Think Sandman, Wicked + Divine, and Hindu mythology, and you’ll have a pretty good idea of the world that is The Many Deaths of Laila Starr #1. This first issue covers an impressive span of eight years as it brings together various events that shape our narrative: a baby is born who is prophesied to invent eternal life, the goddess Death loses her job, and a girl named Laila Starr falls off a ledge, rendering her a convenient vessel for the now-mortal Death (who has a serious grudge against the kid who cost her her job).
It’s altogether an intriguing premise, and although we are introduced to a variety of Hindu deities, the focus on Death (now Laila Starr) gives the story a singular focus. Mythologies can be overwhelming with their impossible lists of names, and the creative team was wise to center their comic around one figure.
If I have one complaint about the writing, it’s that at times it feels overwritten–particularly the scene with the ghost. The art is gorgeous, and I wish the writing allowed the visuals to “speak” more. A few wordless panels here and there would have elevated the story even further. The colors are bright and evoke a Hindu aesthetic, and the linework is dreamlike and entrancing–an effect that the lettering evokes, as well.
Despite this being another entry amongst a slew of comics about gods and mortals, The Many Deaths of Laila Starr #1 with its compelling storyline, singular focus on Death/Laila, and Hindu roots make it worth your time.
The Many Deaths of Laila Starr #1
Death job loss storyline10.0/10
Rich, dreamy artwork10.0/10
More art, less words please7.0/10
- Writer: Ram V
- Illustrator, Cover Artist: Filipe Andrade
- Color Assister: Inês Amaro
- Letterer: AndWorld Design
- Variant Cover Artists: David Mack, Anand R.K., InHyuk Lee
- Publisher: Boom! Studios