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Review: DCeased: Hope at World’s End #6

DCeased: Hope at World's End #6

DCeased: Hope at World’s End has been an interesting venture for DC Comics and its DC Digital First initiative. The series has been a mix of one-shot reads and interconnected issues, though the latter is rare. DCeased: Hope at World’s End #6 feels like the first release that’s the middle of a story. It’s the middle section of an arc and with that, it’s very different than what’s come before.

The issues revolves around the stand at Jotunhueim as Black Adam and his Anti-Life forces numbering in the millions attack. It’s a desperate situation and one that you just expect the worst. There’s little hope or a clear path for those hunkered down to survive.

That feeling of desperation partially comes from what writer Tom Taylor has set up so far in the previous five issues. This is a series mixed with sorrow and hope. When things look good there’s a moment where the rug is pulled out from under you. With most of the chapters so far, there’s an “oh no” moment when you get hit in the gut with how bad things are and tragedy strikes.

This being a “middle chapter” there’s a mix of things here as well. The survivors do what they can, including trying to find help. There’s a creative moment where there’s a glimpse of hope and then things begin to collapse and you expect the worst. Taylor gives us those trope-ish moments that one might expect in a last stand (someone heads off for help but will they get back in time!?) and there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s expected but also gives us some moments of true emotion from the characters.

The art by Renato Guedes is pretty solid. DCeased: Hope at World’s End #6 feels like the weakest chapter so far when it comes to the art. There’s some characters that feel off to me but they’re also characters I’m generally unaware of so I don’t know if that’s how they’re supposed to look. The characters are elongated and avian like but that could be by design. Compared to other characters it’s a bit noticeable and for those unfamiliar, it might look off. There are also some moments that should be jaw-dropping that never reach that aspect. A mountain is cleaved in two and that you’d expect a splash page for the ages but what’s shown doesn’t quite deliver. It looks good but doesn’t reach the level of great. Rex Lokus‘ colors are solid as well as Saida Temofonte‘s lettering.

DCeased: Hope at World’s End #6 isn’t bad in any way. It’s a middle chapter so not a place to start and not an issue you can pick up and dive in to. It has its roller coaster of a ride moments and leaves us awaiting the next chapter to see what happens next. As part of the larger picture, it does its job well but this isn’t a chapter that really stands on its own. As part of the series its a nice chapter and for those who have been reading, you should enjoy it. For those new to the series, there’s other places to start.

Story: Tom Taylor Art: Renato Guedes
Ink: Renato Guedes Color: Rex Lokus Letterer: Saida Temofonte
Story: 7.5 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXologyKindle

Preview: DCeased: Hope At World’s End #5

DCeased: Hope At World’s End #5

Written by Tom Taylor
Pencils Marco Failla
Inks Marco Failla
Colored by Rex Lokus
Lettered by Saida Temofonte
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Damian, Jon, and Cassie take a trip to the deadliest place on Earth—Gotham City! Damian has unfinished business in the fallen city and his best friends aren’t going to leave him to face it alone. A Trinity team-up for the ages!

DCeased: Hope At World's End #5

Review: DCeased: Hope at World’s End Chapter Five

DCeased: Hope at World's End Chapter Five

DCeased: Hope at World’s End Chapter Five delivers something we haven’t seen yet, actual hope. It’s such a strange issue in that you’re expecting something horrible to happen and it never does. Instead, this is an issue filled with sweet moments, humor, and catharsis.

Writer Tom Taylor shakes things up again with an issue that stands on its own pretty well. Damian is on his first mission as Batman, to find his mother. Joining him are Jonathan and Cassie, the future Superman and Wonder Woman. And in this issue we see the bond of the trio. The interactions are great and it feels like kids supporting each other as best they can.

And Taylor knows what he has with these three in this chapter. He delivers one of the funniest comedic moments in comics this year. He also focuses on the emotion of it all. Damian is given his moment to mourn the loss of his father. With that, we get to see the character for what we know he is, a little boy who puts on a tough exterior. It’s an emotional moment in multiple ways with a twist at the end that’ll put a smile on your face. No matter how “sad” the concept of this issue is, Taylor keeps it light enough to never really get you bawling. But, he nails it as far as the reader feeling empathy for Damian and what he’s experiencing.

The art by Marco Failla is solid. With color by Rex Lokus and lettering by Saida Temofonte, it doesn’t feature the foreboding nature of previous issues. Instead, it sticks to the youthful feel of the trio of heroes. The team really nails it with the visual comedy. It’s an idea that’s funny in dialogue but it’s the visuals that really nail it all and gets the chuckles, especially the small details left so that it plays throughout the issue.

DCeased: Hope at World’s End Chapter Five is a good issue that delivers some emotional moments. The downside is that we know the trio at the center of it survive to grow up which lowers the stakes. But, that’s not really the point of the issue. The point is focusing in on how this situation impacts kids. It also helps break one down a bit making the next Batman a little more human and grounded in the end.

Story: Tom Taylor Art: Marco Failla
Color: Rex Lokus Letterer: Saida Temofonte
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXologyKindle

Review: DCeased: Hope at World’s End Chapter Four

DCeased: Hope at World's End Chapter Four

DCeased: Hope at World’s End Chapter Four is an interesting entry in the digital series. It feels like the first chapter that’s really a continuation of previous ones. The world needs a Batman but Damian is struggling with the enormity of the mantle…can the Man of Steel help? And seeking safe haven, Suicide Squad’s Wink and The Aerie reach the fortress of Jotunheim…but is anywhere left on Earth safe from the unliving?!

Up until this chapter, writer Tom Taylor has been delivering what has felt like individual stories contained within each one. You can pick up a digital comic and enjoy it, not having to know what has happened before. Instead, it’s been relatively self-contained with each release explaining the situation for new readers and tugging at the heartstrings. DCeased: Hope at World’s End Chapter Four is a bit different in that it calls back to earlier chapters and series. And, it feels like a pivot in some ways for the overall story.

Chapter four has two focuses within. Damian is now without a Batman/Bruce Wayne and struggles with what he should do next. It’s a touching moment where you feel for a character that has often lacked reasons to give empathy towards. Taylor does a good job at delivering a reaction we’d expect. Damian isn’t emotionally broken. Instead he’s fairly collected but you can tell the weight of the situation is there on his shoulders.

There’s also the story of Wink and The Aerie who are two characters I don’t know a lot about. I didn’t quite have the connection with them due to that. But, it doesn’t hurt the story as what’s presented feels like a build up for the eventual “horror” aspect of the series. What’s revealed is jaw dropping in an “oh shit” sort of way and leaves things to be resolved in a future chapter.

The art of the comic is fantastic as always. This isn’t as much of a horror or even “action filled” comic but Marco Failla delivers. It’s the quiet before the storm in so many ways the Failla’s style helps enhance that last bit of the comic. With colors by Rex Lokus and lettering by Saida Temofonte, it’s an issue that lulls the reader into safety before the rug being pulled out from under. It’s the bunny before it reveals it has fangs and goes for the jugular.

DCeased: Hope at World’s End Chapter Four is a solid chapter in the overall story and feels like it signals a shift from what we’ve seen in the previous three chapters. We’re getting a more serial storytelling than anthology of the first three. It’s still really entertaining and a great entry into DC’s impressive line of digital first releases.

Story: Tom Taylor Art: Marco Failla
Color: Rex Lokus Letterer: Saida Temofonte
Story: 7.75 Art: 7.75 Overall: 7.75 Recommendation: Read


Purchase: comiXology

Preview: DCeased: Hope At World’s End #4

DCeased: Hope At World’s End #4

Written by Tom Taylor
Pencils Marco Failla
Inks Marco Failla
Colored by Rex Lokus
Cover by Yasmine Putri
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The world needs a Batman but Damian is struggling with the enormity of the mantle…can the Man of Steel help? And seeking safe haven, Suicide Squad’s Wink and The Aerie reach the fortress of Jotunheim…but is anywhere left on Earth safe from the unliving?!

DCeased: Hope At World's End (2020) #4

Preview: DCeased: Hope at World’s End Chapter Three

DCeased: Hope at World’s End Chapter Three

Written by Tom Taylor
Pencils Carmine Di Giandomenico
Colored by Rex Lokus
Letted by Saida Temofonte
Cover by Francesco Mattina
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Wally West is the Fastest Man Alive…but will even HE be fast enough to save his city from the Anti-Life plague?! With the help of his fellow Speedsters including Impulse and Jesse Quick he’s going to give it his best shot!

DCeased: Hope at World's End Chapter Three

Review: DCeased: Hope at World’s End Chapter Three

DCeased: Hope at World's End Chapter Three

DCeased: Hope at World’s End Chapter Three is every bit equal to the excellent second chapter. It’s a tearjerker of a story as the focus shifts to Wally West as he decides he wants to save as many individuals in Keystone as he can.

Writer Tom Taylor has been using each issue to deliver snippets of story with in the world of DCeased. With the Anti-Life Equation spreading, Taylor uses the digital format to focus on heroes and villains and their reaction to the apocalypse they face. It’s a fantastic use of the format as each digital issue is self-contained delivering a full story with explanations as to what’s happening. Even if you haven’t read DCeased, you can still enjoy each of these issues.

Some of that enjoyment is Taylor’s focus on the emotional punch. Each chapter has had a tragic aspect about them. This isn’t a happy series but instead will get you to utter “oh no” as each issue ends.

In this third chapter, Wally West does what he can to save as many as he can in his city. He enlists Jesse Quick, Max Mercury, and Impulse in his mission. There’s also danger as each would be a devastating addition to the zombie hordes and spread of the disease. We witness their futile effort to stop the spread knowing their efforts are for naught. We also get to see the heroes rise up to the challenge delivering an emotional roller coast of an issue that ends in a bittersweet way. Taylor plays the dramatic card to the border of sappy but in the end it works in a compact punch to the gut.

DCeased: Hope at World's End Chapter Three

Carmine Di Giandomenico delivers some fantastic art along with color by Rex Lokus and lettering by Saida Temofonte. Each character looks so fantastic and the art pops in digital format. The colors really stand out on the screen and intelligently the team uses their limited pages in the best way they can. There’s not a focus on single page splashes, instead, we get interesting page layouts that deliver a sense of motion and bristles with the energy of those running around on the page. Until that last page which gives us all the emotional feels. As it’s digital, we get mostly square panels so the team really focuses on the framing of those panels giving us scenes from interesting angles and perspectives. All of it comes together to enhance that motion is at play here.

DCeased: Hope at World’s End Chapter Three helps cement this series as one of the best digital comics out there but also one of the best comics going right now. Each chapter can be enjoyed on their own while revealing bits about the bigger story. They’re also packed with emotion from joy to sadness from despair to hope. It’s an emotional ride that’s worth the money.

Story: Tom Taylor Art: Carmine Di Giandomenico
Color: Rex Lokus Letterer: Saida Temofonte
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXology – Kindle

Review: DCeased: Hope at World’s End Chapter Two

DCeased: Hope at World's End Chapter Two

Wow. Just wow. DCeased: Hope at World’s End Chapter Two is a phenomenal issue that is full of tough choices and tragedy. The digital series shifts its focus on to Kahndaq and how Black Adam is dealing with the infection in his country. As a dictator, his action is swift, fierce, and tragic in many ways.

This digital series tells the story of some of what happened as the Anti-Life Equation sweeped the world creating a mass of destructive zombies. While heroes did what they could to save individuals, others took different routes and this is one of those tales.

Writer Tom Taylor delivers brutal action as Black Adam takes action not only shutting down a main path of transmission but also swiftly dealing with those infected and those that might be infected. It’s the actions of a dictator totally focused on logic and devoid of heart. Taylor delivers that aspect of heart as some of the world’s heroes plead with Black Adam to take in refugees and together they can help protect what’s left of humanity.

Taylor uses that to explore Black Adam’s actions and allows him to reflect upon his decision. In just a few pages we get to see a person reflect on their decisions and the impact. We see Black Adam question turning away help. It’s an interesting read as we not only reflect on the inept response to the spread of COVID-19 but also the brutal action being taken by elected officials and the police attacking protestors. It’s hard to not compare the entertainment and the reality.

The art by Renato Guedes is amazing. With color by Rex Lokus and lettering by Saida Temofonte, the art nails the tone of every scene. From the opening action, to a tense confrontation with other heroes, the art really captures the moment adding excitement, tension, and eventually sadness. The colors pop and lettering really captures the tone of each conversation and statement. This is a comic whose art, dialogue, and story is perfectly in sync.

DCeased: Hope at World’s End Chapter Two is an amazing second chapter that takes you on an emotional roller coaster. It’s beyond fantastic and a hit me out of left field. While some might be predictable, it doesn’t lessen the impact. This is an issue you can pick up and read on its own. It’ll suck you in and have you wanting more of this quality.

Story: Tom Taylor Art: Renato Guedes
Color: Rex Lokus Letterer: Saida Temofonte
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXologyKindle

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