Not going to lie, it felt like forever since the last issue of DCeased came out, and that is painful when this is a book which pulls no punches with what the world could be twisted into with the Anti-Life Equation unleashed upon it. So far it has been worst case scenario after worst case scenario, but who doesn’t love seeing heroes like these facing down real dangers? I mean, put a fracture in the Trinity and there you have a story which thrives on defying the odds.
Picking up from the cliffhanger at the end of DCeased #4, we jumped right into the fallout from the explosion set off by Atom. I was a bit shocked by who survived, and the many who didn’t, but the big thing here was them giving us this situation where it was important to understand what it looks like when heroes face overwhelming loss that is out of their control. At this point I’m sure that some of us are reading this and thinking that this is overkill. To an extent it is, but this is DC’s twist on an apocalyptic event. This still isn’t zombies, but this is as close as you can get when it is as simple as being scratched. Getting back to what came next, I enjoyed the emotion which they poured into everyone realizing the reality of what is unfolding.
The progress of time was on point moving forward from that explosion. Again, with this being the second to last issue of the series, this would be that time to make certain that the story is either reaching a climax, or finishing transforming a world that is now in survival mode. I would say that we got the best of both considering this isn’t Marvel Zombies where just about everyone and their mother is pretty much dead on the spot. The time was put into showing us what a dying world looks like from various perspectives, and the big choice that these heroes would have to make for the sake of survival. That last part was what I liked most because it was a creative decision which continued to help this book break from the mold. The devil was in the details when it came down to giving us more than the brutality of these people and heroes being slaughtered.
We got a huge twist by the end of this issue, and it really set things into perspective about what we should expect from the last chapter given who last fell victim to the anti-life equation. If any of this happened an issue or two ago, I think some of us could have still held out hope that there was some way to see a light at the end of the tunnel, but quickly it is feeling like this is a story where you abandon hope. You could say that it is audacious to believe that there was some way to salvage what is left of the world, and humanity. Though with that said, nothing is certain till the last issue. Especially when Tom Taylor is the writer. The guy sure does know how to throw you for a loop when you least expect it.
Where this art team once again stuns you is through the balance they are able to strike through creating engagement with the surviving characters, and letting loose with the violence which ensues when encountering the infected. In the case of this issue specifically, they couldn’t have used a better duo of heroes infected because the worst case scenario is always seeing what happens when some of the most powerful are turned into threats. There was a literal trail of bodies this one left which was a chilling sight with the proper imagery given. The same could be said for what lengths were gone to bring said hero down. Aside from this, again you love the emotional elements they were able to bring out through these characters. That horror, shock, and defeat was written all over their faces. At the end of the day, I was just glad that there was clarity shred between the pencils and colors. The worst fear is that it could turn out messy and hard to follow, particularly if the wrong colorist is onboard and getting carried away with reds.
You can definitely see where DCeased is trying to be more than what some readers initially summed it to be. They still find ways to indulge and have fun in the violence and gore, but there is no denying how they are able to weave a compelling story through really caring about the characters involved and the collapsing world around them.