Who's it by?
Resurrection Man #1 is written by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning (Annihilators) and drawn by Fernando Dagnino (Justice League: Generation Lost).
What's the history?
Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning have returned to the character they created in their ongoing Resurrection Man title in 1997, which was illustrated by Jackson Guice. The titular hero is Mitch Shelley, the subject of an experiment in nanotechnology that rendered him functionally immortal. Every time Shelley dies, he immediately returns to life with a new superpower.
After the conclusion of his title in 1999, Resurrection Man has appeared intermittently in other titles and storylines, including 'DC One Million' and briefly in the recent Brightest Day limited series.
Fernando Dagnino has replaced Guice as artist on the new title, but beyond that there are not many 'changes' to report. This is not an origin, but a new chapter in the ongoing story of Mitch Shelley.
Resurrection Man has been out of the picture for a long while, and this could have easily fitted into the pre-relaunch DC Universe, with so far little tying it into the other 52 titles with one notable exception on the final page (which we will refrain from spoiling for you).
Mitch Shelley is alive again. Awaking in a morgue, Resurrection Man flees with stolen clothes and wallet, following a mysterious compulsion that leads him on to a flight to Portland.
An encounter with a strange woman on the flight turns nasty (and very strange), all hell breaks loose and Shelley dies. Again.
What's the verdict?
DC's 'Dark' titles have proven some of the best of the relaunch so far and Resurrection Man continues that trend. Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning are at their best when it comes to character work, and this comic is all about the character. The issue thrusts the reader right into the head of Mitch Shelley and does not let go until the final page.
There is no explanation of Shelley origins, nor does the comic want for one, and readers unfamiliar with the character will be drawn into his world as easily as old fans. Resurrection Man drips atmosphere throughout, showing that Abnett and Lanning can handle horror as well as they could humour in Guardians of the Galaxy.
Fernando Dagnino's art is not want you might call pretty, but it is perfectly suited to the title - dirty, atmospheric and populated by the grim faces that peer into Shelley's world. His female figures do sometimes tend to the grotesque, and not in the way that the comic warrants.
Abnett and Lanning provided an elegant setup that will bring readers back for more, hinting at larger goings on that centre around Resurrection Man without giving a fraction more away than they need to. Shelley's acknowledgement of the compulsion that draws him he-knows-not-where promises a fast paced and exciting story, and we see the first hints of a war between monstrous angel-like creatures and "the basement office" over our hero's unique soul.
Resurrection Man achieves what the New 52 was supposedly intended for - it simply tells a story, and one that will capture readers both old and new. This promises to bring a little-known character straight to the fore of the DCU.
> Buy the digital version of Resurrection Man #1
> Read our review of Legion Lost #1
Watch The 'New 52' introduction video from DC Comics below: