THE MANY DEATHS OF LAILA STARR #1 is a Storytelling Trope-Breaking Wonder.


Laila Starr is an 18-year-old who dies in a car crash, only to wake up in a strange place. Laila was reincarnated as an 11-year-old girl! The first five issues of this five-part series introduce us to the Laille Starr universe and its main character (or "Starr" for short). loved reading about her quirky personality that seems like it could be my personality if I had lived in LA during 12th century Constantinople. It's been described as having a Terry Pratchett/Neil Gaiman Good Omens vibe which touches on dry wit with some absurdness mixed with humanity and magic - all things you don't often see together! 


The story begins with a woman in labor and her harried husband, rushing to the hospital during rush hour on Mumbai's busy streets. Our protagonist, Laila, is faced with an uninteresting party at this time. Ms Starr is at a high-profile event full with people that Laila clearly finds dull as the expectant parents weave through gridlock in India's largest city.As they hurry past pedestrians, vendors and beggars alike who call out for their attention- much like when driving by any other individual-Laila seems not even to see them or hear their pleas as she clutches her stomach in discomfort wondering what will become of herself and her unborn child if anything should happen along this chaotic.


As all these things are happening on the mortal plane, there is bustling in a Hindu pantheon's office. There is The Goddess of Death, Kali (whose name isn't mentioned but her blue skin and six arms along with this job title seems to confirm that she belongs here). She rushes into the purveyor of all goodness' office who can be assumed to be Brahma- he appears nervous because it has been revealed that an unborn child rushing in Mumbai eventually finds out how immortality works and removes death as a threat for mortals. 


 Also, removing Death from a position.


The protagonist in this story, Death, had a plan that was put into place by some dealings and machinations. In the end she managed to get herself directly involved with an infant and Laila. After coming across a twist both hilarious and disturbing, Death is forced to find a new job path due to her inability of getting her old one back for the time being. The goal is not only obtaining another job but also doing it well so as not risk dying again in such an idiotic way like before! 


Ram V's story is quirky in that it has the same characteristics of real life. It often feels quirky because there are areas where he could have fallen within an awaiting trope, be as reincarnation or the meddling of gods in humans matters for example.  However, Ram cleverly avoids these well-known and used Greek and Norse pantheon by focusing on Hindu mythology instead. The principles of this pantheon are treated with respect while also providing them with modern 21st century anxiety and neurosis parallels to follow their journey through time. 


The characters appear to be real. Because she was literally designed for that profession, we understand Laila's ennui at the party and Death's horror when she has to "lay off" her employees owing to the economy.  Those who cause internal strife are the finest opponents. Thanos, presumably murdering people with his plans, believed he was on a righteous path. Darth Vader, twisted and evil became so because of very human flaws which we could relate to as readers in many ways

Output: The characters feel real-life often enough that we can understand Laila’s ennui at the party or Death’s shock over having been fired from her position; however it is these moments where our own conflicts emerge through understanding how others might react in difficult situations such as this one (Thanos believing he is on a righteous path) or even being able to imagine ourselves making similar decisions like Darth Vader did despite their cruelty (he allowed himself be corrupted by his desire for revenge).  There were times during my reading experience when I found myself feeling empathy towards certain villains who had motivations behind their actions which aren't traditionally seen positively but still felt genuine - like Thanos wanting justice (though not necessarily peace) through what seemed initially an act of 



 Andrade’s work is perfect for this story. This isn't the kind of series that would be served by hyper-realism, such as Jim Lee's style or other artists like him. So much of what goes on in the story context involves abstract emotions and Andrade's art reflects these well. The overblown pain and mystery of childbirth have been etched on both parents' faces, right before they become new parents - it may not be easy to accurately depict panic being given from one god to another very angry god but Andrade does so with humour and a pen capable of adding those small touches which make scenes more believable without fail! 


The colors in the book are startling. The dark shades and heavy inks mixed with pastels burst from the pages and it becomes clear that they are a product of what Ram is feeling as he narrates his story. Deron Bennett, who created this marvelous piece, must have felt the same way because he was able to create something unique for it through these vibrant elements. Besides being an excellent lettering artist, when needed Deron knows how to add flair or style where necessary by using a little panache which helped him tell his tale beautifully as well! 


 The Many Deaths of Laila Starr, which is out of stock and being reprinted a second time, deserves to be in the hands (and hearts) of everyone who loves comics. It feels like one special gift: those that are outside genre norms but remind us why we love them in the first place.


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