I’m writing from an Amtrak train on its way to Boston, which is appropriately the first name of one of the characters being talked about here! Read on for reviews of Deadman: Dark Mansion of Forbidden Love and The Shadow: The Death of Margo Lane.

Deadman: Dark Mansion of Forbidden Love 1
Written by Sarah Vaughn
Art by Lan Medina

Despite beautiful art and intriguing previews, I was hesitant to pick this up because of the steep price tag. Charging $5.99 for an untested product – regardless of how good the art is – can be a risky move, Even though the digital edition clocks in at 54 pages. I’m glad I decided to pick it up, though, as I was immediately sucked in by Lan Medina’s wonderfully expressive art, and Sarah Vaughn’s tale keeps you entranced.

Before we get to the titular hero of the book, the reader is introduced to Berenice, coming home from an antique show with her friend Sam. She lives in a giant old house inherited by her boyfriend, a writer using the house for inspiration. As her husband sequesters himself away to finish his book, Berenice spends most of her time with Sam. But Berenice also has the ability to see ghosts, and she has increasingly noticed some spectral activity in the mansion. Enter Boston Brand – Deadman – who was drawn to the house by a call for help from someone he can’t find. He fights off a darkness that is trying to scare Berenice away from the house before the pair manage to team up to look for information.

The story – which promises romance, mystery and evil in the solicitation text – is compelling and worth a read. Despite the price point, I found myself upset that each successive issue will come out only every other month.

The Shadow: The Death of Margo Lane 5
Written and drawn by Matt Wagner

The end of this miniseries from Dynamite Comics kind of lands with a thud, unfortunately, and left me a bit disappointed. We get the big villain reveal – it was the daughter of one of The Shadow’s foes who had targeted him. And then the bigger reveal, which I guess I won’t spoil here. It’s a comic book, though, so I don’t think it will be too shocking to anyone with a passing familiarity with the medium.

The second reveal takes over the focus of the majority of the book, though, making the back half or so of the final issue of the miniseries a long epilogue, and it’s not a very satisfying one at that. After Wagner’s great run on The Spirit, I was pretty excited for this, but I don’t believe it lived up to the expectation. Maybe it would read better in a collected edition.