Death Bed #1
Written by: Joshua Williamson
Art by: Riley Rossmo and Ivan Plascencia
Published by: Vertigo / DC Comics

Reviewed by: Ryan McLelland

It has been quite a long time since I’ve read a Vertigo comic.  Last one I can recollect is American Vampire – so somewhere around eight years ago.  So why did Death Bed break the streak?  Basically because I like the name “Death Bed.”  What a weird and wonderful name for a comic book.  Does the comic itself live up to its great title?

There is a lot of setup in the first issue and it doesn’t really take off until the end, where we find exactly what the book is going to be about.  The book starts out as we meet Val – a writer who is down on her luck.  She’s been asked to ghostwrite a biography about some dude she’s never heard of.  She doesn’t want to do it but she’s out of money and being pressured to do so.

So why not check it out?  She takes the job and goes up to some spooky mansion where she meets the weird staff and looks at all the wonderful decor.  She goes to a bedroom where poor Mr. Luna, the owner of the mansion, lies on his death bed.  He shoos away his orderlies and starts to talk to Val about why it is important for his life story to be told.  Val isn’t impressed.  Who wants to ghostwrite some old dude’s story?

But the thing is – things are what they seem.  Luna isn’t some bedridden old geezer and this is no ordinary mansion.  It’s no ordinary world.  And deadly creatures in this world want Luna dead.  Why?  Well we, along with Val, are about to find out.  Val certainly seems that she is ready to finally have a grand adventure and writing this book may be the big story she’s been longing for.

The first issue was decent.  As I said, it just felt like a ton of setup.  Not that there’s anything wrong with world building because by the time you finish the issue, you are certainly looking forward to the next one.  But this issue is lucky that it had the ending that it did or else I may not have stuck around for issue #2.  I’m actually looking quite forward to the second issue because it seems there is going to be a ton more UMPH behind it.

The artwork is gorgeous.  Riley Rossmo’s art is stunning.  He has a familiar style that I can’t quite place.   I thought on it for quite a while and I came up with bupkiss.  Beyond a familiar style I’ll just say that Rossmo really made this world come alive and I really love how he draws Val.  She’s gorgeous, the world gorgeous, everything is gorgeous.

At the end of the day, Death Bed #1 starts off very slow but luckily picks up at the end.  I’d like to see where this adventures takes Val so I’ll be around for at least one more issue.  Throwing the ball back to you, Josh.  Hope the next one out is a fastball.

RATING: B

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