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"DCeased #3" Comic Review

Written by James Ferguson

Published by DC Comics

Dceased 3 00

Written by Tom Taylor
Illustrated by Trevor Hairsine
Inked by Stefano Gaudiano
Colored by Rain Beredo
Lettered by Saida Temofonte
2019, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on July 3rd, 2019

Review:

A virus has swept across the planet, turning everyone, including heroes and villains, into raving, bloodthirsty lunatics. Batman and all the Robins have fallen. Blood clouds the waters of Atlantis. Superman has managed to save Lois and his son, Jon, but needs to clear out the Daily Planet Building in order to keep them alive. All in all, things are pretty horrible and they're not going to get better any time soon.

DCeased is full of terrifying moments that hit home because of our deep love for the characters of this universe. The first page alone is enough to bring a tear to your eye as a heartbroken Alfred takes one last look at the bloodied bodies of his adopted children before leaving the Bat Cave behind for good. Every one of these scenes packs a punch, as we're seeing long-time friends, allies, and loved ones literally rip each other and themselves apart as this virus drives them mad.

Every time I think writer Tom Taylor has reached peak terror and emotional payoff, he tops himself. The end of this issue is a staggering example of this, showing how powerless the Man of Steel is in the face of this adversity. How can he fight a virus? The infected may look like people he knew and loved, but there's nothing left of them behind those eyes. They're monsters now and yet he can't bring himself to kill them. What if there's a cure?

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The penultimate page of DCeased #3 is an incredible example of the power of visual storytelling. The four panels on this page speak volumes as to what's going through Superman's head in this gut-wrenching scene. Artist Trevor Hairsine drives home this helpless feeling for the Last Son of Krypton as he stoically does what he can, burying the problem and his emotions for the betterment of those around him.

Inker Stefano Gaudiano underscores this scene with a dramatic use of shadow, particularly in the last panel. Superman's face is in the dark as he takes a moment to compose himself after facing an unspeakable horror.

As amazing as this scene is, the best horror sequence in this issue comes in a double-page spread showing the carnage reaching Atlantis. Aquaman is infected and he's brought this bloodshed with him down into the depths. A bunch of sharks are following, picking up the scraps. Colorist Rain Beredo shows the blood in a dark crimson, mixing with the shadows of the deep waters to create a gloomy and unsettling atmosphere.

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Click images to enlarge

While DCeased excels with these moments; we're halfway through the series and that's really all we've got so far. Yes, we've established where the virus came from and what it's done to the world at large, but there isn’t much movement here or in the last issue. It's a lot of scares and fantastic character beats, however it lacks some forward momentum. I'm curious as to how this takes shape as we enter the second half.

There is an omniscient narration throughout most of DCeased #3, presumably from Lois Lane as she writes about these frightening events in the near future. Letterer Saida Temofonte shows these like snippets from a typewriter. The font stands out as unlike anything else on the page, adding some additional weight to these powerful words.

Every sequence in DCeased #3 would be terrifying enough on its own. Put together with everything else going on in this story and the overall chaos it's created and you have yourself a nail-biter of a read. It's clear that no one is safe and anything can happen in this world. More importantly, the heroes that have protected this planet from threats big and small and practically powerless against this threat and that's a chilling notion.

Grades:

Story: Threeandahalfstars Dceased 3 Small
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Art: Fourandahalfstars
Overall: Fourstars

About The Author
Spez Bio 2
Lord of the Funny Books
James has a 2nd grade reading level and, as a result, only reads books with pictures. Horror is his 5th favorite genre right after romantic comedy and just before silent films. No one knows why he's here, but he won't leave.
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