Comic Name: Resurrection Man (Volume 2)
Publisher: DC Comics
Writer: Dan Abnett/Andy Lanning
Artist: Fernando Dagnino Guerra
# of Issues: 7
Release Date: 2012
Reprints Resurrection Man (2) #1-7 (November 2011-May 2012). Mitch Shelley has a problem. Everyone likes to kill him…a lot. When Mitch is killed, he doesn’t stay dead, he comes back with super-human powers that change every time he dies. Suffering from amnesia about his past, Mitch sets out to find out the truth about his origins. Mitch is being pursued by Body Doubles (a two person team hired to bring Mitch in for a former associate) and finds himself in a war between Heaven in Hell who both feel cheated out of his soul.
Written by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning, Resurrection Man Volume 1: Dead Again was part of the New 52 relaunch of the DC Universe after Flashpoint. was a surprise in the list of New 52 books when they were announced. The series received fair to good reviews and managed to survive the first round of New 52 cuts.
Resurrection Man shows a return for Abnett and Lanning to the character they first created in the 1990s and was a bit of a surprise among the titles announced for the New 52 universe. Resurrection Man’s first series ran for twenty-eight issues (including a 1,000,000 crossover) from May 1997 to August 1999 (cover dates). Shelley’s powers were virtually the same and he also had amnesia. He was finally “killed” (maybe), but he also learned he was a subject of an experiment by the Lab.
Here, Mitch Shelley is being set up as a much less sympathetic character (pre-super-powers). In a fevered dream at Arkham Asylum, Shelley sees he was part of the experiment on soldiers to gain the super-human powers. While working with Deadshot, he was forced to take the drug…it isn’t indicated if this is the true origin of Shelley, but it seems pretty legitimate since both Hooker and Body Doubles have somewhat confirmed it.
Resurrection Man’s power is such a random and kind of pointless power, it will be interesting to see what the story tries to do new with it. It essential is Dial H for Hero where the character would have to die (and DC launched a new Dial H in the New 52 as well). Shelley has just limps his way through the issues and it would be nice to see him get a chance to really develop more story. I did enjoy the Arkham Asylum issue where he kept trying (and failing) to get himself killed so he could get out of there, and I would like to see more in that direction.
I love Lanning and Abnett’s space sagas for Marvel, but in this volume, Resurrection Man is just not up to the levels of their other writing. Unfortunately, Resurrection Man was already demonstrating weaker sales by the time this collection was released. Resurrection Man 1: Dead Again was followed by Resurrection Man 2: A Matter of Death and Life which ended up being the final volume in the series.