DCeased was one of the highest-selling comic book mini-series and graphic novels of 2019 for good reason. Beyond being written by fan-favorite writer Tom Taylor (Injustice, Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man and Suicide Squad), the series presented a unique take on the tired tropes of the zombie apocalypse story. It did this by making the infamous Anti-Life Equation of Jack Kirby’s New Gods lore into the impetus of said apocalypse. It also added the unique twist of the virus being spread by screens rather than simple bites or scratches.
Now, Taylor has returned to the world of DCeased to answer a few questions that the original series didn’t get a chance to address. Chief among these is what were all the villains were doing as the Justice League was rallying the heroes to try and save humanity. Yet Taylor also addresses some interesting academic questions, like can a healing factor protect you from becoming a zombie?
I won’t spoil the precise answers to these questions. Suffice it to say one of the main characters in this issue is Slade Wilson (aka Deathstroke the Terminator) and we get to see him attempting to rescue his daughter Rose from the undead hordes that have taken over Gotham City. And for those who were wondering about Jason Todd’s curious absence among the other Robins in the original DCeased, worry not. The Red Hood is in this issue as well and inspires Commissioner James Gordon to drop the F-bomb with his rather callous behavior.
This is par for the course with Taylor’s writing, which blends dark drama and darker comedy to great effect. I don’t think I can deliver any higher praise of this issue than to say that it dragged me out of a depressive funk with a scene that was equal parts horrifying and hilarious. You’ll know it when you see it. Yet there is other comedy, such as the question of how The Creeper got T-shirts manufactured for a new team of villains and anti-Heroes at the height of the zombie apocalypse. Best not to ask…
The artwork for this issue is distinctive and I find myself liking it more than I did the artwork for the original DCeased series. There is a strong sense of clarity to Karl Mostert’s pencils, despite his detailed designs. Three different inkers handled this book, but you’d never know it as they all maintain a consistent, light touch. The colors by Rex Lokus are far brighter than one normally sees in a horror-themed book like this, which teases at the light tone of the script and the sense of incongruity one feels seeing zombies in a superheroic setting.
The most amazing aspect of this comic is that one need not have read the original DCeased in order to appreciate it or understand its story. For that and how well produced it is in every department, I’m willing to give it a perfect score. If you haven’t experienced the world of DCeased before, now is the time to do so, even if you’re the sort of person who doesn’t like zombie comics.
DCeased: Unkillables #1 releases on February 19th, 2020!
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.