With the popularity of The Walking Dead waning and it being some 13 years since the original Marvel Zombies mini-series imagined “What If The Zombie Apocalypse Came To The Marvel Universe?” it seems rather odd that DC Comics should decide that now is the time to explore the same tired concept in the DC Universe. Only one thing gave me any hope at all for this series when it was first announced – the involvement of Tom Taylor.
If you read superhero comics or are a fan of fighting video games, you’re probably familiar with Taylor’s work even if you do not recognize his name. At the very least, you may have seen stray panels from his work shared on Facebook or Instagram, which seems to be how many of his fans were first introduced to him. Ever see that comic where Harley Quinn tells Green Arrow his headquarters should be called the Quiver? That’s Tom Taylor’s work.
Taylor first found widespread fame as the writer on the Injustice: Gods Among Us series based on the video game. What should have been a simple cash-grab comic became a critical hit and a New York Times’ Best-Seller, as Taylor detailed the entirety of the five year span that saw Superman turn into a tyrant more concerned with security than freedom and somehow made it believable. Since then, Taylor has written books for both Marvel and DC and is currently writing the monthly Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man book.
Taylor’s talent for writing dystopian alternate timelines and his mastery of dark humor make him the ideal writer to tackle the subject of a zombie apocalypse in the DC Universe. Indeed, Taylor’s script is the best aspect of DCeased #1. I won’t spoil the brilliant conceit behind the zombie virus and how things get rolling, but I will say that those of you who wondered if Batman had a “zombie plan” and what it entailed will not be disappointed by the action of this issue.
Would that as much effort had gone into the book’s interior artwork as was devoted to its many alternate covers – some of which present some rather striking horror movie parody posters. Most of the artwork in this issue is muddy and muddled, with the thin inks of Stefano Guadiano and heavy colors of Rainier Beredo joining forces to utterly obscure the fine detail of Trevor Hairsine’s pencils. This results in images like the above preview page, where Cyborg seems to be wearing an urban camo jumpsuit instead of being a man made of metal and there is barely any differentiation between the background and the characters. By contrast, the sections set on Apokolips, drawn and inked by James Harren, almost seem to be attempting a poor parody of Frank Miller’s work on The Dark Knight Strikes Back.
Thankfully, Taylor’s story makes it worth coping with the confusing art. It remains to be seen how well this story will continue to flow in future issues, but many felt Injustice started off weakly as well. With the concept now established, we can expect to see Taylor truly cut loose and then this series may be everything zombie fans had hoped for.
DCeased #1 releases on May 1, 2019!
Written by The Critic The Internet Deserves, but not the one it needs right now…. Matt Morrison. He’s a smart-ass guardian. A sarcastic protector. A Snark Knight.