New 52 Review – “DC Universe Presents #1: Deadman”

This title is different, in that each story arc will focus on a new lead character to give that individual more attention in the DCU. This time around, it’s Deadman’s turn.

General Information

Title: DC Universe Presents #1: Deadman

Author: Paul Jenkins

Illustrator(s): Bernard Chang (art) and Blond (colours)

Cover Date: November 2011

Cover Price: $2.99

Buy the digital edition.


Boston Brand was a jerk. When he was killed, he was offered a chance to make up for past deeds by living the lives of others, in something of a supernatural Quantum Leap, but without all the time travel and created 20 years sooner. Lately, he’s begun to have doubts about his mission.

High Point

The conversation at the carnival.

Low Point

For a guy who’s not a jerk anymore, that’s quite the final page. I’m also having a hard time reconciling the contents of this issue with what we saw in Hawk and Dove.

The Scores

Deadman is an original hero, as his superhuman abilities seem to do nothing but get him involved in situations. Once involved, he’s limited to his own knowledge and whatever physical abilities are held by the person he becomes. I give it 5 out of 6.

The artwork is solid. There’s a definite shift in colour palette and styles to fit the tones and situations presented within. I give it 5 out of 42.

The story related here covers a lot of back story, and seems to just barely set up the new path for the title. I give it 4 out of 6.

The characterization is clearly going to be a huge focus of the arc. Right now, Deadman is in a bit of an internal crisis, so his character isn’t very well defined, but that lack of definition is a deliberate part of the story. It feels very much like the kind of thing that will be unambiguously corrected by the end of the story arc. I give it 4 out of 6.

The emotional response is decent. I enjoyed the issue, but didn’t find it particularly gripping. I give it 3 out of 6.

The flow is very smooth once more. Comic artistry has improved a lot over the decades, so there’s rarely a problem here from the major companies. I give it 5 out of 6.

Overall, it’s not a bad issue, but it’s so expository that I just don’t find it as exciting or compelling as some of DC’s other titles. I give it 4 out of 6.

In total, DC Universe Presents #1: Deadman receives 30 out of 42.

The New 52

Here are handy links for the reviews of all 52 new #1 issues:

  1. Action Comics
  2. All-Star Western
  3. Animal Man
  4. Aquaman
  5. Batgirl
  6. Batman
  7. Batman and Robin
  8. Batman: The Dark Knight
  9. Batwing
  10. Batwoman
  11. Birds of Prey
  12. Blackhawks
  13. Blue Beetle
  14. Captain Atom
  15. Catwoman
  16. DC Universe Presents
  17. Deathstroke
  18. Demon Knights
  19. Detective Comics
  20. The Flash
  21. Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E.
  22. The Fury of Firestorm
  23. Green Arrow
  24. Green Lantern
  25. Green Lantern Corps
  26. Green Lantern: New Guardians
  27. Grifter
  28. Hawk and Dove
  29. I, Vampire
  30. Justice League
  31. Justice League Dark
  32. Justice League International
  33. Legion Lost
  34. Legion of Super-Heroes
  35. Men of War
  36. Mister Terrific
  37. Nightwing
  38. O.M.A.C.
  39. Red Hood and the Outlaws
  40. Red Lanterns
  41. Resurrection Man
  42. The Savage Hawkman
  43. Static Shock
  44. Stormwatch
  45. Suicide Squad
  46. Superboy
  47. Supergirl
  48. Superman
  49. Swamp Thing
  50. Teen Titans
  51. Voodoo
  52. Wonder Woman