DCeased has delivered an emotional ride from the beginning. The team of Tom Taylor and Trevor Hairsine have not held back the punches to the gut as no DC Universe hero has been safe from the Anti-Life Equation that has continued to spread across Earth. That was never more apparent than with how Superman became infected by the Anti-Life Equation virus after defeating an Anti-Living Flash, who was on a rampage across Earth. Now with an Anti-Living Superman set to wreck even more havoc on Earth how will the DC Universe’s remaining heroes led by Wonder Woman respond? Let’s find out with DCeased #6.
Writer: Tom Taylor
Artists: Trevor Hairsine and Neil Edwards
Inker: Stefano Gaudiano
Colorist: Rain Beredo
Story Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: Over in New York City some of the remaining citizens see something speeding towards them from high in the sky. Suddenly an Anti-Living Superman crashes through one of the large NYC buildings, causing it to completely collapse.
At the Fortress of Solitude Cyborg says they have to get on the arks and leave before the Anti-Living Superman attacks them. Lois Lane and Wonder Woman says they cannot escape safely as Anti-Living Superman can destroy the arks in a heartbeat. Batman (Damian Wayne) reveals his father (Bruce Wayne) left plans behind to defeat every superhero, except for Green Arrow.
Batman and Alfred Pennyworth show everyone the plans for Superman that include creating suppressing gas out of Kryptonite. Wonder Woman says that won’t be enough because they are not in a position to hold back in this fight. Wonder Woman tells Green Lantern (Dinah Lance) and Cyborg to come with her while the others take the arks to Gotham Jungle and Themyscira to get loaded up.
A little later, at the forge inside the Fortress of Solitude Wonder Woman completes a new sword by combining the Sword of Athena, which is magically enhanced, with the Kryptonite that Batman had. Wonder Woman then leads Cyborg and Green Lantern to find Superman.
Over at the Gotham Jungle, Batman and Kid Flash (Wallace West) finish loading up the ark with all the remaining living residents. Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn both say they are staying behind.
Over in Themyscira, Green Arrow, Wonder Girl (Cassandra Sandsmark) and Mera help load up all the living residents. Philippus warns Queen Hippolyta and Mera about something happening out at sea. Mera immediately understands that the smoke coming out of the sea is not a normal storm, it is a tempest.
Suddenly an Anti-Living Aquaman comes out of the sea riding a kraken-like monster and leads an Anti-Living Atlantian army to attack Themyscira. Green Arrow wastes no time and immediately kills Anti-Living Aquaman by shooting him through the head with an arrow.
The Anti-Living Atlantian army still proceed to attack Themyscira. Mera, Hippolyta and Wonder Girl quickly stand to fight as the first line of defense while Philippus goes to warn the others. Eventually the other Amazonians join Mera, Hippolyta and Wonder Girl in the fight against the Anti-Living Atlantian army.
Elsewhere, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern and Cyborg find Anti-Living Superman wrecking havoc across the world. Green Lantern immediately creates a megahorn with her ring to cause Anti-Living extreme pain with loud noises that create continuous shockwaves.
Back on Themiscyra as the fight goes on one of the Anti-Living Atlantians bites Antiope and turns her into an Anti-Living in front of Philippus.
Meanwhile Green Arrow tells Mera and Firestorm that they need to get on the ark. Mera is worried about the remaining Amazons. Green Arrow says that there is no way to extract the Amazons who are fighting the Anti-Living Atlantian army.
In the middle of the fight Hippolyta tells Wonder Girl she must leave and to tell her daughter the promise of Themyscira is now hers to honor. Wonder Girl does as Hippolyta ordered and goes to the ark.
Back in the other part of the world, Green Lantern and Cyborg are unable to hold Anti-Living Superman back anymore. Wonder Woman uses an opening she sees to cut Anti-Living Superman’s arm off with her Kryptonite Sword of Athena. She then uses the sword to stab Superman through the gut.
Anti-Living Superman fights off the pain and punches Wonder Woman through the gut. He then leaves Earth while Wonder Woman falls to the ground.
Cyborg catches Wonder Woman. Not wasting time, Wonder Woman gives Green Lantern her sword to stop Superman from attacking the arks. Cyborg tells Green Lantern that he will stay with Wonder Woman.
Above Earth, Jonathan Kent uses his X-Ray vision to see that Anti-Living Superman is flying towards the arks. Damian asks Jonathan if he can do anything. Jonathan asks Damian to look after his mother. Jonathan and Damian then give each other a hug.
Lois Lane sees her son getting ready to go out. Jonathan tells his mom that he has to go out there. He then takes off his coat and gets ready to fight Anti-Living Superman as Superboy.
Superboy flies outside the arks and charges at Anti-Living Superman at full speed. Superboy and Anti-Living Superman clash causes a massive shockwave. This knocks both of them out for a minute.
Within that minute Green Lantern Dinah is able find Anti-Living Superman. Dinah is soon joined by the rest of the Green Lantern Corp led by Guy Gardner and Ganthet. Ganthet tells Dinah that the Guardians and Green Lantern Corps are immediately quarantining Earth. Dinah tells Ganthet and Guy about Superman turning into an Anti-Living.
As Ganthet and the Green Lantern Corps prepare for a fight Anti-Living Superman regains consciousness. Seeing his odds the Anti-Life Equation fully takes Anti-Living Superman over and forces him to fly into the Sun, seeing that as the only way to kill more.
Anti-Living Superman begins to absorb the energy from the Sun. Ganthet tells Dinah that they are unable to reach Anti-Living Superman. Ganthet then tells the Green Lantern Corps that they must lead humanity to find a new home since Earth has been lost.
Back on Earth, Cyborg has tied Anti-Living Wonder Woman’s arms with the Lasso of Truth. Cyborg asks Anti-Living Wonder Woman if she can talk. Anti-Living Wonder Woman speaks in third person by saying “We have a voice.” Cyborg asks if there is a way to stop the Anti-Life Equation. Anti-Living Wonder Woman says nothing can stop death.
Cyborg says the Anti-Life Equation is a virus so he asks if there is a cure. Anti-Living Wonder Woman reveals that the cure is inside Cyborg. She goes on to elaborate by saying that since Cyborg is man and machine he has an on and off switch which makes him both Patient Zero and the Alpha. Cyborg realizes that Anti-Living Wonder Woman’s response means that no one had to die.
Cyborg start thinking of a way to reach the arks to tell them what he found. Before he can even leave Anti-Living Wonder Woman breaks out of the Lasso of Truth. She then tears Cyborg’s head off his body. She then tosses the Lasso of Truth and Cyborg’s severed head and body into a gorge. Anti-Living Wonder Woman then says “Death is forever.”
In another part of the universe Lois and the others look through a window on the ark thinking how they are leaving behind Earth to start a new life on another world. End of issue.
The Good: Well damn. That is how you end a big event style story in a meaningful way. Tom Taylor, Trevor Hairsine, Neil Edwards, Stefano Gaudiano and Rain Beredo did not pull any punches with DCeased #6. The impact left by this final issue is something that make this a must read series for every DC Comics fan.
One thing that has been a consistent strength throughout DCeased is how unfraid Taylor and company have been. The same goes for the ending in DCeased #6 as the lack of fear to end things in the way they did was prominent. There are risks that are taken, like when Cyborg discovers the truth about the virus from Anti-Living Wonder Woman, that all payoff in the final two pages. It speaks to the talents of all involved that we can get an ending that is such a downer that is still sprinkled with hope if Taylor and DC Comics return to this version of the DC Universe.
Right away we see that be the case with how Anti-Living Superman completely wrecks havoc on New York City. The swiftness of this action put over what was at stake for our remaining heroes. There was nothing left but to get as many people on the arks as possible while their most powerful try to fight off Anti-Living Superman. Setting up those stakes made the entire issue have a tension filled rollercoaster ride as you didn’t know when or how things would end.
Setting up Anti-Living Superman as an unstoppable monster made the actions that Wonder Woman took come across as even more important. Taylor did a fantastic job showing how while Wonder Woman respects Batman for how he had a plan for everything his non-lethal methods weren’t suited for the situation at hand. For things to work Wonder Woman understood that they have to fight without holding back, meaning they have to use lethal methods if necessary. The approach Wonder Woman took to rally everyone to get behind why she says this proves how great of a leader she is.
What the scene at the Fortress of Solitude also did was give DCeased #6 a sense of hope that the heroes would accomplish their plan with the arks for the survivors. Wonder Woman’s quick plan set in motion what the goals were for the two fronts the heroes fought on. The importance of the evacuation of the Gotham Jungle and Themyscira had the same stakes as the fight with Anti-Living Superman.
This sense of hope was furthered by the fact that the Gotham Jungle evacuation on the arks went by so smoothly. Talyor masterfully used this scene to show that our heroes plan could work. The ease of the Gotham Jungle evacuation made Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn’s decision to stay on Earth even more poignant. It felt like the payoff to the development Taylor has given both characters. The relationship between Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn was quietly one of the strengths of DCeased.
The Gotham Jungle evacuation going safely made the attack on Themyscira by Anti-Living Aquaman have even greater impact. As soon as you see Anti-Living Aquaman the sense of urgency to get everyone onto the ark multiplied. Every second that Mera, Green Arrow, Wonder Girl, Firestorm, Hippolyta and the Amazons could buy the survivors to load up on the ark felt precious. Fighting as intensely as they did showed how big of a heroes they all were. Which was punctuated by the somber note the scene in Themyscira ended on with Green Arrow telling Mera they could not turn back to save the Amazons who were fighting.
Adding to all these scenes in Themyscira was how various characters were able to get their moments. We see Green Arrow prove his worth with how quickly he killed Anti-Living Aquaman. Even bigger that Green Arrow’s moment was how we saw Hippolyta constantly fight off all the Anti-Living Atlanteans. As the Queen of the Amazon’s Hippolyta inspired her people by being on the frontlines and giving commands without question. Hippolyta’s actions made her final message for Wonder Woman that she gave to Wonder Girl solidified how strong of a character she was in such a terrifying situation.
All of this was a great backdrop to the big fight with Anti-Living Superman. Taylor wasted absolutely no time in making Wonder Woman, Cyborg and Green Lantern Dinah Lance’s fight with Anti-Living Superman have impact. From Dinah as Green Lantern momentarily hurting Anti-Living Superman to Wonder Woman using the Kryptonite Sword of Athena she crafted, it all worked to show how they weren’t messing around.
It all made Anti-Living Superman punching Wonder Woman through the gut right after being stabbed by her sword hit harder. Because just as we had hope things could end on a good note Taylor hit us on the next page that things won’t turn out on the usual positive note big superhero stories normally do. The way that hope is snatched away all complimented the character development we got in DCeased.
That was furthered by the revelation that no one had to actually die. The moment Cyborg realizes this based on the answers he got from Anti-Living Wonder Woman was truly shocking. You could sense how heartbreaking this was that the Cyborg himself was the solution. This is a great payoff to how Taylor has hinted how Cyborg was able to fight off the Anti-Life Equation virus because of his cybernetic parts. That being the solution was a fantastic move.
What made this revelation even deeper was the fact that Anti-Living Wonder Woman killed Cyborg before he could deliver the message. It was an ending that was more sad than shocking because Cyborg was the one pushing the idea that the Anti-Living were a lost cause. Knowing using technology like himself to cure everyone made Cyborg’s death even more heartbreaking.
Which brings us to how things ended. Over the course of DCeased we spent a lot of time with Superman’s family. They were key players in this stories emotional journey. So it was only appropriate that we get a payoff to this with Superboy confronting his father in a huge clash over Earth. This was a fantastic step up moment for Superboy, who was able to set aside his sorrow to do what he needed to do to save the people on the ark. Taylor handled this perfectly by making us believe Superboy could die with his goodbyes to Damian Wayne and Lois Lane. Him surviving the clash at least sets him up to be a bigger hero if the DCeased version of the DC Universe is revisited in the future.
Ganthet and the Green Lantern Corps showing up at the end further pushed how things truly got to their worst point in DCeased. While they were able to help lead the people on the arks to a new home they were unable to stop what was going on with the Anti-Life Equation. Showing that the Anti-Life Equation having some sentience by forcing Anti-Living Superman to absorb the energy of the Earth summarized the threat that still exists on Earth. The Anti-Life Equation is nothing more than a seeker of death that will do everything in its power based on who it infects to kill the universe.
Trevor Hairsine once again delivered impactful artwork throughout DCeased #6. Neil Edwards was the right choice to have help Hairsine on art as his style matches closely to Hairsine’s. They both hit on how emotionally driven this story was as every character was forced to make one tough decision after another. The action scenes we get throughout DCeased #6 all came across as hitting on what is expected from a big event level comic book. The page of Wonder Woman stabbing Superman that was followed by Superman punching Wonder Woman through the gut was particularly well executed.
The Bad: Nothing.
Overall: Tom Taylor, Trevor Hairsine and Neil Edwards nail the landing, delivering an emotionally charged ending to their DCeased event. Throughout DCeased #6 we are given one memorable moment after another. The actions and payoff to the character arcs for Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Superboy, Cyborg and others was all deeply satisfying. If you are a DC Comics fan make sure you pick up DCeased when it is collected as a hardcover or trade paperback.
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