Comic Review – DCeased: A Good Day to Die #1 (DC Comics)

Our pal Kit reviews comics for us! This is one of those reviews.

Warning: minor spoilers.

“God is dead” – Mr Miracle

DCeased has been DC’s take on the superhero zombie angle Marvel capitalised on during the mid-2000s. I’ve been reading it and have to describe it as better than it deserves to be. A Good Day to Die looks to bring in other characters in the DC Universe to show some of the other attempts at salvaging this universe in some shape or form. With the main series focused on the Justice League, this issue picks up with Mr Miracle, Big Barda, Mr Terrific, John Constantine, Blue Beetle and Booster Gold in their desperate attempt to fix things by any means necessary.

This comic was bought to us by:

  • Writer – Tom Taylor
  • Artist – Laura Braga, Darick Robertson
  • Ink Artist – Richard Friend, Trevor Scott, Darick Robertson
  • Colour Artist – Rain Beredo
  • Trading Card Artist – Madeline McGrane
  • Letterer – Saida Temofonte

The issue begins with Mr Miracle and Big Barda watching Apokalips explode as Darkseid’s mistake that started everything comes to it’s inevitable conclusion where it all began. As the reality of what has occurred dawns on them, they’re reached out to by Mr Terrific. The team then begin to address what may be some of the inevitable fan questions – the ‘why don’t they just use magic etc?’. This isn’t a happy story however, as you’ll have guessed by the title of the issue we see each of the team’s efforts come to tragic ends as they desperately try to avert the apocalypse with one desperate strategy after another, with some real jerk moves by the powers that be at times.

The story in this issue ties in neatly with the main series with Taylor’s writing hinting at the disasters taking place elsewhere in the world. As with the main series punches are not pulled when it comes to character deaths.

Braga and Robertson work well together throughout the issue. The imagery is as powerful as the main series, although some of the character deaths don’t quite have the full punch they do in the main series when you see them take place. Constantine is fun throughout the issue – desperately trying to scrape by while shamelessly showing his contempt for regular superheroes he ultimately begrudgingly admits he is one of.

Final Verdict

This issue is a fun tie in to supplement the DCeased main run. As with the main series I would label this as ‘better than it deserves to be’ with the concept being one which shouldn’t really hold up in modern comics, though still manages to with a fun self-awareness of its own ridiculousness. The art could maybe be a little stronger, though it is still solid enough to deliver a strong horror and shock factor as and when it’s needed.

If you read the main series, this is definitely worth your time. If not however, I would suggest starting with the main series and picking this up if you enjoy it.

Score: 8 Bottles from the Top Shelf out of 10

Comic Review – Mera: Queen of Atlantis #1 (DC Comics)

Our pal Kit reviews comics for us! This is one of those reviews.

Warning: minor spoilers.

Cover art by Nicola Scott

“To my surprise I have been declared Queen in Exile” Mera

And I’m back again to pick up a new comic review. I thought it time to return to the mainstream comics having picked up an indie last time (though there will be more of these to follow). This time Mera: Queen of Atlantis caught my eye. It’s a first issue and I’m looking to expand the DC comics I read. Mera is a character I am familiar with through other media – Justice League and Aquaman mainly and she is someone I felt I could get to know better. She’s framed as a warrior queen in a similar way to a fair few other comic book heroes, and I want to see what she can do with the spotlight on her and not in a supporting role. This comic is bought to us by:

  • Writer – Dan Abnett
  • Pencils – Lan Medina
  • Inks – Richard Friend
  • Colours – Veronica Gandini
  • Letters – Simon Bowland

The plot picks up with Mera stranded on the surface, the throne lost and much of her power drained in a coup in Atlantis. Aquaman may be dead and not only does she have to recover, take back the throne and keep the surface world countries out of Atlantis through political maneuvering, she also has to deal with assassins sent by the usurper Rath. It’s a lonely task as well, as with many civil disputes it’s not an issue outsiders such as the Justice League can simply weigh in on. There’s a lot of exposition getting into this comic. In rapid succession it brings the reader up to speed with the state of play in Atlantis, Mera’s situation and how it relates to the world at large. Additionally the issue sets up the likely role of who I presume will be her ally, Ocean Master.

As for the art, Medina, Friend and Gandini have worked together to create a vibrant world, rich in colour. There are numerous different settings which they jump between, using full colour spreads during the intense action, a faded palette during flashbacks and good use of white space to slow things down during conversations and exposition reveals.

Art by Medina, Friend, Gandini and Bowland

The real test, with so many different settings and scenes is how well the hands are drawn though? Pretty solidly overall. They look great during action scenes and add a great dynamic element to Mera when she’s swimming or in water. When they are visible during character conversations they look good, however I would have liked to have seen more of them due to the emphasis they can give on body language, emotion and communication.

Final Verdict

This is a solid first issue. There is a lot to get through though and it took me a couple of reads to take everything in. I think if you’re more familiar with Atlantean DC Lore you would pick this up easily but as someone who knows their way around it less it was a bit of a tough read in places.

Score: 8 Aquakinetics out of 10