“DCeased: Hope At World’s End”
Writer: Tom Taylor
Artists: Marco Failla, Renato Guedes, Carmine Di Giandomenico, Karl Mostert, Danielle Di Nicuolo, Dustin Nguyen, Trevor Scott, and Jon Sommariva
Color Artist: Rex Lokus
Letterer: Saida Temofonte
Review by Steve J. Ray
DCeased: Unkillables and DCeased: Dead Planet blew me away. I didn’t think that anything could live up to the terrific original run, but Tom Taylor is one of those writers that fans have total faith in… with good reason. When the first DCeased came out, most of us thought it was a one-and-done mini-series, but Taylor sowed seeds in his tale which more than left the doors wide open for sequels. I’m so happy to be reviewing the series which was originally a DC Comics Digital First, DCeased: Hope at World’s End which is finally available in print form.
Set firmly within DCeased continuity, specifically during the time jump in DCeased #5, this story focuses on characters we didn’t see in either the original mini-series or in Unkillables. Taylor has very cleverly already told two complete tales – which both stand alone and work together – while also leaving clues and connections which allow the universe to grow and develop. This story shows us exactly what happened at the Daily Planet, and lets us catch up with Perry White, Jimmy Olsen, and the rest of Clark Kent’s professional family. What we get is a brilliant look back at the early days of the anti-life contagion, through the eyes of the ordinary people of Metropolis… and that’s just the beginning.
Hope At World’s End
Rather than just work as an add-on to its three, hugely successful predecessors, Hope At World’s End gives us glimpses at parts of the planet other than the U.S., including Qurac and Kahndaq. Throwing these locations, and characters like Black Adam and Nightshade into the mix was a stroke of genius. If you thought that the previous tales gave the whole picture, reading this great collection clearly demonstrates that we only ever saw part of the battle. A huge part of the war is finally revealed in this book.
The DCeased stories have always impressed, both with story and art. Hope at World’s End is no exception. Every artist who worked on this book did an amazing job. It’s no secret that I’ve always preferred one book to be handled by one art team, but the short sharp chapters, which hopped around the world, moving between scenes of action, horror, triumph, and tragedy work brilliantly when drawn by this small army of talented creators.
The style in every installment fits in beautifully with that of Trevor Hairsine, who drew the original DCeased. That’s clever and welcome, as these stories are set during that time period. The storytelling by each creative team is sublime, the characters are expressive, and the action first rate.
Having DCeased veterans Rex Lokus and Saida Temofonte on color and lettering duties is also a hell of a coup. I’ve been raving about these two talented artists forever, and a glance at the images in this review will explain why. Even though several talents were responsible for the line-art, Rex and Saida added a level of familiarity and uniformity that not only make this book work as its own entity but also as part of the whole, incredible DCeased opus.
Seeing characters you’ve loved for decades die is always harrowing, but despite the violence, horror, and chaos, every book in this series has always ended leaving us with a sense of hope. Out of canon continuity books like this one allow for fresh and innovative storytelling: Batman can never die in his own mainstream books – at least not permanently – so seeing him, and several other DC Comics mainstays perish in these tales really hits hard.
DCeased: Hope at World’s End is a very worthy addition to the epic saga, and well worth adding to any fan’s collection.
Review copy courtesy of Penguin Random House. Images courtesy of DC Entertainment – ISBN 978-1-77951-129-7