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DCEased #1 (DC Comics)
Just when you thought that zombies were all over, along comes DCEased, a new DC miniseries that brings the undead to the DC universe. You may think this is just a years-too-late cash in on the zombie craze, but with creative talent like writer Tom Taylor and artists Trevor Hairsine, Stefano Guadiano, and James Harren, DCEased actually reads like a pretty intense event series, with plenty of surprises that will keep in the most hardened comic readers intrigued.
After Darkseid attacks Earth and is defeated by the Justice League, he retreats, but not without his prize: Cyborg. Believing that Cyborg holds the key to the Anti-Life Equation, Darkseid attempts to use Cyborg’s body to unleash the equation. But doing so could destroy Cyborg, and The Black Rider (the embodiment of Death), is brought in to keep Cyborg alive. Adding the Rider to the Anti-Life Equation yields disastrous results however, as his presence causes the equation to unleash a techno-organic virus that turns all humans into monstrous zombies. After Cyborg’s body is sent back to Earth by a dying Darkseid, the virus is unleashed on innocent people, and the heroes of the DC universe face a cataclysmic event!
Tom Taylor made a name for himself on the Injustice line of comics, and that style carries over to this series as well. Like Injustice, DCEased follows it’s own continuity, but a lot of the characteristics of the DC heroes that Taylor established in his prior work are the same here (Green Arrow has some of the best side moments in this issue). Taylor doesn’t allow the script to get bogged down by too much exposition, and balances the backstory with a growing sense of dread throughout the issue, leading to a cliffhanger that, if true, shows that DCCeased isn’t messing around, and everyone is in danger.
Having three artists on a single comic is sometimes a recipe for disaster, but Hairsine, Guadiano, and Harren’s style are all similar enough to make their transitions virtually unnoticeable. With the exception of a few character designs, none of the pages are too jarringly different, and the three work really well together. The infected people aren’t very cleverly designed, but this is only the beginnings of the outbreak, so there’s a good chance that they’ll look even crazier as the miniseries continues.
DCEased is a fun spin on the zombie outbreak, and seeing it occur in the DC universe definitely adds an interesting wrinkle to the story. As I mentioned before, the real test of this series will be how far they allow Taylor and his artists to go with the story. If no one is truly safe, then this will be a pretty neat story to watch unfold.