Last month’s return of “Resurrection Man” was a pleasant surprise, an updating of an old cult favorite in comics and slotting it into the new DC Universe. This month? It doesn’t just feel like it’s a book back from the dead, it actually feels to this long-time “Resurrection Man” reader like this could have somehow been “Resurrection Man” #29, not #2.
Don’t worry, if you haven’t read the previous “Resurrection Man” series, that doesn’t mean you’ll be lost. If anything, a trip to Wikipedia will give you more information than main character Mitch Shelley has, due to his amnesiac state. Rather, “Resurrection Man” #2 feels even more like the first series, with all the creators fully settling in. Not worrying about backstory or convoluted plots, most of this issue revolves around Mitch’s quest to find his past — and that ends up being a combination of a lost member of his family, and two faces from his past that he’d rather have kept lost.
With Mitch being unable to permanently die, forever resurrecting after death, having him find a piece of his past in the form of his recently deceased father is a nice touch. It’s a reminder of just what Mitch’s “gift” brings him, and brings a curious feeling of mortality to a character who himself can’t touch that thing that everyone else takes for granted. It’s a quiet, emotional part of the book, and it goes a long way towards setting the tone of the comic. There’s some humor too, most notably in the fellow resident of the retirement community that might be a former super-villain, or might just be suffering from dementia. (Ah, the joys of living in a super-powered world.) It’s a fun little story thread that could honestly go in either direction, and lightens up what could otherwise be oppressing.
Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning also bring back the Body Doubles, a pair of assassins from the original series that show off a lot of skin while they track their prey. With Mitch in the dark about them now, Abnett and Lanning let new readers in on the same level as him, not making them feel like they’re missing out. And while their “costumes” are a bit eye-rolling, I’d forgotten about their snappy dialogue, and why their presence is ultimately welcome in “Resurrection Man.”
Fernando Dagnino continues to turn out sharp art; if anything I think this is his best work I’ve seen in comics, a title I had previously been prepared to give to the last issue. Not only are his characters still drawn cleanly and expressively, but this issue actually feels like there’s a touch of original artist and co-creator Butch Guice in the art. There’s just something about the stringy nature of their hair that makes me unable to shake that impression, and I love it. Even if he’s not deliberately channeling Guice, there’s more than enough to enjoy here; how can you not get a good chuckle at Darryl’s balding, glasses-askew pose as “The Transhuman” in the nursing home? Dagnino’s proving to be a strong match for Abnett and Lanning.
“Resurrection Man” is quickly pushing its way into the position of one of my favorite “New 52” titles at DC Comics. Generally speaking the “Dark” line of titles at DC has proven to be strong, but this one is now 2-for-2, and a strong winning streak at that. If you haven’t checked out “Resurrection Man,” do give it a spin. I think you’ll be equally pleased; there’s a reason why fans of the original series have been waiting for decades for it to return. “Resurrection Man,” like its main character, keeps coming back stronger than ever.