Here we are folks, the exciting conclusion to (I think) the best series to come out of DC in the past few years. Everything has been building up to this! Will the Amazo army wipe out all the anti-life zombies or will Trigon beat them to it? What about that zombie Darkseid from a few issues ago? Let’s hope our heroes can save the day before time runs out in the finale to DCeased: Dead Planet!
We open up the final issue with the Amazo army tearing the Anti-Life zombies in Brisbane to shreds. They are pretty much unstoppable killing machines, able to rip through zombies like paper and take on the Justice League like some super powered T-800's with pointy ears. Since they were programmed to deal with the old JL, the ones that are mostly dead or zombies, they soon find that this new “Justice League” can go toe to toe with them. With the murderous army of robots preoccupied, our heroes head for the bunker of the rich and powerful to put a stop to the robot army from there. After confronting a few of the Amazos outside, they make it inside to demand Oswald Cobblepot and his crew shut down their electronic horde. Being the Penguin, he of course doesn’t and orders the security forces to fire on both of them. Luckily for our heroes, they aren't gunned down because the mercs refuse to fire on Superman. This backfires even further when John Constantine shows up.
John decided to make a pit stop before heading over to beat up Trigon and uses Ragman’s rags to absorb the souls of the wicked. Before he goes to relieve Phantom Stranger and Zatanna, who are stalling the demon lord, Constantine makes sure that Superman and the gang save the world from the zombies while he saves it from Trigon. He leaves for Paris with Superman having called him a good man. He’s really not but hearing Superman call him that makes his day.
In the bunker, they find that Penguin had killed Professor Ivo in a coup leaving the job to deactivate the robots a lot harder for the heroes. All they have is a spare Amazo head to work with and they go back to Magnus Labs where Kid Flash and Cyborg are creating vials of the cure. Before they head off, Superman takes the time to thank the security forces for not firing on them, saying that “It takes a hero to say no to people in power when they’re wrong”.
Arriving at Magnus Labs, Superman and Batman update Cyborg and Kid Flash on the issue and decide to divide and conquer. Superman and Kid Flash will distribute the cure at super speed while Batman and Cyborg will fiddle around with the Amazo head and upload a virus (ironic) to shut down the robot army.
Over in Paris, Constantine shows up and relieves Phantom Stranger and Zatanna, standing face to face with Trigon. He’s actually face to foot with the demon lord while he’s crushing Phantom Stranger. Trigon taunts John about how he’ll get eternal torment in hell for all the magical items he’s amassed. Constantine doesn’t care and floats right up to his face to say “Shut Up” then attacks him with all he’s got. He uses the power of Shazam and the power of Fate to put the hurt on him, and Madame Xanadu’s Crystal Ball to stay a few moments ahead of him. He opens a Lovecraftian type dimension, calling on imprisoned souls and ancient gods to do his bidding and some good old fashioned dirty tricks. It’s a pretty good fight sequence though but Trigon ultimately crushes John, killing him...
Wait, did I read that right? *flips through pages again*
Yep, John Constantine is dead and for a moment there everything looks pretty bleak as the Justice League also starts getting their collective butts kicked by the Amazos.
As all looks lost and hope is dead, clearly, this looks like a job for Superman!
Even though the last son of Krypton is highly susceptible to magic he defies impossibility just long enough to keep Trigon busy while John Constantine comes back to life. Okay he sorta is and isn’t alive. A few issues ago, John had captured the soul of Deadman in the Ragman cloak. He was able to take his powers as well and became the new Deadman. He uses Deadman’s power and possesses Trigon long enough to make him shrink down to human size and pierce himself with the Spear of Destiny, killing him. Constantine saves the day, and as he’s fading into the unknown as a result of everything, in true John Constantine fashion, he pisses off every demon he owed something to. Meanwhile, Batman and Cyborg are able to send a virus through a salvaged Amazo head to the entire robot army and shuts them all down.
Now that the heroes don’t have to fight back the Amazo army, they can help Kid Flash finish supplying the cure to the remaining Anti-Life zombies and they do! Everyone is cured and we get some heartfelt reunions between heroes like Mera and a cured Tempest, Cassie Sandsmark and the cured Amazons, and even a tearful reunion between Superman and his Pa Kent. In fact this is where the issue and story ends, specifically with the reunion of Green Canary and a now cured Green Arrow kissing while we see a sunrise ahead of them.
DCeased: Dead Planet was one of the best comics to come out of 2020 and this issue was a good example why. It delivers a story that is compelling to read with interesting characters, an engaging premise, and all the perfectly balanced action, adventure, comedy, suspense and horror a comic reader could ask for. This final issue stuck the landing, giving us a satisfying conclusion to what’s been a wild ride for the past few months and that’s all it really had to do. While the creative team’s job isn’t just to merely stick the landing and call it mission accomplished, considering how good the rest of the book was, for them to seal the deal on this series wouldn't really take much. Tom Taylor and Trevor Hairsine gave us an action-packed, wholesome, and graceful ending that the series deserved. From great organic character moments to fun nods to other books, this series really did its best to make a great comic book that stands on its own legs even though it is a sequel and tells a great story that’s not tied down to an event or years and years of continuity. In short, this series, as well as this issue, is great and you should all read it.
I say great but was it perfect? Looks like it’s time for a little criticism because I’ve been praising this book way too much. My chief concern with this issue and the series as a whole was its pacing. Each issue felt like a quick read, and throughout had me thinking two things: “oh man, that’s it?!?! I need to read the next issue now!” and “That was quick...good, but quick.”
I don’t feel like I didn’t get my money’s worth for any of these issues or that there was no time to breathe between scenes but things always just felt a little too quick. I think the book might work better collected as a trade as opposed to being read monthly. This issue specifically felt a bit rushed at times as well but not as much. I think being the final issue packed with plot points being wrapped up gives the issue enough to feel not as rushed as the other issues. Also this series was only supposed to be six books. The covers of the first couple issues reveal as much. This seventh issue was added later in development but doesn’t feel inorganic.
There were also a couple of loose ends throughout the series. In this issue, two heroes fall but it’s never addressed. Hawkgirl’s wings were pulled out and Big Barda was blasted heavily by the Amazos and are last seen just bleeding out. Why? We just got Barda back and Hawkgirl barely had any lines in this series. It’s not addressed or explained and has me wondering why they would leave such a plot thread hanging. After all Scott did to get Barda back and all the heroes did to win the day there’s not even a throw-away line though Hawkgirl and Barda deserve better than that. With a series filled with such great detail and wonderful character moments it just seems so lazy. Also what happened with Anti-Life zombie Darkseid? That really felt like some eleventh hour stuff that was gonna come back and vex the heroes but ended up being nothing. The same goes for Superman / Clark Kent. He's still an Anti-Life Zombie stuck in the sun, draining it, right? Big Barda and Hawkgirl, will probably be sequel fodder, which I both welcome and worry about.
On a positive note, all the character moments are fantastic, especially the happily ever after ending. The awesomeness that is John Constantine in this series, Jon Kent / Superboy and Damian Wayne / Batman both teamed up together and individually; Tom Taylor really got these characters right and used them as effectively as their creators would have. I almost got a little teary eyed when Superman and Pa Kent met because it was both a wonderful reunion between grandfather and grandson and a sad reminder that Clark didn't get to be with his family. Trevor Hairsine draws them perfectly as well, and goes from big action set pieces to small tender moments very gracefully. Overall, DCeased: Dead Planet #7 is a great finale to what’s been a wonderfully fantastic comic series. For as much as I’ve been nitpicking it, this issue was a wonder and this entire series has been just the best, no words minced, JUST THE BEST. DCeased: Dead Planet has got The Variant “Great Comic” seal of approval, folks. Go to your local comic shop and pick this issue and this series up, in whatever form you can.
Verdict: 8.5/10 Happily Ever-Afters
Overall Verdict: 9/10 Post-Apocalyptic Cosmic Zombie Comics