Writer: Ram V / Artist: Filipe Andrade / Boom! Studios
There is something truly magical about Ram V’s and Filipe Andrade’s The Many Deaths of Laila Starr. The first issue was captivating as it were, but the second issue was a tour de force of resonant emotional moments that left me absolutely floored. The perfect synergy between V’s tender narration and poignant dialog coupled with Andrade’s pitch-perfect arc manifests in page after beautiful page that chronicles the reincarnated goddess of death, while also celebrating the life, traditions, and rituals of the people of Mumbai.
It is the unique juxtaposition of epic mythological motivation (the search for a child who invents immortality) and the very human responses to death, that make The Many Deaths of Laila Starr #2 so incredibly enchanting. And opening the issue with Laila Starr talking with Kah, a funeral crow, really epitomizes the wonderful work that V and Andrade accomplish.
So much of The Many Deaths of Laila Starr #2 is centered on Kah recounting the events of one Darius Shah. And through his life, we see a touching story of a child dealing with challenging circumstances and loss and all of these thematically relevant issues that all tie into what it means to live and what it means to be. Andrade’s art paints a beautiful, emotionally realistic version of Mumbai and watching Darius go through the panels gives V’s narration that much more impact. And V’s narration does so much. V carefully and reverently describes ceremonies, rituals, and traditions that settle in the recesses of your heart. It’s the special type of meditative, calming comic that somberly uses the fantastical to demystify the real world.
I adored the first issue, and I adore The Many Deaths of Laila Starr #2 even more. This is an incredibly well composed comic that has sparked feelings in me that I haven’t felt in a while. I’m excited to see what the rest of the series brings and while viewing many deaths probably won’t get any easier, it will be deftly handled and beautifully rendered.
10 “Rituals” out of 10
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