Resurrection Man #6: Arkham Horrors

Mitch Shelley gets tossed into Arkham Asylum, and the only way out is to die.

Andy Hunsakerby Andy Hunsaker

Resurrection Man #6

After spending some time with the supporting cast of crazies and giving us some flashbacks to how big a bastard Mitchell Shelley was before he became what he is today, Resurrection Man #6 wisely put us back into the life of Shelley now, a memory-addled walking nightmare who comes back with a different set of powers every time he dies.  How does a guy like that handle being tossed into Arkham Asylum?  Let's just say there's a suicide watch.

For all the horror stories you hear about Arkham, turns out it's hard to get yourself killed off when you want to.  Shelley's provoked riots, jumped off ledges face-first and taunted corrupt guards into trying to shoot him.  Nothing's worked, and they're sedating him out of his mind to make sure he stays put, thinking his true story is actually the ravings of a madman, earning him the nickname 'Deathwish.' Apparently, whatever weird electrical powers he has, he can't focus enough through the drugs to do anything with them.  All he can do is start fights.  So he gets thrown in "the Bin," which is where they keep the dangerous crazies.  And the worst of the institutionalized corruption, as one of the bastard guards named Fletcher gets some cash on the down low to start a mass breakout, spearheaded by a giant fat guy named Sumo. 

Whether or not this is the same breakout that happened in the first issue of Batman: The Dark Knight is unclear, but Batman doesn't appear, and neither does Dick Grayson Secretly Joker.  Chances are it's just 'hey, we're doing an Arkham story, so there's gonna be a breakout' standard take on he place.  However, once in the Bin, Shelley's off the drugs, so as soon as he's out, he starts playing hero, taking the fight to Sumo – and getting what he wanted – a cracked neck, and a new power set that lets him kick the snot out of the superfat strongman and quell the uprising quickly.  And that gets him shot in the head by Fletcher, covering his ass.  Except he must be retarded or something, because this is the goddamned Resurrection Man.

Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning's story is much stronger when it's not full of Body Doubles, and this is a neat way to tie Shelley into some classic comic lore, and we'll see if that means Batman takes an interest in him.  We do know there's a Suicide Squad crossover in Shelley's future, but where once that would have been exciting, in the New 52, it's a big trade down.  The art from Fernando Dagnino is pretty great, too, nice and comic-booky, creepy when it needs to be.

Resurrection Man #6 isn't anything that will knock your socks off, but if you're into the idea of a dude who constantly dies and comes back with a different kind of badass mojo, it's a cool issue and a fun read about a piece of crap who gets his comeuppance.