FROM THE PUBLISHER: “I looked, and there before me was a pale horse! Its rider was Death, and Hades was following close behind him.”-Revelation 6:8
A mysterious techno-virus has been released on Earth, infecting 600 million people and turning them instantly into violent, monstrous engines of destruction.
The heroes of the DCU are caught completely unprepared for a pandemic of this magnitude and struggle to save their loved ones first…but what happens to the World’s Greatest Heroes if the world ends?
New York Times best-selling writer Tom Taylor (INJUSTICE) returns with a terrifying new tale and is joined by artists Trevor Hairsine (LEGENDS OF THE DARK KNIGHT) and Stefano Gaudiano (The Walking Dead).
The highly anticipated horror story from the acclaimed writer of Injustice is finally here! Tom Taylor’s DCEASED has been hyped for months and rightfully so, it’s a huge deal. It’s got horror! It’s got your favorite DC characters! It’s got zombies! There’s awesome variant covers! What’s not to love?
The issue starts off fine, the Justice League have seemingly just finished a gigantic exhausting battle with Darkseid and they won no thanks to Zack Snyder*. There’s some nice dialogue here and good interactions amongst the team, it’s great to see Green Arrow and Black Canary there too along with Black Lightning joining the festivities. With Darkseid defeated and headed back to Apokolips to do whatever he does over there, we discover Cyborg is missing. This is where the story really starts and doesn’t slow down from here on.
I’m not going to get into how the virus is created, I’ll skip ahead a little instead. The virus is spread through technology and once you’re infected the usual zombie rules apply. You get bitten, you become part of the zombie legion. Simple enough. This first issue deals with the initial chaos of the virus outbreak while delivering some solid moments with Superman and Batman. The concept is cool and looks okay for the most part but it doesn’t entirely work for me.
This is the opening issue and I understand things need to be set in place so that’s okay, this book is meant to reel you in and get you wanting more. It achieves that, I want more. However, I want more to see if it becomes something that I like better instead of “Oh $&@!, what’s going to happen?”. I think the thing that really didn’t work for me was how the virus actually gets unleashed to the world. It feels like the writer was trying to force a commentary about today’s obsession with technology. Does the plot device in question work? Yeah. Does it work for me? No, not really.
That said, there was stuff I enjoyed. There’s an ominous monologue that runs throughout the issue that I thought was awesome. It was very eerie and perfectly positioned against what was happening in the issue. I really liked seeing the variety of characters featured here too, I mentioned the league earlier but there’s a few more familiar faces you’ll see too. The zombie action isn’t bad either!
The art is a mixed bag for me and it’s partially due to the different styles on display here. Some of it is too gritty looking for my taste and some of it works fine for me. The artists Trevor Hairsine, Stefano Gaudiano, and James Harren each bring their own stamp to their sections. The designs aren’t revolutionary and are familiar instead which is perfectly cool with me. The zombie stuff is pretty violent and brutal which I did like too. Overall though, I’m not entirely sure how I feel about the look of the book changing in sections of the issue. It sorta makes sense in the context I suppose but again...I just wish I liked it more.
DCEASED is off to a rocky start in my opinion but I’ll stick around. Like I said earlier, I want to read more to see if it can get better and it’s Tom Taylor. I have faith in him as a writer. However, I fear this may be a story that’s better when it’s collected. It’s only the first issue of six though so I’m trying not to be too harsh on it.
*Dear Snyder fans, it’s a joke. Don’t crucify me but if you do, please retweet and share first. Thanks!