DCeased: War of the Undead Gods #1 Review

DCeased: War Of The Undead Gods #1 Review

Both DCeased and its sequel series, DCeased: Dead Planet, were among my favorite comic books that DC Comics has released in the last few years. Tom Taylor and Trevor Hairsine created a unique Elseworld with the DCeased Universe that challenged the DCU superheroes and push them to the brink of extinction. But as we saw with DCeased: Dead Planet our heroes were able to not only survive but cure the Anti-Life Equation Virus that turned everyone infected in zombie-like creatures called the Anti-Living. While the day was saved one dangling plotline still left to be resolved was that Darkseid has unknowingly still an Anti-Living. Now with DCeased: War of the Undead Gods we are going to see that dealt with as Taylor and Hairsine bring their DCeased story to its conclusion. Let’s find out how it all goes with DCeased: War of the Undead Gods #1.

CREATIVE TEAM

Writer: Tom Taylor

Artist: Trevor Hairsine

Inker: Andy Lanning

Colorist: Rain Beredo

SYNOPSIS

Decades ago, during Krypton’s destruction at the hands of Brainiac, Zor-El and Alura In-Ze send their teenage daughter, Kara Zor-El, to New Genesis so she can be saved.

Decades later Kara makes it to New Genesis only to be attacked by the Anti-Living New Gods.

Back on Earth, everyone is given the Anti-Life Equation Virus cure.

Superman (Jon Kent), Wonder Woman (Cassandra Sandsmark), Cyborg, Shazam (Cassandra Cain), Mary Marvel, and Green Lantern Dinah Lance work together to lure the Anti-Living Clark Kent out of the Sun. They are successful and are able to hold him long enough to administer the Anti-Life Equation Virus cure, though he has lost an arm during his time in the Sun.

Over on Earth-2 while President Lois Lane talks with Green Lantern John Stewart and Guy Gardner to get an update on what is going on on other planets. Suddenly a Boom Tube portal opens and out comes the Justice League, who have brought Clark to reunite with Lois. Ma and a cured Pa Kent also reunite with Clark.

DCeased: War of the Undead Gods #1 Review
President Lois Lane finally reunites with the cured Clark Kent in DCeased: War of the Undead Gods #1. Credit: DC Comics

Meanwhile, Mister Miracle and Big Barda decide it is time they return to New Genesis.

Damian Wayne reunites with Alfred Pennyworth, who regrets having killed the Anti-Living Bruce Wayne, Dick Grayson, and Tim Drake now knowing his sons could’ve been cured.

Out in space near Earth-2 Green Lanterns John, Guy, and Jessica Cruz fight off an attempted invasion by Brainiac. Clark as Superman joins the fight and heads straight to Brainiac’s ship. Jon joins his father as he does not want to risk losing his dad again.

The Supermen soon find Brainiac, who is missing half his body. Brainiac says “The Gods are dead. But still, they come, Kal-El.” End of issue.

REVIEW

Tom Taylor and Trevor Hairsine do not miss a beat with their work on DCeased: War of the Undead Gods #1. This issue picks up directly from where DCeased: Dead Planet left off. In the process, they quickly address one of my major critiques of the previous series, when I didn’t know we would get a follow-up to it.

Starting out DCeased: War of the Undead Gods #1 with a flashback to Kara Zor-El’s origin story was a bit of a surprise. With how important of a role the Superman Family played in most of the DCeased comics Supergirl’s absence was a noticeable omission. And we get an answer to why that was as we find out that in the DCeased Universe there is a major alteration made to her origin as she was sent off to New Genesis instead to Earth, following her cousin Kal-El. This change was key to getting us right into the story of this series as we see how terrifying of an antagonist the Ant-Living New Gods are set up to be.

That said, it does suck that Kara is treated as a sacrificial lamb to put over the threat of Ant-Living New Gods. I do trust that Taylor and Hairsine have a bigger plan for Kara given the focus they give her origin story to start DCeased: War of the Undead Gods. I just hope those plans don’t involve Kara being an Anti-Living since there will be a lack of emotional impact to what that’ll mean given the fact she has not met Clark or anyone else in this universe.

From there DCeased: War of the Undead Gods #1 works well as an aftermath issue to the end of Dead Planet. Immediately addressing the elephant in the room of the Anti-Living Clark Kent still being self-imprisoned in the middle of the Sun was a great move. The team of Superman, Wonder Woman, Cyborg, Shazam, Mary Marvel, and Green Lantern Dinah Lance showcased great teamwork. They were able to make sure Anti-Living Clark Kent did not infect any of them while still fighting offensively in order to administer the cure quickly. It puts them over as a powerful team that all have experience working together, something that needed to be spotlighted given the coming threat.

This led to continuing the emotional character moments that Taylor and Hairsine have done such a great job on with all the DCeased comic books. The joy of Lois Lane finally reuniting with the cured Clark leaps off the screen. Making it all that much more emotional was seeing that Clark also got to reunite with not only Ma Kent but also the cured Pa Kent. Clark trapping the Anti-Living Jonathan Kent was one of the more emotional moments in DCeased that brought their sub-plot full circle.

The Kent Family reunion worked well to contrast how Alfred Pennyworth took the current status quo. While he was certainly happy to see the grown-up Damian Wayne safe and healthy as Batman it does not overshadow the emotional turmoil of knowing he killed his sons. Taylor and Hairsine did such capturing how painful having to live with knowing he didn’t have to shoot the Anti-Living versions of Bruce Wayne, Dick Grayson, and Tim Drake to save them as they could’ve been cured.

DCeased: War of the Undead Gods #1 Review
Kara Zor-El is attacked by the Anti-Living New Gods in DCeased: War of the Undead Gods #1. Credit: DC Comics

Even if it could be argued that at the time no one knew there could be a cure that does not matter to Alfred. Living with knowing his sons could have been saved is painful knowledge that Alfred is now living with. This also works to set up Damian and Alfred to have more family moments to deal with this, hopefully with Cassandra Cain and Jim Gordon.

Using Brainiac, a villain that has a lot of credibility as a cosmic threat, made for a good transition to our heroes now having to deal with Anti-Living New Gods. The state Brainiac was in when Clark and Jon Kent found him made his warning that the Anti-Living New Gods are coming much more chilling. Not only that but there is also the Anti-Living Darkseid that we know is out there. Now that they are coming for both Earths there is a lot of concern to be had about how all the heroes will deal with the Anti-Life Equation Virus that continues to haunt them. It all works to hook you in as the reader who has followed the DCeased narrative up to this point.

All that said, now going into DCeased: War of the Undead Gods you should read at least DCeased and Dead Planet. If your coming into this series new because you have heard all the great things said about the DCeased comic books don’t start with DCeased: War of the Undead Gods #1. There are a lot of key character moments and bigger story beats you’ll be missing out on the context of everything that is going on. So if you are interested I highly recommend at least reading both DCeased and DCeased: Dead Planet before jumping into this issue.

DCeased: War of the Undead Gods #1 (2022)
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08/27/2022 05:06 am GMT

FINAL THOUGHTS

DCeased: War of the Undead Gods #1 is a strong start to the final chapter of the DCeased Universe. This first issue acts as a good follow-up to DCeased: Dead Planet while setting the stage for an exciting narrative around the frightening and powerful threat that the Anti-Living New Gods are set up to be. While there is one concerning character choice made here I do trust Tom Taylor and Trevor Hairsine will deliver a powerful conclusion to the narrative they have crafted together.

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