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Underrated: A.D. After Death

Time got away from me this week, so we’re rerunning an older column from yesteryear.

This is a column that focuses on something or some things from the comic book sphere of influence that may not get the credit and recognition it deserves. Whether that’s a list of comic book movies, ongoing comics, or a set of stories featuring a certain character. The columns may take the form of a bullet pointed list, or a slightly longer thinkpiece – there’s really no formula for this other than whether the things being covered are Underrated in some way. This week: A.D. After Death

I found the hard cover trade of A.D. After Death used for a penny shy of $10 Canadian dollars a month or ago along with a couple other hard cover books that were being sold for a surprisingly good price (which I’m sure will show up in this column eventually). After finally getting a chance to read and finish the book, it wound up as the subject of today’s column.

If you want to read the series’ synopsis, it’s below. If you don’t… well, skip the next paragraph, I guess. Either way, you’ll find the core premise of the comic below.

What if we found a cure for death? Two of comics’ most acclaimed creators, Scott Snyder (Wytches, Batman, American Vampire) and Jeff Lemire (Descender, Plutona, Moon Knight, Sweet Tooth) unite to create an epic like no other, set in a future where a genetic cure for death has been found. Years after the discovery, one man starts to question everything, leading him on a mind-bending journey that will bring him face-to-face with his past and his own mortality.
A unique combination of comics, prose, and illustration, A.D. After Death is an oversized hardcover graphic novel written by Snyder and fully painted by Lemire.

What struck me most after A.D. After Death was that it’s more than a typical comic or graphic novel. While the hardcover I have collects the three oversized issues, the story itself is presented with a lot of Scott Snyder’s prose text set against Jeff Lemire’s haunting artwork in conjunction with more traditional comic panels. The book is really interestingly laid out because of this, and presents a fascinating visual journey from start to finish. It’s a hauntingly beautiful book, with a story that’s equally as haunting.

A.D. After Death isn’t the kind of story I’m used to reading from Scott Snyder, honestly, and I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the ambiguity of the story; told in both the present day and with flashbacks (via the prose text), you’re never quite sure what direction the story will take. I loved the ending, too, but won’t say why because it will reveal a touch too much.

What I will say, is that this may be a book that I won’t read again for some time, but the story itself will stay with me for a long time to come. In a story that can be so much to so many, we’re left asking ourselves who we really are; are you really the person you think you are, or are you just a product of what this world has made you?

Join us next week where there will doubtless be another movie, series, comic or comic related thing discussed that is, for whatever reason, Underrated.