“The Monster Inside Of Us All”
Writer: Tom Taylor
Artists: Trevor Hairsine and Stefano Gaudiano
Color Artist: Rain Beredo
Letterer: Saida Temofonte
Review by Steve J. Ray
After finally cracking the anti-life equation a techno virus has infected the Earth, turning humanity, and a fair few superheroes, into slavering beasts intent on death, destruction and spreading the disease. Boy. I thought that the end of issue #1 was harrowing, but the final page of DCeased #2 is mind-blowing.
Writer Tom Taylor is an evil genius. He seemingly laid low humanity’s last hope by having Batman infected with the virus after a horrific attack from both Nightwing and Red Robin… in the very first issue! The book closed with Bats screaming for Alfred to save himself, while he was being bitten, scratched and literally torn apart by his sons.
Yes, the way this issue ends is even worse.
Worried? Who’s Worried?
The way this series is written and drawn just pulls you in. From the opening pages of Aquaman arriving on a vessel adrift in the Atlantic, to Superman, Lois, Damian and Jon watching the world burn from a Metropolis skyscraper, the tension builds and the feeling of doom and hopelessness pervades all.
Trevor Hairsine’s non-traditional, scratchy atmospheric art is perfect for this book, but Damian Wayne’s conversation with his friend Superboy – particularly with the end of issue #1 still fresh in the readers’ minds – is what really hammers the emotion home:
Superboy: Damian, Batman will be okay.
Robin: I’m not worried, Jon.
Superboy: Why not? I’m like seventy percent sure this is armageddon.
Robin: I’m not worried.
Inker Stefano Gaudiano and color artist Rain Beredo are amazing. They and letterer Saida Temofonte tie the look and atmosphere together with a gory, bloody little bow. Small but exquisite touches like the spatter of blood over the opening caption on page one, the wet, shimmering floor that Aquaman traverses on the deck of the ship, and not knowing where the gore created by the line artists ends, and the touches from the colorist begin, gives readers a cohesive comic that gels, and feels unified.
The way that every visual fits the writing is masterfully handled. For me this comic is the epitome of writer and artists working together in complete harmony. This is extremely ironic, considering the chaos, dischord and horror of the tale that they are telling.
There are some touching scenes between Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy too. We aslo find out what the Joker’s up to. It’s not funny.
I love my smartphone. I love going camping and cooking food on an open fire. Ollie, Dinah and Hal. Damn. Tom Taylor is slowly killing me.
Sorry, not sorry.
That last page, though…
DCeased #2 has broken my heart and dented my soul. I am dreading, but also cannot wait for issue #3.
Images Courtesy Of DC Entertainment