Story: Tom Taylor
Art: Trevor Hairsine, Stefano Gaudiano
Colors: Rain Beredo
Letterer: Saida Temofonte
What They Say:
Heroes, villains, and gods have fallen. Cities have collapsed. The virus threatens to reach below the waves and even to the island of Themyscira. The race to save planet Earth is on! The surviving members of the Justice League have learned the secret to the spread of the virus, but is it already too late to stop it?
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
The DCeased storyline is one that’s moving along at an interesting pace where it feels like it could go for a lot longer than the allotted amount of issues so far. And for those of us that miss Taylor’s Injustice books, well, we know how quickly and well done an ending can be so I’m not concerned there even if this could be twice the length of a run. Hairsine and Gaudiano are getting plenty of time to work on the book overall with its monthly schedule and pre-planning so nothing feels like it’s off here and we largely get a great looking book with some fantastic detail and designs to it, especially the underwater side and the combination with Rain Beredo’s color work that really makes it distinctive in a way that a lot of event style books aren’t. This book continues to be at the top of my to-read pile every time a new issue comes in.
While not really in setup mode here, what we do get is a book showing off more of what’s gone down. Alfred doesn’t have time to bury “his boys” after they’ve been taken care of but he’s intent on getting to those who can do some good and be of help. Harley’s facing her demons and we get a little more quality time as Jon comforts Damian in the way that Damian needs over the loss of his father. It’s small but welcome moments that populate the first half, all while Superman ensures that the Daily Planet is secure for Lois to try and get broadcasts out on. That is a scene well-dealt with as you have Superman needing to disassociate from the infected he has to deal with that because they’re friends, colleagues, and more. And because he knows, deep in his heart, that there’s a good chance he’ll have to do the same when he gets to Smallville.
While Superman does get to deal with some other situations along the way, because he can’t not stop to help those in need, the other big area that this issue looks at is the start of the spread of everything in Atlantis. It’s kept to the outside for now as we see Garth working to earn his claimed name of Tempest and struggling while Mera encourages him in her own way, but the arrival of Arthur changes everything. He’s fully infected and has corrupted the blood-hungry sharks as well, making for quite the dark and ominous pack to follow him. It’s haunting because it feels like night is falling over the ocean as they close in on Atlantis, which is definitely a striking visual. Hairsine really does a great job of capturing not just Arthur in this but the sharks and seeing the way Garth falls to it all so quickly and begins his own self-inflected transformation.
A six-issue book like this is just what I needed, to be quite honest. I spend most of my time on fringe DC books and not the mainstream stuff so getting to see them in dire situations like this and to have it play out as brutally as it does is an enjoyable experience to work through. The challenges are intense as Taylor puts them to the task while Hairsine and Gaudino put together a beautiful looking book. I really like the smaller moments here, especially Jon and Damian, as well as what we get through a quick visit to Atlantis. There’s a lot to like here and I’m really excited to see how the back half unfolds as it gets underway.
Age Rating: 13+
Released By: DC Comics via ComiXology
Release Date: July 3rd, 2019