We took a month off from DC Comics’ DCeased, and truthfully our emotions needed it. Now, with DCeased #5, writer Tom Taylor, penciler Trevor Hairshine, inker Stefano Guadiano, colorist Rain Beredo, and letterer Saida Temofonte have come back to hit us in the heart even harder. Last issue, Captain Atom floated above the city as an atomized A.T.O.M. pulled him apart from the inside which caused a nuclear reaction. With the impending doom of Metropolis, I was wary of anyone surviving, but as DCeased #5 opens, it’s clear that some, did.
But some is not all, and the small pocket of survivors shielded by Dinah’s ring represents the remnants of the building while Metropolis and the surrounding cities are decimated. There is no hope in DCeased #5 and just when you think things can’t bleaker, Taylor shows you that they can. This bleak outlook is established by the narration, which once again is excellently written.
Concise but powerful nonetheless, Taylor drives home the helplessness of our heroes as Superman and Wonder Woman wait in the sky; alive, immortal to us, but visibly shaken. The artwork from Hairshine and Guadiano is beautifully and emotive through art that provides more detail than the art of previous issues. This is key to driving home the events of the issue, bringing the heartache to rip hope away after a small moment is established.
As the story continues, it looks like there is a chance of survival for the few not turned with the remaining members of the Justice League reaching out to everyone they can to help build safe havens, escapes, and more for the small number of those left. But pulling together all the heroes into one place serves as a fatal mistake, one which leads to a depressing end to DCeased #5 and leaving the final next issue with a large hole to fill narratively.
While this isn’t a critique, the choice to move the worst outcomes to the fifth issue of a sixth issue series is courageous of Taylor, and if it pays off, it can leave DCeased as one of the best mini-series I’ve read. If it doesn’t, well, we’ll handle that if we get to it. All of that said, DCeased #5 is filled to the brim with character moments that continue to highlight how well Taylor understands them. One of my favorites of which is the dynamic between Harley and Ivy as they’re asked to help safeguard the last of humanity. The other is Damian putting on the suit he was given previously, his father’s suit. Not to mention DCeased #5 gives me some of my favorite Superman moments which you’ll have to read to find out about.
With one issue left in the mini-series, DCeased remains a standout comic with issue number five. It’s dark, emotional, and extremely well-written, heightened when the narrator is revealed.
DCeased #5 is available wherever comics are sold.
DCeased #5 is filled to the brim with character moments that continue to highlight how well Taylor understands them. One of my favorites of which is the dynamic between Harley and Ivy as they’re asked to help safeguard the last of humanity.
Kate is co-founder, EIC, and CCO of BWT. She’s also a Certified Rotten Tomatoes Critic, host, and creator of our flagship podcast, But Why Tho? and Did You Have To?. She also manages all PR relationships for comics, manga, film, TV, and anime. She has an MA in Cultural Anthropology and Religious Studies focusing on how pop culture impacts society.