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Review – DCEASED #1 (DC Comics)

DCEASED #1
Overall
9/10
9/10
  • Writing - 9/10
    9/10
  • Art - 9/10
    9/10
  • Overall - 9/10
    9/10
Sending
User Review
5 (1 vote)

Summary

Writer: Tom Taylor
Art: Trevor Hairsine, Stefano Gaudiano, James Harren
Colors: Rain Beredo
Letters: Saida Temofonte
Cover: Greg Capullo & FCO Plascencia
Alternate Covers: Francesco Mattina/Yasmine Putri
Editor: Ben Abernathy
Maturity Rating: Teen +
Publisher: DC Comics
Release Date: May 1st, 2019

It’s the beginning of the end in DCEASED #1. Who would have thought that the end of the world would be brought on, not by some cataclysmic or seismic event, but by social media?

Death Becomes Them in DCEASED #1

Comic book writing has no shortages when it comes to origin stories. A bat flaps its wings in the dark and two bullets echo through an empty alleyway. A baby falls from outer space and crash-lands in a farmer’s field in Kansas. What are in a rare commodity are conclusions: stories and writers that dare to tango with totality and the finite. Tom Taylor’s highly anticipated DCEASED #1 is a crisis event of epic proportions, boldly attempting to tell how the DC Universe all comes crashing down.

Writing

DCeased #1 (DC Comics) main cover by Greg Capullo
DCeased #1 (DC Comics) main cover by Greg Capullo

After the Justice League defeat Darkseid, banishing him back to the fires of Apokolips, he leaves willingly, but not before endowing the world’s greatest heroes with an ominous warning. Back on Apokolips, Darkseid summons Death’s avatar, the Black Racer, to help him balance the Anti-Life Equation. In doing so he corrupts the system, unleashing a deadly biotech virus. A lethal pandemic begins spreading like wildfire across the planet Earth. Anyone who lays their eyes upon any screen plugged into the global mainframe/internet network turns into a living zombie (a not-so-subtle commentary on the advent of social media, no?). A hero’s job, by definition, is to save people. But what do you do when there aren’t any people alive left to save?

Once again, Tom Taylor is true to form and delivers the beginnings of what promises to be perhaps the most exciting storyline the DCU has seen in years. All bets are off and anything goes; an environment that evokes the best from Taylor’s work. After all, we are talking about the man who had Superman rip the Joker’s still-beating heart right out of his chest—in the very first issue of Injustice, no less. 

So what can readers expect from the series? In short—the death and destruction of everything we know and love about the DCU. The title of the series itself is a play on the word “deceased”, which implies that the death count is going to be insurmountable. Tom Taylor confirms as much in the first few pages of the issue when he writes (after defeating Darkseid) that “it was the League’s finest hour. It was their last together.” The end of everything begins now, and I, for one, can’t wait to see how it all unfolds. 

Art

It’s reading comics like DCEASED #1 that makes me wish I’d studied art in school. Quite honestly, I’m just not intelligent enough to find the proper words and terms to describe what it is that I’m seeing. So you’ll have to forgive a fool’s description and just take it at face value when I say that the artwork by Trevor Hairsine, Stefano Gaudiano, and James Harren is fantastic. 

First of all, it’s a much older-looking League. You can tell by the lines on Superman’s face, Green Arrow’s beard, and the fact that Nightwing is present. This is a weathered, battered, and established Justice League. Even the rendering of Batman and Supes with the classic utility belts and the underwear worn over the top harkens back to the Golden Age, thus giving readers the distinct impression that these heroes are seasoned. 

The constantly intersecting styles of this palatable artistic triumvirate are what make DCEASED #1 a true page-turner. But I would be remiss if no mention was made in regards to the truly horrifying and brilliant alternate cover, drawn by Yasmine Putri. I love a good homage and Putri’s is spot on. The Joker in lieu of Pennywise, menacingly offering a red balloon. Jason Todd in his bright yellow cape, an allusion to Georgie Denbrough. And of course, the classic IT catchphrase “you’ll float too!”, replaced with a clever on-the-nose revision which reads “you’ll DIE too.” Without question, it’s one of my favorite covers so far this year.

Conclusion

When I was in high school I became completely obsessed with a TV show called Dexter. You remember it—the serial killer who only murders other serial killers? I couldn’t get enough; I was burning through episodes. Until finally, after about five seasons of watching Michael C. Hall escape police capture time and time again, in the most ludicrous and ridiculous ways—I stopped. I got bored. Because plot armor destroys any true sense of fear or urgency an audience may be harboring. Because deep down we know that in the end, the hero is going to come out on top. The good guys always win, the bad guys always die. But it’s precisely this trope that makes DCEASED #1 so enticing—Tom Taylor doesn’t play by the rules! He’s like the George R.R. Martin of the comic book world, and he’s about to go ‘Ned Stark’ on the Justice League. 


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Jordan Claes

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