It’s difficult not to see everything concerning death through the eyes of this past year, just as I’m sure it was after 9/11 or World War II. It’s also difficult not to see echoes of Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman in other stories concerning a personification of Death. Truly, The Sound of Her Wings is one of the best meditations on death written. This issue of The Many Deaths of Laila Star is seeking to give it a run for its money.
Of course, there are differences. Laila Star is no longer acting as death. She has been fired because someone has been born that will create eternal life. There’s no more use for her. So, she’s given the opportunity to live and, in doing so, dies and lives and dies and lives. Every time she lives ,she meets the boy at different periods of his life. This isn’t so much about her journey, as it is about his. This isn’t so much about death, as it is about life being presented with death and death presented with life. It’s intoxicating, it’s poetic, and in this issue we’re presented with a narrator that really is a perfect metaphor for life and death and ironically plays into the issue's story arc.
Andrade’s long, lanky bodies move fluidly from panel to panel. This is a hyper-realized dream world of memories, feelings, thoughts, and emotions. It’s lush with colors of life, the colors of chaos, the colors of violence, love, defeat, and loss. There are so many ways to live and die, and they are all wrapped up in each other.
Ram V is tackling all of these themes and these journeys with class and some real artistic integrity. This is absolutely worth seeking out.
Creative Team: Ram V (writer), Filipe Andrade (illustrations), Inês Amaro (color assists), AndWorld Design (colors), Marie Krupina (Logo Designer), Grace Park (Designer), Eeric Harburn (Editor), Ramiro Portnoy (Assistant Editor)
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
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