What’s up everyone! Welcome to Beyond The Panel. Coming at you today with talk about DCeased: Dead Planet #2! That was one heck of a start we were given to this new book. It took me some time to shake off the fact that I somehow forgot what to expect when investing in a book written by Tom Taylor. In fact, I forgot that this is the kind of book where you throw your expectations out of the window before flipping to the first page. Dead Planet #1 proved that through the situation these heroes get themselves into almost immediately after landing on Earth.
Now considering how the first issue ended, I appreciated the change of pace which the second issue gave us. It was easy to assume that Dead Planet was going to mostly center around the returning heroes. Given that the other two books centered on what was still happening on Earth, you wouldn’t have been wrong to assume that either. Though the second issue was the best time to make the statement that Dead Planet is going to be about the present state of the world as a whole. It matters knowing who is still left after how many years, and the kind of struggles they still have to go through in order to make it to the next day. Especially when there are still heavy-hitters out there who are unliving.
That said, this wasn’t what we were left looking forward to most from this issue. That would be the idea that there could actually be another evil growing somewhere on the planet. Talk about a worst case scenario, am I right? I gotta hand it to this creative team, they know how to stack the odds against the survivors, because when you drop something like that on our laps? That light at the end of the tunnel starts to look pretty dim. Aside from this, I thought it was bold enough just putting John Constantine, Swamp Thing, Zatanna, and some others together to tackle this mystery. This looked like a team that could not be taken down so easily. That it would take one hell of a force to bring them down, and then this part of the story right here was where we were once more reminded to prepare for anything.
Which brings us back to that group of heroes, because of course it wouldn’t make much sense to completely ignore the situation they have found themselves in. The pacing to approaching that again was perfect when the one thing that should be a given is that they aren’t going to slow down too much with a story like this. They were quick as well to jump into what comes next now that it is know there is a way to cure the infected who are still unliving.
Beyond this, I would say this was probably one of the first issue where I wasn’t entirely feeling the artistic work put into an issue. At least not until the final scene where Hairsine continues doing his best work with the carnage this book demands. Not saying that there was anything bad, but Hairsine’s pencils aren’t always the most attractive for the roughness to the characters he draws. Though with that said, I will give credit that his work with settings is phenomenal. I loved having a full rendering of Ivy’s garden inside and out. You could believe that between her plants, and the use of Doctor Fate’s tower that they had the power to keep the blighted, and super-blighted out. What brought it all together was definitely the colors. Rain Beredo’s work here makes a big difference for the boldness taken to breathing life into a lifeless world. Particularly when it came to this mystery garden in Australia which had a lot more going on with it than you imagined between the fire, blood, and greens.
All in all, a solid transition into the second issue for DCeased: Dead Planet. If there was one thing we knew by the end of this issue, it was that they were jumping into this with momentum and execution. There’s no time to slow down when the stakes have been set so high from the start.