Comic Book Reviews - Deathmatch #1 Review

Created on January 3, 2013 and written by
Category: Boom Studios Reviews, Comic Book Reviews

Deathmatch #1

Rating: 4/5
Publisher: BOOM
Writer: Paul Jenkinks
Pencils: Carlos Magno
Colors: Michael Garland
Number of Pages: 29
Price: 1.00

Publisher’s Blurb: THE SUPERHERO BATTLE ROYALE YOU CAN’T GET FROM MARVEL OR DC! A powerful and mysterious supervillain has imprisoned the world's greatest superheroes, forcing them to fight to the death until there is but one victor. It's kill or be killed as we settle the score on all those hypothetical superhero match-ups in the ultimate DEATHMATCH. Written by industry legend Paul Jenkins (SENTRY, INHUMANS) and drawn by comics superstar Carlos Magno (PLANET OF THE APES, TRANSFORMERS), DEATHMATCH is a dark, psychological deconstruction of the superhero genre that can’t be missed.

Reviewer’s Comments:
Thirty two super powered individuals enter only one leaves. That’s the basis for Boom! Studios new book Deathmatch. One of a string of recent titles that pit superheroes against each other in battles to the death. While things may seem straightforward they really aren’t. Everyone involved in the matches have their memories temporarily altered or wiped. This helps make it easier for a character that would never kill to cross that line without realizing it. After the match is over the survivor is returned to the rest of the group.

Many of these are familiar archetypes and are analogues to various mainstream characters. In a way it kind of feels like back when you were a kid. You would set up your best action figures and have a battle royal to determine who the best was. The antagonists so far are as mysterious as the reason for the entire tournament. Exceedingly powerful forces that can strike godlike individuals down like they are putting a misbehaving kid in timeout.

The mystery of what’s going on is an effective way to hook readers. However having so many newly created characters that we have no real connection to makes it easier not to care who lives or dies. The development needs to ramp up quickly to give us some one or a group to root for. Of course doing that can also mess with the seemingly random nature of who lives or dies.

Despite the fact that this is a first issue and a (sort of) crossover it’s a surprisingly good read. The characters are as fleshed out as they can get in a situation like this and their designs are really striking. Not just the typical spandex and armor crowd. I have to admit while I followed the promotion for the book I thought it looked really uninteresting. So far I have been pleasantly surprised and am looking forward to watching the series unfold.


Deathmatch #1 Cover   
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