I actually began a review for this several weeks ago, but I managed to misplace it. Now I can’t remember if I began the review on a notecard or on my laptop, so it’s lost forever until I don’t need it, which is when it will magically reappear as if it hadn’t vanished.
I’ve realized after running a book blog for several years now that sometimes I tend to judge a book a bit harder than I need to. I don’t know if it’s due to writing reviews over the years or from rating books or interacting with the bookish community, but sometimes I’m harder on the book, I think, because I didn’t get much else from it but pure enjoyment. But what’s wrong with loving a book simply because I enjoyed it and nothing more?
That was my experience with DCeased. I gave it a high rating after completing it because I rate books more on enjoyment than anything else, but it took a while for me to admit that it’s a favorite because all I got from it was enjoyment. I delayed adding DCeased there thinking I should have gotten more from the story. Now I think that was silly of me. There’s nothing wrong with adding a book to your favorites list simply because it was entertaining. Everyone has their own criteria for adding a book to their favorites list, but for me simply enjoying a book is reason enough. I guess I was put off because DCeased was an easy add for me. Afterall, zombies + superheroes = Zezee loves it! 😀
DCeased by Tom Taylor, illus. by Trevor Hairsine, Stefano Gaudiano, Laura Braga, Richard Friend, James Harren, Darick Robertson, Trevor Scott, and Neil Edwards, with colors by Rain Beredo
DCeased, Vol. 1
What happens to the World’s Finest if the world ends? With death spreading across the planet, who will live and who will turn in this apocalyptic tale of heroism, sacrifice and annihilation?
It’s the end of the world as we know it!
Six hundred million people worldwide are instantly turned into violent, monstrous engines of destruction when their minds are recoded with a corrupted Anti-Life Equation from Apokolips. The heroes of Earth are fighting a losing battle to save humanity, save the world and save themselves, in one of the most shocking tales ever told in the DC Universe.
Fighting time, each other and all of humanity, Earth’s greatest heroes must rally together for what may very well be their last chance to save the world from the most terrible plague humanity has ever seen. The Anti-Life Equation has been released and is ravaging the world at the viral speed of social media. Once exposed, victims lose their minds, violently attacking all around them.
The heroes of Earth are fighting a losing battle to save the world…and themselves! With time running out, who will live and who will die in this apocalyptic tale of heroism, sacrifice and annihilation?
Collects issues #1-6. (Goodreads)
I learned of DCeased from Lashaan’s review of one of the volumes in the series. I just love the concept of zombie superheroes because it’s one I’ve been thinking of for some time — thinking that I’d like to read a story about zombie superheroes. It’s the perfect addition to all the zombie stories, movies, and TV shows I’ve encountered so far.
(I’m really bummed that I can’t find the review I ALREADY STARTED!)
I don’t often read superhero comics and have mostly stuck to the Marvel superhero movies so far, so I’m not too familiar with the DC characters other than most of the popular ones — Batman, Superman, Joker, Poison Ivy, Wonder Woman, Robin, Lois Lane, and so on. With that said, I have no idea how the story got to the point where this book begins, but that didn’t deter my reading experience in any way. I was able to just jump in and enjoy what I read.
So what happened is that the Justice League were all battling Darkseid (an obviously evil dude) when he left saying that he’d gotten what he came for. Turns out that what Darkseid wanted was Cyborg. Darkseid wanted to complete the anti-life equation, which would help him control all sentient races, but he only had half of it. The other half was in Cyborg. So he invaded earth, captured Cyborg, brought him back to Apokolips (lol), and had the torturer Desaad work on putting it all together. But for the equation to work, the components must be combined in Cyborg without killing him. To prevent Cyborg from dying during the process, they added a piece of death — and that’s when shit went sideways.
Including death corrupted the equation creating a different type of anti-life equation that seeks to spread death. Realizing their error, Desaad sent Cyborg back to earth and as soon as Cyborg touched down, his system automatically went online causing the virus to leap from him to the internet thereby bringing about the apocalypse through a techno-organic virus.
And guess who was excited about such a premise? Me!!! Not that I’d like a techno-organic virus to occur IRL because, shiiiit, we’d all be doomed. But in a story — especially this comic book — it’s exciting! My favorite part of zombie stories is learning how the zombie apocalypse started and that’s what we get in DCeased (which is why it’s an automatic favorite for me). The quick synopsis I gave above all happens in the first 10 or so pages. The rest of this volume shows us how the virus spreads, who’s infected, and how the superheroes and villains go about combating the virus.
Considering how hooked our society is to our tech devices and social media, I loved the idea of a zombie virus spreading through the internet. The anti-life equation attacks through social media. You’re infected as soon as you see it, and it forces the infected to share and tweet the equation before they try tearing it from their minds in desperation. But once it takes hold, the infected seeks to continue spreading it the usual zombie way — attacking and biting the uninfected.
Yes, I was gleefully excited while reading this violent, bloody story. I kept wondering how things would turn out and who would become infected. I loved that some hugely popular characters became infected. Some were more gruesome and/or threatening than others. I also liked that the story shows how certain superheroes’ abilities would affect their infection or cause them to spread the virus faster. I’m not familiar with all the superheroes and villains included in the story, but I also liked that the story touches on both sides working together to combat a common threat.
The story touches on some emotional moments for characters as we see them lose family members and close friends and make sacrifices to protect others, but the story is so fast-paced that these moments weren’t very impactful to me. However, I appreciate them being included so we can see the variety of ways characters are affected by this zombie apocalypse.
There are two characters I encountered in this story that I’d like to read more about. The first is Green Arrow, who I think I met before in a Green Lantern comic I read years ago but I’d forgotten about him. I liked his comments throughout because they added some humor. I also liked Constantine. His cavalier attitude when we first meet him appealed to me and his abilities made me curious about him.
I had a great time reading this. The only complaint I have is more of an annoyance, I guess, and it seems to be something typical of superhero comics. I get the impression that if a superhero dies then they pass on their mantle to someone else. So if Batman dies, then he can pass on his role to his kid and his kid becomes the new Batman, so Batman keeps going. I guess that has some appeal, but I’d prefer if the kid becomes a new type of superhero. But since I’m not well versed in superhero comics, don’t take my complaint too seriously because I don’t understand this continuation thing.
Also the characters referring to each other by their real names threw me off sometimes (since I’m NOT familiar with them). This isn’t a complaint; I’m just stating my experience. It took some digging on the internet to figure out the dude’s superhero name is Green Arrow because the characters kept saying “Ollie” and I kept thinking “But what is his superhero name??” Of course, I’m just slow on the uptake because the dude’s costume is green, resembles Robin Hood, and he’s carrying arrows. Now I feel a little confused about the Green Lanterns. Are they all called Green Lantern except for Green Arrow?
Love it! It’s dark, it’s detailed, and it doesn’t shy away from portraying all the gritty, bloody details of the zombie attacks. My favorite parts are the facial expressions and poses of the infected superheroes. I love the sneers; they’re so sinister, like on Batman’s face when he goes full zombie and leers after Alfred. (Wooo!! Gave me shivers.)
There are lots of great panels. Love the colors and the layout and the flow. It all worked well for me. Of course, I love the variant covers by Francesco Mattina that shows various infected characters. My top favs are Batman (which is used for the cover of my volume), Harley Quinn, and the Joker. The variant cover by Yasmine Putri in homage to the movie It is pretty dope too.
I had a great time with this. I initially gave it 4 stars but had to bump it up to the full 5 stars. I enjoyed it, I can see myself rereading it again, and I’d love to get a mini poster of one of the variant covers. They are so detailed and so cool. Ugh! Love it all. Can’t wait to read the other volumes.