Mercedes was just an ordinary young woman who happened to have had a NearDeathExperience when she was a child. So when [[TheGrimReaper Death]] flags her down on the side of the highway trying to hitch a ride, she does the sensible thing and runs away as fast as she can. Too bad he's recognized her, and is now [[ImplacableMan determined to reap her soul]]. But in ''this'' universe, there are rules that Death must follow: in order to reap a soul, the person must look him in the eye and name him. Having had to put up a few too many attempts at [[ChessWithDeath bargaining]], it doesn't even have to be a ''specific'' name - any title will do. Wacky hijinks abound.
Can be read [[http://deathandmaiden.com/2008/12/03/prologue-1/ here]].
Has nothing to do with the 1990 play about a political prisoner and her rapist or the [[Film/DeathAndTheMaiden 1994 film]] that adapted the play.
!!'' Death and the Maiden'' contains examples of:
* AFormYouAreComfortableWith: Death generally appears to mortals however they ''expect'' him to appear. He's gotten tired of changing his look over the centuries, so has opted for something classic - a plain brown hooded robe.
* AwfulTruth: [[spoiler:In his timeline, Death is only seventeen or eighteen years old. Mercedes does not take this well.]]
* AwLookTheyReallyDoLoveEachOther: After [[http://two.deathandmaiden.com/2009/12/29/chapter-6-strip-32/ Pestilence makes Mercedes sick]], [[http://two.deathandmaiden.com/2010/01/19/chapter-6-strip-35/ Death admits that he cares about her,]] [[http://two.deathandmaiden.com/2010/01/26/chapter-6-strip-36/ and]] [[http://two.deathandmaiden.com/2010/02/02/chapter-6-strip-37/ it]] keeps going from there. [[spoiler: Eventually leading to the EmergencyTransformation.]]
* BelligerentSexualTension: Mercedes and Death. Not physically violent, but vitriolic at best.
* CerebusSyndrome: Creeps in at the end of part one, but really picks up a ways into part two.
* ChessWithDeath: Death's not very good at board games, but it's still not a good idea. He got so sick of challengers that he beat one to death with the chess board.
* DidWeJustHaveTeaWithCthulhu: It's more of a VitriolicBestBuds relationship (at first), but when Mercedes and Death aren't secretly disposing of "accidental" corpses, they're doing things like spying on Mercedes' [[RomanticFalseLead cheating boyfriend]].
* DontFearTheReaper: He can be a nice guy, if a bit ineffectual and suffering from a major superiority complex.
* EmergencyTransformation: [[spoiler:In attempts to save Mercedes, Death turns ''her'' into Death as well.]] Slightly subverted though, since it was an accident.
* TheGrimReaper: Obviously.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: Death.
* MagicRealism: Let's see... The Grim Reaper is real, as are banshees and a stock-market style "Fate Exchange" running the lives of mortals, but apart from people who coming into direct contact with Death, Muggles are completely clueless.
* OneWingedAngel: Death, usually drawn as a rather goffy and cartoonish GrimReaper, turned himself into a humanoid shadow with clawed fingers and GlowingEyesofDoom, [[http://deathandmaiden.com/2009/12/22/purgatory-3/ and can be seen here]].
* OurBansheesAreLouder: They're artificially constructed, sentient extensions of Death which are assigned to a specific Irish Clan - "marking" them when it is their time - in order to make Death's job easier.
* RedEyesTakeWarning: Usually death, '''[[UptoEleven Especially]] [[http://deathandmaiden.com/2009/05/31/death-threats-1/ on this strip]]''', [[http://two.deathandmaiden.com/2009/06/26/chapter-5-strip-39/ and here too]].
* RomanticFalseLead: Mercedes' boyfriend, Robert.
* TakeThat: To the Sandman, [[http://deathandmaiden.com/2009/01/26/meaning-of-life-10/ no less]].
* TemporalMutability: Death can travel through both time and space instantly. He keeps a linear relationship with Mercedes in part one, but in part two, thing start to get a little wonky.
* TheProblemWithFightingDeath: Whe death forces a young writter to claim the soul of aold but badass Old Woman, they both have a conversation. After she comments that she succesful drive away death by driving '''anyone''' away from her, the writter innocently brings into the attention that [[http://deathandmaiden.com/2009/03/06/death-and-the-author-old-mam-4/ doing so]] [[WhoWantstoLiveForever is no better than being actually death]], and she later [[http://deathandmaiden.com/2009/03/10/death-and-the-author-realisation-2/ concends to his point]].
* TimeAbyss: Death, and most of his associates. [[spoiler: Although from his POV, he's only an adolescent.]]
* XanatosGambit: Death pulls this one [[http://deathandmaiden.com/2009/02/25/death-and-the-author-a-new-strategy-3/ here]].
* WillTheyOrWontThey: Mercedes and Death. It's pretty obvious that they have a thing for each other, but they're both too stubborn to admit it.