Throw Back Thursday – Deathblow #1

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Chris (not Kris) digging through the archives.

Chris (not Kris) digging through the archives.

Alright, stop what you’re doin’ cuz I’m about to ruin an entire decade of comics. Welcome the first ever Gravy Age Throw Back Thursday book review. Each week we’ll be dipping into Drakkar Noir stained short-boxes and reviewing a book from our adolescence. First up; Jim Lee’s Deathblow.

 

 

Deathblow

 

 

 

  • Story: Brandon Choi & Jim Lee
  • Art: Jim Lee
  • Colors: Joe Chiodo
  • Letters: Mike Heisler
  • Editor: Deborah Marvin
  • Publisher: Image Comics
  • Publication Date: May 1993

 

We start with a large man wearing a ball cap (which I’m sure is a very effective disguise) praying for forgiveness in a gothic cathedral. We have to remember that this is 90s Image. All churches are gothic cathedrals.

Next we are assaulted with images of this man’s “sins.” Either he’s a merc or soldier. I don’t think I bought #2 of this turd so I’ll probably never know.  There’s a full page splash of a bull getting stabbed in the neck. It’s a very juicy splash.  The splash after that shows our man standing on a pile of bodies. Was the bull a metaphor for people being slaughtered like cattle? Who cares  knows.

After the mystery man comes to the conclusion that he is too much of a coward to end his own life, a priest walks by to ask if everything is cool. After one dirty look the vicor is like “okay…” and keeps on walking.

We wrap this thing up with more self deprecating inner monologue like “I’m such a monster” and “I’ve killed too many” and “Glam Metal is eternal!” Okay, I may have added that last one. As the dude gets into his car leaving the church he admits that despite his many regrets he will kill for his country again.

A couple things I noticed while reading this book 20 years after its release:

  • There is a splash with a negative space cross and a shit ton of blood. This should have been the Image logo in the 90s as it seemed to appear a lot in other Image books.
  • There’s a newspaper on the last page with the headline about Saddam Hussein barring access to weapons inspectors. This kinda freaks me out. I remember things ramping up to Operation Desert Storm and how scared I was the day we invaded Iraq. It was the first time the country was at war in my lifetime (and yes, I do realize that there was no official declaration of war). Some memories are best left buried.
  • There is a lot of really juicy blood all over this book. Is this Frank Miller’s fault?
  • This book was a flip book. Deathblow #1 was only half the printed book. The other side was Cybernary #1. Why they did these flip books is a mystery to me. Were they just testing the waters to see what sticks? I’ll be sure to ask Jim Lee or Todd McFarlane next time I see them (which would also be the first time).

Thank you for taking this most excellent trip back in time with me. Join me again next week as we take a look at another book from when plaid was rad.

 

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