DCeased: Unkillables #3 – Tom Taylor, Writer; Karl Mostert, Artist; Trevor Scott, Neil Edwards, Inkers; Rex Lokus, Colorist
Ray – 10/10
Ray: How did≤ DCeased: Unkillables, a kill-em-all alternate reality of superheroes vs. zombies turn into one of the most powerful and emotional comics DC has put out in years?
The original DCeased was a smash hit, but its sequel has hit pay dirt by focusing on a lesser-known group of antiheroes, civilians, and flat-out villains as they band together to protect the few remaining uncorrupted children of Gotham. The little haven that they had built for the orphans had been breached at the end of the last issue, with a zombified Bane breaking through the walls and opening the gates to the hordes. That leaves the surviving heroes, led by the foursome of Jason Todd, Cassandra Cain, Jim Gordon, and Deathstroke, to make the only move left to them – take their Batmobile and drive it through the overrun city, making a desperate run to the mysterious garden that’s occupied by the survivors of the anti-life plague. It’s one of the best action segments I’ve ever read in a comic book, but it’s also so much more than that.
The brilliance of Tom Taylor’s writing is in how he manages to get us invested in almost everyone. Weird beats like Creeper and Solomon Grundy’s strange friendship pay off in powerful ways. The odd mother-daughter bond between Cass and Shiva results in a scene that shows just how similar they are – and ends with the issue’s most devastating moment. Characters you feared for do survive, but not without a cost. Characters you never expected to care for die, and the story manages to shock you with how much you care. Fans of Mad Max: Fury Road will see a lot of inspiration in some of the insane action, but Taylor’s biggest strength has always been how he never loses sight of the little moments amid the big and chaotic. I worried this would be a doomed mission and I shouldn’t get attached to anyone, but a surprise appearance that reveals the identity of the narrator proves that you never know what tricks Taylor will have up his sleeve. The second main act, Dead Planet, is just around the corner, and Taylor is on the verge of turning this into an all-time classic.
Corrina: There are two panels in this issue that need to become iconic.
Since Ray has kept the identity of the narrator secret, I won’t give it away but the moment where she is revealed, in her full power, with lightning striking around, is the best moment this character has had in many, many years.
The second is the ending, a monument to the fallen, that literally choked me up. The art team deserves so much credit, between the action sequence as the group races to the buses, the sequences *inside* the bus, and the final sacrifices.
The art and story working together make for a powerful tale and I’ve been trying to figure out why I like this story so much. I tend to hate post-apocalyptic stories, especially when it seems no one will make it out alive in the end. But DCeased and now DCeased: Unkillables doesn’t take people and show us their worst selves when responding to a crisis.
It takes people in desperate situations, facing death, and reacting as their *best* selves, heroes, villains, and those in between.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.