DCeased: Dead Planet #5 review

With the Justice League’s more cosmic members visiting the New Gods in a bid to find the cure for anti-life, John Constantine is free to tackle another problem facing Earth. Trigon the Terrible is coming to destroy all humanity – demons are unhappy that while millions have fallen, their undead state means their souls aren’t being released to Hell. Liverpool’s finest son knows where there’s a weapon that gives them a chance against Trigon – the Spear of Destiny. Gathering the troops, we’re reminded that love is worth fighting for.

That weird family link between Constantine and Swamp Thing allows them to take Red Hood, Ravager, Batwoman Cassandra Cain and Batman Damian Wayne to mystical Namba Parbat in the Himalayas. After being greeted by super-spook Deadman, Constantine meets the ghost’s mistress, Rama Kushna.

And things get messy, as they always do in this post-disaster DC Earth. And the more shocking things get, the more I enjoy this mini-series sequel to DCeased led by original creators Tom Taylor and Trevor Hairsine. Because its out-of-continuity nature allows them to give us action and character moments, big and small, that canon doesn’t allow. The emotional connections, old and new, as written by Taylor and translated by Hairsine, are stellar. Taylor mines DC history for unexpected gems while Hairsine’s knack for street level, cosmic and mystical scenarios alike serves the book brilliantly. Gigi Baldassini’s sympathetic inks make their mark – I especially like the Neal Adams finish she gives Boston Brand. Colourist Rain Beredo is another big asset, pumping up the emotional resonance with their palette, while Saida Temofonte’s lettering also underline the intensity of proceedings. The entire creative team is a credit to editor Ben Abernathy.

Highlights this time include a surprising addition to the Marvel Family, a fresh look for Swamp Thing and John making like a mystical matador.

The cover by illustrator David Finch and colourist Tomeu Morey isn’t issue-specific, but it’s well done and a likely crowd pleaser

Dead Planet #7 is another dark, fascinating rollercoaster of a comic, the most fun you can have after an apocalypse. Don’t miss it.

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