Story: Tom Taylor
Art: Dustin Nguyen
Colors: Rex Lokus
Letterer: Saida Temofonte
What They Say:
The Anti-Life Equation has infected over a billion people on Earth. Heroes and villains have fallen. In the immediate aftermath of the destruction of Metropolis, Superman and Wonder Woman spearhead a plan to try to stem the tide of infection, preserve and protect survivors, and develop a plan for what’s next. In the Earth’s darkest hour heroes will bring hope!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
I really, really, enjoyed the DCeased series that Tom Taylor put together previously but I didn’t pick up some of the subsequent titles that came out as the pricing was higher and I figured I could way. But drop me a 99-cent weekly series like this and I’m all in. And they’ve got some great talent behind it as well which makes it an even bigger draw. Tom Taylor returns to this world that he pretty much killed before and this time he’s got Dustin Nguyen on board for the artwork, which is just utterly delightful to have out of the blue. Rex Lokus has long been one of my favorite colorists so having this time together makes it very easy to just jump right in and engage with the world.
This issue serves pretty much as a recap of the first few issues of the original miniseries but told through the eyes of Jimmy Olsen. It’s one that works well in this way as we see how he had just gotten some great pictures of Superman fighting Darkseid, which Perry loved, only to see Perry getting hit by the technovirus that coursed through him and everyone else, turning them into inhuman killing machines. With Jimmy narrating it, we get a good feel for the kind of calm that he did have – and has to have considering the kinds of pictures he took and where it placed him – so seeing him save others and holding the fort down while figuring out the basics is well-done. Jimmy’s really only been played as a goof some of the time over the years but the reality is that while there’s that earnest side to him, the reality is that he knows how to get around and survive and being close with Superman means he really knows how to pay attention to things.
So having him being the person to document the end of times here on Earth works well. Capturing the images of the battles that involved saving as many people as they could in places and in Metropolis unfolds in the background, while also leading us to Captain Atom’s implosion and the end of Metropolis itself. These were all tense moments in the original book and that’s captured here as well. But through the narration, we see how things move toward the bigger moments where we know Superman is going to be lost to us soon and we have Jimmy capturing that image of him heading off to do as much good as he can while Black Canary as Green Lantern tries to save as many in Metropolis as she can. It’s all a prelude to the Anti-Life war that’s coming, something that I think was hinted at in the original but glossed over in the sprawling and intriguing epilogue that I’m excited to see more of fleshed out in this self-contained timeline.
With this release operating in the “old” digital-first way with the sideways panels designed for tablets, that may be frustrating for some but there’s a comforting familiarity to it that takes me back to when DC invested a good bit in digital-first books with things like Sensation Comics and more. I’m hopeful that this series means there are more coming that can try new and creative things. I’m really excited for this series as Tom Taylor nailed Injustice for years and delivered a fantastic original miniseries with DCeased. It’s ripe for more exploration and bringing him with Dusting Nguyen on the artwork for the ride just increases my excitement. There’s a lot of potential for great storytelling and epic feels here and while the opening is largely recap, it sets the stage perfectly for what’s to come.
Age Rating: 12+
Released By: DC Comics via ComiXology and Amazon Kindle
Release Date: May 19th, 2020