Deathstroke of Luck (DCeased: Unkillables #1 Review)
DCEASED: UNKILLABLES #1
Writer: Tom Taylor
Penciller: Karl Mostert
Inkers: Trevor Scott, Neil Edwards & John Livesay
Colorist: Rex Lokus
Letterer: Saida Temofonte
Cover by Howard Porter & Tomeu Morey
Song: Dragula by Rob Zombie
I was totally prepared to have my heart ripped out. I was ready for Tom Taylor to hold back no thought of gruesome death. In last year’s DCeased mini-series, literally every issue, there was at least one moment where I said to myself “Holy @$%#, he really just killed that character.” Early on, Taylor took out some heavy-hitters of the DC Universe and by the end of it, not a single member of the Trinity was spared. Yes, there were survivors, but the world was lost. The Heroes lost. In world consumed by the Anti-Life and surrounded by death, a fresh new perspective, one where those that thrive are the ones who aren’t trying to save people, rather save themselves and have no problem dropping a few bodies along the way. Enter the Unkillables.
The first arc of the issue starts out with Slade Wilson out on a contract in Kentucky, Day One of the Anti-Life Virus. In what could only be described as “Deathstroke in Zombieland,” the tone of this issue is set within the first few pages of, but rather than the usual heartbreak that was prevalent the original series, a sliver of hope in the form of Healing Factor-badassery. Slade comes conscious a day later, with his hands around a survivor’s neck. Apparently gaining his sanity back in the midst of the rage zombie infection, his healing factor managed to fend off the Anti-Life Virus and its effects. By the second night of the Anti-Life virus, Slade makes his way to Gotham to rescue Ravager. The rescue doesn’t go as planned when it’s interrupted by the Anti-Life Man-Bat. Luckily, Slade and Rose survive the attack and they are approached by an unlikely survivor: The Mirror Master. This encounter leads Slade and Rose in the hidden lair of Vandal Savage and his team of survivors: Solomon Grundy, The Creeper, The Cheetah, Captain Cold, Bane, Lady Shiva, and Deadshot.
The second story arc of this issue brings us back to the Bat-cave, immediately after the conclusion of the original series’ first issue. Jason Todd, walks in and discovers the corpses of Bruce Wayne, Dick Grayson, and Tim Drake. After paying his last respects to his fallen family members, he goes in search of any other members of the Bat-family who may have survived. That leads Jason crashing through the walls of the GCPD where Jim Gordon and the Black Bat, Cassandra Cain, are fending off a horde of Rage Zombies. In their escape, Todd reveals the identities of the Bat-family to Gordon shortly before taking him to confirm the death of his daughter, Barbara. Along with the bodies of the other fallen Family Members, Jason finds himself a new hood ornament for the Batmobile. From there, they take a road trip to Blüdhaven where they encounter a group of abandoned orphans. It seems almost fitting that it’s Cassandra and Jason to find the group of kids.
As far as spin-off issues go, this series start is definitely a good contrast from the absolute horror show DCeased was. There is a good amount of humor in the midst of all the blood, guts and more blood. Thus far, nothing too extremely shocking has happened, but I would never put it past Tom Taylor to pull a fast one on us in the next issue. The fact that Jason, Cassandra, and Jim have run into a group of kids is a bit concerning and I hope that they don’t have to deal with any child-sized Rage Zombies in the coming issues. As for the Zombie Apocalypse Suicide Squad, I have extremely high hopes for their story to develop seeing as that it’s quite a motley crew of rogues and villains and from what I know of Vandal Savage, his plans are always elaborate as they are interesting. What would make for an even more interesting turn of events would have to be the inevitability that these two group cross paths at a certain point. Jason Todd being ever more so trigger happy in the Zombie Apocalypse could make for an interesting interaction with Slade and the rest of his crew.