I Care to Disagree
When I was a kid and the original Resurrection Man series was coming out I thought the idea of it sounded great, but it just wasn't quite me, at that time I just wasn't ready to start reading the more weird or dark characters so I didn't bother to check it out, but ever since then I've wanted another chance. So when Resurrection Man was announced as one of DC's New 52 I got excited for this chance to finally check out this character.
Now, a little more backstory before the review. Normally here on Comicvine I tend to give comics a lower grade than the staff when it comes to reviews, I'm not some hater who just complains about comics (despite what my Flashpoint review may make you think) I just happen to not like a lot of these books as much as the staff on this site does. So, when I got home today with my copy of Resurrection Man, and I looked on this site and saw that they only gave it 2 stars, I won't lie, I got worried. If they gave it two stars then based on past experience that means I'm probably going to flat out hate it, I'd be shocked if I ended up giving it even one star.
So as I picked up the book I was reading it like a kid watching a scary movie, worried that at any second the Monster of Bad Writing would jump out and wreak havoc. And yeah, the first few lines of it did make me think "oh man, this sounds a little campy, I don't like the look of this." But man, after that, it just kept climbing up and up and up.
Now the main complaint that the reviewer for the site had with this book was that it wasn't a good jumping on point, that he felt lost reading it and that it was like jumping into the middle of a story. Now, before I picked up this book here is literally all I knew about Resurrection Man, whenever he dies he comes back to life with a new power and he's been doing it for a long time, that's it. I didn't even know his name, his villains, his supporting cast if he even had any, I knew nothing else. And that is all you have to know to enjoy this book. Yes it does feel a bit like he's a character we're not being introduced to so much as a character that's been around a while, but I like that feeling because if your character is a guy who dies and comes back to life over and over, I want to get the feeling from reading this book like it's been happening a long time, like he knows the routine and he's been around the block a few times, and that is absolutely the feeling I got. And as for the complaints some people have had about not knowing his origin, for me that actually added to the mystery and creepy aura of this book.
However you do still have to give the new readers a sense of who this guy is, and I think the book totally achieves this. We see how he views coming back to life as just another day at the office almost, like he's a man on a mission, but we know he's not a one dimensional character from little things he does such as a nice little scene he has of using his powers to cheer up a crying baby, or how he comments to himself about how attractive a woman is so we know he's not your typical badass who has no time for love. I really didn't know going into this book anything about Mitch Shelly's personality and before the book was halfway over with I found myself pleasantly surprised at how human he was.
Now as for the big threat of the book, we get two ones introduced and I have to say I'm excited for both. We have a duo of psychotic valley girl serial killers who are chasing him down here on Earth. And meanwhile up in the air we get a battle between him and some kind of fallen angel (not a harpy like some people think, it's got a halo around its head) on top of a plane during the middle of a raging storm, and during the fight she has seven deities appear in the clouds and she tells him they're the Phantoms of the Afterlife and they've come to claim the dead. Now I know that this book isn't for everyone, that a lot of people won't care for it and sure, there are flaws to it... but damn man, when I saw that this book is going to be about seven gods of death coming to hunt down a guy who can't die, I just wanted to throw my hands up like I was on a roller coaster and shout out "Let's Do This!"
So sure, as I said, this book isn't quite perfect, it's got a few lines of dialogue that I thought were a tad flat, and I totally understand that this is not a book for everyone simply because of the way they introduced the characters and the odd tone of it. But for me, all I can say is that I hope that Resurrection Man doesn't die on the charts because I want to see this series play out for a long time to come.