From the brilliant and twisted mind of writer Tom Taylor comics DCEASED #1, a series that pushes DC’s greatest heroes to their limits in a world consumed by horror.
***SPOILERS LIE AHEAD***
DCEASED #1 isn’t just a carbon copy of Marvel Zombies, it’s a story built on its own merit. How appropriate it is that in today’s society, a plague would be best spread first throughout social media. Repurposing the Anti-Life Equation as the deadly plague ripping through humanity is a fantastic twist to play around with.
Once the chaos starts to consume the world, it’s an absolute blast like all the best parts of our favorite zombie movies. The tense scene where Superman rushes home to stop Jon from exposing Lois, Damian, and himself to the equation is horror movie cheese at its best.
Given that the equation is transferred through screens, Batman is immediately put into an interesting rough spot–that of course he is prepared for. However, it appears he is not prepared enough as the issue ends with him being attacked by Tim Drake and Dick Grayson who are inexplicably just hanging out in the Manor fully uniformed.
If Tim and Dick (and possibly Batman) are taken off the board right away, nobody is safe in this horror landscape. This promises to be a series full of shocks and surprises as we navigate through a fully apocalyptic horror landscape.
The characterization of Damian is far from the one established in Super Sons or Teen Titans but to make Jon and Damian more childlike and afraid is a must to fully form the horror scene.
Right out of the gate, Tom Taylor sets a tone that is both brutal and loose. He’s a creator that takes full advantage of playing in a sandbox without permanent continuity consequences. Taylor lets everyone know immediately, this comic isn’t going to pull any punches.
Another thing that Taylor does right away is remind everyone that Green Arrow should be on the Justice League roster. He’s front and center and providing the perspective and sarcasm needed to keep the team grounded during these Darkseid-level threats. He’s the very human element that’s missing from the current roster (which is still a stellar series even without Ollie).
The trio of artists enlisted for this book (Trevor Hairsine, Stefano Gaudiano, and James Harren) perfectly establish the dark and dreary horror atmosphere. The transitions between their different styles is seamless and imaginative. If Tom Taylor’s script is going to land all these punches, the art had to as well.
Colorist Rain Beredo does some heavy lifting making this appear to be one cohesive stream of art. He also plays a major role in establishing the visual tone and atmosphere, soaked in blood and panic.
There’s a lot of fun to be had in DCEASED, this first issue promises a rollercoaster with no stops. Tom Taylor further proves that he is the current king of “Elseworld” tales and takes full advantage of carrying no continuity consequences. Fans of his Injustice series will most likely enjoy this.
The horror elements presented are satisfying because the creative team fully commits and doesn’t play it safe. Taylor provides a wonderfully fun script that gets the ball rolling and all the ensuing chaos is exactly what we’re here for.