The best zombie stories always provide a mix of unrepentant storytelling, over the top gore, and psychologically screwed up moral choices for the characters — think the zombie baby in Dawn of the Dead, or pick a moment at random from The Walking Dead.
DC Comics’ zombie thriller DCeased had its fair share of those psychological moments, including the climax of the story, where Jon Kent had to fight off his zombified father just before the readers discovered there was a cure. That book’s follow up, DCeased: Unkillables, is surely not going to skimp on them either.
“For the psychological aspect, I rely on my writer to guide me in the story,” Unkillables artist Karl Mostert tells us in an interview. “Tom Taylor [writer of both DCeased and Unkillables] has done that so well and it amazes me how he does it, using iconic characters that people love and know in ways that I don’t think have been used before.”
Of course, you still need the gore. “My editor Ben [Abernathy] has had to ask me to not do certain things so we could keep within the age restriction,” Mostert says. “I’ve had to rein myself in a lot…I thread that needle with A LOT of help from the other creators.”
Those other creators include inks from Neil Edwards, Trevor Scott, and John Livesay, colors from Rex Lokus, and letters from Saida Temofonte. Returning from the original series are writer Taylor and editor Abernathy, not content to have destroyed readers’ souls with the assorted horrors of their first zombie book. Here, they take the various characters left behind – Red Hood, Cheetah, Lady Shiva, and others – and drop them in an orphanage.
“I have loved drawing Slade, Red Hood, and Batgirl, but I’m most excited about drawing Wonder Woman,” teases Mostert.
Slade Wilson (aka Deathstroke) is, at least if our exclusive preview of Unkillables #1 is any indication, shaping up to be one of the most interesting characters in zombie fiction. He may be the first character we’ve seen emerge from a zombie infection from his own perspective, and the choice to show readers that act from inside Slade’s eyes is a terrific one.
“I thought it would be best to show him being sort of possessed, then the screen fades with blood darkening his sight, then coming to with his healing clearing up his vision—all from his point of view,” Mostert tells us.
And like DCeased before it, Unkillables has a secret weapon: its sense of humor. There are parts of the first issue that are really funny. And not ridiculous, gore slapstick funny. Subtle, head tilt, and shrug funny. With a little gore mixed in.
“It’s a situational thing, when the time calls for it, giving people a sort of misdirection to lull them into a sort of safe spot only to bring them to tears with the more gory parts of the story,” says Mostert about the surprising jokes in the first issue. “I think it’s easy to do only because of a lifetime spent watching movies of the same nature.”
Here’s what DC has to say about the book:
DCEASED: UNKILLABLES #1
written by TOM TAYLORart by KARL MOSTERT and TREVOR SCOTTcover by HOWARD PORTERcard stock variant cover by FRANCESCO MATTINAHorror movie homage card stock variant cover by YASMINE PUTRI
The blockbuster DC series returns to answer this question: What did the villains do when the heroes failed and the world ended?
Spinning out of the dramatic events of 2019’s smash hit, writer Tom Taylor returns to this dark world with a street-level tale of death, heroism and redemption. Led by Red Hood and Deathstroke, DC’s hardest villains and antiheroes fight with no mercy to save the only commodity left on a dying planet of the undead—life!
Take a look!