DCeased is a major event that has benefitted from being being an Elseworld story. Having the freedom of the Elseworld line as we’ve seen a lot of major heroes like Batman die after succumbing to the effects of the Anti-Life Equation Virus. Up until now the DCeased event has mostly focused on how the Justice League and Teen Titans have dealt with the crisis caused by the Anti-Life Equation Virus. What we haven’t seen much of is how other superheroes who are still alive are dealing with the crisis in DCeased. That is where DCeased: A Good Day To Die #1 comes in as it will give us a hint as to what other surviving heroes are doing in the middle of this crisis. Let’s see who is alive and if they make it out of this issue to join the Justice League in the main DCeased series with DCeased: A Good Day To Die #1.
Writer: Tom Taylor
Artists: Laura Braga and Darick Robertson
Inkers: Richard Friend, Trevor Scott and Darrick Robertson
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: Mister Miracle and Big Barda arrive just as Apokolips explodes. Big Barda asks Mister Miracle how he feels about seeing this. Mister Miracle admits that he actually feels good. They then use a Motherbox to Boom Tube somewhere.
On Earth, Mister Terrific is studying a captured Captain Boomerang, who has been turned into a Blight. Mister Terrific is completely stumped when trying to find a cure for the Anti-Life Equation Virus. He then gets alert that “they” are back.
Elsewhere Mister Miracle and Big Barda make it back to their apartment and see the Blights running around outside. There is a sudden knock at the door. Mister Miracle is hesitant to open it. The doorbell rings and Big Barda smiles when saying a Blight wouldn’t ring the doorbell.
When they open the door Mister Terrific says he got an alert that they are back. Mister Terrific reveals that he has been able to protect himself from the virus thanks to his T-Mask. He then asks if they could take him to Apokolips. Big Barda reveals that Apokolips is gone. Mister Miracle decides to go to his next plan.
Over at Kord Industries Booster Gold and Blue Beetle (Ted Kord) get ready to fight an army of Blight that are about to break down the door from the emergency room. Big Barda suddenly smashes her way through. The hole she opens shows that Big Barda, Mister Miracle and Mister Terrific finishing off the last of the Blight that were attacking Kord Industries.
After some small talk they all decide to clean up before heading out to save the world.
A little later, in Blue Beetle’s ship, Mister Terrific says they need to head to England. Booster Gold ask why they aren’t looking for the Justice League. Mister Terrific says it would be dangerous if someone like Wonder Woman transformed while they were with them.
Mister Terrific then says that there option now their second option is to use magic. Blue Beetle asks if there is another option if magic doesn’t work. Mister Terrific says there is but he does not want to risk all of time and space to save humanity.
Over in Liverpool John Constantine runs away from an army of Blights that are chasing him. He finally reaches his car and tells Chas Chandler to get the car started. Chas turns around and reveals he has become infected. Constantine apologizes to his friend and then burns Chas into ash with a spell. Not wasting any time Constantine gets in the front seat and starts driving away.
Eventually Constantine crashes his car. Just as an army of Blights surround his car Mister Terrific and the others land and set the Blights on fire.
After some small talk Mister Terrific reveals he found Constantine by the locator in his Justice League membership card. Mister Terrific asks Constantine to help them out. Constantine reveals he already tried using magic on the Blights but it had no effect on the virus. He goes on to say that he won’t help Mister Terrific and the others as he just plans to get drunk. Mister Terrific responds by saying Constantine is always welcome to join them if he changes his mind.
After the others leave Constantine uses a spell to teleport away.
In Blue Beetle’s ship Mister Terrific tells Booster Gold that he is now their hope for saving everyone. Mister Terrific goes on to say that they need Booster Gold’s time machine. Booster Gold mentions that it is in safe hands.
Over at Malibu the group arrives at Fire and Ice’s home. They are immediately attacked by an infected Fire, who causes Blue Beetle’s ship to crash.
The group rushes inside Fire and Ice’s home. Big Barda and Mister Miracle tell the others to push on forward while they hold Fire, Ice and the Blights back to buy them all time.
Big Barda and Mister Miracle put up a valiant fight but are soon overwhelmed by the numbers. Mister Miracle gives a line from a Cher song that Big Barda gives him a hard time for making his last words. They kiss one last time before becoming completely overwhelmed by the Blights.
Further inside the home Booster Gold, Mister Terrific and Blue Beetle reach the time machine only to be met by Waverider, who was waiting for them. Waverider says he will not allow any of them to change time.
At the Oblivion Bar Constantine is getting drunk. While staring at a bottle he requested from Bobo he starts cursing himself. Constantine tells Bobo to tell the others he has decided to actually act like a hero.
Back at Fire and Ice’s home, Waverider isn’t letting anyone pass him. Constantine arrives and says he wants to show Waverider a misdirection trick. Constantine then headbutts Waverider, giving Booster Gold a chance to get to the time machine.
Suddenly an infected Big Barda breaks in and attacks Constantine. Mister Terrific saves Constantine but is then attacked by Big Barda. Big Barda ends up ripping Mister Terrific in half.
Blue Beetle tells Booster Gold to go to the time machine. When Booster Gold tries to get in the time machine he suddenly collapses. Waverider mentions that Superman has found Barry Allen in the rubble of Keystone City.
Booster Gold then tells Blue Beetle that the future is lost because he can feel that he was never born in the future. Blue Beetle begs Booster Gold to stay. Unfortunately Booster Gold just ends up disappearing like he never existed.
With no time to mourn Blue Beetle is attacked by Big Barda and immediately turned into a Blight.
Waverider says his goodbyes. Constantine warns Waverider that he has pissed him off. He then creates a spell that binds Waverider to him. Constantine says that he can see both their futures and it is a short one. The Blight Blue Beetle attacks and kills Waverider.
Doctor Fate and Zatanna suddenly teleport in. Doctor Fate tells Constantine that his fate awaits him. Constantine punches Doctor Fate as he is pissed that he is being rescued while the other heroes were allowed to die. Doctor Fate says those heroes fates were sealed and that they must prepare for what comes next. Constantine then says that the world is not over until he says it is. End of issue.
The Good: DCeased: A Good Day To Die #1 does exactly what any good tie-in issue to a big event should do. Tom Taylor and his team advance the overarching plot of DCeased in a way that adds to what is going on. In the process they are able to give the spotlight to lesser known heroes that we have not seen directly involved in the main series.
Kicking DCeased: A Good Day To Die #1 with Big Barda and Mister Miracle witnessing the destruction of Apokolips set the tone for the entire issue. Tom Taylor does a fantastic job condensing the history of both characters with this opening scene. Even though they both witness the destruction of their home it was obvious that they had no love for it. Especially with Mister Miracle there was a clear weight off his shoulders as he quickly realized Darkseid was dead. That sense of relief was clear with how Mister Miracle told Big Barda that he felt good seeing the Apokolips destruction.
This scene also worked to establish how Big Barda and Mister Miracle were out on their own for good now. Even when they were both interacting with Mister Terrific and the others they still came across as doing things on their terms. That was solidified with how they did not back down from the overwhelming odds of all the Blights while buying Mister Terrific, Booster Gold and Blue Beetle time to complete their mission. It all showed how fearless both characters are and how they will always watch each others back
That all helped the several points in this issue where we saw Taylor spend time on the banter between Mister Miracle and Big Barda stand out even more. Taylor chose the right moments to slow things down to allow the chemistry between this long-term couple shine. The way Big Barda kept giving Mister Miracle a hard time for different things he said was right in line with their characters. It is what you expect from a couple that has been together as long as they’ve been a pair. There was a sense of comfort even when they were about to die that they could have a light hearted conversation.
Mister Terrific taking the lead role in the ragtag team that we see assembled in DCeased: A Good Day To Die #1 was a great way to use his character. Everything the character did have strong logic for behind it. At the same time, Taylor was careful not to treat Mister Terrific coming across like a robot. There was a reason that is based on what he’s discovered and gut instinct for every decision Mister Terrific makes in all his plans. In doing so, Taylor quickly established how great of a leader Mister Terrific can be we the need presents itself, like it has with DCeased.
In building Mister Terrific in this way Taylor made his death scene matter the most. As soon as you see Big Barda rip him in half things went from bad to worse as a sense of hope left the story. What made this even more effective was how Taylor used the fact that Mister Terrific had an immunity to the disease as the reason for his violent death.
The death scene also further develops something that Batman and Cyborg have brought up in other issues of DCeased. There is still a part of the Blights that remember these characters memories. That is something that is hinted at with the way Big Barda outright killed Mister Terrific since he had an immunity to being infected. If that is the case then we could see this fact come into play in how DCeased is wrapped up.
The way Big Barda, Mister Miracle and Mister Terrific were portrayed was balanced out with how John Constantine was shown to be. Unlike those three, Constantine did not want to get involved at all. He immediately saw the doom and gloom of the situation and wanted to just get drunk before he met his end. It is a good perspective to have since you can’t expect everyone to deal with a crisis. Constantine brought a different view to the crisis and it was something that was needed as just about every other hero was looking to solve things.
It all helped establish the type of personality that Constantine have, especially in the minds of readers who aren’t familiar with how brash he can come across. Even when Constantine finally did hero up the character was still a rebel until the end. Whether it was connecting himself to Waverider or punching Doctor Fate, it was clear no one was going to tell Constantine what was going to happen. That stubbornness made him stand out even more in this issue.
With those four strong characters Taylor still found a way to give Booster Gold and Blue Beetle a very meaningful scene. Throughout most of DCeased: A Good Day To Die #1 both characters played more of a supporting role. But it was their scene when Booster Gold was fading away from existence was the most impactful moment of the entire issue. With Booster Gold fading away Taylor got it into the mind of readers that nothing was going to be the same again. The future of this version of the DC Universe was not going to be what we know it to be. Even if the heroes do find a way to overcome the crisis characters like Booster Gold won’t even be born.
What helped put this all over was Blue Beetle’s reaction. It was heartbreaking to see Blue Beetle fall into complete shock as he still remembered his best friend that just faded away from the timeline. The brotherhood between Blue Beetle and Booster Gold ran deep and Taylor got that across with their interactions, even in the supporting role they played for most of the issue.
Which does put an emphasis on what exactly Doctor Fate and Zatanna are going to be up to for the rest of DCeased. Taylor teased us with Doctor Fate having a vision of the future of how things will end up. We don’t know if that is a good or bad future. That is a good hook to end this tie-in on as it provides the opportunity to have Doctor Fate, Zatanna and Constantine to show up in the main series.
While I’m normally not a fan of an artist by committee I have to give Laura Braga and Darick Robertson for able to keep the artwork consistent throughout DCeased: A Good Day To Die #1. Inkers Richard Friend, Trevor Scott and Darrick Robertson and colorist Rain Beredo deserve just as much credit for the consistency in the issue. There was a cohesion that was kept with the issue that helped move it forward. The artwork shined best in the dramatic beats like Big Barda and Mister Miracle’s final scene together and Booster Gold fading away. The artwork helped elevate these scenes.
The Bad: Nothing.
Overall: DCeased: A Good Day To Die #1 is a fantastic tie-in issue that elevated the crisis going on in the main series. Tom Taylor maximized the page count of this issue to elevate characters like Big Barda, Mister Miracle and Mister Terrific. Every character involved had a standout scene at some point in this issue. Booster Gold’s final scene in particular furthered how desperate things have become in this event. If you are reading DCeased I highly recommend picking up A Good Day To Die #1 as it elevates a great event to higher heights.
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