The Infected: Deathbringer #1 – Zoe Quinn, Writer; Brent Peeples, Artist; Arif Prianto, Colorist
Ray – 6/10
Ray: The Infected: Deathbringer #1, the third Infected one-shot,has the hardest task of any of them, needing to make Donna Troy into a compelling villain. The problem is, she’s rarely a compelling hero due to a series of retcons and poorly-designed origins.
This issue is in the hands of Zoe Quinn, a popular game journalist whose only previous comic book work was the dense and ambitious Vertigo series Goddess Mode. This is a far more conventional comic, but one that doesn’t really seem to know what it’s going for. This is a pretty direct sequel to the events of the recent Titans series, picking up on the subplot about energy from the Dark Multiverse creating a burst of new metahumans. They’re now concentrated in a town where the human citizens are getting antsy and forming a militia, leading the Titans to try to mediate this dispute before it spins out into violence. It’s a story we’ve seen many times before, and the DCU doesn’t need more Marvel-style tension between heroes and civilians.
Donna’s transformation into an agent of the Batman who Laughs doesn’t happen until midway through the issue, and it’s very different than in the other stories.
Most of the other heroes get infected via direct contact and poisoning. Donna seems to basically be talked into it, being frustrated by her inability to get through to the town’s citizens. When a tragedy claims the lives of the town’s leaders, Donna snaps and succumb’s to the villain’s manipulation. She starts targeting members of her own team for no real reason beyond “Evil” but still has her own agenda, even urging her teammates to fight for her at the end of the issue.
Donna’s always played second fiddle to other heroes in most books, which is a problem for the character going back to her bizarre accidental origin. Now she seems to have little purpose in this story beyond “the third most powerful member of the Batman who Laughs’ minions”. Much like the title it spins out of, this comic leaves very little impression and lacks the scares of the other infected.
To find reviews of all the DC issues, visit DC This Week.
Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.