“Resurrection Man” #6 feels a lot like a missing issue from the late 1990s version of the series. And when I say that, trust me when I say that it’s a good thing. This stand-alone story gives us the strengths of “Resurrection Man” in a neat and concise way.
While this issue follows on from previous issues, you don’t have to worry about any of those storylines. Everything you need to know is given to you in the first few pages: Mitch Shelley has been placed in Arkham Asylum for the Criminally Insane. He gets new powers every time he dies (and comes back to life). And the staff of Arkham is doing everything in their power to keep him from killing himself because they think he’s nuts.
From there, the sky’s the limit. Mitch has to deal with being doped up (to try and keep him from killing himself) so that he can’t focus and use his current power, with corrupt guards on the take, and of course, trying to get himself killed among Arkham’s super-villains. It’s a fun inversion on the normal Arkham story; Mitch isn’t trying to survive, but instead die, but keeps getting blocked. It’s a good way to get a handle on this series.
Fernando Dagnino turns out good art here too; I love the moment where Mitch is doped up and some of Arkham’s villains are lurking in a blue haze. It lets you get a feeling on what life on the drugs is like for Mitch, and it’s a creepy panel that makes them feel like they’re somehow lurking underwater thanks to the deep blues that Jeromy Cox uses to color the page. The backgrounds here are good too; the hallways fading into the distance as Mitch jumps off a walkway early on gives a feeling of endlessness, and Arkham in the rain is a familiar and iconic look.
At the end of the issue, you get a strong idea on what “Resurrection Man” is about, and while you’ll want to read more, you still have a complete story and a satisfying experience. I enjoyed the opening storyline that reintroduced “Resurrection Man” to the DC Universe, but this issue feels like it’s more in step now with the sorts of stories I’d like to see. Mitch against impossible odds and needing to die instead of needing to survive? That’s the beauty of “Resurrection Man.”