Writer: Tom Taylor
Pencils: Trevor Hairsine
Inks: Gigi Baldassini & Stefano Gaudiano
Colors: Rain Beredo
Letters: Saida Temofonte
Earth is lost, society destroyed by the Anti-Life Equation that turned every infected person into a crazed zombie. The infection traveled through technology, social media specifically, and only a lucky few were able to avoid the temptation of their screens. Heroes and villains fell in defense of society while a lucky few escaped earth to settle on a colony aptly named (and with DC historical context) Earth 2. That was five years ago. Now old earth is quarantined by the Green Lantern Corps, a new trinity leads the remaining Justice League in the defense of Earth 2, and the remnants of humanity seem to be making a good go of it on their new home world. But what if everything the heroes thought they knew was wrong? What happens if the last remaining heroes need to go back to the DCeased earth? What if there is even a glimmer of hope? Welcome to DCeased: Dead Planet #1, the fourth installment of the DCeased franchise and the direct sequel to the series that started the entirety of this new and fantastic franchise.
I truly enjoyed DCeased, Tom Taylor and Trevor Hairsine’s apocalyptic fall of the DC universe at the hands of the Anti-Life Equation. I’m a sucker for a good Elseworld’s story and that first series really hit the spot and Taylor’s storytelling and Hairsine’s beautiful art were a stunning combination. DCeased: Unkillables was a fun follow up mini-series, with a ragtag group of heroes, anti-heroes, and villains protecting an abandoned orphanage against an overpowering zombie horde. Karl Mostert’s art was a perfect fit for that violent tale but it didn’t propel the story forward as DCeased: Unkillables was set during the same time period as the original mini-series. As is the current bi-weekly digital book Dceased: Hope at World’s End, which tells snapshot stories of heroes and villains during the original outbreak. Yet anyone waiting for the actual continuation of the DCeased story need not wait any further as it is here in DCeased: Dead Planet #1 and it did not disappoint.
Tom Taylor is an amazing storyteller and, in some ways, completely underappreciated as I have yet to find a book of his that I have not enjoyed. That being said Taylor really feels at his best in this alternate-Elseworld story and he is really sinking his teeth into DC legend and lore yet doing it in a completely accessible manner. It’s also a treat having Trevor Hairsine’s pencils back for this direct sequel. I’ve long been a fan of Hairsine’s art, going back to when I first saw them on the pages of Cla$$ War in the early ‘00s and his action and horrific landscapes within DCeased: Dead Planet are amazing. I also love how he has designed costumes for the new DC trinity (Damian Wayne Batman, Jon Kent Superman, Cassie Sandsmark Wonder Woman) that are respectful to their predecessors but still completely fitting with these legacy heroes. I was happy to see that these two creators reunited for this follow up and I’m hoping that this will be a creative team that stays together in this horrific alternate reality for some years to come. But I don’t want to get to ahead of myself as DCeased: Dead Planet looks like it is going to be an amazing mini-series in its own right, with its interstellar action, tones of regret and loss, and roots of apocalyptic horror all wrapped into one amazing first issue.
Verdict: BUY! Do yourself a favor, stay off social media and instead pick up DCeased: Dead Planet #1 as it is an absolute horrific follow up to the original DCeased mini-series and just like its predecessor it will leave you shocked and craving for more.