War Of The Undead Gods continues with an unbelievable sophomore issue. Just as the world’s heroes have begun attempting to rebuild their world, a new foe has emerged to threaten their universe at large. While not as tragic or violent as expected, Undead Gods once again instills the fear of Darkseid to the DCUniverse.
I want to single out Mr. Miracle, Guy Gardner, and Sinestro as stand out characters in this iteration of DCeased. As Scott Free is finally able to reunite with his wife, they begin the search for their child. Scott just so happened to have abandoned his child on New Genesis. However, we learned last issue that New Genesis is no longer safe. In the midst of Scott forgetting his parental duty, we learn the truth about Darkseid and the corny “Doom Tubes.” Doom Tubes seem to be Boom Tubes that the unliving can travel through exclusively. This complicates their fight against the virus, because now it can cross the universe in seconds. Either way, I don’t believe Scott and Barda will be seeing their child for a while.
On the so-called Guy Gardner scale of intelligence, this version of the character is a Booster Gold level of smart-ass. A lot of fans look for Guy Gardner’s irritable personality to shine through, but I have been tired of him ever since his toxic appearance in Tom King’s The Human Target. Objectively, Guy provides much needed levity to the dour series. Many of his fast witted jabs at the self-serious Braniac are easily the highlight of the book. Subjectively, nobody wants this kind of guy to survive the apocalypse.
Conversely, we have Sinestro’s dilemma. I’m not familiar in how Sinestro got a hold of Warworld, but the concept makes for a fascinating power up. Alternatively, The Green Lantern Corps appear to obstruct Sinestro’s attempt to deal with the problem. Obviously, shooting first and asking questions later hardly works out for Law Enforcement. I understand that firing Warworld on a planet does not look good, but I can’t understand The Corps lack of situational awareness of the distress call. The misunderstanding is a useful device for furthering Tom Taylor’s plot device, but it becomes a clunky in-universe snafu that makes the Corps look amateur.
Trevor Hairsine makes line art that compliments this kind of storytelling. The heroes are statuesque, the zombies look like zombies, and the action is brutal. At the same time, Guy Gardner’s lumpy Android 16-like features, Big Barda’s wildly inconsistent looks, and other facial rendering are the stand out flaws. The backgrounds are devilishly underdrawn collaborations between Andy Lanning’s inks and Rain Beredo’s colors. The settings are awash in murky complimentary colors that don’t feel very cohesive. Additionally, much of the design philosophy seems to be “what-if” based. Superman has a metal arm, The Doom Tubes are just grey blobs, and the main villain’s flashy upgrade is a fan-fueled fever dream.
On A Separate Note
I found the moment where Brainiac casually hands Kandor to Superman to be an interesting olive branch. Brainiac reasons that intelligence is worthless to be archived without intelligent life as a steward. Normally Brainiac would relish being solely in the know, but removing all life and its context from the universe would reduce Earth into a simple rock, or the universe at-large into lights in the sky. This opens up an exciting debate about memetic information possibly outliving those who can perceive it. On a smaller scale, this is clear in the inability to understand old memes or dead languages. To be clear, Brainiac does not care if we die, but he cannot stomach the death of context. He may be out of line, but he’s right.
- You have always wanted two pages of Guy Gardner taking the piss out of Brainiac.
- The words “Darkseid the Unliving” don’t scare you off.
- You desire a comic where Sinestro actually almost saves the universe.
I don’t know how to compliment this issue in a way that doesn’t sound backhanded. It is not a bad issue, but it has more than a few double edged positives. I like the gestures, but not the terrible portions of background, faces, and the “what if?” designs. The character interactions between Guy and Brainiac stole the show, but the actions of some of the characters make them unrelatable and others outright unlikable. Overall, this issue was a mixed bag with mixed emotions, which usually results in a mixed score. As long as enjoyment can still be found in this wacky, yet self-serious series then that score will remain mixed positive.
DISCLAIMER: DC Comics provided Batman News with a copy of this comic for the purposes of this review.