Archive for August, 2017

lady

I’ve always been massively interested in the character of ‘Lady Death’. She has a great dark backstory and some awesome character design, which rivals some of the very best on the market. As such I was really interested in reading her humble beginnings again and what better way than reading ‘Lady Death: The Reckoning (revised)’ which contains the first 3 issue series from 1994 as well as the ½ issue and a few other extras.
So what’s it all about?
Lady death concerns the life of Hope who after sacrificing her soul to Lucifer has become Lady Death who is literally the queen of the dead. The tale collected here shows her origin and transformation from a simple noble girl to one of the most powerful forces to ever take on the devil. The story, while quite simple is gripping and powerfully told. It is almost narrated by the lead character as she replays her painful memories of her past life on Earth.
As an origin tale it has everything we could hope for. It gives us a good backstory on who the main character is, how she got where she is now and how she can eventually find salvation. There is a deeper story contained within this short story then in a lot of long running series I’ve read. The writer and creator Brian Pulido absolutely nails it when it comes to a carefully crafted story with a well-crafted lead character.
The art by the late Steven Hughes is as fantastic as the story. The characters pop from the pages, with each image perfectly leading into the next. Each character, especially Lady Death/Hope is designed stunningly and each feels individual and brilliantly crafted. As I previously mentioned, the reason I first got into reading Lady Death was because I loved the medieval design of the whole comic, which made everything feel different enough to stand out from the usual superhero comics, which the market is always saturated with. The covers for the individual issues are just as amazing as the inside artwork and could easily be paintings on gallery walls. It’s one of those series that buying the individual issues is quite a nice idea just because the covers are so unbelievably good.
If I were to have one minor gripe with the book it would have to be that some of the pages full of action can be slightly confusing in their layout. It’s by no means bad, but it does mean that occasionally I had to reread passages as I seemed to be reading out of order. This confusion only really happened a few times throughout the story, with the most noticeable parts being during the epic final battle in the third issue.
The book also contains the 12 page ‘1/2’ issue of Lady Death which is quite a nice little tale that is a brief preview of the character. As with the main story Pulido has crafted some amazingly descriptive narration to tell the short tale. It’s a stunning preview and just highlights why Lady Death has been going strong for over 20 years.
As a final bonus the final extra in the graphic novel is the first ‘swimsuit’ issue. That’s right a swimsuit issue! It is essentially a series of covers and splash pages by different artists showing the character in various different poses in varying designs of swimsuit. Those new to the world of ‘chaos comics’ may think this a little weird, but if you go with it does feature some truly great artwork.
So as you may have guessed I really loved rereading the humble beginnings of Lady Death and feel like this is a great way of experiencing the start of the character. It’s a deep brooding story that features almost no humour and is dark and gripping. The setting, the dialogue and the art are all spot on. For those who want to see perfection in indie comics, Lady Death is the perfect example. Pulido has created a magnificent world with some truly amazing characters that inhabit it. With over 20 years of stories following ion from these 3 issues, there’s not a better time to start experiencing the brilliance that is ‘Lady Death’.

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