The Many Deaths of Laila Starr is a hell of a premise. Death is fired because immortality may become a thing, but what will death do to make sure that she retains her job? How far will she go? But this isn’t Neil Gaiman’s Death of the Endless, this isn’t the Western version of death in a cloak, this is the Hindu Goddess of Death with six arms – Kali – and she’s fiery.
All that alone made this a particularly enjoyable read, but what really helps it all along is the visual flair by which the story is told. Filipe Andrade gives us some vivid textures to let our eyes swim in. The first-person perspectives he gives us are visceral. With Inês Amaro color assisting, together, the purples and blues they indulge in are really lush, giving us a very different feel than a lot of other series out there. Rav V’s prose is the veins that pump the poetry into the visuals. His choice of words creates a cadence that pulls us wistfully through the story, and the story itself is simply a great deal of fun.
I can imagine at some point this may become an incredibly interesting take on what life and death mean to the creators, but, for now, living in the moment with these characters as they blossom is enough for this reader to want to continue the journey. And right now, more than any other time, we need some thoughtful stories about life and death, with all the death we’ve been dealing with over the last year plus. Stories do matter because they allow us to digest these sometimes difficult concepts. They allow us to take philosophies, both intellectual and cultural, and share those ideas in entertaining ways. Personally, this story couldn’t have come at a better time.
Creative Team: Ram V (writer), Filipe Andrade (illustrations), Inês Amaro (color assists), AndWorld Design (colors), Marie Krupina (Logo Designer), Grace Park (Designer), Eeric Harburn (Editor), Ramiro Portnoy (Assistant Editor)
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
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