while he usually re-animates rather quickly, this time he stays dead.
Unsure of what to do next, and burned pretty badly during the Chaos stream ignition herself, Supergirl scoops him up and heads for to the nearest hospital. It is never explained why he remains dead this time.
In a bit of wonky medicine, Linda's doctor friend Hattie defibrillates his body, reviving him somehow.
At least here it is hinted that this death wasn't the usual fare for Shelley. His body feels different this time, put through the wringer.
I also liked the talk about how he disgusting it was to share his body with the Rider, someone that evil.
Supergirl decided to stick around to make sure Shelley was okay, using the down time to heal a bit herself. She also looks a bit worse for wear here.
Despite thinking that The Rider was destroyed, Shelley's new power ... a sort of spider sense ... is ringing off the hook. The threat of Wanda Lee is still around. Supergirl decides to take a look around but beforehand Mitch asks her to call his girlfriend to let her know Mitch is still alive.
It results in a great and funny quiet moment in the book. She calls the woman but is hung up on when she says it is Supergirl calling. How hard it must be to call someone as a super-hero.
I like the body language here, a sort of fatigue in her manner here.
Now in the last issue, Wanda Lee's nurse allowed her physical body to die, purportedly to cut off an avenue of escape for the Rider spirit. Unfortunately that doesn't seem to have worked as the displaced spirit animates her corpse. And Wanda isn't happy, trying to once again possess the Resurrection Man.
I can't think about this too much because it doesn't make much internal sense. If she could re-possess her own body or Mitch for that matter, why not possess someone else? If her body is dead, how can she re-possess it? These are clearly impossible questions to answer ... so I think I'll just roll with it.
But there are more threats than just the Rider wandering the halls of this hospital. Another angel is also here, drawn to Mitch in an effort to bring him 'home'.
As seen in prior issues, Mitch seems to have lived other past lives on Earth. And it is now hinted that he is some resurrecting angel on Earth. This new angel is here to bring him back to heaven.
Again, I don't recall if this angelic aspect of The Resurrection Man was ever discussed more fully in his own book.
Regardless, Supergirl isn't going to let anyone else try to kill her new friend. She also is an aspect of a higher power, something angelic, and she isn't buying what this new angel, Lament, is saying.
I thought this was a nice splash page with Supergirl flexing her muscles.
The battle rolls on with Lament questioning why another Angel would stop him from his task.
Supergirl is still learning her powers, her state of being, and probably doesn't know what he is talking about.
Lament can sense something else in this hospital though. Sylvia Danvers is recuperating from her depression and descent into alcohol madness. He brings the fight to Sylvia's hospital room.
Sylvia's breakdown was at the discovery that Linda had merged with Supergirl. It must be sickening to hear her mother shriek in fear about her. Sylvia really treats Supergirl like a monster at this point. And that is yet another moment in this Supergirl's history where her resolve is thwarted, her goodness challenged.
At the very least, it makes Supergirl rally to get Lament out of there. She brings him up and out of the hospital.
But that revelation that her mother still fears her still hurts her. She weeps at that knowledge.
Unfortunately, it isn't enough to keep Lament away for long. He returns.
Interestingly enough, Shelley allows the Rider to take over his body at nearly the same time. When Lament returns he finds the possessed Resurrection Man. Thinking he finally has captured Shelley, Lament rips the soul from the body and leaves, thinking he has finally achieved his goal.
But the soul he has gathered is Wanda Lee's. A nice little turnabout to that conflict.
Much like at the end of last issue, the heroes are worn out from this conflict.
Mitch is gathered up by unknown men and taken away. Supergirl is left to deal a bit with the carnage in Leesburg. I think I would call it a draw. The Rider is finally gone. And Lament is gone for now. But neither hero is in good shape and Mitch is basically kidnapped.
So this was an action-packed issue with a lot of destruction and mayhem. And nice progression of both characters' personal stories as well. That moment with Sylvia Danvers is heart-wrenching.
As I said earlier, this was a very satisfying cross-over for these books. The one real downside here is Guice's art. He is usually right on the money but some body positioning and some expressions just seem off a bit.
I'll continue to mine the back issue box for more Supergirl moments with new DCnU characters.
Overall grade: B/B+