zombies
DCeased: Unkillables
Medium: comic
Year: 2020
Writer: Tom Taylor
Artist: Karl Mostert
Keywords: superhero, zombies
Format: 3-issue limited series
Website category: Comics
Review date: 31 December 2021
It's a side-story, set during the main DCeased storyline and starring a mix of goodies, villains and anti-heroes. In other words, it's a bit Suicide Squaddy (although not as good because it lacks Amanda Waller). I've seen it called more optimistic than the main DCeased, but I didn't see much difference in that regard.
Overall, I enjoyed it, but was annoyed that the walking dick survives.
The baddies are fun and on paper deserve that "unkillable" tag-line. In practice... well, you're not unkillable if you haven't yet fought a zombie Wonder Woman. There's:
1. Deathstroke, aka. Slade Wilson = elderly assassin with a healing factor that stops him turning into a zombie
2. Lady Shiva = another assassin and the mother of the current Batwoman
3. Rose Wilson = Deathstroke's daughter. She can see the future, which is useful right now.
4. Creeper = historically more often a hero than a villain, but never mind that. Also has a healing factor.
5. Vandal Savage = utter bastard and immortal who's 53,000 years old
6. Bane = why is this guy still hanging around the DC universe? Seriously. He broke Batman's back, but he's boring.
7. Cheetah = enemy of Wonder Woman
8. Mirror Master = whose dimension-jumping makes him the ultimate wild card
9. Deadshot = the world's greatest marksman
10. Captain Cold = Taylor's openly ticking off Suicide Squad characters, isn't he?
11. Solomon Grundy = immune to zombification since he's a zombie already
Mind you, there's a forehead-wrinkler in Slade and the Creeper being immune to the anti-life virus due to their healing factor. Don't some superheroes have that too? Superman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Martian Manhunter... well, never mind.
The goodies are also fun. There's:
12. Commissioner Jim Gordon, Batman's friend and the greatest. Becomes the team leader and surrogate dad to...
13. A bunch of orphans. They befriend the villains and take survival lessons from them, which is funny.
14. Batwoman (Cassandra Cain)
Unfortunately, though, there's also a certain anti-hero. He's stupid enough to disbelieve Rose Wilson's precognition. He carves swear words on tombstones. On finding the Joker's corpse, he says, "Damn. It should have been me. I should have been the one to kill him."
15. Jason sodding Todd.
The best thing he does is to get kicked in the face. In a perfect world, though, he'd have died screaming.
Anyway, it's another entertaining zombie apocalypse yarn. There's a strong parent-child theme, just like the original DCeased. (Gordon, Slade and Shiva are all the parents of significant DC characters who fell foul of the current situation. Gordon and Slade bond. Orphans become everyone's pseudo-children, while of course Jason's an orphan too.) Furthermore, the villain-child relationships give the book its nicest and funniest material. Grundy plays with them and becomes a big kid himself. The prickly Cheetah's bond with Matilda is hilarious. Inappropriate lessons are taught. ("Witty Things To Say When Beheading Undead." "Has Trained To Strangle A Pompous Princess With Her Own Golden Lasso.")
The art's okay and reminds me a little of Frank Quitely, but I'm not a huge fan of it. I prefer freer, bolder art that doesn't stand back delicately like this. There are some good comedy faces, but even they could have taken clearer ownership of their panels. Even so, though, this is worth a look. It's nothing revolutionary, but I'm becoming a fan of this zombie/superhero genre. Even Superman's heroism becomes more meaningful if he's going to get eaten.