DCeased: Dead Planet has taken what the original event created and gone to the next level. The whole DC Universe that DCeased has been fascinating to see develop in its own unique way. Things took an even bigger turn for our surviving heroes in the last issue as the New Gods came into play in a big way. The ending with an Anti-Living Darkseid certainly left an impression and put into question if things will actually only end up getting worse for our heroes when all is said and done with DCeased: Dead Planet. Let’s find out what happens next with DCeased: Dead Planet #5.
Writer: Tom Taylor
Artist: Trevor Hairsine
Inker: Gigi Baldassini
Colorist: Rain Beredo
Story Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 7.5 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: Doctor Fate finds John Constantine inside the Tower of Fate and asks what he is doing. Constantine gives a sarcastic answer which makes Doctor Fate question what is behind the door they are standing in front of. When Constantine gives another sarcastic answer Doctor Fate tries to open it with his magic but fails to do so.
Constantine shows he can open the door with the handle. Before going inside alone Constantine says that whatever is inside is meant to be there so maybe Doctor Fate should rename the building.
Inside the room Constantine meets up with Etrigan, who is standing under a casting circle. Etrigan says the “he” will soon be arriving to Earth and will cause all life and unlife of the world to burn down.
Swamp Thing hears all this as Constantine tells Etrigan he can leave. Swamp Thing asks about helping the Australian Garden. Constantine says he will help but will need friends to help give them a chance to win.
In the Gotham Gardens, Constantine then approaches Batman with a proposal for a mission that will need a team that will help him stay alive. Batman says he’ll need details before going along with Constantine’s plan. After a stare down Constantine decides to tell Batman about his plan.
After hearing Constantine’s Batman decides that the best team to get the mission done is the Bat-Family. Batman goes to recruit Jason Todd, Cassandra Cain, and Rose Wilson to the team. While talking Jason reveals that he and Rose are married. Damian happily hugs Jason and Rose, welcoming the latter to the Bat-Family.
With the team assembled Constantine has Swam Thing warp himself through the Green and Red to get to the hidden city of Nanda Parbat. This allows Constantine to have a marker to teleport himself and the Bat-Family to Nanda Parbat.
As soon as they show up the team is attacked by a horde of Anti-Living. Constantine, Swamp Thing, and the Bat-Family are able to fight their way to the entrance of the city. Deadman opens the door and has the people living in Nanda Parbat back up the team.
Constantine goes inside Nanda Parbat and tells Rama Kushna that he needs to take the Spear of Destiny. Rama Kushna says she can’t allow that to happen. Constantine apologizes as he takes the Spear of Destine and stabs Rama Kushna with it.
Deadman demands to know why Constantine did that. Constantine answers by using Ragman’s rags to absorb Deadman in it.
All of this leaves the Bat-Family confused over what Constantine is doing. Constantine tells them not to worry as he leads them into the Rock of Eternity.
As they walk through the Rock of Eternity’s realm Swamp Thing reveals they need the Wizard Shazam’s staff.
Suddenly an Anti-Living Captain Marvel Jr. appears and tackles Red Hood at full force into a wall. Having seen this with her precognitive powers Ravager knows that Red Hood is dying.
There isn’t anytime to help heal Red Hood as Anti-Living Wizard Shazam also appears. Everyone desperately tries to find Shazam’s staff while trying to survive. Batgirl sees Shazam’s staff and immediately uses it to transform into SHAZAM. SHAZAM Batgirl uses her new powers to quickly defeat Anti-Living Captain Marvel Jr.
Rose apologizes to Jason for not being able to save her. Jason says she has nothing to be sorry about because he was lucky that Rose gave him a happy second life. Rose and Jason have one final kiss before Jason passes away.
The team returns to Gotham Garden. Rose tells Constantine that she hopes this was all worth it before walking away.
Batman reminds Constantine he promised no one would die on this mission. Constantine says he only promised he wouldn’t kill anyone that wasn’t already dead. Batman punches Constantine in the face and walks away.
As he recovers from the punch Constantine is approached by Spectre. Spectre says that Constantine is a threat that could kill him with the Staff of Shazam. Constantine dares Spectre to look at what is motivating him to have the Staff of Shazam. Spectre wishes Constantine a good night before flying away. End of issue.
The Good: Whereas the previous issue showed us what the heavy hitters did to set-up the conclusion, DCeased: Dead Planet #5 was about what the heroes on Earth did to get to that point. From that set-up standpoint DCeased: Dead Planet #5 works very well as all of the cards are now on the table for what is to come in the final two issues.
Opening up with an ominous prediction from Etrigan helped establish a link between the previous issue and DCeased: Dead Planet #5. We all know the person that Etrigan is talking about that will burn Earth down is the Anti-Living Darkseid. The way he spoke about it made it clear that there is still very little hope in the world for our heroes to survive. That all solidified how high the stakes are as even one mistake will cost our heroes everything.
This gave a greater sense of urgency for the mission that John Constantine recruited Swamp Thing and the Bat-Family to take on. There was no time to waste arguing about what to do. Even when he didn’t want to tell Batman what the mission was about beforehand Constantine had to relent. This quick confrontation put over not only the urgency of Constantine’s mission but also how Damian Wayne has become a Batman that demands respect.
Which was also key in getting over how Constantine is can’t help but be a sarcastic prick at all times. There is no time where you are completely on his side. You do understand that he is doing what he thinks is for the better good. But at the same time you do fully feel that he deserved the punch he got from Batman as he tried the “yeah, but….” thing with what he really meant about his promise about death.
What really stole the show in DCeased: Dead Planet #4 was everything to do with the Bat-Family. Tom Taylor has done an excellent job maturing Damian Wayne, Jason Todd, and Cassandra Cain as they continue to do their best to survive in this world. Its through all the surviving that these characters have all been able to find something Bruce Wayne never did, and that is a true support group so they don’t get consumed by darkness. We see that with how Damian did not hesitate to happily hug Jason and Rose Wilson when they revealed their marriage status. Damian quickly accepting Rose as part of the Bat-Family and mentioning that her having parental issues makes her a perfect fit was all a great moment to add some positivity in this story.
At the same time, Taylor does an excellent job getting you fully invested in the relationship between Jason and Rose with how they have interacted this entire time with each other. Their chemistry came across as natural. Which all made Jason’s death at the hands of Anti-Living Captain Marvel Jr. even more impactful. You felt how heartbroken Jason’s death left everyone, especially Rose. It made you feel even more emotional when Jason told Rose that she gave him a chance to have a great second life. That is how you make a death matter beyond the events of a story.
As emotionally heartbreaking as Jason’s death was, the surprise of having Cassandra Cain become the new SHAZAM was a pure hype moment. The way she quickly adapted to the powers and demolished the Anti-Living Captain Marvel Jr was such a cool thing to see happen. From a story standpoint this also gives another heavy hitter on our heroes side. With Anti-Living Darkseid fast approaching they will need all the powerful allies they can get.
Trevor Hairsine continues to absolutely nail the whole vibe of the DCeased Universe through his artwork. DCeased: Dead Planet #5 once again shows that as being fact as he gets across the urgency that our heroes have with every mission they go on. You feel the danger that at any moment something could happen to further hurt our heroes, which turns out to be the case with Jason Todd’s death. Hairsine also nails big splash page worthy scenes like Cassandra Cain transforming into SHAZAM. The power she showed as she quickly took care of Anti-Living Captain Marvel Jr. was a sight to see.
The Bad: The one drawback of DCeased: Dead Planet #5 is that this was more set-up as we gear up towards the end. That may disappoint fans who were hoping more of a follow-up after Anti-Living Darkseid appeared on New Genesis in the last issue. That is an ending that deserves to be directly followed up on. But having to wait even more time to know what the fate of the New Gods will be came across more as a delay than anything else.
Overall: DCeased: Dead Planet #5 finalized all the set-up that this story needs to have as we head into a conclusion that is shrouded by unknown. Our heroes have done everything in their power to turn things around with how things currently are in the DCeased version of the DC Universe. While there is that positive Tom Taylor and Trevor Hairsine reminds the characters involved and readers to never feel safe. That strong reminder will help keep readers on the edge of their seats as we now reach the endgame of DCeased: Dead Planet.
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