Written by Tom Taylor, with art by Karl Mostert, Trevor Scott and Neil Edwards, colors by Rex Lokus, and letters by Saida Temofonte, DCEASED Unkillables #3 speeds along to its conclusion without letting up on the gas. This raucous addition to the DCEASED universe knows how to keep stakes high for every second.
Taylor doesn’t pull punches with his finale. Many “unkillable” characters prove to be less than unkillable in this issue. But in the midst of the brutality and gore, Taylor sprinkles in gentler moments. On occasion, he pushes the gentle moments a hair’s breadth too far. Characters bare all with the simple looks on their faces, and so a few of their lines seem unnecessary. But mostly, Taylor hits his balance masterfully. Packaging the gentle moments with rough exteriors. So when Cheetah is called a “good kitty,” and we see her connect with the kids, we’re all the more on the edge of our seats when they are plunged back into danger.
Mostert, Scott, and Edwards spend some time in the uncanny valley for this issue again. Many of the characters look just slightly off. The proportionality of their faces doesn’t look quite right, with noses and eyes that seem too small. While this does occasionally distract from the gentler moments Taylor sets up; the gory fight scenes are where these artists shine. With hands ripping through heads, and a particular moment where Deathstroke looks downright mythical, they have fun with the gruesome aspects of this issue.
Lokus certainly helps with the gruesomeness. Nearly every panel of every page is speckled with blood. Lokus makes it look as though it’s raining down on the characters from above, in vibrant red. It’s not long before each bloody massacre takes on a darker color palette. Lokus gives moments of triumph a bright palette, while a page later, he’s coloring the same scene in darker tones. It’s the blood in the background that ties the whole thing together. Just as the vibrant red dries on the side of buses or characters faces to a dull brown, each moment has the potential to go from adrenaline-pumping victory to heartbreaking defeat.
Temofonte continues to have fun with the lettering, as in previous issues. Sound effects are incorporated into the moments that are causing them. The sounds of guns are written in large red letters that look like the gore they cause. A car going up in flames creates a sound that looks like the fire itself. And it’s fitting that Temofonte’s sound effects take center stage in many of the panels. Her sound effects are often tied to an action that’s driving the scene.
This creative team has managed to create stakes and joy in a zombie apocalypse. As the world careens towards its end, we attach to these characters that are otherwise written off. Taylor balances quirkiness and brutality with brilliant results. Read the finale of a great series, DCEASED Unkillables #3, out now from DC Comics.