DCeased: Unkillables #1 shows what the villains did when the heroes failed in the first DCeased event. This mini-series follows up from DC’s answer to Marvel Zombies.

DCeased: Unkillables #1 ReviewDCeased: Unkillables #1

Writer: Tom Taylor
Artist: Karl Mostert
Colorist: Rex Lokus
Letterer: Saida Temofonte
Editor: Ben Abernathy
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover price: $4.99
Release date: February 19, 2020

SOLICITATION: The blockbuster DC series returns to answer this question: What did the villains do when the heroes failed and the world ended? Spinning out of the dramatic events of 2019’s smash hit, writer Tom Taylor returns to this dark world with a street-level tale of death, heroism and redemption. Led by Red Hood and Deathstroke, DC’s hardest villains and antiheroes fight with no mercy to save the only commodity left on a dying planet of the undead—life!

DC’S UNDEAD LIVE AGAIN

The zombie craze remains alive even though AMC’s The Walking Dead has lost a good portion of their viewers. The Marvel Zombies are coming back to the House of Ideas, and DCeased lives on in this follow-up mini-series focusing on the bad guys.

With the heroes down for the count, Taylor has shifted the focus to several of the “grey” characters in DC, primarily Deathstroke, Red Hood (Jason Todd), and Cassandra Cain (still Batgirl in this story).

Deathstroke’s “healing factor” has saved him from turning undead in Kentucky as he battles Nazi zombies, what he calls “the worst of the undead combined with the worst of the living.” Eventually, he ends up with a group of big bads led by one of DC’s classic villains who just happens to be immortal. Guess who! It’s entertaining to see which villains have made it through the apocalypse!

The other storyline follows Jason and Cassandra, who pick up several good guys in their journey out of Gotham City in a Batmobile. When Jason finds the Joker’s body, he wishes he had taken out the Clown Prince of Crime, but he still gets some revenge by stringing up his body across the front of the Batmobile. “It’s an apocalypse,” Jason explains. “Don’t judge me.” When the group reaches Bludhaven, the ever-droll Jason quips of the now zombie-infested city, “it’s almost an improvement.”

Dark humor permeates the book, including the Creeper having hats and t-shirts made up proclaiming “I’m a tree lobster,” something the biggest bad used as an example when he tried to describe how these villains were left as survivors. Only the Creeper could figure out how to get novelty items printed during an apocalypse!

This humor offsets the dire circumstances around the survivors as the living discover their lost loved ones.

Of course, the baddies expect to “inherit the earth” when the situation around them finally resolves itself. However, that remains to be seen.

The characterizations are spot-on—at least, as much as they can be in such an awful situation. Things move forward very appropriately with occasional dialogue breaks to keep the reader from getting too down.

DARK ART TO MATCH THE SITUATION

While there is a different art team on this book, they fit well with the previous group. The level of detail in the faces, for instance, really helps us understand what is happening internally with the characters on both sides. My favorite takes place when Jason tells Commissioner Gordon that Batman is dead so he doesn’t have to play his game anymore. The look of shock and sadness on Jim’s face is riveting! And that doesn’t begin to describe how people react to the Anti-Life virus hitting them!

The action sequences are eye-popping as well. My favorite takes place in the Gotham City Police Department. When the aforementioned Commissioner is confronted with the loss of an ally, it’s tough to watch. Let’s just say that someone else does what needs to be done instead. Gripping illustrations!

BOTTOM LINE: Continuing On From The End

This is Mr. Taylor’s writing the way I like it, with strong characterization accenting a moving storyline or two. It’s going to be interesting to see how this whole bleak situation shakes out, including who actually is in charge and who isn’t.

Interestingly enough, there’s a full-page ad for action figures and the hardcover collection from the original DCeased event. Now THAT is perfect ad placement for you!


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DCeased: Unkillables #1 of 3

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DC's Undead Live Again

This is Mr. Taylor’s writing the way I like it, with strong characterization accenting a moving storyline or two. It’s going to be interesting to see how this whole bleak situation shakes out, including who actually is in charge and who isn’t.

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About Author

Wayne Hall creates the Wayne's Comics Podcast. He’s interviewed Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo, John Layman, Kyle Higgins, Phil Hester, Jimmy Palmiotti & Justin Gray, David Petersen, Christos Gage, Mike Grell, and Matt Kindt. On this site each week, he writes his "Comics Portal" column (general comics comments and previews) and reviews comics.

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