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52 Catch Up: Resurrection Man

Resurrection Man with Review52 Catch Up is a series devoted to looking at issues from DC’s New 52 and seeing how they’re faring now that they’re underway, why they’re worth reading (or not), and places we hope they will go in time.





Mitch Shirley doesn’t remember who he is.  What he does know is that he keeps coming back from the dead, and, when he returns, he has a new power.  Now, he’s on a quest to discover who he is while avoiding the many factions with a vested interest in harvesting his soul.







Previously on Resurrection Man: Covering Issues #1-#7

Mitch awakens in a morgue with no memory of who he is or where he came from, but with the power to manipulate metal and a driving need to travel to Portland.  Once aboard a plane, Mitch is confronted by the angel Suriel, who wishes to harness Mitch’s overdue soul for Heaven.  The plane ends up being destroyed around them, and Mitch is flung into the engine’s rotors, killing him.

When he resurrects, he continues on his way to a nursing home in Portland where his father Preston Shirley was a patient before he passed.  Preston’s friend, Darryl, helps Mitch to locate some information about his father, but the Body Doubles, Carmen and Bonnie, show up to apprehend Mitch.  They kill Mitch a couple of times trying to keep him down.  While dead, Mitch is attacked by Nightmorphs, creatures of purgatory, and a demon, both of whom want Mitch’s soul like Suriel does.  What the Body Doubles didn’t account for is Darryl, who was once a supervillain known as the Transhuman but had to give it up as the suit was stealing his life force, making him appear far, far older than his 19 years.  Darryl puts on his old suit and holds off the Body Doubles long enough for Mitch to piece himself back together.

Suriel arrives but Mitch pisses her off enough that she disintegrates him.  Before returning to life, Mitch regains some of his memories of when he was a corrupt government supervisor exploring the possibilities of artificially creating superhumans.  Mitch used and tortured people.  When his lab was attacked, Mitch’s arm was blown off and he injected himself with one of his own experimental serums in an effort to save his own life.

Mitch wakes up in a hospital, unsure if he’s alive or still dead.  He voices his concerns to the hospital staff and is soon taken to Arkham Asylum where he is dubbed Deathwish by the guards.  One of the guards, a man named Fletcher, helps supervillains escape.  Mitch tries to stop them but is killed in the process.  When he revives, he comes for Fletcher.

The driving force in Mitch’s skull next sends him to Metropolis, where he is present to stop a villain known as Mr. Untouchable, leading him to believe the driving force is trying to get him to do good with his abilities.  With so few details, Mitch decides the next move is to start researching himself and figure out who he once was.

High Points

A Fresh Start with Every Death: While Mitch’s frequent deaths can become a bit tiresome, every time he comes back you still want to know what new power he’s picked up.  The mystery of it is equally as fascinating, with his primary ability able to transport him out of harm’s way when necessary, such as to avoid Suriel, and gives him a driven purpose to travel to certain locations where he can do the most good.

Valuable Soul: Rather than just make Mitch’s ability to resurrect a curse, having his unique status as a man of many deaths makes him valuable to Heaven, Hell, and a variety of rather powerful beings.  It’s especially interesting to note that, despite his dark past, even Heaven is willing to ignore those indiscretions in order to possess his soul.

Low Points

Clusterf–k of Weird: By the time the primary players are all introduced by the end of Issue #4, you’re struggling to keep track of all the oddness that’s been placed at your feet.  Bonnie and Carmen are psychotic, highly sexualized government agents who think nothing of filling their charge with bullets in order to ensure his retrieval; Darryl is a 19-year-old trapped in a 50-year-old’s body due to his invention; and that doesn’t include the angel and demon hunting Mitch or the man who dies every four pages in his own title.

Rumble at the Nursing Home: Lasting half the series to date, the fight after fight after fight after fight at the nursing home simply wouldn’t end.  The purpose behind it was to introduce all the different players (see above Low Point) in one sitting, but, seriously, Mitchell died like three times in the span of 10 minutes.

Looking Ahead

Would the Real Mitchell Shelley Please Stand Up?: Flashbacks have shown that Mitch was a real b–tard, fully willing to torture and murder people in the name of science.  Part of him is struggling to change that, as is the driving force behind his powers, but, at times, Mitch is ready to embrace his former nature, and at the end of Issue #7, he says he wants to relearn how to be that man.

Heaven vs. Hell vs. Nightmorphs vs. Mitch: The fact that Mitch is valuable is going to be one of the cooler scenarios going forward, as every metaphysical place that can store souls comes looking for him.  So far, the demon on his trail hasn’t been as active as Suriel, which probably means he’s in for a longer play.  And, does Mitch have to face Nightmorphs every time he dies or only when another being forces him into purgatory?

Driving Force: The Quantum Leap-esque force that drives Mitch to locations where he can do the most good is an interesting plot device.  With metaphysical beings like God and Satan already in place, what is compelling Mitch to these places?  Is it his own powers or some other outside force?





Kristine Chester, Fanbase Press Senior Contributor


Favorite Comic Book SeriesAtomic Robo Favorite D&D Class:  Wizard Favorite Ice Cream Flavor:  Cookies N' Cream


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