What’s up everyone! Welcome to Beyond The Panel. Coming at you today with talk about the debut of DCeased: Dead Planet #1! Here we are, the one book we have been waiting for since that very first issue of DCeased. I remembering the anticipation I immediately felt for this book, and how it only got stronger between Unkillables and Hope at World’s End (still ongoing), because who really would have considered that they thought this far ahead that so much depth could be created in preparation? This creative team gave us no reason to want to see what happens when the heroes who escaped Earth, return to save it.
All things taken into account, I did appreciate the way that they eased us into this story. For everything that happened in DCeased, and everything that has happened since then, it never hurt to make sure everyone was on the same page about the situation before moving forward. It mattered that we could get that one page detailing the fall of Earth, and getting a glimpse of who still remained after. From there, that made it easy to jump into what sets this story in motion. It wasn’t just about knowing that these heroes were answering a call to return to Earth. We needed to know who called them, or what called them. Heck, we needed to know if it even made sense that someone would call anyone to return to this world and chance everything on the idea that they could save what is left. That said, the truth to that call wasn’t hard to believe. There are so very few ways that anyone could make contact on this planet, and I couldn’t see myself convinced that said person was going to be taken out of the picture so easily.
This brings us to what Damian Wayne, Jon Kent, Cassie Sandsmark, and everyone else have been up to outside of Earth. I’m sure that we all wanted to know how they ended up in conflict with other aliens, but it definitely felt more pressing that we understood what their living situation was like. One does not simply move millions from one planet to another without some challenges along the way. It was in that scene that we also got to see what kind of dynamic we were dealing with now that they have taken the mantle of Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman. It was certainly different, though all the same refreshing.
Now when it came to the decision to return to Earth, that was where they really grab your attention. Mainly for the fact that this is the conversation which sets everything in place. I for one wanted to see how Tom Taylor would convince us that they would take this risk. They got away from the threat of the Anti-Life Equation, they found a new place to call home. Is anything really worth jeopardizing that second chance at life? That said, this creative team delivered by the end of the issue. If you picked up this book expecting more hope at the end of the world? They made sure to make you regret that assumption, because this is not that kind of story. It never was, and they made sure you had a reason to look out for what comes next. So much is goin to go wrong before anything goes right.
Like with the first DCeased book, I was glad that they went with Trevor Hairsine as the penciler for Dead Planet. In fact, I welcomed the decision to go with the same interior look altogether, because this art team captures the kind of world you want to be immersed in. I know that there are some out there who aren’t entirely with Hairsine’s style of pencils, but I find it fitting. This is the kind of story where rough visuals match the kind of story told. This is a world where people are slaughtering each other, not only that but also tearing themselves apart in madness. He gets that look of madness written on their face, the horror written on others’. For this issue in particular I thought that he did some of his best work when it came to the way he drew Damian Wayne, Jon Kent, and Cassie Sandsmark. They looked the part of the mantles they took on. Even the aliens they dealt with were creative in design. Now at the same time it also helped that there were inkers involved too. If there’s one thing you know about Hairsine’s work, he tends to work with an inker, and they are great for adding some of that depth and shadows that he doesn’t. These things make a big difference for a dark story. Including the colors which I loved for a lot of things. There was excellent work with textures, the paleness to represent a bleak Earth, then the bold colors which represent everything else both living and unliving.
Once again, if you picked up this book expecting more hope at the end of the world? DCeased: Dead Planet #1 will set your expectations right. This is not a story that will fill you with hope. I think we should all be grateful that this creative team did not decide to play games with us. That rug was pulled out from under our feet fast, so that we know that there is no such thing as a rescue mission to a dying world going right.