Title: DCeased: Dead Planet.
Writer(s): Tom Taylor.
Penciler(s): Trevor Hairsine.
Inker(s): Gigi Baldassini, Stefano Gaudiano & Tom Derenick.
Colourist(s): Rain Beredo.
Letterer(s): Saida Temofonte.
Publisher: DC Comics.
Release Date: April 27th 2021.
Genre(s): Comics, Horror.
My Overall Rating:
Previously in the DCeased series:
DCeased by Tom Taylor.
The fragility of hope is a concept that is often taken for granted. When one lives within a bubble where life rhymes with peace, there are only unexpected tragedies or those that circulate in the media to reel them back to reality. Yet once everything is lost, should one give up on the prospect of hope? If there’s a chance, even if it would require incredible sacrifices, would it justify the risk to explore the possibility? For some heroes, hope is the driving force of their actions and that alone is enough to send them down dangerous roads to once again taste what is now nothing but a glorious memory of hope, peace, and love. Collecting all seven issues of the sequel to DCeased and unique behind-the-scenes look at the art and design in hardcover, writer Tom Taylor looks to stretch his imagination into the mystic and dark arts to bring forth a story of hope and resilience among heroes.
What is DCeased: Dead Planet about? Set five years after the events in DCeased, the story follows the survivors of the infected apocalypse who have now established themselves on a new Earth, away from the chaos. Having formed a new Justice League with the remaining heroes, including Damian Wayne (Batman), Jon Kent (Superman), and Cassie Sandsmark (Wonder Woman), they now remain at bay from the anti-life disaster and go on keeping the peace in the galactic world, keeping their minds busy, not thinking about all that they’ve lost. It’s when a faint signal transmission coming from Cyborg back on Earth that they revisit their dead planet only to learn that there might be a cure to all the madness. Not willing to miss an opportunity to bring the remaining infected humans and heroes back to their natural state, they embark on a hopeless mission praying that an inkling of normalcy can be reinstated.
“We lost. We lost our heroes. We lost our whole world. We lost so much, we didn’t think we had anything left to lose. We were wrong.”— Tom Taylor
Besides the sadness that took control of me when realizing the missed opportunity regarding the cover design (how do you not draw inspiration off of the beautiful cover of the first volume by doing something similar here?), writer Tom Taylor does deliver a decent chapter in his DCeased universe. It does lack the shock factor of the first volume that made it an over-the-top yet epic zombie event but it still offers a similar high-stake story that capitalizes on endgame moments and unexpected twists. After all, when the remaining heroes have already suffered through incredible losses and Earth’s fate, since then, remains questionable, it’s unsurprising that everyone is ready to put their lives on the line to try and reestablish peace and quiet once again.
This time around, writer Tom Taylor brings John Constantine to the front of the line and makes him the key determinant to how everything could go down: can the cynical Englishman put aside his tendency for mischief to do what’s right for once? Tactfully exploring these familiar characters as older and mature heroes, he brilliantly captures their personalities and motives without sacrificing those for meaningless action. It does feel like the time jump leaves readers with a gaping emptiness regarding how things are nowadays but these voids can be filled with the other volumes (DCeased: The Unkillables and DCeased: Hope At World’s End) exploring those moments and the villains’ point of view during the DCeased event.
Artist Trevor Hairsine also returns for this latest chapter to continue his excellent depiction of this post-apocalyptic universe once again. His character designs are still fantastic, giving us an older cast that embraces their respective roles with charisma and leadership. He also makes good use of splash pages to capture some of the more iconic moments within each issue, allowing the reader to really soak in the sense of hope and life that still exists despite their mission to save a dead planet. The inking and colouring also help establish this work quite wonderfully. In fact, while the story in itself has less of the intense and dramatic deaths from the first book, it leans more towards the vivid and colourful post-apocalyptic world that comes with the inclusion of mystic and dark arts. One thing’s for sure, there isn’t much blame that can be put on the artists for this one for the quality of this story. Everything comes down to how invested you were in DCeased and how curious you are about what comes next.
DCeased: Dead Planet is a decent and eventful sequel exploring new threats amidst the resurgence of hope for a lost home.