The Deadman: Dark Mansion Of Forbidden Love miniseries had one of the most surprising debuts of any superhero book this year, reinvigorating Boston “Deadman” Brand’s character by throwing him in the middle of a gothic romance horror story. Writer Sarah Vaughn has made a name for herself crafting compelling romance comics like Ruined and Alex + Ada, and her focus on complex character relationships made for an especially engaging first issue of Deadman: DMOFL, introducing a complicated love triangle threatened by the supernatural forces inside the haunted mansion.
The book is reminiscent of early Vertigo in its atmospheric, unconventional take on an established DC character, and the creative team has gone above and beyond to create a rich, multilayered read. Artist Lan Medina is doing the best work of his career on this title, depicting the titular residence in meticulous detail while capturing the intense emotions of the characters. The latter is highlighted in this preview of next week’s Deadman: DMOFL #2 detailing Deadman’s conversation with the spirit of a woman murdered in the mansion decades ago, and the artwork is driven by character expressions as the two ghosts bond in a completely black environment.
Adelia is a different kind of ghost than Deadman, and José Villarubia reflects that in his coloring, giving Adelia a pale blue glow that is a sharp contrast to Deadman’s red costume. New colors emerge when Deadman explores Adelia’s memories, and the flashes of her past showcase the detail in Medina’s environments, giving each small snippet greater dramatic weight by fully realizing Adelia’s perception of each moment. This creative team has approached this story with incredible care, and readers should seek out Deadman: DMOFL if they want a thoughtful, captivating comic that juggles romance, horror, and superhero elements.