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Superman battles zombie hordes in a surprise new DCeased series

DCeased: Hope at World’s End is already available

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Wonder Woman, Superman, Superboy, Robin, and a zombified Black Adam pose on the cover of DCeased: Hope at World’s End #1, DC Comics (2020). Image: Ben Oliver/DC Comics
Susana Polo is an entertainment editor at Polygon, specializing in pop culture and genre fare, with a primary expertise in comic books. Previously, she founded The Mary Sue.

A sequel to DC ComicsDCeased, the company’s wildly popular superheroes-beset-by-zombies series, wasn’t expected to hit shelves until late June. Today, however, DC Comics revealed that the setting is also getting a digital-first midquel — DCeased: Hope at World’s End — with all those juicy fights between Superman, Wonder Woman, and Earth’s zombie hordes. And it’s already available to read.

When DCeased was announced it was easy to dismiss it as an imitation of the venerable Marvel Zombies line, but the series’ writer, Tom Taylor, is no stranger to breathing life into concepts that might seem played out on paper. And the series has been DC’s best-selling not-in-continuity story since it hit shelves.

In DCeased, Darkseid’s endless search for the anti-life equation went terribly wrong, and kicked off a universe-spanning zombie plague that transmitted through any digital communications device, in addition to the standard bite or scratch. The outbreak started bad, when the Bat-family’s reliance on technology meant that pretty much all of them were instantly infected. But the situation wasn’t really nasty until Flash got infected too. Now that’s a fast zombie. Ultimately, humanity was forced to abandon Earth on a colony ship, hoping to find a new life on a new planet.

DCeased’s first continuation, DCeased: Unkillables, told the story of how Earth’s supervillains weathered the outbreak, and the upcoming sequel, DCeased: Dead Planet, will take place years later, as surviving heroes like Superboy and Robin (now Superman and Batman) return to Earth years later to answer a distress signal from potential survivors. But DCeased: Hope at World’s End #1 expands on the original story of DCeased.

“There was a point in DCeased where we had to make the decision to skip weeks of losses and triumphs and heroism or our first miniseries wouldn’t exactly be a miniseries,” Taylor said in a DC Comics press release. “But we knew we had a larger story to tell, so we seeded plots we could expand on and deliberately left huge characters off the table for the future. That future is here.”

He means that literally: DC announced the series’ existence today, and released its first issue digitally at the same time. DCeased: Hope at World’s End #1, written by Taylor and drawn by Dustin Nguyen (Ascender, Detective Comics), recaps DCeased from the perspective of Superman’s pal Jimmy Olsen, and sets the stage for the Anti-Life War. You can pick it up on Comixology for $0.99. The 14-issue series will come out digitally twice a month.

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