In my opinion, character is one of the most important aspects of any successful comic book story. Spectacle is great, of course, but struggle really gets me excited. Tom Taylor delivers when it comes to struggling characters, and this issue gave me what I wanted. I was surprised to find myself filled with hope as I read Dead Planet, even in the bleak world of DCeased. And yet, as I write this review, I am filled with dread since this is part three of seven.
Trevor Hairsine really shines in this miniseries, getting to draw the heroes and villains of the DC Universe. I was glad to discover that there were survivors from last issue’s Shadowpact team, and in that moment there was some hope. Hairsine also tempered that hope by showing us even more of this Anti-Living Plastic-Man; which is very scary if you imagine Plas breaking bad some day and how his powers could be used.
Once the heroes dispose of Plas, we are showed scenery of destruction, death, and hellfire. Hairsine gets to shine again, but the art is very nicely embellished by the inks of Gigi Baldassini and Rain Beredo’s colors. These three bring out the best in horror and heroic art, especially with that two page spread at the start.
Shadowpact gets to go inside the bunker just to find out that the rich are the ones who have created this safe place with henchmen guards and their family as servants. Almost feels like the Anti-Life might be the way to go when you see yourself serving and protecting the likes of Max Lord and the Penguin. Plus, we learn that Jason (the Demon) Blood is there too, which explains the hellfire. Sadly, even with a rhyming demon we are not entertained to discover that Hell is not happy with the trapped souls on Earth, so that looks like a major problem that will be brewing on top of the Anti-Living.
Even with the backdrop of Hell being unhappy, we are at least treated to some amazing moments with Damian Wayne and Commissioner Gordon along with a freshly healed Superman (Jon Kent) interacting with Mary Marvel. Looks like it could be an interesting romance, but maybe I’m reading too much into that.
On top of those hopeful moments, we get a miracle: it seems Cyborg is back on his feet and the cure is real — even Superman is backing it up. This leads to Constantine going to the one person who can help them get the New Gods technology they need. This was a great surprise and a hard view of one of my favorite characters, Mister Miracle.
This issue has a lot of great spinning plates with Hell looking to wipe it all away, Cyborg knowing of a cure, and the return of Mister Miracle. But this is a Tom Taylor story, and it’s still early yet; I have a feeling the next two issues are going to hurt. I can’t wait.
This is a great issue with hopeful moments tricked out in heroic and horrific art. We have something to hope for, but we also know something bad is coming too. The issue goes by fast but really does some great setting up for what could be a roller coaster of emotions with the next couple of issues.