The first two issues of DCeased: War Of The Undead Gods have been a lot of setups. That has not meant that we are without any sort of action. DCeased: War Of The Undead Gods #2 had one of the bigger moments in this universe’s history with the Green Lantern Corps and Sinestro Corps taking on Darkseid and the Anti-Living New Gods. That all led to the brutal death of Sinestro at the hands of the Anti-Living Darkseid, who also claimed Warworld in the process. Now with it looking as though the Anti-Living Darkseid and New Gods are ready to make their next moves let’s see how things go next with DCeased: War Of The Undead Gods #3.
Writer: Tom Taylor
Artist: Trevor Hairsine
Inker: Andy Lanning
Colorist: Rain Beredo
Six months earlier, during the latest battle between Rann and Thanagar the Zeta Beam malfunctions and causes Adam Strange to be transported back to Earth. As soon as he arrives Adam Strange is attacked by Anti-Living Wonder Woman (Diana Prince) and turned into an Anti-Living.
Two weeks later the Anti-Living Adam Strange returns to Rann much to his family’s horror.
A few days later somewhere in the Rylex System several Anti-Living Thannagarians decimate an entire planet. Lobo is the only one left in the bar he was in and easily kills the Anti-Living Thannagarians after he is shown to seemingly be immune to the Anti-Life Equation Virus.
In the present, after the Amazons hold a funeral for Diana they are approached by Ares. Ares teleports Wonder Woman (Cassandra Sandsmark), Green Lantern Dinah Lance, Green Arrow, Hippolyta, and Artemis to the Hall of the Gods. Ares reveals he did this to show them the prophecy of the Final War is coming as the entire universe has been infected by the Anti-Life Equation Virus and it will lead to the end of their universe.
As soon as he says this the Guardians contact Dinah, Guy Gardner, Kilowog, and all other Green Lanterns to warn them of the Anti-Life Equation threat the universe is facing and to gather their allies immediately.
Back in the Hall of the Gods Ares says that Darkseid is just a pawn to something much bigger than the Anti-Life Equation and older than the Gods. Ares opens up the book of the prophecy he is talking about to reveal that Erebos (the personification of darkness in Greek mythology) is here. End of issue.
DCeased: War Of The Undead Gods #3 is still more set up to set the stage for the promised war in the title of this series. That is not a bad thing at all as what DCeased: War Of The Undead Gods #3 does is drive home how this will be a different type of story compared to the first two major mini-series in this franchise. It was something that after reading this third issue you realize this was a necessary thing that DCeased needed for the finale of its trilogy.
Up until DCeased: War Of The Undead Gods #3 this series was shaping up to repeat a lot of the story beats from the first two series in this trilogy. Adding Ares and the prophecy for the end of the universe does a lot to help change up what DCeased: War Of The Undead Gods is compared to its predecessors. The prophecy itself sets this up to be the Crisis event of the DCeased Universe that our heroes were able to previously stop from happening thanks to their actions in the predecessor to this series.
What makes Ares doomed universe prophecy effective is how it builds off what we’ve seen the Anti-Living Darkseid do with Supergirl and the New Gods along with Brainiac’s own warning. Both these things set the stage for Ares’s words to have even greater importance than if the character just appeared in the first issue to say all this. Now with all of this Tom Taylor and Trevor Hairsine have created a setting that feels like a Crisis-level event.
Adding in further ties to Greek mythology by Ares invoking the name of Erebos is a great call. Because of the previous setup, Taylor and Hairsine are able to give Erebos’ presentation at the end to be even more concerning than the Anti-Life Equation Virus that has infected the universe. Ares even says that Darkseid and the Anti-Life Equation are just pawns in the greater threat of absolute darkness that added to the threat Erebos represents when Ares opens up the book at the end of the issue.
The opening of DCeased: War Of The Undead Gods #3 was also something else that was needed. Taylor and Hairsine further tapped into the DC Universe by giving us familiar characters outside of Earth impacted by the Anti-Life Equation Virus. Adam Strange being the catalyst to the Anti-Life Equation Virus being introduced to Rann and Thanagar made this a heartbreaking opening. The pure terror in Adam Strange’s family after witnessing their husband and father turned into an Anti-Living was a reminder of the horror elements in this universe.
While Anti-Living Darkseid’s forces continue to wreak havoc it was interesting to see that Lobo is one of the few who appear immune to the Anti-Life Equation Virus. This development immediately makes Lobo an important character in the rest of this series. Lobo can be the game changer our heroes need now that they have to deal with the Anti-Living New Gods and others turned across the universe.
At the same time, Taylor and Hairsine are able to quietly upgrade our heroes even more as things go on. We’ve seen how Brainiac previously provided some assistance to Superman through the information he shared. Now it looks like Green Arrow and others could get some Godly upgrades thanks to Ares. The Golden Bow of Apollo is a fitting weapon for Green Arrow to wield and actually factor into the upcoming war. Hopefully, we see other upgrades like this for our heroes to make the battles even more dynamic.
DCeased: War Of The Undead Gods #3 is more setup for this series to live up to the name of the comic book. Tom Taylor and Trevor Hairsine commit to show how bad things continue to get with the Anti-Living Darkseid and New Gods wrecking chaos throughout the universe. Now hopefully future issues can make the rest of DCeased: War Of The Undead Gods deliver on the Crisis-level tone that the revelation in this issue teases us with.
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 7.5 Night Girls out of 10