WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for DCeased: Hope at World’s End #1 by Tom Taylor, Dustin Nguyen, Rex Lokus and Saida Temofonte, now available digitally.
DCeased may have started out as a six-issue miniseries, but it has quickly given way to a widening universe of stories. So far, DCeased have spun-off into special one-shots and miniseries such as DCeased: A Good Day to Die and the just-concluded DCeased: Unkillables miniseries. What’s more, a sequel will soon arrive in the form of DCeased: Dead Planet. Now, this week also brought the surprise announcement and release of the digital-first spinoff series DCeased: Hope at World’s End.
This new digital series takes place during an unexplored period of time that can be found in DCeased #5. In the issue from the original miniseries, there was a considerable time jump between the initial outbreak of the Anti-Life virus and when the superheroes and surviving humans finally found refuge in Themyscira, Gotham City and the Fortress of Solitude. However, Hope at World’s End takes a few steps back and slows things down to examine other, smaller moments that took place during that time, in-between the original miniseries’ shocking events.
But, as it turns out, that window of time was far from uneventful. In fact, as we learn in the first chapter, it was the setting for a secret war that went unmentioned before now: the Anti-Life War.
Hope at World’s End #1 is told entirely from Jimmy Olsen’s point of view. Superman’s pal was in the Daily Planet building when the Anti-Life virus was first unleashed upon the world, and that he watched most of the newspaper’s crew fall victim to it — editor-in-chief Perry White included. After the outbreak, Jimmy takes the few survivors are left with him and holes up with them in a safe room elsewhere in the building until Superman shows up to save them. Jimmy and his fellow survivors are still in their safe room when Captain Atom explodes, taking Metropolis along with him. Thankfully, Jimmy and the others are saved just in time by Black Canary and taken to the refugee camp at Superman’s Fortress of Solitude.
There, Jimmy keeps on documenting the heroic exploits of the remaining heroes, who fight to repel the infected and save what little humans are left. As Jimmy runs stock of all of his pictures from recent events, he warns that the heroes will face the Anti-Life army in what seems sure to be a devastating battle. Thanks to one of Jimmy’s pictures, we see that this army includes plenty of infected characters such as Atom Smasher, Black Adam, Hawkman, Black Manta and many, many more who are obscured by shadow.
What’s more, the caption of the issue’s final page reveals that the next chapter will feature the “Prelude to the Anti-Life War.” Therefore, the remaining heroes of the world will face this Anti-Life army in an event that is bound to be as massive and epic as it will be gory.
Given the end of DCeased #5 and the entirety of DCeased #6, we have a pretty good idea of which superheroes will be left standing following this great war. However, this story implies that we will discover the fate of many more DC heroes and villains who were missing from the original DCeased miniseries, and some of those characters will certainly not be as lucky.
The digital-first spinoff DCeased: Hope at World's End reveals that a secret war enveloped the DC Universe between the pages of the original series.