More dominos fall, more heroes are converted. But one of them changes everything… Your Major Spoilers review of DCeased #4 awaits!
Writer: Tom Taylor
Penciler: Trevor Hairsine
Inker: Stefano Gaudiano
Colorist: Rain Beredo
Letterer: Saida Temofonte
Editor: Ben Abernathy
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: August 7, 2019
Previously in DCeased: The Daily Planet has become a beacon of hope for the living as the Anti-Life Equation sweeps the planet. What’s left of the Justice League have begun to gather there, bringing survivors and family alike. But the city is being overrun with infected humans… and superhumans! The war for Metropolis begins!
UNRELENTING HORROR, BUT WEIRDLY DISTANT
While the world burns, the underground headquarters of Project Cadmus is the site of a desperate, last-ditch attempt to turn back the Anti-Life Equation. Under the watching eyes of Amanda Waller, Captain Atom and Ray Palmer try to figure out a way to stop the vectors of the “disease”, but the government insists that Captain Atom get into the field and start burning out the “infection.” As he fights, Captain Atom starts to feel something is wrong as, deep within his bloodstream, an infected Atom attack his very heart. Elsewhere, in Metropolis, Superman rallies the surviving Justice League members and gather them and their families on the roof of the Daily Planet. The manage to cobble together a transmitter, allowing Lois to broadcast to any survivors that the heroes are gathering there, only to also get the attention of an Anti-Life-powered Giganta. Superman doesn’t want to kill her, but Cyborg suddenly arrives and blows a hole in her head, explaining that all the victims are dead and gone. We see other moments throughout the DCU (the Birds of Prey and Batwoman are defeated by Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn, Mera arrives on Paradise Island as the last survivor of Atlantis, The Flash and Kid Flash are revelealed to be hiding in a bunker to avoid their super-speed becoming a weapon of Anti-Life) but it all turns out to be for naught, as Captain Atom detonates in Washington, DC and takes the city with him… and then Baltimore…
…and then Metropolis.
I HAVE NO IDEA WHY SGT. ROCK IS ON THE COVER
Without a doubt the best moment in this issue (and, in a way, the series to date) comes when Damian Wayne is thrilled to see the Batwing arrive, only to find that it’s not his Bat-Daddy, but Alfred Pennyworth inside. Alfred presents him with the cowl of the Batman, telling the boy that his father loved him and has faith that he can replace him as Batman. It’s touching, as is the moment where Black Lightning hugs his girls right before being consumed in nuclear fire, but all in all, this book feels weirdly bloodless. For all the chaos, there’s an almost clinical viewpoint to even the blood and gore, with everyone strangely calm and unemotional throughout the issue. Part of that is the sheer number of characters seen, but even the spectacle of Washington being annihilated doesn’t really feel as terrible as it should. Hairsine’s figure work is quite good, but his characters’ limited facial expressions don’t help matters much, and his Captain Atom is weirdly thin and lumpy for my tastes. Even so, the arrival of Wonder Woman makes for one of the most dynamic panels in the whole book.
BOTTOM LINE: BLEAK, GRIM BUT AT LEAST KIND OF ORIGINAL
I’m really puzzled about the use of Sgt. Rock on the cover of this issue (which seems to be driven by the need to show off a cool Andy Kubert drawing) but I pretty much forgot about that as the story chugged along to the inevitable explosion at the end. DCeased #4 is a book that never manages to make the idea of “zombie” superheroes ravaging the world feel immediate and exciting, but does deliver on some nice emotional moments here and there, earning a better-than-average 3 out of 5 stars overall. I’m looking forward to next issue, if only to see who actually survived this issue…
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Never really feels like the crisis it wants to be, but there are some good moments to be had in these pages.