Saturday, December 15, 2007

Joe Casey Comics: Deathlok #6

[And we pass the halfway mark in my look at Joe Casey's Deathlok run. Posts on the subject published Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.]

Leonardo Manco has the issue off, so the art here is by Matt Smith and Richard Case. Their work is sort of a cross between Ed McGuinness and Eric Cante--and, like the Cante issue, works because of the self-contained nature of the issue. This issue isn't really self-contained as it furthers the overall story, but it tells its own story as Truman is put in charge of a unit of cyborg agents--or, freaks, as they call themselves.

We begin with Truman's attempts to seem human where he sprays on fake skin to cover his robot body, except it tends to flake off. But, because of this fake skin, his team doesn't know that he's a freak like them and, therefore, distrust and hate him. Especially Darwin, an agent who's lower body has been replaced, which, apparently, caused the break-up of his marriage.

The mission they're sent on is simple: go to some island, overthrow a dictator. The misson goes bad, people get killed and we learn that the dictator had been propped up by SHIELD until recently and it wasn't about taking out a horrible scumbag more than it was about revenge.

The plot is very typical and Casey seems to be using it as a means for Truman to confront others just like him. Darwin is an angry version of Truman, one pissed off at what has happened to him and ready to die. The other two seem better adjusted, more about just doing their jobs, because what else is there. In the end, Truman walks away from SHIELD, because fuck this shit. He also lets the dictator live.

At the end, the issue of Truman as SHIELD's property is raised, because his body IS SHIELD's property. It's their LOK prototype and his mind just happens to be inside it. At what point does it cease being LOK and begin being Truman?

I have no idea and I don't think anyone does.