Saturday, February 11, 2017

Deadman: Dark Mansion of Forbidden Love, Book 3

By: Jerry Montgomery
February 10, 2017

Deadman: Dark Mansion of Forbidden Love #3
“Chapter 5: The Key to it All”

Written by: Sarah Vaughn
Art by: Lan Medina

Hey kids, do you like ghosts? Haunted houses? Things that go bump in the night? Yes?! Then, you’ve got all this and much more in the latest and final chapter in this all new Deadman story . Deadman is a relatively obscure DC character, for those of you unfamiliar with him.  Appearing first in Strange Adventures #205 in October 1967 as Boston Brand, a circus aerialist who is tragically murdered by an organization known as The Scavengers. He then returns as a ghost with powers you might expect he would have, as well as being able to possess the living. Thusly so, through the years, he’s usually been in the company of many of DC’s other supernatural characters, such as Swamp Thing and The Phantom Stranger.

Deadman: Dark Mansion of Forbidden Love can be best described as a gothic romance/ghost story. The story so far has centered on a young woman by the name of Berenice, a psychic who can of course, see dead people. She has come to live with her husband Nathan and friend Sam at Glencourt Manor, a spooky old  mansion, reputed to be haunted. The longer she stays at this troubled house,  the mystery deepens and its dark history begins to emerge. Deadman is drawn to the house and he and Berenice become allies to unravel the source behind the haunting by Adelia, a sometime terrifying and scary revenant. But why? The search for the answers only drive them further into the evil that lies within the dark corners of the house. Berenice is reluctant to tell Nathan of her abilities, for fear he may reject her, so she must rely on her friend Sam for a sympathetic ear. At end of book 1, Deadman and Adelia disappear, retreating into a dark void with one another, leaving Berenice to investigate the house on her own.

Book 2 splits time between Deadman getting to know Adelia better and Berenice off on her own at Glencourt, allowing the ghost’s past to relate and sync with Berenice ‘s findings.  Berenice ‘s relationships with her husband Nathan and her friend Sam get more complicated as well as she appears supportive and in love with Nathan but then also gets conflicted with her feelings for Sam. She uncovers more information about the house’s past much to the consternation of her husband. He is unwilling to believe her and downplays her concerns. So, as Book 3 rolls around, the story picks up immediately as all hell breaks loose with vengeful spirits, lovers betrayal, occult rituals and the evil that men do in search of selfish gain. Its all in a days work for Deadman.

The Verdict: There’s not much out there in the way of gothic romance comics out there, so if it’s your thing, you will really enjoy this moody, atmospheric offering by DC. Even if you’re not, anyone that has enjoyed any of DC’s supernatural titles, will enjoy it too.  This is a big one too at 48 pages long. You won’t be left wanting for any details.  Sarah Vaughn has done a good job in weaving a sorrowful and creepy tale under the backdrop of a troubled and storied mansion and Lan Medina’s artwork is moody and dark, perfect to illustrate it. I like to see these lesser known characters get new life (or death!) breathed into them, opening up new possibilities and stories not usually seen in more popular ones. So, if it’s the ghosts or the romance or just a fan of Deadman, you will not be disappointed in Dark Mansion of Forbidden Love. After reading it, you'll be left with the question, why are all houses named after their owners always seem to be haunted?

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