Welcome to my 10th PG proposal. Before we begin, a warning. This covers a dark and very sad series of webcomics that shows much cruelty, neglect, and disregard for living things Viewer discretion is advised.
What is the work?
The Loving Reaper is a series of PSA webcomics about the cruelty and neglect humans often give to animals, that often leads to their deaths. In each story, Death comes to collect the soul of a dead or dying animal, who tells him of how they died, and the sad life they lived. Death is heartbroken by their plights, and even more-so by the fact that as Death, he cannot give them the mercy they deserve in life. But he can give them mercy in death, and bring them to his realm where they will never be hurt, abused, or forgotten. Fortunately, each book comes with a link to websites to fight the issues that cause these deaths in real life.
Who is he?/What has he done?
In his first appearance, Death comes to claim the soul of an unloved and abandoned dog who was left to die in the forest by his neglectful humans who got him as a Christmas present... only to soon tire of him as they were unwilling to make the lifelong commitment that is needed for a dog. The dog is in denial about this, and still believes his family will come back, despite the cold out and the lack of nutrition. Feeling pity and sympathy, and hoping to comfort the poor creature, Death covers the dog in his own robe and decides to stay with the dog until he dies.
The dog indeed died shortly after, and his soul emerged from his body. Death comforted the sad soul by promising him that in the Realm of the Dead, he will never again be left behind or cold. But still, the dog is sad, because no one loved him in life. As they began their journey to the afterlife, Death continued to try and make the dog feel better by acknowledging why he was sad. The dog asked if he was abandoned because he was a bad dog, to which Death replies that he was a good dog, who loved bad people. Hoping to give the poor creature the love he never had in life, the two made a stop at a hospital, where a terminally ill boy had just died. The child was terrified of this, as he was not yet ready to go and leave his mom and dad. Then the dog appeared, wearing a dog sized version of Death's robes. The boy then smiled and laughed, and called the dog a "good boy". Death then brought them both to the Realm of the Dead, where they would play with and love each other for eternity.
In issue 2, Death arrives to collect the soul of a stray black cat who was deliberately hit by a car because black cats are sometimes seen as bad luck. The luckless cat then told Death that there was an old woman who cared for her, and that she wanted to see her one last time. Placing flowers on the cat's body, Death agrees. At her house, the woman was saddened that the cat didn't come for her food. Watching this, the cat wishes she could have said goodbye. The next day, the woman found the cat's body, and gave her a proper grave. Then she went to the shelter and adopted an older black cat with only one eye, that was about to be put down. Death then brought the cat back to Earth, where she identifed the older cat as her mother, and was happy that she and the old woman were living happily. Death then brought the deceased cat back to his realm to await for the time when the old lady and old cat would come and they could be a family for eternity.
Death does not appear in issue 3 as that explains more about the dog from issue one, but in issue 4, Death comes to Austrailia to claim the souls of the victims of the 2020 bushfire. This disaster saddens death, because of all the scared and frightened souls. He found a frightened Koala who was struggling to breathe and feared for his friends and family. Death offered him a hand, just as the poor creature died, and his soul landed in Death's loving hands. Death promised the Koala that he would see his friends and family again, in his realm, and that he would never again have to be afraid of fire or heat. He then brought the Koala and all other wildfire victims to his realm, and gave them all the rests in peace the deserve.
In issue 5, Death came to collect the soul of a dying seagull chick, who was dying because his mother could not find any healthy food for him, and unknowingly feed him lethal garbage. As the chick died, his mother begged him for forgiveness for not being able to care for him. Death then claimed the chick's soul and told the mother that she did not fail her son, she tried her best. He asked the mother if the chick had a name, she replied that his name was Mo. Death allowed mother and son to say goodbye to each other, and that they loved each other. He then brought Mo to the Realm of the Dead, where he would find the health he never had in life.
In issue 6, Death collected the soul of a duckling who failed to cross the street fast enough. The duckling was saddned that she could not be with her loving mother and siblings again, so Death allowed her to say goodbye. Though the mother could not see her daughter's soul, and noticed that one of her babies was missing, she did sense her saying goodbye Death then brought the duckling to his realm to wait for her families time.
In issue 7, Death notices much to his horror, that a circus is in down. As he inspects it to see if any circus animals have died, he notices a lion ghost who refuses to come with Death as he believes himself to be "King of the beasts", yet after that when his temper cools, he admits that he was no King. He was a plaything and a piece of entertainment. He explains that he was beaten, and instead being free, he was afraid all his life. Feeling sad for the lion, Death bowed, called him "Your Majesty", and offered to bring him to a place where he would be King, the Realm of the Dead. The Lion accepted, and was soon with other lions, finally free for all eternity.
Issue 8 has Death collect the soul of a rabbit who was abandoned in the wild. And with no survival skills, soon died of starvation. As Death arrives to claim the rabbit, the Rabbit asked if there was any water nearby. Death was saddned to tell her no. The rabbit accepts her fate and as she dies, she talks about how she wished she could see the greens she saw in her dreams. As her soul left her body, Death brought her to his Realm, and revealed that the souls of plants reside there. Soon, the rabbit was surrounded by the souls of flowers and grass, and Death explained that in his realm, no one is ever forgotten or lost.
Issue 9 has Death collect the soul of a domestic elephant who was taken away from his mother by cruel wranglers, was beaten constantly, forced to carry humans as an attraction, and the only friend he ever had was a cockroach. As his pains, wounds, and increased aging as a result of bad captivity took him, he asked Death of his mother went through the same hell as he did. Or if she loved him. Death replied that she did love her son. The elephant then asked Death to end his suffering, to which Death obliged. As his soul left his body, the Elephant said goodbye to his cockroach friend, and was soon reunited with his mother in the Realm of the Dead.
Issue 10 has Death come to collect the souls of a family of Sea Turtles. The mother choked to death from being entangled in plastic, and the babies eggs were smashed by humans just as the mother was going to leave them. Death was sad that he could not have saved the family. When the mother asked what happened to her children, Death was forced to tell her the sad truth that they were all with him, but in a bit of good news, they were all with him. He brought the family to the Realm of the Dead, where they would never again be choked or crushed.
In issue 11, Death collects the soul of a cat who died of old age, who's soul was trying to comfort her grieving human. After some hesitance from the cat, as she feared that she would not be able to protect her human, Death promised her that even from the Realm of the Dead, she would still be able to watch over her human and protect her. The cat then left for the afterlife, to watch over her human, comfort her, and wait for her own arrival.
In issue 12, Death collects the soul of a pitbull who was raised in a dog fighting pit. As a result, he never knew the meaning of friendship or love. As a result, when he was finally killed in a fight, he initially thought Death was an enemy. But soon, Death found a way to comfort the sad creature, and for the first time ever, the Pitbull finally made a friend, and went to the Realm of the Dead to never again fight, and make new friends.
Issue 13 is much more positive then most others. Death comes to collect a fox who is drowning in a swimming pool, as foxes cannot swim in pools. But before he can collect it, Death's best friend/rival, Life, saves the Fox. Death then congratulates Life for beating him to the Fox, and laments that while living things heal and grow in her hands, life withers and dies in his. Life comforts Death by reminding him that they are two sides of the same coin, and need eachother. Just as Life brings living things into her Realm, Death brings them to his realm when it's time. Death never tried to cheat Life in issue 13, he was happy that Life won this time.
Issue 14 expands on Death's friendship with Life, as they both talk about their respective realms, and how both are in some ways good, and in other ways, bad.
Issue 15 has Death collect the soul of a German Shepard, who died of old age. Though his human knew his dog's time had come, he was very unhappy as he brought his beloved friend to the vet, to be given a painless but lethel injection. The dog even brought his favorite toy with him to the vet. After the dog died, his human broke down and cried. Death told the shepard that his human already misses him, and that he's sad that the dog could not bring his favorite toy with him to the afterlife. The shepard replied that he didn't bring the toy to the vet for himself, but because he thought his human would need it more then him. A later issue would have the shepard watching over his human and feeling scared for him when he got a new puppy, but found it hard to let go of his old dog, even yelling at the new one when he played with the shepard's toy. But the human quixkly regretted that, and apologized to his new friend, and promised to get him different toys. Death told the shepard that no other dog will ever replace fill in the hole in his human's heart, but this new dog would have a new place in the human's heart.
In issue 16, Death collected the soul of an aged and unloved parrot, who went through three homes because he never learned to mimic, and instead made his own wild and noisy parrot sounds. As a result, people often yelled "SHUT UP!" at him, to the point where the parrot thought that was his name. Death pitied the poor misunderstood bird, and brought him to the Realm of the Dead, where no one would judge or yell at him again.
Issue 17 reverses roles a bit by having Death himself being distraught and in need of comfort. As the real world wildfires of 2021 ravage Earth, Death's job becomes much harder both on a phsyical and mental level, to the point where for the first time in the history of portrayals of the Grim Reaper, Death suffers an emotional breakdown and cries. As he begins to think that this is the end for all life, Life herself appears to try and comfort her best friend. Life explains to Death that finding or having hope is indeed hard in this dark and uncertain time we are living in even as I type this. She explans to Death that he has not seen everything, and that Life will find a way, as she starts to grow another plant.
Issue 18 has Death collect the soul of a captive and abused Orca, who mistook a photo of himself for another Orca, and thought he was a friend. As the Orca soul rushed to find his "friend", death had to spill the beans that he never had any friends. But maybe he could be the Orca's friend, and could help him find new friends in the Realm of the Dead.
After some issues that are callbacks to older issues, Death arrives in issue 21 to collect the soul of a Swan, who was dying from grief, over her mate leaving her after a brick(for unknown reasons), smashed all but one of their eggs. The feeligf of being abandoned caused the Swan to lose the will to live and she begged Death to take her, despite the fact that she would be unable to incubate her last egg. Knowing that she would not recover from this loss in life, Death collected her soul, and the soul of her remaining in tact hatchling, and brought them both to the Realm of the Dead, where they would finally be happy.(the smashed eggs had not yet developed embryos, so there were no other souls)
In issue 22, the soul of an extinct species of parrot asks Death what color his feathers were(souls in this universe have no colors). Reluctantly, Death brought him to a museum, much to the parrot's confusion, and was forced to reveal that his species was extinct, much to the Parrot's sorrow. But Death tried to cheer the Parrot that all the Parrots were in his realm, so he would not be truly alone despite never seeing those colored feathers on a living parrot again.
In issue 23, Death repaid Life's kindness to him be allowing her to hold the soul of a dead toucan that she felt she failed to save. As Life commented that the Toucan felt cold and that she would miss her, Death explained to life that missing someone is the price we all pay for loving someone.
After some more callback issues, a happier issue, issue 26, has Death give the dog and cat from issues 1 and 2(whom have become his helpers) a contest to see who can harvest a soul in one hour. When the Dog wins, Death asks where the cat is, only to learn that she is playing with the soul of another dead cat in order to cheer him up.
Issue 27, reveals that Death and Life think their counterparts job is hard, as Life has to watch her creations die, while Death has to collect them all. But both think the other's duty makes their job worthwhile.
In issue 28, Death had to harvest the soul of a Dog who froze to death in the winter, because his family would not let him in, despite the kindness of one member of the family, a girl, who loved him and wished he could be let in. The poor dog was in denial, and believed he would be let in soon, and commented that he no longer felt cold after he died. Death had to bring him to the Realm of the dead. The next day, the girl found her dog's frozen body and wept, she then put his toys around his body, and wished him a peaceful afterlife. The dog then learned that only she had loved him, and Death was forced to explain that not every dog gets a happy family. He then brought him to the Realm of the Dead to find a happy family, and to wait for when the girl arrived herself.
While he does not actually appear in issue 30, it's implied that Death collects the soul of a definned shark who at least had the comfort of dying around his friends.
Goodness Zone/Admirable factors
While most incarnations of the Grim Reaper are portrayed as neutral at best, or greedy collectors of souls at worst, this is the only version I know that is loving, kind, and merciful. The comics imply that he doesn't always like his job, or he doesn't like it all, but he understands that he is needed in order for life to exist. He wishes he could help the living, but that's the role of Life, and she can't be everywhere. So instead, Death does the only other good thing he can do. He tries to comfort the dead, even when he's forced to reveal sad truth's, he always tries to cheer the dead up. He has reunited friends and loved ones in the afterlife, and has helped the lost and unloved find the love and friends they never had in life. It's all he can do to make things a bit better for the dead. And we see that his Realm is a peaceful one, where all life comes, regardless of species or what they have done. This shows that unlike some incarnations of the Grim Reaper, this Grim Reaper does not appear to be judgemental. He treats all dead with love and mercy. He never damns anyone, he always will give the living a rest in peace.
And unlike most incarnations of the Grim Reaper, this Reaper is best friends with Life and both understand that they are both needed, compliment eachother on their work despite being rivals, and try to comfort each other when the other is sad and try to cheer the other up. This also shows that this Death has feelings, and feels all the emotions that we feel. Nothing makes him happier then Life beating him to a soul, and if that cannot happen, nothing makes him happier then the dead finding peace, happiness, freedom, or being reunited with family and friends and never again needing to worry about hurt, abuse, being loss, being unloved, or extreme heat or cold.
He has none. While he wishes he could do more good, it's impossible for him to do it, being the Grim Reaper. So while his job is not easy, and is often seen as evil, he tries to make it as good as possible. There was also a joke issue where he was reading, and souls and life were crowding him, wanting to see what he was reading to the point where he said "CAN'T YOU ALL GET YOUR OWN BOOKS!?" But this was meant to be funny, and may or may not be canon.
I know this hero and these books can be hard to read, as they rarely have the endings we want and serve as PSA's about the real harm and danger that animals face from humans. But just as Death tries to comfort the dead, he also indirectly tries to cheer up the readers via post story info and links to try and help the real animals that suffer from this. The books even give advice for coping with grief even if the dead have a happy life and die naturally. Death's feelings are the readers feelings, and he cares for Life herself, and she cares for him in return despite being opposites. I think that Death is Pure Good, and should be acknowledged as this for his emotionally hard job, while we in the real world keep fighting to save as many animals from the issues that the books talk about. I vote yes.