DCeased: Unkillables #2 – Tom Taylor, Writer; Karlo Mostert, Artist; Trevor Scott, Neil Edwards, Inkers; Rex Lokus, Colorist
Ray – 9.5/10
Corrina: Who Deserves to be Saved?
Ray: Life – and death – come at you fast in DCeased: Unkillables #2, a double-sized comic that delivers more thrills, laughs, and heartbreak than you usually get in a full arc. Last issue introduced us to two stories of the anti-life apocalypse – Jason Todd, Cass Cain, and Jim Gordon as the last resistance of Gotham City, and Vandal Savage’s secret cult of villain and antihero survivors in the middle of the ocean. As the issue starts, the Gotham crew is struggling to survive and keep the surviving orphans under their guard safe. Savage’s villain utopia, meanwhile, quickly takes a turn for the dark side when Lady Shiva and Mirror master go to visit Shiva’s daughter Cass. Shiva’s charms fail to get Cass to abandon her charges, and Savage’s response leads to a series of betrayals, stabbings, and upheavals among the villains. It’s not long before things completely collapse with the attack of a zombie Wonder Woman that claims that lives of several of the villains and sends the survivors retreating to the only other safe spot they know.
That’s where DCeased: Unkillables #2 really excels, as a small group of villains including Shiva, Deadshot, Grundy, Cheetah, and Creeper are forced to take refuge with a collection of Gotham antiheroes. A lot of fantastic plots develop out of this, including Deathstroke and Gordon becoming rivals with very different visions of how to train the kids, an ethical conflict over what to do with the zombie members of the crew that didn’t make it, and a growing connection between Jason and Rose Wilson – even as Jason struggles with which side of the moral divide he truly belongs on.
There are some surprisingly sweet and funny moments going on here, especially where Creeper and Cheetah are concerned. And then there’s a sudden gut-punch of a moment as it all falls apart, and the little refuge from the apocalypse that they’ve carved out is threatened anew. The tension of the last few pages is almost unbearable, and it’s hard to believe there’s only one chapter left. Will any of these heroes and antiheroes survive to continue their story in the upcoming DCeased 2: Dead Planet? I hope so, because this might be better than the original.
Corrina: All these people are trapped in a horrible situation, even the villains, and so our sympathies for terrible people are engaged, even as we see the behavior that dooms them because they are selfish and egotistical. In one sense, they deserve Wonder Woman’s attack. And yet, in another, it hurts to watch them be destroyed.
And that’s the amazing thing about this series: I don’t want to like it, I know people are going to die, even innocent kids are in danger, and yet I’m mesmerized by the story because I want so much for those glimmers of hope to win. We’re all like poor Jim Gordon, clinging to that slim chance, while acknowledging that hope in this situation is almost counter-productive.
There are some amazing panels in this, as with Wonder Woman’s attack, with Deathstroke and Gordon’s confrontation, with Mirror Master’s attack via the mirror. With every panel, the art conveys all these conflicting emotions.
Please, somebody live at the end here….
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.