“War Of The Undead Gods” – Book Five
Writer: Tom Taylor
Artists: Trevor Hairsine, Neil Edwards, and Andy Lanning
Color Artist: Rain Beredo
Letterer: Saida Temofonte
Review by Steve J. Ray
DCeased: War Of The Undead Gods #5 is here and it’s out of this world… in so many ways. We’ve already seen heroes, villains, Green Lanterns, and New Gods. This month sees the arrival of a 5th dimensional imp, and the stakes are raised even higher.
With entire galaxies already infected with the anti-life plague, bringing other dimensions into the mix, particularly when said dimensions are populated by beings with god-like powers, adds credence to Are’s assertations that this is war that cannot be won.
Tom Taylor is an incredible writer with an astonishing imagination. With every volume of DCeased he’s seemingly written himself into the certain defeat corner, and yet always managed to have a logical, clever, and acceptable escape mapped out. Things have never looked quite as grim as they do at the end of this issue, but in Tom we trust.
The art team of Hairsine, Edwards, Lanning and Beredo are also creating (inter)stellar work. Their depiction of Mxyzptlk is the scariest I’ve seen since Alan Moore’s now legendary “Whatever Happened To The Man Of Tomorrow” (Superman #423 and Action Comics #583, 1986). The ending to this issue raises the stakes higher than I ever imagined possible!
The entire universe is in danger, multiple dimensions could now topple and with Mxyzptlk going toe-to-toe against one of DC Comics’ heaviest hitters as the issue ends, even heaven and hell could fall to the anti-life equation. These are the highest stakes I’ve seen in a comic outside of the company wide Crisis crossovers.
Amongst all of the cosmic and universal shenanigans we still have the human heart at the core this story. Although it’s definitely broken, it’s still beating. DCeased: War Of The Undead Gods #5 delivers some truly beautiful character moments with Mr. Miracle and Barda, Kilowog and the Green Lantern Corps. The Guardians of the Universe have shown their true colors, but the GL’s light shines bright in this issue. It’s wonderful to see.
This series is fantastic. While the action is always there and the series is always entertaining, this creative never forgets that the heart of the story revolves around having characters that feel real and that we care about. Sometimes the huge, cosmic-level comics forget this and deliver tales that are all style over substance. DCeased may well be a superhero/sci-fi/action/horror comic book, designed to thrill and entertain, but it’s also a story about love and survival, and that’s what will keep readers engaged.
Images Courtesy of DC Entertainment