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"DCeased: A Good Day to Die #1" Comic Review

Written by James Ferguson

Published by DC Comics

article-cover

Written by Tom Taylor
Illustrated by Laura Braga and Darick Robertson
Inked by Richard Friend, Trevor Scott, and Darick Robertson
Colored by Rain Beredo
Lettered by Saida Temofonte
2019, 42 Pages, $4.99
Comic released on September 4th, 2019

Review:

We're seeing the planet ravaged by a deadly virus that turns its victims into deadly lunatics in the pages of DCeased, but that deals primarily with the big guns of the DC Universe. What about the lesser known heroes? How are the likes of Mr. Terrific, Booster Gold, and John Constantine combating this threat? A Good Day to Die takes a look at some of these characters and their life and death struggles against imminent doom.

Writer Tom Taylor brings the same level of compelling storytelling seen in the main series to this spin-off. Since we're already well acquainted with these characters (even Booster Gold), we're more invested in their survival than the average victim of Jason Voorhees. They don't have the powers of Superman or the smarts of Batman, but they have just as much of a will to fight and that's on full display here.

There are a number of characters in this issue, but a few stand out. Each gets at least one great defining moment, standing up for what's right. Taylor sprinkles in a couple of homages to the Mr. Miracle series with the scenes featuring Scott Free and Big Barda, which add a bit of comic relief. These two have seen their entire world destroyed by this virus and have come to Earth to try and prevent it from suffering the same fate, yet they somehow have an optimistic perspective on the whole thing.

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The artwork in DCeased: A Good Day to Die is split between Laura Braga and Darick Robertson. The former handles the bulk of the issue with Robertson coming in when Constantine first shows up. This would have been a fine split, but there's no consistency. The two artists bounce back and forth even within the same scene, which creates an uneven and jarring reading experience. This is disappointing, as they're both solid artists in their own right.

This inconsistency extends to the inking as well, so even pages all drawn by Braga have a different look to them. Richard Friend and Trevor Scott inked Braga's work and Robertson handled his own. Friend and Scott practically alternate at times and the styles differ enough that you'll definitely notice.

Braga plays up the more horrific elements in the series, particularly with the heroes and their reaction to this madness. You can see the emotional toll it's taking on them. They all understand that there's a good chance they won't make it out of this alive.

Robertson's artwork is a little over-the-top, which works well with Constantine's story. The character's reaction to this chaos is justifiably crazy. John is probably hungover and was not expecting this at all. The infected really stand out in this sequence, as Robertson adds another level of mania to these victims. You can understand how they're capable of clawing their own eyes out.

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Colorist Rain Beredo covers these pages in blood. It looks soaked in and dried on the clothing and skin of the infected, like it's been there for a while and no amount of washing will get it out. This is just who they are now.

Beredo also sets the tone for DCeased: A Good Day to Die. There's a dreary outlook to the entire book that contrasts with the usual brighter light seen in the DC Universe. That's because all hope has been trampled by the stampede of murderous infected to the point where the sun can't seem to pierce through the darkness that's engulfed the planet.

When someone is infected, they can't really speak in the same way anymore. It's more like grunts and screams. Letterer Saida Temofonte puts a kind of haze around their word balloons to emphasize this. The sound is unnatural enough on its own, but this just makes it all the more unsettling.

DCeased: A Good Day to Die adds more carnage and bloodshed to the DC Universe. It brings us closer to stopping this global threat that's turned millions of people into bloodthirsty maniacs, but not without a cost. That emotional toll continues to be paid with the lives of heroes and their loved ones. The body count is going to keep rising before this is all said and done.

Grades:

Story: fourstars Cover
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Art: threeandahalfstars
Overall: 4 Star Rating

About The Author
James Ferguson
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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