Writer: Tom Taylor
Artists: Trevor Hairsine, Stefano Gaudiano, James Harren
Colorist: Rain Beredo
Letterer: Saida Temofonte
Cover Artists: Greg Capulo and FCO Plascencia, Frances Mattina (Variant), Yasmine Putri (Horror Variant)
Editor: Ben Abernathy
Publisher: DC Comics
What happens to the DC Universe after Darkseid gets his hands on the Anti-Life Equation?
They become DCeased, apparently.
After a battle with the Justice League, Darkseid barely escapes back to Apokolips with his life … and the last piece needed for the Anti-Life Equation. By capturing Cyborg, he is able to put the pieces together, and he unleashes absolute chaos into the universe. Cyborg is teleported back to Earth, and, before he is able to stop it, unleashes a techno-organic virus through the internet. Suddenly, anyone with any type of connectivity is driven mad, desperate to claw at the virus in their head. They are transformed into zombie-like creatures at the speed that only an internet virus can produce, and it’s up to the Justice League to stop the tide before it takes everyone … including members of their own team.
After months of hype, the six-issue DCeased series is finally here. Did we need a zombie virus running rampant throughout the DC Universe? Probably not, but it sure is hella fun. And we know from that other major comic publisher that it can work, too. So does DC have a hit in the making?
One aspect that I truly enjoyed from this book was the method of how the virus was delivered. It’s always good to see writers get creative with how zombie viruses are spread; one of my favorites being from The Last of Us using the real-life, ant brain-eating fungus in the Amazonian jungles.
Tom Taylor uses a common fear and amplifies it by making it the virus carrier: our over-connected world. You often hear the phrase, “No screens!” from frustrated moms trying to get their kids to go outside or interact with someone in the living room. In DCeased, “No screens!” is shouted as a desperate attempt to survive. You might think a bad computer virus will ruin your life, but you haven’t grasped that concept until you’ve opened the pages of DCeased.
Eliminating the virus is a monumental task, and stopping the spread is all but impossible. You can imagine how much of an effect this will have in the world; how can you communicate with survivors and come up with a cure without the help of connectivity (another question: will the scientists in charge of making a cure be called the CDCeased)?
As far as the writing goes, Taylor doesn’t waste time making it all happen. Add in Cyborg’s mutilation, the desperation Superman feels, the familiar heroes that do get infected, and it makes for some pretty dark and entertaining stuff. However, it did seem like Batman and Superman were very quick to discover how people were being infected. I get that this is a six-issue run, but I feel like we needed at least a few pages to see our heroes face this new problem and work to find out how it was happening. Hopefully (for the readers, anyway), they aren’t as fast at finding a cure. Also, look for the references to Tom King’s masterful Mister Miracle series.
If there’s anyone familiar with drawing zombies, it’s Stefano Gaudiano of Walking Dead fame. His team up with Trevor Hairsine produces great art that uses subtle detail that is enhanced with Beredo’s soft coloring. James Harren jumps in to draw the scene on Apokolips, and it honestly didn’t work as well to me as the other pages did. He uses sharper lines and louder details, which I didn’t mind terribly, but there were a few panels where the characters looked a little more cartoonish than I would’ve desired in a horror-themed comicbook.
Overall, it’s pretty enjoyable to watch this zombie takeover of the DC Universe. DCeased bites right into your fears and promises to be a fun series—for the living and the dead.