DEADMAN: BOOK FIVE (DC, First Printing, 2014; Softcover)
Collects Challengers Of The Unknown #85-87, Deadman #1-4, and the Deadman story from Secret Origins #15 (cover dates March, 1978- June, 1987)
Writers: Gerry Conway, Carla Conway, and Andrew Helfer
Artists: Keith Giffen, John Cerlardo, Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez, Kevin Maguire, and Dick Giordano with covers by Rich Buckler, Jack Abel, Frank Giacoia, Alex Saviuk, Dick Giordano, Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez, John Byrne, and Ed Hannigan
If you are still hanging around for the fifth book in any given line then you are likely a completist, which is fine because only a completist would be interested in reading the material collected in this book. That is exactly where this line of books has failed, though. DC omitted so many Deadman appearances that it makes this line feel like a wasted opportunity, as this will appeal to neither the completists, the casual reader, nor the mainstream bookstore buyer.
Rounding up some of Deadman's pre-Crisis On Infinite Earths appearances, Deadman: Book Five is an okay read. That is the book's biggest problem: it is just okay. It is very middle of the road in terms of writing and artwork, although Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez turns in some fine work on the four issue mini-series. Things never seem to get out of third gear though.
The book starts out in a jarring manner, as you come in during the middle of a Challengers Of The Unknown story guest-starring Deadman and Swamp Thing. Leave it to DC to omit part one of a four part storyline. The Deadman mini-series from the '80s is good, but let's face it. It's Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez's artwork that carries it. The story in and of itself is mediocre. The book ends with a ret-con filled retelling of Deadman's origin from Secret Origins #15. This was an attempt to make it more streamlined for new readers.
So this line is done, although the omissions make it an unsatisfying accomplishment. Oh well. This is DC. They will never right this wrong, so fans will have to take whatever they can get.
Junk Food For Thought rating: 3.5 out of 5.
The OCD zone- DC omitted tons of Deadman appearances from this era.
Linework and Color restoration: The original color palette is faithfully maintained, although the color blends are done as gradients on occasion. They stick out like a sore thumb to the trained eye. Linework looks decent enough.
Paper stock: Good weight glossy coated stock. Glossy paper is not optimal for comic books with flat coloring but I will take this over the cheap paper DC usually passes off on folks in their books of classic material.
Binding: Perfect bound trade paperback.
Cardstock cover notes: Laminated cardstock cover.