The DC Universe is DCeased!
The End is here.
A deadly virus has taken hold of the DC Universe and there is no stopping it.
This is the first issue of the new DC crisis entitled DCeased and opens on a 2-page spread with Darkseid, DC’s equivalent to Marvel’s Thanos, down for the count with members of the Justice League keeping him in check.
Superman is giving him an ultimatum to leave the planet with Wonder Woman holding him by the neck with her magical lasso. Green Lantern, along with Hawkgirl are hovering on standby and waiting for his response while the others like Batman, Green Arrow, Black Lightning and Flash are equally waiting in baited breath for the ruler’s response. He stands and loosens the lasso that binds him and says that he will not return for he already has what he came for. And with that he turns around, opens a portal, or in this case a boom tube, and steps into it in order to return to his world of Apokolips.
All seems to be well as Earth was spared from further destruction but what was it that he came all the way to Earth to look for? Only when members of the Justice League started their roll call, did they realize that they were missing out on one member. It was Cyborg.
Back on Apokolips, Cyborg is maimed by way of his tongue getting ripped out just before Darkseid arrives and proceeds to extract the technology that has made Cyborg who he is, for Cyborg was put together with the use of one of Darkseid’s portal openers called Motherboxes.
According to his right hand henchman known as Dessad, there is a risk in what Darkseid plans to do. And that is to merge one half of the “Anti-Life” equation that the despot has with the digital-physical component of Cyborg. To do so may risk the very life of Victor Stone of whom Darkseid is hoping to host this new version of the equation. So to ensure that Cyborg does not die, they must prevent his death or at least acclimate Cyborg’s system in order to control it.
They then summoned the Black Racer, a deity and avatar of death, and extract an essence of him to be put into Cyborg. But a corruption of the merger is what occurred instead. In an unexpected turn of events, Darkseid and The Black Racer were quickly vaporized, as if what suddenly infected them was eating them from within. The right hand man, Dessad, knowing the result of this fusion would be catastrophic and who himself is immune to disease quickly opens a portal and sends Cyborg away, just before the entire planet of Apokolips blows up.
This is where all hell breaks loose.
The portal that Cyborg went into opened up on earth. And as soon as he came back, bruised and beaten, his system went back online. He knew he had to shut himself down but it was too late. His system quickly infiltrated the internet and those with hand held devices from phones to tablets were automatically infected as the virus, which is this new and corrupted version of the Anti-Life Equation, became a techo-biological virus that attacked social media, replicated itself and began to spread via the internet.
In the Batcave, Batman has begun analyzing the data and quickly engaged an electromagnetic pulse or EMP to disrupt all electronic devices throughout the the manor and in the Batcave in order to stop the virus from spreading. But once again too late, for both Nightwing and the current Robin (Tim Drake) were already infected. Pretty soon, Batman himself was overpowered by his two proteges who have been reduced to blood hungry zombies that bit him after quickly succumbing to the effects of the contagion. What a cliffhanger!!!
All in all it is a great first issue that sets up the tragedy and horror in this iteration of the DC Universe. It seems that whenever a catastrophe ensues, I would always compare it to the epic Green Lantern event, “Blackest Night”, by Geoff Johns back in 2009. That previous event, had dead heroes and villains come back as zombies, to plague the living as controlled by the Black Lantern as orchestrated by Nekron. This kind of escalating complications is what made Blackest Night such an engaging read.
The tone of DCeased may be different but the effects are no less horrific. It will take a few more issues to see how Tom Taylor, an industry veteran responsible for the DC Injustice series, raises the stakes for this new crisis. But given his track record with the original Injustice book series and currently Injustice 2, he has successfully breathed life back into an overworked series and still leave room for more. Unlike Blackest Night, there are no tie-ins with other superhero titles. Meaning, there are no other alternate storylines that readers need to be made aware of as it’s not the main crisis in the DC Universe this 2019. In fact, they have so many in the pipeline that it’s not just one major crisis anymore.
In this manner, readers can compartmentalize their reading habits and only follow a particular story arc that they like and be bullied into thinking that once you start, you have to back read a lot, much less continue on up until one has used up their savings in amassing each and every issue.
Personally I think this limited series (6 issues total) is well under way to become a hit. And with him at the helm, readers know that it is only a matter of time before Tom deals the climactic blow before he administers the cure.