By Laramie Martinez
After reading the first issue I thought I knew what kind of story Death be Damned was going to be. And despite a warning from artist Andrew Miller over on Twitter, I went into issue two thinking that I was going to get more of the same. And while there was plenty of zombies and shootouts, there are some key revelations which take this series to another level of uncanny.
First, I want to talk about the biggest reveal in this issue, so if you’re looking to not be SPOILED, avert your eyes.
After Joseph the Undertaker brings Miranda back from the place between life and death, we find out that the Earth, called the Underneath, is actually a major player in this story. And unlike most characterizations of Mother Earth, she is not a soothing calm force for natural order. She is a vengeful and cunning actor for her own wants. I think this is a wonderful departure from what we normally see when authors create Earth into a character. I don’t know about you but Acker and Blacker’s interpretation of an Earth goddess is a lot more in line with what most people would feel if they were out in the middle of the wilderness at night. I think from our comfortable city dwellings we forget that the wilderness is a scary place and I’m glad to see a personification of Earth getting her bite back.
Another reveal in this issue came in the form of Joseph’s wife. We find that her body is still living with Joseph and seems to be functioning pretty well for lacking a soul. Her inclusion raises another set of questions. The first being, how can a body continue without a soul? The second, what exactly is the Underneath after if not the body? Is she dealing in souls? Isn’t that sort of evil for an Earth spirit? I liked implications of these questions, it opens up the story to go to a lot of interesting places.
Ok, SPOILERS OVER.
In addition to the above mentioned reveals, the issue as some well executed gun fights and another body that rises from the dead. We’re still very much in the set up part of the arch, with the creators keeping their narrative cards close to their chests. But this issue also gave me just enough to keep me from feeling that I’m in a plot desert, waiting desperately for another wiff of some important information.
Death Be Damned #2