One of the things I like doing is look for more creator-owned work when I find a writer doing a DC or Marvel book I like. That pretty much explains why I picked up The Many Deaths of Laila Starr from writer Ram V. What I have seen of his stuff has been rather good, so I wanted to see what he did on his own.
This five issue mini-series was just a lot of philosophical fun.
The story is set using what I am guessing is something connected to the Hindu religion. I’m no expert, but the gods of the story do have the right look to them. Regardless, “Laila Starr” is the goddess of death, and she’s just been told a mortal man has just been born who will invent immortality. Such an action would effectively render Laila unemployed, so she’s been shuffled off to life as a mortal. Once on Earth, Laila decides she needs to keep her job by taking down Darius Shah, the man who will invent immortality. If she does that, she can keep her job as the goddess of death.
Small problem: for all that she’s the goddess of death, she’s not really good at killing people. In fact, she’s not really good at being a mortal person. The title for the book exists for a reason, but if she keeps dying, what does that mean for the invention of immortality, particularly since the god of life who keeps reviving her doesn’t exactly bring her back immediately? There’s usually a few years between incarnation, leading Laila to encounter Darius at various stages of his life. Most of that is due to the bureaucracy of the gods that this comic uses, often to good comedic effect.
I’m generally not a fan of over-exaggerated artwork like I saw here, but I didn’t mind it here and I did like the story. Laila’s status as a former death goddess means that, even though she’s now a powerless mortal woman, means she sees and hears things most people won’t. Essentially, though, the story comes down to the idea that life is worth living and preserving, but there may still be a place for death. That said, life isn’t to be wasted either, perhaps explaining Laila’s reluctance to kill Darius every time she gets the chance. Even when he eventually realizes who she is, there’s something to the story here that says that Laila and Darius need to learn what life is all about. Perhaps life without death isn’t worth living, and the reverse is just as true. All I know is this was a nice, pleasant story that I was glad I read.
8.5 out of 10 funeral crows.