Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Review: DCEASED #1

DCEASED No. 1 (OF 6)

[This review was originally posted on Patreon.]

STORY: Tom Taylor
PENCILS: Trevor Hairsine; James Harren
INKS: Stefano Gaudiano; James Harren
COLORS: Rain Beredo
LETTERS: Saida Temofonte
EDITOR: Ben Abernathy
COVER: Greg Capullo with FCO Plascencia
32pp, Color, $3.99 U.S./ U.S. (July 2019)

Rated “T+” for “Teen Plus”

“Going Viral”

DCeased is a new six-issue comic book series from DC Comics.  It chronicles the heroes of the DC Universe and their desperate struggle to end a techno-virus that is turning the people of earth into engines of destruction.  The first issue of the series is written by Tom Taylor.  It is drawn by Trevor Hairsine, (pencils), James Harren (pencils/inks); and Stefano Gaudiano (inks).  Colorist Rain Beredo; letterer Saida Temofonte; and editor Ben Abernathy complete the creative team.

DCeased #1 (“Going Viral”) opens with the Justice League ending their latest battle against evil New God, Darkseid, and his legion of Parademons.  The League:  Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Black Lightning, Aquaman, Hawkgirl, Green Lantern, Green Arrow, and Nightwing have had enough of Darkseid's invasions of Earth, and Batman warns him against returning again.  Darkseid's parting words, uttered as he retreats, are ominous enough that they should be accompanied by an equally ominous musical arrangement.

It seems that during the battle, the Parademons have taken possession of Justice League member, Cyborg, for their boss.  Now, Darkseid and his master torturer, DeSaad, have a plan to merge the half of the anti-life equation in their possession with the half inside Cyborg.  And their plot requires the participation of the New Gods' avatar of Death, Black Racer.  But the best laid schemes o' DC mice and New Gods...  Darkseid is about to unleash something that is beyond monstrous.

I was cynical about DCeased.  I am no longer a fan of event comic book miniseries that feature large cast of superheroes and/or supervillains.  I started to hear whispers and grumblings, however, that DCeased was a good read, and guess what boys and girls?  It really is.

Unlike many first issues that tease so much that they barely introduce the plot or even all the main characters, DCeased #1 gets right to the point.  Writer Tom Taylor serves up the main course, handing out the meat for the beast.  I don't know if this entire miniseries will be good, but damn, we have quite the first issue – with a killer-ass last page, too, boo!  And it all reads well under letterer Saida Temofonte's fear-inducing fonts of the living dead.

I really like artist James Harren's eight-page New Gods' segment, which is pivotal to the story.  Colorist Rain Beredo covers Harren's illustrations with garish, acid-dropped, nightmarish colors.  Together, Taylor, Harren, and Beredo create comic book ickiness.  Meanwhile, Trevor Hairsine and Stefano Gaudiano focus on drawing the apocalypse with glee.

So, yeah, DCeased #1 is a real-deal good comic book, the anti-life antidote for the cynical comic book purchaser.  So let's hope this series stays good.

9 out of 10

Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"

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