DCeased #1 lacks style and substance and seems to be pandering towards shock tactics to get it off the shelves.
Written by Tom Taylor, and with no less than three artists in the byline, DCeased issue #1 hit the comic stores this week. Part 1 of the 6-issue series sees the big hitters in the DC Universe going up against a techno-virus that has been released on Earth, infecting Metropolis, and probably the rest of the world too.
We hit the ground running, with the end of (another) epic battle with Darkseid, and our heroes banishing him from Earth. Darkseid pops off but not without an ominous last word, suggesting the battle did not go the way the team thinks it did.
Back on Apokolips, we see a change in the artwork and the realization that Cyborg has been kidnapped by the evil ones, and is going to be a player in Darkseid’s quest for the anti-life equation.
Cue massive devastation for Apokolips, and Cyborg, now minus a tongue (don’t ask), is back on Earth and spreading a virus via the internet, meaning everything that has a screen will infect you. (Correct me if I’m wrong, but has Stephen King already done this idea?)
Batman is on the case, but it’s not long until the Batcave is invaded by zombie Robin and Nightwing, and Bats gets it in the neck.
DCeased #1 is a concept book that has an idea, and everything will revolve around it. Taylor is given the keys to the toy chest and gets to play with everything inside, as we watch on powerless.
The art from everyone involved splits the book in two. Team A deals with the earthbound story, Team B the Fourth World stuff, but unfortunately, neither style does anything for me.
Trevor Hairsine and Stefano Guadiano handle the JLA stuff, and they have never looked so wretched. In the opening two-page spread, Superman looks like a bad cosplayer and later on Mister Miracle and Big Barda are unrecognizable.
Meanwhile, James Harren seems to be trying to go for a Kirby look to his pages, but it’s more Eric Larson than Kirby, and not good Larson, but modern, tired and lazy Larson.
After the first issue, you are left with a sort of empty feeling. Zombie heroes have been done by Marvel many times already, and this DC viral infection seems to have plenty of potential to be reversed super easy, and with barely an inconvenience.
It smacks of a cash grab, but as is often the case with DC, it’s all a bit too late, and perhaps not given the time and set up to do it justice. I’m all in favor of fast pacing, but by page 14 Apokolips is gone, and Cyborg’s back on Earth infecting 600 million people.
I dare say that the other five issues will relish in showing us horrible versions of DC characters before the reset button is hit and we are all left wondering what the point was.
This book lacks style and substance and seems to be pandering towards shock tactics to get it off the shelves. It’s a gimmick that will shift a few variant covers and make speculators a few quick bucks, but the readers may be left scratching their heads.