DCeased: Unkillables #1 – Tom Taylor, Writer; Karl Mostert, Penciller; Trevor Scott, Neil Edwards, John Livesay, Inkers; Rex Lokus, Colorist
Ray – 9.5/10
Corrina: Villain Survival!
Ray: The megahit DCeased didn’t leave much room for a sequel, ending with the literal end of the world and sending its few survivors off to build a new Earth. Fortunately for DC’s bottom line and the many of us addicted to the bleak but fascinating character-driven story Tom Taylor built, he’s found a work-around with DCeased: Unkillables #1.
While the original series focused on the most iconic heroes, DCeased: Unkillables #1 focuses on the antiheroes and villains left behind. It gets off to a fast start, with Deathstroke looking to clean out a next of Nazis and finding Nazi zombies instead. He makes the mistake of checking his phone to call backup, winds up infected – and then wakes up the next day, covered with blood and very confused. Turns out his healing factor makes him maybe the only person immune to the Anti-Life Equation, making him one of Earth’s possible saviors. After an intense rescue mission where he retrieves Rose from a building surrounded by zombies, they get pulled into a conspiracy led by Vandal Savage to survive the apocalypse. You’ll learn more about Tree Lobsters than you ever expected from this issue.
But it’s the second story that might be the best of them, as Jason Todd goes from antihero to Gotham’s last hope. Discovering the bodies of his father and brothers, he pays tribute and collects survivor Ace, before heading out into the streets of Gotham to do what he can. This includes recruiting Cassandra Cain (who is dressed in her classic Batgirl costume and seems to have her pre-Flashpoint characterization, interestingly), along with Jim Gordon, who is finally let in on the whole Bat-secret. They pay a last visit to Barbara, one of the earliest victims of the plague, and Jason finds a unique use for Joker’s corpse in a darkly funny scene that seems destined to become a meme. This series has a surprising tone of hope to it, despite the fact that we know how bad this is going to get. The ending adds some surprising allies to Jason’s team, while Vandal’s squad has some unlikely faces that seem destined to add some comedy to the proceedings. It’s a fantastic first issue that fits perfectly with what Taylor built in the first mini, and is likely to be just as big a hit.
Corrina: I’m still smiling from Gordon’s line to Jason Todd about taking the corpse off the grill of his car, and the art just perfectly encapsulates Gordon’s modd. For a series about the end of the world, containing mostly villains, it has more heart and humor than anyone could expect. Unless you’ve read other stories by Taylor, and then it’s exactly what you expect.
I need Taylor on a regular Batman book. Or a regular Justice League book. Or a Titans book. Or, well, any series where his cast isn’t pre-ordained to die horribly, I suppose.
The artwork, which could easily devolve into zombie gore, holds back from over-the-top, and its’ more subtle touches heighten the tragedy of it all. There are also some wonderful action sequences, especially with Deathstroke.
To find reviews of all the DC issues, visit DC This Week.
Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.