The upcoming mini-series DCeased will place DC Comics' greatest heroes in a zombie apocalypse situation akin to The Walking Dead and test the heroic codes of the World's Finest heroes like never before. The Elseworlds tale will answer the question: how can heroes fight to save the world... when it's already doomed?
The concept of DCeased may sound like old hat to many comics fans. Robert Kirkman, the creator of The Walking Dead, spun a similar story in 2005's Marvel Zombies, which saw an alternate version of the Marvel Comics universe destroyed by a zombie plague that turned its heroes into flesh-eating monsters. The key difference between that story and DCeased, however, seems to be one of focus. Whereas Marvel Zombies' story quickly became dominated by dark comedy and gruesome action, the focus of DCeased seems to be upon heroism and holding to your ethics in a time of troubles. In this, the two series might be compared to what kind of story The Walking Dead told in the beginning, and what it ultimately became, both in the comics and the television series.
CBR spoke with DCeased author Tom Taylor about the project and how it would differ from a typical comics event or horror series. Taylor explained that the action of the story will center around a plague which infects 600 million people and is spread through anything with a screen, transforming the infected into "violent, monstrous engines of destruction." Taylor further teased the project on his social media, revealing some of the dialogue in a series of Tweets, which can be viewed below.
“It was, perhaps, the League’s finest hour. It was their last together.”#DCEASED— Tom Taylor (@TomTaylorMade) February 11, 2019
“…it was a sound no one had ever heard before. It was the sound of a Superman breaking the jaw of a God.”#DCEASED— Tom Taylor (@TomTaylorMade) February 11, 2019
"Pretty Bird. What did you do? What did you--?" #DCeased.— Tom Taylor (@TomTaylorMade) February 12, 2019
These lines hint at several dark events to come, starting with the apparent end of the Justice League. The second line almost certainly refers to Superman unleashing his full fury on Darkseid (we hope), who is suggested in the preview artwork to be the villain responsible for creating the deadly virus that dooms the Earth. The final line may be the most shocking, however, hinting at the hero Black Canary doing something so disturbing that it shatters the resolve of her long-time love-interest Green Arrow, who always addressed her as "Pretty Bird."
While the focus of the story may be on heroism in a time of crisis (as is typical for DC Comics' events), readers can also expect to see a bit of dark comedy and ultra-violence in DCeased. Taylor is perhaps most famous as the author of the New York Times Best Selling Injustice: Gods Among Us - another Elseworlds series that became infamous for its use of twisted humor and stunning deaths that put The Walking Dead to shame.
Indeed, Taylor has said that half of the attraction of the DCeased project was "thinking of new and terrible ways to torture my favorite heroes in ways that made Injustice look tame by comparison.” Taylor further warned readers that "...no one you love is safe. Even the icons can fall."