DCeased: Dead Planet #1 – Tom Taylor, Writer; Trevor Hairsine, Penciller; Gigi Baldassini, Stefano Guadiano, Inkers; Rain Beredo, Colorist
Ray – 9.5/10
Ray: The DCeased franchise has been building for a while, with a first chapter that saw Earth overrun by an anti-life plague and a sequel that focused on an eclectic group of antiheroes that survived the initial wave. Plus a one-shot side story and a digital-first anthology. It took off like wildfire, and now the original creative team reunites for a flash-forward story that brings the survivors back to where it all began. The last surviving heroes of Earth have established a colony on an alien world—with no small amount of conflict. But now there’s a twist—a signal from the long-thought-dead Cyborg indicating that there may be hope left for Earth. After some debate, a group of heroes, including a young Superman and Batman trying to live up to their late fathers’ legacies, Green Arrow and Black Canary (now wielding Hal Jordan’s old GL ring) and a drunken, depressed John Constantine.
The first half of the story is very character-driven, with some great dialogue, while the second picks up momentum in a huge way. As soon as the heroes arrive on Earth, things start moving fast and brutally. A barely-functioning Cyborg is found, desperately trying to give the characters a message that he can’t quite convey. The horrid specters of past heroes emerge seeking blood. It all ends with a brutal battle and a gut-punch of a last-page twist that sends the entire concept of the series for a loop. The zombie spin-off has been a long-standing trope, of course, but Tom Taylor and Trevor Hairsine have done something very different with it. This is ultimately a human tragedy with massive stakes, and it’s a great opportunity to let characters like Damian and Jon Kent to take the lead. I want more of President Lois Lane, among other things, and I cannot wait to see what happens when these heroes reunite with the Earth survivors including Jason, Cass, Harley, and Ivy. Brilliant start.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.