Outside the orphanage’s walls, an undead horde threatens to disembowel its occupants and feast on their delectable viscera. Despite this moaning, shambling danger, Jason Todd, Jim Gordon, and Cassandra Cain manage to settle into their new roles as caregivers for these children. Unfortunately, when you follow rule #32 of Zombieland, it is easy to forget how fast your world “can go from bad to total sh*tstorm.” Having prepared extensively for the undead’s next attack, the survivors have organized themselves into a small army. But will the remaining Bat-Family be able to protect the kids when the most dangerous threat comes from inside the orphanage’s walls?
“…It’s time to talk about the undead elephant in the room.”
Striking a delicate balance between lighthearted humor and terrifying horror, DCeased: Unkillables #2 is absolute perfection. Let’s get this out of the way right now: Tom Taylor is a master storyteller. Whether it’s his use of humor, excellent characterization, or well-placed scripting, Taylor’s work is always enjoyable. However, the script is only half of the experience in comics. With this issue, Taylor Taylor expertly uses humor to lower your defenses so Karl Mostert can shred your senses with horrifying visuals. Although nothing is quite as dark as the Batmobile’s new hood ornament from the last issue, Mostert still packs the book with a plethora of gruesome visuals. After reading DCeased: Unkillables #2’s final sequence, my jaw is still dangling by a single strand of sinew.
Throughout the entirety of the first issue, the creative team presents the reader with two disconnected stories involving the DCU’s most wanted. Although we had a sense that these storylines will collide, it was difficult to see how these disparate threads would finally intertwine. Thankfully, Taylor and the rest of the creative team waste no time in smashing these two groups together. Using Mirror Master, Lady Shiva seeks out her daughter so that she may save her life. When Shiva discovers that Cassandra has taken refuge within the walls of an orphanage, she offers her salvation from the undead horde. From this moment forward, it is clear that when proverbial sh*t hits the fan — and it does so, spectacularly — this is why and how the two teams will combine.
I am a little bummed that we don’t spend more time with the “Anti-Suicide Squad” in Savage’s private sanctuary. We only get a glimpse of the immortal villain’s actual plans for the team before an undead Wonder Woman channels her inner Miley Cyrus and tears the place down. Additionally, it is not too much of a spoiler to say that the page where Zombie Wonder Woman provides personification for Savage’s double-crossing nature is one of my favorite pages within the entire book. Taylor, Mostert, Scott, Edwards, and Lokus collectively nail the buildup to and execution of this moment.
Although this is my single favorite page from the entire issue, my favorite sequence comes from its climax, when their world has turned “from bad to total sh*tstorm.” When Blackest Night was released many years ago, there was a meme that floated around, saying that, “Zombie Batman is the worst-case scenario.” A nightmare-inducing image of Black Lantern Batman spewing Black Lantern rights always accompanied these words. I think it is safe to say that with DCeased: Unkillables #2, Taylor and Mostert have effectively changed my mind. Zombie Mirror Master is the worst-case scenario.
Traditionally, Mirror Master is not a villain that I would have ever considered terrifying. However, Tom Taylor and Karl Mostert combine Mirror Master’s powers with a zombie’s hunger in a manner that is pure nightmare fuel. As of right now, I can’t imagine anything more terrifying than a zombie leaping between reflective surfaces to feed on his victims. However, if this issue is any indication, I’m sure that the next issue will come up with more horrifying scenarios for me to chew on.
“No one gets to be innocent now.”
I would be remiss if I did not mention Tom Taylor’s work with characterization and themes. Taylor gives each character a distinctive voice that remains true to their nature, given their desperate circumstances. Additionally, his use of themes helps give this story meat. I love the characters’ struggles with how to deal with the undead. It’s something that I think I would also struggle with, given the circumstances.
Ultimately, DCeased: Unkillables #2 strikes a perfect balance between lighthearted humor and terrifying horror. Taylor’s use of humor to lower your defenses so Karl Mostert can ambush you with horrifying visuals is incredible. Mostert still packs the issue with a plethora of gruesome visuals that will shred your senses. DCeased: Unkillables #2’s final sequence will leave your jaw dangling by a single strand of sinew. And the best part is, I think Taylor and Mostert are just getting started.