Artists: Trevor Hairsine and Stefano Gaudiano
Color Artist: Rain Beredo
Letterer: Saida Temofonte
Review by Steve J. Ray
DCeased #5 is incredible. “Hope Lost” isn’t just a title, it’s a statement. Anyone who’s a true DC fan will know what those words really mean, and they tear at the soul from the very first page. The entire issue is a battle to get through, both for the protagonists and for the reader. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that as a criticism, in fact it’s a true and heartfelt compliment to the fine creators who’ve given us this haunting, harrowing, yet beautiful story.
The amazing thing about DCeased is the real sense of love I get from its pages. Writer Tom Taylor knows, understands and – yes- truly loves every single one of these characters. Heroes, villains, men, women, and monsters… I don’t think there are many writers out there who have as firm a grasp on them as he does. From the opening pages with Superman and Wonder Woman surveying the wreckage of Earth’s major cities, Taylor grabs you by the throat, the guts and the heart. I’ve never seen a more human, yet vulnerable – yet still totally true to character – rendition of Lex Luthor. He may have always hated Superman, but he loved his city.
Then there’s the humor. I never once thought that Luthor would ever make me smile, but there’s a line in this issue pertaining to Batman which, honestly, made me laugh out loud.
Trevor Hairsine and Stefano Gaudiano add even more emotional weight to the writing, as their characters are so beautifully emotive and expressive. I’ve heard a few fans say that this series is let down by the art… I don’t know what comic they’re reading. If pages one, two, three, and that incredible climax, don’t tear at your heart, then I’m not really sure that you have one.
Rain Beredo’s color art and the letters by Saida Temofonte are the blood pumping through the veins of this issue. The book is full of gore and violence, but red is also the color of passion and love. Though there are some truly horrific moments in this comic, the main emotion I left with (other than impending doom) was love. The love of a father, a husband and a son. The love of a true hero.
The word masterpiece is banded about a lot, but honestly, in my opinion this series and this issue qualify. DCeased #5 is without doubt one of the best comics of 2019. Yes it was torture, yes it hurt, but those are the feelings that let us know we’re alive. Technology is dead, but paradise may yet be awaiting the survivors; both in the Green of Gotham’s Central Park, and on the aptly named Paradise Island of Themyscira.
Just don’t step on the grass.
Images Courtesy Of DC Entertainment