As I said last month, with each passing issue I was able to find myself feeling more confident in what this story has to offer. DCeased does indulge in everything apocalyptic, but there is the edge to this story that they are not dealing with zombies. These infected have all the symptoms of someone undead, but it was their wild unpredictability foremost which stood out for the contrast that they were able to create.
Being the fourth issue, this was the time to begin upping the stakes, and that they did from the very start. When it comes to these kinds of stories, you always wonder how wrong things can go. Heroes and villains are being turned left and right, but there’s only so far you can go for the sake of fanservice. Sometimes you gotta dig deep for the ones who could really create a challenge if they were turned by the anti-life equation. They found that hero, and this decision gave me chills because it didn’t matter that this guy could do a number on the living, the question was how he would accomplish this. The answer to that was the worst case scenario, but again the best way to raise the stakes when there had to be something more to this than dodging your average infected. What turned out to be so unique about this plot so far, is that these infected people were simply spreading chaos and destruction. Being eaten alive suddenly became a small thing when the idea comes to be that the world’s end is the finish line.
Only one thing was a bit predictable about the direction taken with the story. When all of these characters began regrouping at the Daily Planet, you could instantly see where this was going to become a problem of its own. The war for Metropolis was inevitable the minute it was decided that this was the final destination. I mean, what happens when you bring everyone to one place? You paint a target big enough where everyone is put into danger at the same time. Now while this could have been a problem for this chapter, it was the execution of the scene where things go wrong which grabbed your attention most. You think of the worst superhuman to throw their way, and that was definitely a close-call if the right heroes weren’t there at the time.
There was still plenty of emotional fallout to take from this as well. Creating the space for some of these characters to reflect upon their losses so far made a big difference in adding to the plot’s sense of urgency. Plenty of these characters lost someone close to them, they lost their homes, and much more. Just being able to get some emotional response from Damian of all people was the best takeaway you could get from this. It says a lot when even the toughest are forced to confront something that makes them vulnerable.
The interior artwork for this issue I felt was a lot better than the issues before. Still the same art team, but you could definitely see some improvements over the way that some of these scenes have been drawn. There is a bit more form and clarity to the way that these characters have been drawn in particular. Not a knock at Hairsine’s style, but it is definitely one that tends to be an interesting choice for a book like this. It also goes without saying that it is fitting for the fact that his rough pencils match a gritty story. What stood out most this time around was the intensity that he was able to bring out through Atom, the scale of the big battle which took place, and other visceral actions indulged in. This was of course only matched by the colors put into them. The range of cold colors applied to Atom in particular were stunning. The whites, blues, and greys mixed so well together to engulf the scene with his firepower.
This was true madness unleashed upon the world. DCeased #4 was a great issue for the way that this creative team has decided to shake things up. This was the best time for them to show how destructive these infected can be, and the pulled no punches. Not to mention with one heck of a cliffhanger as well.