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Death is Downsized in The Many Deaths of Laila Starr

Death takes a (forced) holiday when she is the victim of downsizing in Boom! Studio’s The Many Deaths of Laila Starr, from Ram V and Felipe Andrade.

Spoilers for The Many Deaths of Laila Starr #1 ahead!

In the new comic The Many Deaths of Laila Starr from Boom! Studios, Death gets downsized and forced to live on Earth as a mortal thanks to some changes upstairs—but Death is not to be counted out and she has a plan of her own.

Stories of Death taking mortal form and living among humans is a classic one, seen in films such as Death Takes a Holiday and its remake, Meet Joe Black. Neil Gaiman mined the territory to spectacular effect in the Sandman line of comics; Dream’s sister Death, depicted as a chipper young woman, proved popular with fans and she received two spin-off books. Now, writer Ram V and artist Filipe Andrade bring a fresh, new twist to this classic story in their new creator-owned title The Many Deaths of Laila Starr.

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The book opens in Mumbai on December 12th and readers are introduced to the varying narrative threads: a married couple is in a taxi on the way to the hospital to deliver a baby, a young hipster is bored out of her mind at a party in a high-rise apartment and Death learns that she is being let go. It turns out the baby being born will bring eternal life to the human race, thus the reason Death is let go. Before she leaves, she strikes a deal to be reborn in a body near the baby, so she can keep an eye on it and take action if need be. Sure enough, the deal goes through and when she tries to go kill the baby, she is apprehended and dies—again. However, she is reborn once again, only eight years have passed, and the baby has grown into a little boy.

There is a lot going on in this first issue, and Ram V and Andrade manage to weave the various, seemingly unconnected stories together seamlessly. It is amusing to see the afterlife, and its various hierarchies of gods and deities, reimagined as a corporate bureaucracy—making in relatable for many people. The treat for readers will be watching Death come to terms with her new existence—will she remain a mortal forever? Will the relationship she has with the child she tried to kill change? In many “death takes a holiday” stories, the embodiment of Death only remains for a while, and then leaves, but it looks like Death/Laila Starr will be sticking around for a while.

Boom! Studios, along with Ram V and Filipe Andrade, have taken this genre and given it a fresh spin, leaving readers excited to see where the story goes next. The Many Death of Laila Starr is available in print and digital.

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