Deathbed of Joshua Williamson & Riley Rossmo | Review


Published on Apr 22, 2019


Lion offers in a single volume Deathbed, miniseries, Vertigo of five numbers that define difficult to classify is an understatement. Written by skilled Joshua Williamson, who many probably know for his run of the Flash, has to do with a miscellanea of situations narrative really unsettling. There is a little bit of everything, from horror to science fiction, from thriller to noir, and the author became fascinated by the glorious tradition of the tales of pulp and of certain b-movie.

At the same time, Deathbed is an acute reflection on writing and on memory. These two elements are prominent, and deeply affect the plot conceived by Williamson. It all starts with Valentine Richards. As a young girl she had won a literary competition, and this had led her to a career as a writer. Growing up, in fact, Val was able to realize his dream, publishing a novel, which obtained the applause of the public and the critics.

The dream, however, soon disappeared. It is not, in fact, failed to repeat the success and in addition, the lack of inspiration has affected his creative abilities. To make ends meet, then, is forced to write some newspaper article and ghostwriter, focusing on biographies of famous people. In other words, is not of his life but those of others, and this is not the meets. One day, however, he receives a strange assignment. You are offered the opportunity to write the biography of Antonio Luna.

But who is Antonio Luna? Val has never heard of him. However, after you have made the best of its knowledge, come into contact with an amazing reality. It is an eccentric ninety-year-old, who in the course of its existence has been many things: adventurer, detective, head of a sect, a painter, rockstar, and so on. Possible that the Moon is able to be protagonist of many adventures? And what is true in what it talks about? And, above all, there is to trust his memories?

As the story continues, in effect, the same as Antonio realizes that his memory has been possibly manipulated by someone. As if that weren't enough, there's no shortage of dangers. Antonio finished on the black list of people who want to kill him at all costs, and Val is caught with him in situations that are frightening, focusing on mummies, murderers, werewolves, seven of the cannibals, jellyfish with strange properties and even an angel vengeful. The two protagonists are thus placed in the contexts of the visionary, psychedelic and surreal, and everything is told from a narrator's hidden identity will be revealed only at the end of the miniseries.

Williamson conceives of a plot interesting and engaging, characterized by a narrative pace quick, which has maybe the only flaw being a mix of excessive kinds of disparate. Does not mean, however, that Deathbed is not a work valid, and it certainly will be of interest to fans of the Vertigo. The designs are great Riley Rossmo, who has designed several things for DC, Image and Marvel. His style is not natural but the tip of the grotesque, with influences from indie and some reference to Sienkiewicz, the obvious source of inspiration of the penciler.

Rossmo offers us the tables from the layout constantly inventive, with shots of size-changing, set in the form of often incredible mosaics. The pencils are, moreover, enhanced by the vivid colours and psychedelic Ivan Plascencia that help to make them further pop. Therefore, although, as I wrote, the screenplay by Williamson is valid, the real point of force of the Deathbed is formed by the drawings of Rossmo.

Overall, the volume is to keep an eye on is aimed at those who wish to try something different from the usual superheroes.

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