A Gem From the Bottom of a Long Box

My boss at Strange Adventures suggested I read Deadline, this four issue mini-series from 2002, which was in with a huge collection someone sold to the store. I was wary of the cheesy cover by Greg Horn (who is only slightly more tolerable than that other Greg), but once I dove in, I found an awesome little book, with a story driven by an enthralling mystery and an irresistibly like-able main character, Kat Farrell. Kat's a reporter for the Daily Bugle in Marvel-New York. She works the superhero beat, where she's assigned to report mostly on hero gossip, since any of the exciting stuff is left to the crime division of the paper. While she's a brilliant reporter, she's a rookie, so she's stuck writing puff pieces about Spidey and the Avengers, who she sees as self-centered celebrities, too wrapped up in their own superhero drama to notice when they bust up property all over town.

Kat's got her eye on the prize: a position in the crime department, and when villains start dropping dead all around town, she figures that breaking this story could land her that dream job. But when Kat encounters Judge Micheal Hart, who was murdered, then brought back from the dead in a spooky new form, she ends up embroiled in a supernatural mystery that she has to solve.


Kat is that rare sort of female character who is totally cool and compelling, but still entirely relate-able. Bill Rosemann writes her to be intelligent and driven, but fallible, like how she's trying to quit smoking for the whole book. And Guy Davis is on right on point—Kat is that nerdy sort of cute—adorable, but not boobilicous. She's like Gert from the Runaways, if Gert got to grow up and live a (semi) normal life.

There are hints of romance in Deadline, but this story is about Kat's job, and her solving this mystery. She's the everyman who manages to be heroic which is a refreshing role for a female character.

I like seeing normal people in a superhero world. I loved Gotham Central, and the idea of the how a regular precinct has to deal with extraordinary crimes. Deadline is a lot lighter, but along those same lines. It's always fun to get a different perspective (really, what would be our perspective) on a superhero story, where the superheros all seem sort of annoyoing, and they screw stuff up for us normies.

If you can get your hands on this series, do it. And who knows? Maybe Kat will show up again? In Girl Comics? Please?