DCeased: Dead Planet 6

DCeased: Dead Planet #6 Review

DCeased: Dead Planet 6

The end is near for the latest Tom Taylor event in the form of DCeased: Dead Planet. There has been a lot of developments as our heroes have raced to find and create a cure for the Anti-Life Equation Virus that ravaged both Earth and the New Gods. With the threat of an Anti-Living Darkseid hanging over our heroes along with the Anti-Living army surrounding them the time they have is quickly running out. Will they find the cure for the Anti-Life Equation Virus? Let’s find out with DCeased: Dead Planet #6.

Writer: Tom Taylor

Artist: Trevor Hairsine

Inker: Gigi Baldassini and Tom Derenick

Colorist: Rain Beredo

Story Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10

Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10

Overall Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10

Synopsis: In Australia Penguin is running out of patience. Professor Ivo warns Penguin to watch his tone as he will be done getting their Amazo army online soon.

Over in the Gotham Garden Cyborg completes the process of recoding his blood but isn’t sure how to create the cure. Batman says they need they need to get all their knowledge together.

Atman then goes to Swamp Thing and they end up talking about Jason Todd, who Batman says he misses. Batman says he doesn’t want to lose anyone else which is why they need Dr. Alec Holland. Swamp Thing says that while Dr. Holland is brilliant he can’t create the cure alone. Batman knows this.

We then see Cyborg, Dr. Fate, Mary Marvel, Detective Chimp, Batman, Wallace West, Harley Quinn, and Poison Ivy unite their minds to find the cure together.

Sometime later Cyborg announces to everyone that they have the cure.

As that happens, over in Australia Professor Ivo announces they are ready to begin the Scourge. An army of Amazos are then released and destroy all the Anti-Living in their path.

Back at the Gotham Garden, Cyborg says they will need a test subject for the first dose of the cure. Green Lantern Canary wants to test the cure on Oliver Queen. Mister Miracle says they should test the cure on Big Barda because they can’t be sure that Oliver Queen is strong enough to resist the negative effects the cure may have.

After creating a needle from Green Lantern Canary’s sword Mister Miracle, Superman, and Green Lantern Canary Boom Tube to where Anti-Living Big Barda was being held. Mister Miracle is shocked to see that Anti-Living Big Barda has broken out of her chains.

Anti-Living Big Barda suddenly appears and smashes Mister Miracle hard into the ground. Superman quickly injects Anti-Living Big Barda with the cure. After a few moments Big Barda turns back to normal, confused about what is going on. After Mister Miracle mentions their son is safe on New Genesis and she learns how much time has passed Big Barda kisses Mister Miracle out of joy.

In the Tower of Fate, Zatanna figures out that John Constantine has been hiding something in a hidden room and breaks in to question him on what he’s been up to. Zatanna brings up how Constantine has gathered the Shazam’s Wizard Staff, Madame Xanadu’s crystal ball, the Spear of Destiny, and Ragman’s cloak. Constantine says he can’t tell Zatanna what he is doing because he knows if he does she will try to stop him, as he’s seen that future through Madame Xanadu’s crystal ball.

Phantom Stranger suddenly appears and immediately reveals everything that Constantine did to get the items he gathered much to Zatanna’s shock. Constantine calls Phantom Stranger out for what he’s done to create his fate. This pisses Phantom Stranger off and uses his powers to send Constantine hard into a wall.

DCeased: Dead Planet 6
The Anti-Life Equation Virus cure successful returns Big Barda to normal in DCeased: Dead Planet 6. Click for full page view.

Etrigan teleports in and transforms back into Jason Blood. Constantine realizes that Jason Blood is there to warn them about Trigon. Jason Blood says he is but he also has more news.

In the Gotham Garden, Mister Miracle returns with Big Barda. Cyborg immediately analyzes Big Barda and realizes that all those infected by the Anti-Life Equation Virus has been placed in a state of “Unlife” with their life cycle’s essentially frozen in time.

Before everyone can celebrate Constantine appears and reveals that the Amazo army is wiping out all of the Unlife. Superman immediately steps up and says he wants to stop the Amazos right away. Batman reminds Superman he can’t stop an army of Amazo alone. All of the heroes then work on a plan to both stop the Amazo army and distribute the cure.

Wallace West quickly gains all the knowledge he needs in ten minutes by using his super speed to help Cyborg and Swamp Thing in creating enough dose of the cure for all those infected on Earth.

As that happens Trigon appears in Paris where he immediately starts destroying all of the Unlife there.

In the Tower of Fate, Constantine and Zatanna bring Doctor Fate to Constantine’s secret room. Once inside Constantine says he needs Doctor Fate’s helmet. Doctor Fate isn’t given much of a choice as Phantom Strange stabs him with Shazam’s Wizard Staff.

This gives Constantine the opportunity to take the Helmet of Fate. As he takes the Helmet of Fate, Constantine yells out “SHAZAM!” Constantine then appears powered up by Shazam while also having Ragman’s cloak and Doctor Fate’s powers.

Zatanna wonders if Constantine will be able to come back from the new form he has taken on. Constantine dodges the question. Zatanna knows what Constantine means by his words and gives him a kiss. Constantine then takes off motivated to save the world. End of issue.

The Good: With as much as has gone on in DCeased: Dead Planet thus far things get slowed down a bit to set-up the big finale of this event. Given how there has been rush for a cure throughout this series taking the time to set the stage for the conclusion of the story is something that was needed from DCeased: Dead Planet #6.

While we don’t get as many big character moments in DCeased: Dead Planet #6 there are a lot of quality interactions that take place throughout. Tom Taylor does a great job having everything that characters say and do be backed up by what we have seen take place DCeased: Dead Planet thus far. There is a natural build to what each character decides to do and how that impacts the greater world.

The entire development with Professor Ivo’s group in Australia is a strong example of that. We don’t spend a lot of time with Professor Ivo and the Australia group. But what we do get works because we have seen a slow build of how there are big developments going on in this part of Earth. Seeing the Amazos all be unleashed to kill all of the Unlife was a good payoff that helps add to the stakes with our heroes now finding a cure.

Adding to why this part of the story was as impactful as it was is how Taylor portrays Professor Ivo’s group. While Professor Ivo is in full evil genius mode when he is getting his Amazos ready you do understand why this is being done. Like all the other survivors, this group has been living in what has felt like a literal Hell for years now. The Amazo army represent a sign of hope in wiping out the Unlife that has created this new world order. Which creates an interesting set-up for how the world may react to our heroes stopping the Amazos with the situation they are in.

Speaking of our heroes, it was good to see that we didn’t waste anymore time with how the cure was going to be created. Putting all the greatest minds that they have together created a sense of importance to all the characters involved. Taylor did a great job in explaining why Cyborg, Dr. Fate, Mary Marvel, Detective Chimp, Batman, Wallace West, Harley Quinn, and Poison Ivy were all important in creating the cure. Each one of them brough something to the table that was unique to them and established why we should believe them to be the best minds around.

From there Taylor was able to explain why they went with Big Barda as the test subject for the first dose of the cure. Just like Dinah Lance, when Mister Miracle says the should use the cure on Big Barda you do feel like he is saying this for selfish reasons. To Taylor’s credit he immediately has Mister Miracle explain why Big Barda is the perfect test subject since her New God genes would be able to battle against any negative effects that a normal human like Oliver Queen would not be able to.

And like so many other emotional moments in DCeased, Taylor nailed how Mister Miracle and Big Barda felt a great relief to finally be reunited. You understand how they could just not hold back their joy as we get our first sign of hope with their reunion. This added even more emotional investment into all the other reunions we can possibly get when all is said and done with DCeased: Dead Planet.

DCeased: Dead Planet 6
John Constantine turns into a Shazam-Doctor Fate-Ragman hybrid in DCeased: Dead Planet 6. Click for full page view.

That said, not all was hopeful in DCeased: Dead Planet #6. The Amazo army is development that could throw a wrench in our heroes plans. The other big one we see making his presence known in DCeased: Dead Planet #6 is Trigon. We already know that Trigon has been unhappy that he has been unable to claim all the souls of those who have turned into Unlife. Having Trigon finally done with this and appearing on Earth to claim what he believes is set-up to be a big problem for our heroes to overcome in the conclusion of DCeased: Dead Planet.

Trigon’s appearance helps in putting over the mission that John Constantine has been on since DCeased: Dead Planet began. We knew that Constantine has been gather all the strongest magical items in the DC Universe. Now we know why as he turns himself into a Shazam-Doctor Fate hybrid and is wielding all these items in order to protect. Taylor does a good job in giving weight to this decision by having Zatanna there to be their to be our eyes into Constantine’s choices. Zatanna understanding why Constantine hid all this from her and others shows a maturity you expect from a veteran hero like her.

Trevor Hairsine once again delivered solid artwork throughout DCeased: Dead Planet #6. While he didn’t get big action sequences to draw like in previous issues the moments we do get all hit because of the art. The gathering of Cyborg, Dr. Fate, Mary Marvel, Detective Chimp, Batman, Wallace West, Harley Quinn, and Poison Ivy was given the proper weight as the splash page does a lot to get over their stature in this moment.

The Bad: As previously mentioned, DCeased: Dead Planet #6 was a big set-up issue. That will disappoint some expecting more as we get closer to the end. There is a lot of rehashing of what we’ve seen before with character interactions. It was particularly disappointing that we don’t get to see more of how Batman, Ravager, and Batgirl deal with Jason Todd’s death from the last issue. Given how much of this issue is dedicated to Constantine it would’ve been nice if one page was given to show us the weight of deaths that still happen in our heroes lives.

From a bigger picture standpoint it is odd that we don’t get any follow up to the appearance of Anti-Living Darkseid. We know that the character made a big return by beginning to wreck havoc on New Genesis after the Justice League left. For that sub-plot to not be picked up on is an odd choice since it should factor into how DCeased: Dead Planet will end. For us not to even get a hint of Anti-Living Darkseid feels like a waste of his big re-introduction into the DCeased Universe.

Overall: DCeased: Dead Planet #6 got the job done in setting the stage for the final issue of this event. Tom Taylor and Trevor Hairsine continued to deliver the strong, emotional character moments that DCeased has been known for delivering. With everything that has been set-up the stakes going into the final issue of DCeased: Dead Planet could not be higher.

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