Writer – Tom Taylor
Artists – Trevor Hairsine and Stefano Gaudinao
A couple of weeks ago, the hardcover of DCeased: Hope at World’s End was released, and this was the impetus for me to catch up on the series from DC Comics.
The Justice League has once again defeated Darkseid from taking over Earth. Superman tells Darkseid to leave immediately and never set foot on the planet again. Darkseid says that since he has what he came for, he’ll abide by this request. As Darkseid’s boom tube closes, the group realizes that Cyborg is missing.
Cyborg, in the clutches of Desaad, is the missing half of the Anti-Life equation. However, a slight miscalculation by Darkseid will lead to the destruction of Apokolips and the end of the DC Universe as we know it.
The Summer this mini-series was released I read the first two issues before it fell by the wayside. I picked up the subsequent issues but never got a chance to read them. When this mini-event was announced, a lot of comic readers thought it was very derivative of Marvel Zombies, which was a hit back in the mid-00s. Marvel Zombies was more of a dark comedy like Return of the Living Dead. DCeased is more survival horror like 28 Days Later. Another difference between the two is the antagonists in Marvel Zombies are flesh eating ghouls while in DCeased, the antagonists are called the unliving, the heroes clearly stating they aren’t zombies, rather, infected individuals looking to spread death wherever they can.
Having a day or two to digest it, the pacing of the story is on par with horror movies we have grown to love over the years. The surviving heroes and villains face impossible odds trying to save the human race and just when they are making strides and see their plan come to fruition, unforeseen circumstances take place that deal a blow to the glimmer of hope they had within their grasp. Like any horror movie, the character you have grown to love since the beginning of the story might not make it to the end. There are a few deaths that are a punch to the gut and others that will bring a tear or two to your eye. Most of the deaths are very reminiscent of those seen in Romero zombie movies. Thisbook is not for the squeamish or faint of heart. The blood splatter and gore flies from start to finish.
There are 3 sequel books that take place after DCeased and I hope they are just as good as the original. Horror lovers have to withstand sequel fatigue and we know that the fifth entry in a series isn’t as strong as the first or second ones. I have a feeling Tom Taylor will be able keep the stories fresh and just as shocking and surprising. I just read DCeased: Unkillables #1 and it shows the events taking place on Day 1 and Day 2 of the Anti-Life Virus Outbreak through the eyes of Slade Wilson (Deathstroke) and Jason Todd (Red Hood). So far, the continuity is tight and intact with what transpired in Gotham City, as we learn what is happening with the epidemic in Bludhaven.
If I have to pick one character I enjoyed in DCeased, it has to be Oliver Queen aka Green Arrow.He is the comic relief in this serious, life or death situation and his gallows humor is pretty damn funny. Ollie’s longstanding rivalry with Batman is highlighted and the chip on his shoulder is still quite large. There is an epic, badass moment courtesy of Ollie in Issue Six that will make your jaw drop. You’ll never make fun of Ollie and his bow and arrows again.
Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman have been able to instill hope and save the day countless times, but what can they do to curtail the spread of the infection that is the Anti-Life Virus – death itself? As heroes and villains alike fall, say a prayer for the DCeased!