Fascinating repurposing of the old Deathblow character.
Let’s get this out of the way. This is a great read. Do you need to have read the The Wildstorm trades that set up this universe? No, not at all. It stands on its own. Bryan Hill is having fun in the multiverse that The Wildstorm occupies. Do you want to see weird alternate versions of Justice League member get permanently dealt with? Then check this trade out.
This has hints of the original Deathblow character in that he is an assassin with something that may be killing him. In the context of this new iteration, that very thing that may be killing may be providing him with superhuman powers. Michael Cray is a super powered assassin that as a moral compass, to a degree. He will follow through on the orders he is given though he really prefers that his targets are truly evil people who deserve retribution. I don’t want to give away all the Justice Leaguers that he engages in this trade. I will say that each is a surprise with an interesting take where you can see how this version of a character might actually exist in the “real world.”
While the premise may seem a little over the top, N. Steven Harris pencils aided by Dexter Vines and Andy Owens on inks, and Dearbhla Kelly and Steve Buccelatto on colors absolutely are not. They way the whole art team plays it in a non-fantastical way goes a long way in helping differentiate this from normal superheroic fare using simpler line work and muted color palette to mimic some things we would see in the real world. They keep the title feeling very grounded. Given the whole package that everyone delivered on this first trade, I hope to see more of Michael Cray dealing with more Justice League members.
Wildstorm: Michael Cray : Volume 1
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