DCeased: Dead Planet #4 review

If you’re going to New Genesis, be sure to have a haircut and shave beforehand. In the latest issue of DC’s zombie saga, Scott Free arrives on the scene like this…

And sets off for the world of his birth like this…

The change goes unremarked. To be fair, companions Wonder Woman, Superboy, Mary Marvel, Green Lantern and Cyborg have a lot on their minds. The Earth having been ravaged by the Anti-Life equation, their Hail Mary is a trip to New Genesis to steal Metron’s chair. The logic is that the God of Intelligence’s tricked-up La-Z-Boy, if Cyborg sits in it, will reveal the way to not just stop the plague but reverse it, bringing the dead back to life.

But first, the away team had to be gathered. Everyone was in Poison Ivy’s sanctuary in Gotham except Dinah Lance, the new Green Lantern. She was mourning lost love Ollie Queen, Green Arrow turned quivering zombie.

Determined to bring him back, the former Black Canary joined the other heroes for a trip to the paradise planet of the New Gods.

Before they summon Metron, though, Highfather would have a word with son Scott Free. A father and son talk.

Finally, the Earth heroes entice the obsessively curious Metron into appearing, with the promise of a crystal ball that can foretell the future.

Their negotiations prove a tad heavy handed, but finally, there comes a meeting of minds. And some hope.

This is another terrific issue. Well, it’s by writer Tom Taylor, who never fails to provide surprising character moments along with the requisite superhero comic action. Standout moments include a twist on a particularly baffling sequence in the recent Mr Miracle maxi series, a great use of one of Mary Marvel’s most neglected gifts and a rather wry Metron.

Oh, and there’s one heck of a cliffhanger.

Trevor Hairsine provides dramatic positioning aplenty without hurting the panel-to-panel storytelling. He never fails to nail the drama, while inker Gigi Baldassini adds extra definition with his sharp lines and shading. That panel of a forlorn Dinah, emerald energy apparently dripping with sympathetic sadness, is wonderful. And even without running, Kid Flash has never looked so good.

Rain Beredo’s colour choices give each setting the right feel – from the pastoral calm of New Genesis to the volcanic intensity of Apokolips via the chilling beauty of the space between worlds. And Saida Temofonte lays down the fonts that further enhance the mood.

Beredo teams with illustrator David Finch for the cover, a dramatic encapsulation of the issue. And the display lettering is great, too – that would be the Production Department, who also ensure Highfather pops in front of the pitch-perfect logo.

You don’t have to like zombies to love this series and that’s particularly true this time – there’s barely a grunting, shambling shell of a person on display. All you have to do is enjoy excellently crafted superhero tales.

3 thoughts on “DCeased: Dead Planet #4 review

  1. At the end of Dead Planet #3, Constantine told Scott he needed a shower. Apparently he ducked into a pond at Ivy’s place just before leaving for New Genesis, for a bath and a shave. Gotta make a good impression on Dad!

    I’m interested in Damian’s slang when he says “Come back, yeah?” I think of that as UK, and maybe it’s said in Australia too, but likely not so much in Gotham. But Damian wasn’t born in America, so who knows what slang he grew up around in whatever fictitious country he’s from. I guess I’m picking on Tom Taylor’s dialog now.

    “Quivering zombie” — excellent pun! Take a bow.

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  2. ‘Take a bow!’ Good one yourself!

    Thanks for the background to Scott’s close shave… I was sure I’d read previous issues but according to my ComiXology account I never bought the things. I get the various DCeased properties mixed up in my head, and now I’m finally catching up on Injustice, things will likely get even worse. I do apologise! I’ve bought the missing three issues now.

    Interesting re: ‘Come back, yeah’? That never even struck me as perhaps region specific… maybe this is a Lex Luthor-created Australian-accented Damian clone?

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  3. I am getting the exact same stories mixed up. DCeased: Hope At World’s End is running simultaneously with Dead Planet. And I’m mixing them up with Injustice, too. Maybe because two of these are the only digitals I buy (and are drawn in that digital format); maybe because they are all by Tom Taylor. Or, most likely, I just read too many DC titles each month. (I often get 8 to 10 books a week, and when one thinks about it, remembering 40 stories month-to-month doesn’t even seem humanly possible.) DC’s flurry of cancellations may do me some good.

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