Review – The Many Deaths Of Laila Starr #1
Written By: Ram V
Artwork: Filipe Andrade
Publisher: Boom! Studios
Available: April 2021
A powerful new book for fans of The Wicked + The Divine and The Dreaming from Ram V (Justice League Dark) and Filipe Andrade (Captain Marvel) that explores the fine line between living and dying in Mumbai through the lens of magical realism. With humanity on the verge of discovering immortality, the avatar of Death is fired and relegated to the world below to live out her now-finite days in the body of twenty-something Laila Starr in Mumbai. Struggling with her newly found mortality, Laila has found a way to be placed in the time and place where the creator of immortality will be born… But will Laila take her chance to permanently reverse the course of (future) history…or does a more shocking fate await her?
Ram is on fire at the moment after the amazing success last month of the new Swamp Thing, plus JL Dark, Catwoman and Radio Apocalypse he is one of the hottest talents at the moment. Two parts Gaiman, A smidge of Barker, a pinch of Pratchett and a spoonful of Moore he could be the heir apparent to the the the new king of comics crown!
The first five pages confused me with a strange tale of a bustling Mumbai then cutting to abstract Gods getting out of elevators. This is The Sandman for the 21st century. It takes a simple concept of what would happen if Death incarnate had to experience their own mortal death over and over. It’s quirky, strange and at the same time beautiful and entrancing.
Andrade is a stunning artist his busy cityscapes are teeming with people and life and in bringing Laila Starr to life (sorry for the pun) she shines from the pages.
The Indian gods are balanced between a slightly cartoonish look and seeing heaven transformed to a corporate office seems fitting in 2021.
The use of pastels and blues and purples within the pages works well. It’s no wonder that the first print of the comic sold out last week before it even hit the shelves!
I love that the variant covers are things of beauty, in a market where often great artists are used to flogging mediocre comics this issue shows how to use them to enhance a great story.
This will be a hot title, if you haven’t already added it to your subscription you’ll be paying through the nose on reseller sites for the first print of it. If you are lucky to be getting it this week you’ll be glad you added a few weeks ago. If you’re even luckier to get the variant covers you might want to read it wearing gloves before you send it off to be graded!
In response to the overwhelming support and positive reviews from retailers and fans, BOOM! Studios have announced THE MANY DEATHS OF LAILA STARR ISSUE #1 SECOND PRINTING, featuring brand new cover art by superstar artist Christian Ward (Invisible Kingdom) will be available in stores from May 5, 2021.
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