DCeased has become one of the most fascinating versions of the DC Universe that has been created. DC Comics has given Tom Taylor room to develop various stories within the DCeased version of the DCU. With DCeased: Hope At World’s End Taylor has been able to add greater depth to both the original mini-series and provide context to were we find various heroes and villains during the current Dead Planet mini-series. Now we see the closer that Hope At World’s End gets to the timeline of where the original DCeased event ended things have gotten even more intense for our heroes as the Anti-Living’s numbers continue to increase. What happens now that Anti-Living Black Adam leads a horde of Anti-Living against our heroes? Let’s find out with DCeased: Hope At World’s End Chapter 12.
Writer: Tom Taylor
Artist: Marco Failla
Colorist: Rex Lokus
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: While he teams up with Superboy to deal with a horde of Anti-Living, Superman contacts Martian Manhunter to recruit his help to get the people on Nantucket Island to safety.
Martian Manhunter quickly establishes telepathic links with Green Lantern Canary, Flash, Kid Flash (Wallace West), and Wonder Woman to provide back up for Superman and the others on Nantucket Island.
On the shores Batman (Damian Wayne), Robin (Stephanie Brown), and Wonder Girl do their best to hold their own against a horde of Anti-Living. Green Lantern Canary, Wonder Woman, Flash, and Kid Flash arrive in time to provide help before the others are overwhelmed.
As the evacuation efforts continue Robin notices that Black Manta is not doing anything. She approaches Black Manta and notices he has cut on his side. Black Manta turns around and immediately shoots Robin with a full power blast, revealing he has been turned into an Anti-Living in the process.
Anti-Living Black Manta’s blast hits the cruise ship the Justice League were using to evacuate the people on Nantucket Island. Superman and Superboy act quickly and fly the people on board the cruise ship to safety.
Martian Manhunter gets stuck on the cruise ship as the fire makes him weaker. He attempts to call out for help but is too late as Anti-Living Black Adam strikes him through his gut. The metal link he established with everyone causes the Justice League and Teen Titans to feel the pain Martian Manhunter is going through.
Seeing no other way Martian Manhunter immediately phases himself through the ground and into the Earth’s core before he turns into an Anti-Living. This leaves the Justice League and Teen Titans utterly devastated as they feel the moment Martian Manhunter dies.
In sheer anger Superman and Wonder Woman punch Anti-Living Black Adam to the other side of Earth.
As Jimmy Olsen continues to document all of this Green Lantern Canary uses her ring to carry all of the survivors off Nantucket Island and flies them away to safety.
On the pier Talia Al Ghul and Wonder Girl find Batman devastated while watching over Robin’s body. Wonder Girl offers to take Robin to safety. They all then fly away with help from Superboy.
In the Gotham Garden’s Cassandra Sandsmark checks up on Damian to see how he is doing. When Damian barely responds Cassandra asks what kind of person Stephanie was. Damian says Stephanie was someone who would always made fun of him and never took anything seriously. Cassandra says that is what big sisters do.
Talia then appears and reveals that while she was thinking of using the last Lazarus Pit to bring Bruce Wayne back to life she knows that he would just come back as an Anti-Living. Talia then offers to use the Lazarus Pit to instead revive Stephanie.
Talia admits that like her father (Ra’s Al Ghul) she was someone that hurt anyone that crossed her but now knows that was wrong. She asks Damian to let her due this as a way to make it up to Damian. Damian offers to come with his mom. Talia turns down the offer as she tells Damian that Batman is still needed with the other heroes. Talia then takes Stephanie’s body before any Anti-living show up. End of issue.
The Good: There was an unrelenting nature to DCeased: Hope At World’s End Chapter 12 as there was no moment to catch your breath. Just as it looked like our heroes were going to turn the situation on Nantucket Island major blows are struck that hurt both the reader and our heroes. That impact that is felt elevated the entire story in Hope At World’s End.
As he has devolved the DCeased DC Universe one of the things that Tom Taylor has shown to be an absolute master of is developing an emotional connect with what is happening in each panel. While all of the characters being used in DCeased have a long established history Taylor is able to create versions of the characters that feel unique to this universe. The interactions everyone has from how Damian Wayne and Stephanie Brown bond quickly developed to how Martian Manhunter was developed previously, you have a different level of care with everyone that lives in this universe. That all helps make the DCeased version of the DCU standout as its own universe rather than just tying into something else.
We see that with how you do feel a sense of hope as soon as Green Lantern Canary, Flash, Kid Flash, and Wonder Woman join the other heroes on Nantucket Island. Seeing the Justice League and Teen Titans teaming up together makes you forget for a moment that things are never as they seem. Things can immediately change in an instant because of how the Anti-Life Equation has been quick to spread. That is something you are immediately reminded of when Black Manta reveals that he has been turned into an Anti-Living by killing Stephanie Brown and damaging one of the cruise ships with one shot.
As soon as we see the visual of Stephanie getting hit you start to worry again what will happen. And what happens is the worst thing possible as immediate as Anti-Living Black Manta’s attack was, we get another emotional blow as Anti-Living Black Adam kills Martian Manhunter. This all happening in the span of a few panels reminds you how devastating the entire crisis in DCeased has been. Adding in the visual that everyone felt Martian Manhunter’s death through the previously established mental link elevated J’onn’s death to another level.
Equally impactful was Stephanie Brown’s death. Taylor does an excellent job in fully making you feel how much this devastated Damian. For Damian, Stephanie was the last of the Batman Family he knew survived. All of this loss around him gets you to understand why as he takes on being Batman and grows into the mantle in Dead Planet that he used all of this to make himself a different Batman. Thanks to having people like Cassandra Sandsmark and Jonathan Kent around him, Damian was able to take this loss and appreciate the friends and allies he has.
Talia Al Ghul also having Stephanie’s death be a catalyst for her own change of heart was a good note to end her arc in this series. Seeing how the world changed while by her son’s side showed Talia that she needs to accept how things are and, like Damian, appreciate what they have. Her trying to make things right by Damian by offering to revive Stephanie was a good way of showing that change of heart. This also opens the door for both Talia and Stephanie to show up in Dead Planet and give us an even more impactful reunion. It could also make way for Stephanie to become Red Robin with all new training under Talia.
Marco Failla delivers the consistent artwork that he has shown to have throughout DCeased: Hope At World’s End in the chapters he has worked on. The scene that stands out most was Martian Manhunter’s death. Failla does a fantastic job telling the story of how devastating this was to our heroes with the visual of the Justice League and Teen Titans all seeing this through their mental link with Martian Manhunter. The pain and shock in everyone’s faces really made you feel the impact of Martian Manhunter’s loss, especially when he sacrificed himself so he wouldn’t turn into an Anti-Living.
The Bad: Nothing
Overall: Tom Taylor and Marco Failla do not hold back hitting you right in the feels with DCeased: Hope At World’s End Chapter 12. This issue was an emotionally draining issue as major losses take place while our heroes do their best to save as many people as possible on Nantucket Island. It is a strong reminder of how quickly things can turn in the DCeased version of the DC Universe. If you are reading DCeased this is a must have comic book.
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