It genuinely pains me to say it but the penultimate issue of DCeased is here. I honestly love this series with a passion. Ever since its release it has been my most highly anticipated issue to read each and every month, and I’m finding it hard to come to terms with the fact that it will soon come to an end. Everything about it has been on point and i’ts most certainly maneuvered Tom Taylor right to the top of my favourite writers list.
As a Superman fan the main cover of DCeased #5 created by Joshua Middleton is perhaps the most significant cover yet. Wonder Woman takes centre stage as she appears to be facing off against none other than the Man of Steel himself. Wonder Woman looks totally formidable as she is covered in blood splatter. Her facial expression specifically her eyes really convey to the audience the fact that she is a warrior who will do whatever it takes to hold the line even if that means warring with the staunchest of allies. I find it so clever how Middleton uses only a small fraction of Superman’s torso on this cover. In my opinion it really allows for the readers imagination to run wild. Are we actually witnessing an infected Superman or are these merely the wounds resulting from last issues catastrophic conclusion?
I absolutely adore the muted colour palette used for this cover. It really adds to the somber tone and sense of melancholy at the very thought of our greatest hope possibly lost to us via the anti-life equation. This cover is truly powerful and really sets us up nicely for the final few acts of this series to come.
The first of the four variants is by Francesco Mattina, and follows on from the previous issues, which feature our favourite characters as infected zombies. This one in particular is absolutely terrifying! The image of her digging her nails into her ripped and stretched skin is just horrific, but it is certainly effective and fits perfectly with the theme of the book. Mattina has done some incredible portraits throughout the series, and I will be sad to see these come to an end.
The second variant by Yasmine Putri is yet another horror homage cover, which is NOT a bad thing at all. They have been incredible so far, in fact – all of the covers have been. This one is a homage to The Curse of La Llorona, which admittedly I have’t seen yet. But this cover certainly is an effective one, with Harley taking the young Superson’s under her wings. The colours are eerie and rather morbid, but it certainly creates the desired effect.
The third variant, is by Inyuk Lee, and like the others follow on from a collection of incredible linked covers. This time featuring Green Lantern, Green Arrow and Red Arrow on the cover in what looks like a vicious attack! Lee’s artwork is incredibly realistic, which just adds to the effect of the cover. Truly a work of art. I will say this, I do love the way that he signs his name on the cover – hidden within the background of the art.
The final variant is by the one and only Ben Oliver, and boy has he created a fine piece here. This time the cover features a very scary looking Catwoman, who has been infected by the anti-virus. The realism again in this cover is just spectacular. It captures her catty personality and bad-ass attitude, which can be hard to capture sometimes, but Oliver has done it incredibly well. I really love each and every one of the variants for this series.
DCeased #5 very much deals with the aftermath of the last issue as our survivors come to terms with the devastation caused at the hands of Captain Atom. This issue is full of incredible exchanges as Lex Luthor makes his first appearance in the series, and he lends his expertise to coming up with a solution. That solution is to ensure humanities continued survival working side by side with the remaining heroes of the DC Universe.
For me, the standout dialogue and exchanges of this issue have to be between Lex Luthor and Superman. It really is important for Lex to finally make his debut in this series, and for his voice to be heard considering the tragic events that have befallen Metropolis. Lex’s dialogue and body language is totally heartbreaking. I’ve never witnessed Lex like this before and it makes total sense. Writer Tom Taylor has exposed a side to Lex that has never been seen before, and my goodness does it feel natural.
Even though fleeting, I actually really enjoyed seeing our heroes accompanied by Lex Luthor start to rally and come up with a plan for humanity’s continued existence. Our survivors have been constantly on the back foot dealing with one crisis after another. Seeing our heroes organised really gives the reader a sense of belief, and raises the spirits which makes the inevitable fall all the more powerful as a beloved character goes on a brutal rampage. The violence and horror from here on out is just horrific and unrelenting as the most brutal and bloody deaths occur. No punches are pulled as artist Trevor Hairsine truly provides blood and guts.
DCeased #5 is a true tour de force in my opinion, as it provides the reader with every emotion you can possibly think of while setting up beautifully for the final installment. Shocking is a word I would most certainly use to describe this issue as I found myself gasping on multiple occasions. I actually even cried whilst reading this issue, as the creative team shocked me to my very core with the most brutal and quite frankly ‘no holds barred’ imagery there could possibly be.
Tom Taylor has quickly become one of my favourite writers thanks to this series. Taylor’s writing feels effortless yet able to convey every emotion possible. The dialogue between Superman and his family honestly left me in tears. One of the issues biggest payoffs is the identity of the narrator being revealed. The choice is perfect and on reflection its actually pretty obvious. The narration featured in this series has been a real high point for me, and finally being able to put a face to the voice is very rewarding.
The artwork featured in this series has been superb and issue #5 is no exception. Artist Trevor Hairsine not only expertly captures the most brutal and bloody deaths imaginable, but really exposes the audience to the wider world with the most epic and panoramic of shots. The scope of an overgrown Gotham and Superman blasting off into space is breathtaking.
The next issue is unfortunately the final issue. I can honestly say that this series has been a complete roller-coaster, and with an ending link that.. it’s not going to slow down any time soon!
Haven’t picked up your issue yet? You can pick up the standard cover by Joshua Middleton here (UK) or here (US). Or if you prefer the variant covers, you can pick those up here – Yasmine Putri, Francesco Mattina, and Ben Oliver,