Silver Age September – Deadman’s Search for the Hook!
After a month of spotlighting the strange (if endearingly strange) history of comic books (and especially the Silver Age), I think it is worthwhile to show the comic books of the Silver Age that are simply great stories period. Here is an archive of all the Silver Age comics features so far!
As I mentioned the other day, while I’m mostly sticking with one-off issues, occasionally I’m going to “have” to feature longer arcs, just so that we don’t leave out some of the best Silver Age stories. For example, Neal Adams’ run on Deadman in Strange Adventures #206-216. Great stuff that I didn’t feel like picking just one issue from, as the run as a whole was impressive.
After debuting the character in Strange Adventures #205, Carmine Infantino turned the art duties over to Neal Adams, who would draw the book until the Deadman feature ended in Strange Adventures #216.
Jack Miller wrote most of the early stories before Adams took over as writer himself for the last handful of stories (with a Robert Kanigher-penned tale also mixed in).
The basic set-up of the series is explained pretty well in this opening of one of the later issues…
So with that out of the way, the rest of the series continued “The Fugitive” style – Deadman is searching for the person who murdered him, and each journey to search brings him into one wacky adventure after another (when he possesses people, he can use his acrobatic abilities in their body – this leads to some awesome Adams action sequences).
The stories are pretty straightforward, but the more Adams drew of the series, the more complex the book became and the more interesting it became – mostly on the art side, but the stories weren’t bad, either.
In this one story, Deadman suspects the acrobat who followed him as the “greatest acrobat alive” as perhaps being the man who murdered him, but he soon finds out that the acrobat (the Eagle) is actually just using his abilities for crime.
Deadman gets an innocent bystander (whose body he possesses) into the mix and he suddenly realizes that he is putting this poor guy into deadly fire, so he does whatever he can to save him, and boy does Adams draw the following sequence beautifully…
Click on the last picture to enlarge!
This was basically every issue of Deadman – it was a fun book.
Sadly, it only lasted roughly 12 issues, with Adams wrapping up the plot in an issue of Brave and the Bold.
But the Deadman character has remained in play ever since, with later writers and artists expanding on the stories Adams and Miller did!