REVIEW: ‘DCeased: Unkillables,’ Issue #3 (of 3)

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DCeased: Unkillables #6

When comics stopped publishing, the one I wanted back the most from DC Comics‘ line-up was DCeased: Unkillables. Written by Tom Taylor with pencils by Karl Mostert, inks by Neil Edwards, Karl Mostert, and Trevor Scott, colors by Rex Lokus, and letters by Saida Temofonte, DCeased: Unkillables #3 serves as the finale for this mini-series. Set during the same time of 2019’s DCeased, also written by Taylor, it offers up a look at what villains were up to, and more importantly how an apocalyptic event can bring out the best in people.

Last issue, Red Hood, Batgirl (Cassandra Cain), and Commissioner Gordon, took refuge in an orphanage. Vowing to protect the kids, the Anti-Life virus brings their paths right into that of the villains gathered by Vandal Savage. When the infection reaches the villains, Mirror Master transports the remaining of them to the orphanage, where Shiva sought to save her daughter. Now, the line between hero and villain is gone and the only focus is protecting the children in their care. As they run from the orphanage, heading to Gotham City and Poison Ivy’s secluded sanctuary, the run into something worse than the anti-living – a monstrous Wonder Woman.

DCeased: Unkillables #6

Like Taylor’s DCeased, DCeased: Unkillables #3 wraps up this mini-series by killing almost all of the main characters of the series. That said, this is not only Taylor’s strength across the DCeased universe but in this final issue specifically. While we met each of the villains prior to this issue, the emotional impacts of their deaths come because of how well Taylor showcases their individual connections to the children they’re protecting. This is done so well that each death and triumph feels like the emotional response that Taylor is asking of us is earned. From Grundy to Creeper, there is a heart to them and their characterizations that solidifies this series’ impact, especially on the final page. Additionally, like in DCeased, the reveal of the narrator of this mini-series is artful and uniquely unexpected, so much so, I dare not discuss it in this review.

But while DCeased: Unkillables #3 excels in storytelling, its art detracted my attention from emotional moments. Now, while the issues I have with the over-wrinkling of characters’ faces and body proportions, the biggest issue in Mostert’s art is the way he illustrates Black hair. In what appears to an attempt to draw characters with locs, Mostert shows that he doesn’t necessarily understand the texture and styling of Black hair.

The reason that this is so frustrating, is that it showcases a larger problem in not just comics, but animation as well. From locs standing on end with Super Saiyan mechanics to hair that presents as two completely different textures, it’s not well done. While I can overlook a weakness in illustrating faces close-up and even changing the way characters look, I can’t look past what seems to be laziness in the drawing of Black characters, especially when the other characters seem to have cohesive designs.

Taylor’s story is ultimately let down by the art. While there is a charm to it, the emotive expressions of the characters don’t carry the weight that Taylor is imbuing them with, and the excessive use of face wrinkling not only makes characters like Commissioner Gordon unrecognizable but makes the children in the story look older than they are. Saying this is frustrating given the beauty of Taylor’s storytelling.

Overall, I love what Taylor has done with the conclusion in DCeased: Unkillables #3 and how it leaves the door open for his sequel series Dead Earth, coming later this year. I also love Lokus’ colors and Temofonte’s lettering, it’s hard to look past the pencils. That said, the story that has been told in this mini-series is worth the read, even with its big faults.

DCeased: Unkillables #3 is available online now.

DCeased: Unkillables #3 
2.5

TL;DR

I love what Taylor has done with the conclusion in DCeased: Unkillables #3 and how it leaves the door open for his sequel series Dead Earth, coming later this year. I also love Lokus’ colors and Temofonte’s lettering, it’s hard to look past the pencils. That said, the story that has been told in this mini-series is worth the read, even with its big faults.