One of the reasons you don’t quit on a book like Deathbed is because it’s wildly different than anything else on the shelf. Joshua Williamson and Riley Rossmo are producing something vividly weird which makes each page trippy, intriguing, and gripping in its own way.
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
Ever get the feeling you’ve forgotten something? You know, it’s that nagging itch in the back of your head that says you left the oven on and your house is on fire. Did you forget that your name is Antonio Luna? Have you found yourself the target of an intricate web of life-threatening assassination attempts for reasons that continue to elude you? Maybe you’re having trouble remembering the face of that ninja you killed last week in self-defense? Or quite possibly, is your name Val Richards and you have no clue why you agreed to accompany a dying lunatic on his suicidal mission to have the most memorable death of all time? If any of these sound, like you or someone you love, then you need the exotic jellyfish plant of the Underwater City of Womba! Its toxins will make you relive all your memories. Even the horrible ones you wanted to forget…
Why does this matter?
It’s becoming very clear Williamson is playing around with the unreliable narrator aspect of the series–so much so he’s had the character mention it–which has put into question the autobiographical nature of this adventure. It’s what sets off this issues mission to learn the truth, before time runs out.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
I can’t stop looking at this series with awe. Rossmo infuses the pages with an organic nature that’s at times sexy and at times trippy in ways you won’t expect. The use of color by Ivan Plascencia is inspired, breathing even more life onto the page. This is an adult comic, so expect some strange breast-like plants and butt shots, but they’re never depicted in gratuitous ways. This is the world we’re exploring and it’s a weird place indeed. Luna continues to be lanky and long in an almost inhuman way that makes him larger than life. In an excellent double page layout we see Luna reliving past moments and the way Rossmo positions Luna is highly dynamic. His legs grow to convey they are getting closer to the viewer while the memories wash around him. It’s a cool scene made more interesting due to the layout design.
The story continues to be intriguing with strange twists and turns. I’m starting to wonder if Williamson actually dropped some LSD to write this, because there are some wild ideas in store for readers. Luna is attempting to remember his past life via a strange pool managed by three women dubbed the “Sisters of Cognitive Creation.” They’re designed strangely and have a bone to pick with Luna (who doesn’t?). The series continues to juggle Luna’s baggage, and those he spurned, with reveals of his past life that are so tremendous and outrageous it’s hard to fathom the guy is real. It’s like Williamson laid it on so thick we have to accept all of this is possible.
It can’t be perfect can it?
This issue bounces back from the last issue with repercussions and reveals that are worthy. One complaint I do have, which has been a problem in every issue, is how easy it is for Val and Luna to tramp to each location. I can’t say if this world is our Earth or some strange other-world, but it’s harder to believe it with so little tethering the locations together. It’s easy enough to just roll with it, but for the most part it’s so strange it’s hard to look at the characters as relatable, let alone the world.
Is it good?
This issue delves into Luna’s past and reveals key details that’ll get you thinking. Once again though, it’s the wild and unhinged nature of the story and world that’ll keep your interest.