DCeased #1 // Review
Tom Taylor (Injustice, X-Men Red) along with artists Trevor Hairsine, Stefan Gaudiano, and James Harren work together to deliver a maddening look through a DC Universe in which The Anti Life Equation takes hold over Earth’s populous seemingly in a matter of mere minutes. This Elseworlds horror story delivers the weight and suspense, leaving a long-lasting impression that absolutely no one is safe. In what was thought to initially be some form of zombie invasion when the title was first solicited, the story turns out to be far more inspired and rooted within the DC Universe as a whole.
Beginning during the finale of an epic showdown against Darkseid, Superman takes down the New God in front of nearly the entire DC Universe. Through the use of Wonder Woman’s Lasso Of Truth, they compel Darkseid to leave Earth and never return. He obliges but ominously claims to already have what he needs from the planet. Back on Apokolips, a captured Cyborg lies at the hands of Darkseid and his toadie Dasaad. Through the use of the Anti Life Equation and an unwilling Black Racer, they infect Cyborg and unleash him upon the people of Earth.
With a whole host of artists taking on a multitude of variants, the series showcases many different artistic flavors from the horrific covers all the way down to its interiors. Through the combined artistry of Trevor Hairsine, Stefan Gaudiano, and James Harren, the trio make for a visceral and utterly gritty take on this nightmarish voyage through the DCU. With James Harren taking on the pencil duties for the scenes on Apokolips, Trevor Hairsine and Stefan Gaudino blend together to deliver the real horrors brought into Earth. Colorist Rain Beredo, provide the death lens over the series and giving an overall uniform look to the various artists.
It is undeniable the amount of sheer fun Tom Taylor is having with this series. Starting with his early teases on the project on social media months ago, it is clear Taylor believes in his work and wants to deliver a series to keep fans talking. At times characters like Darkseid, seem more as a device to serve the overall plot rather than an actual threat in and of himself. In the vein of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, every hero seems to have some smartass quip to rebuttal any opposition. At times a bit cliché, overall Taylor delivers and fun and exciting voice through the horrific landscape the story is entrenched in.
Leaving any given issue on a cliffhanger threatening the life of a flagship character typically doesn’t leave the reader with any fear for their favorite heroes lives, this is not that story. With the series lying outside of continuity, anything can happen, anyone can die, creating anticipation and excitement not familiar to the DC Universe proper. With only the first issue in, the title proves to be an exciting ride through a nightmarish landscape.