Deathbed has been a visual feast mixed in with a narcissist’s life story. It has been a story with surprises at every turn and it’s for adults only. How many comic book stories can you say tick these boxes off?
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
Started in the heyday of the cult movement, the Cult of Luna follows the words of the great Antonio Luna. Every single word. No matter how random or insane, the Cult of Luna treats them as an eternal gospel. He is their God. And he will be your God, too. So, come on down and join us! Bring the kiddies! Journey to the center of your inner mind. Meet exciting people who want to meet you! Find out what you’re really made of! Share yourself with our hungry followers! And most of all…have fun!
Why does this matter?
Riley Rossmo has been putting out some of his greatest work to date. Joshua Williamson has been unraveling the lies of a rich egomaniac, revealing this unreliable narrator may be more complex than even he thought. Plus the last issue rocked.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
Luna is like a king.
The story hasn’t let up an inch on the visual front, as it’s gorgeous with interesting layout design and delectable details. The nudity never feels overt, but it’s certainly at the forefront when it comes to visual comedy. There is, of course, some intense gore too, but the strongest pages utilize the foreground and background in ways that increase the visual density of a scene. They also help convey how vividly real all this insanity is, grounding things thoroughly.
Bit much, dude.
It can’t be perfect can it?
This issue comes with a heaping dose of deus ex machina which thoroughly switches the gears, but does so in a way that’s unsatisfying. The big lesson for Luna also rings a bit false, in part because it’s hard to believe anything this character says, but also because a flip has been switched when I’m not entirely sure enough was done to do so. Luna is clearly older and a bit more susceptible to reflection, but in previous chapters he’s been so hard to reach when it comes to reality it comes off as forced here. Luna and Val also act more as bystanders than central to anything that goes on making the story less impactful.
Is It Good?
This is an okay chapter that is visually stunning, but lacks the character work to make bigger story beats work. It also has an unearned bit of deus ex machina that’ll leave you unsatisfied.