Review by Ian Keogh
As is the case with other characters revived for DC’s ‘New 52’ experiment in 2011, this Mitch Shelley, Resurrection Man, may resemble the character of the same name from an earlier series, but isn’t the same man. He’s again on a search for who he might have been, however, and he’s again a man who’s revived with a new super power whenever he dies. As morbid as that may sound, it’s actually an engaging premise, with Mitch’s search providing the continuity in Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning’s stories.
They’ve taken their original premise and added a supernatural element, with the forces of heaven and those of hell at odds with each other over Mitch’s soul, which is long past due for collection on account of his constant resurrections. For most of the book Mitch is allied with Kim Rebecki, able to reveal the inner thoughts of beings and objects via touch. Mitch’s search also involves more earthly dangers, an encounter with the Suicide Squad for one, and culminates with the best surprise over two volumes.
Unlike many graphic novels where a number of artists are used, the styles of Ramon Bachs, Fernando Dagnino (sample art), Andres Guinaldo, Javier Pina and Jesus Saiz are relatively complimentary. The differences can be distinguished – Saiz has a far cleaner style than Dagnino, Pina’s figurework is better than Bachs – but they all work within a broadly figurative style, and there’s a smoothness to the chapter to chapter transitions.
For all that Abnett and Lanning conceive a better origin for Resurrection Man than they did the first time around, they also decompress the procedure so that it becomes the main focus over two graphic novels. The series is weaker for that, and didn’t continue beyond the final revelations. There’s also less of the writers trying to back themselves into innovation by providing Mitch with powers that aren’t particularly useful to the situations he finds himself in. While he can be defeated, Resurrection Man is reborn with A-list abilities throughout this collection.
Little has been seen of Resurrection Man since 2012, so a viable character is once again consigned to limbo.