Eric S Brown
Published in 2019, Dceased was in some ways DC Comics’ answer to Marvel Zombies. Though they had already done a sort of zombie event with Blackest Night in their core universe, Dceased was an Elseworlds story, allowing them to kill off major characters and depict a truly apocalyptic ending.
Dceased begins with a typical battle between the Justice League and Darkseid but things quickly get shaken up as the Anti-Life Equation is altered by the god like villain. Darkseid becomes the first victim of this new math based virus he has created, destroying himself in madness while taking the entire planet of Apocalypse with him. The virus is transported to Earth in the moments just before Apocalypse is blown apart. It spread through images on the screens of cell phones, computers, TVs, and like most zombie viruses, through blood as well, and within in moments, six hundred million people are infected by it. Batman is among the first of Earth’s heroes to be infected but being who he is, develops a means of slowing the virus in his system long enough to warn the Justice League of what they are up against. The victims of the virus raging across the Earth, their numbers constantly growing, as the Justice League struggles to come to terms with the fact that could truly be facing the end of everything they’ve spent their lives protecting.
Packed with intense action, disturbing imagery, and heart wrenching emotional moments, Dceased is far superior to Marvel Zombies on all levels. The art of Dceased is perhaps its only weakness as the quality seems to shift at times during the collected trade and some is lackluster at best. However, it’s a story of heroism and sacrifice in the world’s darkest moments. Any fan of zombie apocalypse stories or the DC Universe is sure to love Dceased though its very likely one may shed a tear or two while reading it.