DC’s Digital First comics are the new push from DC Comics, that while already planned with Batman: The Adventures Continue, have taken new importance in a world affected by COVID-19. One of these new titles is DCeased: Hope at Worlds End #1, a new series expanding the DCeased universe from writer-creator Tom Taylor, artist Dustin Nguyen, colorist Rex Lokus, and letterer Saida Temofonte.
In DCeased: Hope at Worlds End #1, the Anti-Life Equation has infected over a billion people on Earth. Heroes and villains have fallen and in the immediate aftermath of the destruction of Metropolis, Superman and Wonder Woman spearhead a plan to try to stem the tide of infection. Alluded to in the first DCeased series, the two have set out to preserve and protect survivors, and develop a plan for what’s next and attempt to bring back hope.
Told from the perspective of Jimmy Olson, Taylor uses the emotional connection that readers have to our heroes on the page. We’re Jimmy, and like him, watching a break in our heroes is hard. It’s what made the entirety of DCeased hard to read, and brought tears to my eyes. What do we do when our heroes fail? How do we keep hope? That’s what DCeased: Hope at Worlds End #1 focuses on. After establishing where Jimmy has been during the events of DCeased we get yet another beautiful narration of internal fears and external worries as the world gets plunged deeper into chaos.
As a first issue, this does a phenomenal job of carrying the weight of a fan-favorite series. Taylor seamlessly weaves Jimmy, a character unseen before in a large way during the anti-life events, that causes the reader to think back to the first issues in the best of ways. Jimmy is our heart on the page, narrating the breaking of hope and working to keep them remembered. Every moment of chaos is reinforced by Jimmy’s hope or loss of hope. There is something about Jimmy’s presence in this apocalypse that not only grounds this super-story in humanity but with readers as well. This issue serves as a window into a larger view of DCeased and that makes it truly great.
The art from Nguyen is jaw-droppingly beautiful, a stark contrast to the art from DCeased: Unkillables series. The illustration is warm, it’s inviting, which makes the horror cut deeper. The way Nguyen draws Jimmy’s blankness as the world plunges into chaos around him, using the camera to distance himself, those panels hit as hard as seeing Alfred standing over the bodies of his bat-children. I knew Nguyen’s work was gorgeous, given his time on Ascender, but the art in DCeased: Hope at Worlds End #1 blue any expectation out the door. Additionally, Lokus’ warm and vibrant colors add to the beauty on the page.
Overall, DCeased: Hope at Worlds End #1 is a stellar first issue and shows that Taylor’s DCeased storytelling hasn’t been played out yet. It’s emotional and sets up a new story in a way that will keep fans grabbing for more.
DCeased: Hope at Worlds End #1 released digitally on May 19, 2020 via DC Comics Digital First.
DCeased: Hope at Worlds End #1
DCeased: Hope at Worlds End #1 is a stellar first issue and shows that the Taylor’s DCeased storytelling hasn’t been played out yet. It’s emotional and sets up a new story in a way that will keep fans grabbing for more.
Kate Sánchez is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of But Why Tho? A Geek Community. There, she coordinates film, television, anime, and manga coverage. Kate is also a freelance journalist writing features on video games, anime, and film. Her focus as a critic is championing animation and international films and television series for inclusion in awards cycles.