When it comes to the DCeased storyline, DC Comics has been nailing the concept. They’ve done well to add to the story as opposed to giving us follow-ups that feel like they’re just an attempt to cash in on the idea. We’ve gotten the excellent DCeased: Hope at World’s End digital series and the latest, DCeased: Dead Planet #1, which kicks off the latest volume.
Five years have passed since the events of DCeased. The survivors of Earth have found a new home on a new planet, Earth-2 and have begun to build a new society. A Justice League has formed to protect what remains not just from the threat they escaped but others they face. Cyborg, decapitated but alive, sends out a distress call which the remaining heroes hear and decide to investigate.
Lets get the bad of DCeased: Dead Planet #1 out of the way. The comic is predictable and foreshadows things WAY too much. In that way it plays with tropes, cliches, and genres but doesn’t offer anything really new there. While some of it might be surprising as to when it happens, none of it is surprising at all.
What’s good is, Tom Taylor delivers a solid comic that while it’s familiar in plot, does it really well. While the original DCeased felt like Taylor’s play on the zombie genre, DCeased: Dead Planet #1 feels more like it riffs of science fiction. The issue seems to take its inspiration from films like Alien and Aliens more so than Romero. It’s an interesting direction for the first issue that’s unexpected and quite welcome in many ways. We see that we’re going to get something different instead of “another zombie story.” That alone raises the entertainment of the issue which otherwise wears a bit too much on its sleeve.
The art by Trevor Hairsine delivers. With ink by Gigi Baldassini and Stefano Gaudiano, color by Rain Beredo, and lettering by Saida Temofonte, the look of the comic captures that shift from horror/zombie to sci-fi/tense. What the team captures really well is the time that has passed. Characters look older and more worn down. The two worlds feel like they’re struggling in multiple ways. It’s small choices that are solid and some really interesting scenes that deliver some emotional punch over the cliches.
And that’s the issue with the comic. It’s really entertaining and an excellent follow up to everything that has come before. The problem is too much of what happens is choreographed. The latter parts of the comic are predictable and aren’t surprising at all as they’re all foreshadowed at some point. But, it’s still a fun read and is a shift from the expected take on the zombie genre. If only it kept a bit more of its secrets and delivered real surprises.
Story: Tom Taylor Art: Trevor Hairsine
Ink: Gigi Baldassini, Stefano Gaudiano Color: Rain Beredo Letterer: Saida Temofonte
Story: 7.75 Art: 8.15 Overall: 7.8 Recommendation: Read