STORY: Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning
ART: Jesus Saiz and Javier Pina
If you keep up with “The Endless Reel”, you know how much I adore Resurrection Man. In a universe full of interconnecting narratives and convoluted history, Mitch Shelley’s adventures represent what comics used to be – a rip-roaring good time full of superpowers, good vs. evil, and a damn fine mystery to solve. That being said, the past couple of issues have floundered somewhat, unable to make any significant progress in uncovering Shelley’s mysterious past at all. Of course, Shelley’s rotating power set is also a draw to the book, but he’s had the same shadow powers for those same few issues, so it’s starting to get a bit stale. Resurrection Man #11 comes back around and brings some resolution to at least a one ongoing plotline dealing with the Transhuman, an old villain looking to help Shelley figure out his past.
It’s nice to see a character experiencing a relatable form of amnesia; it seems Mitch’s memory loss came from more normal circumstances. He begins to remember more about his former life the more he experiences in familiar territory. Too often, amnesia in comic books is caused by magic or super powers, meaning the solution to reversing the memory loss comes from said magic or super powers. In Shelley’s case, it may have just been a bump on the head.
Kim Rebecki has been an ally to Shelley for some time, using her empathic powers to understand how things and people work simply through touch. This month, her power reveals a giant skyscraper hidden in plain sight at the Soder Cola factory in Viceroy, South Carolina – Mitch’s hometown. With cloaking technology in place, the skyscraper appears invisible to the citizens of Viceroy, allowing the organization that turned Mitch into the Resurrection Man to operate in secret while using the Soder factory as a cover.
A large portion of the issue is devoted to Mitch and Kim fending off an attack by Director Hooker, the man responsible for Mitch’s arrest warrant. After locating the Transhuman, Mitch and Kim attempt to free the old man before he reveals his betrayal – his is a super villain, after all. Honestly, it’s a bit of a let down, as much of Resurrection Man‘s run has been dedicated to Mitch and Kim tracking down the Transhuman, someone they believed to be a friend. Of course, it’s not out of the ordinary for Mitch to have such bad luck. Mitch is killed this issue, bringing an end to the ‘shadow master’ powers and introducing his ‘eye laser’ ability – similar to that of Cyclops’ optic blasts, but more lightning-esque and less controlled.
What started out as one of my favorite series in DC’s ‘New 52’ has quickly become stale, possibly a reason for it’s cancellation. Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning have fantastic storytelling ability, but it feels like they don’t know what to do with Mitch Shelley. There seemed to be a focus for the first six issues, but recent months have yielded a lot of fighting without much substance. And while nothing’s wrong with a fight sequences every once in a while to break up the narrative, using confrontations as a means of plot advancement doesn’t work if they don’t advance anything!