WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for DCeased: A Good Day to Die #1 by Tom Taylor, Laura Braga, Darick Robertson, Richard Friend, Trevor Scott, Rain Beredo and Saida Temofonte, on sale now.
DCeased is not your typical DC series. The comic book has plunged the world into a zombie apocalypse, and fan-favorite characters such as Batman, Nightwing and Captain Atom have already fallen. But while the series takes place outside of the main DC continuity, it also features character depictions that are nearly identical to the ones who currently populate the DC Universe. Damian Wayne’s Robin and Jon Kent’s Superboy are there, Harley Quinn is over the Joker and everyone wears their currentcostumes.
The DCeased: A Good Day to Die #1 one-shot breaks off from the main series to feature other DC heroes we haven’t seen yet such as Constantine, Mister Terrific, Mister Miracle and Big Barda. And more importantly, the issue continues to prove that it mirrors the current DC Universe by featuring a take on the New Gods couple that is extremely familiar. In fact, A Good Day to Die #1 offers multiple homages to Tom King and Mitch Gerads’ much-celebrated, Eisner Award-winning Mister Miracle series.
King and Gerads’ 12-issue Mister Miracle was a brilliant exploration of the title character and his better half, Big Barda. While the series was self-contained and not necessarily tied to any particular timeline, it was character-defining in a way that transcended continuity to become quintessential. For that reason, its depiction of Mister Miracle and Big Barda, as well as the storytelling tools employed by King and Gerads, are widely recognized and celebrated.
Therefore, it’s only right that Miracle Miracle and Barda’s appearance in DCeased: A Good Day to Die #1 is so heavily influenced by the work that came before. Even though King and Gerads’ series concluded months ago, the two New Gods haven’t received much of a spotlight since the series’ end.
However, DCeased also features a direct nod to a running joke from King and Gerads’ beloved series. In Mister Miracle, the offering of a store-bought veggie tray was often used to depict the humorous dichotomy of grandiose cosmic gods acting as normal humans. The joke is widely recognized by fans of the series, and it makes a return in A Good Day to Die #1 when Scott and Barda host Mister Terrific in their apartment — during a zombie apocalypse, no less.
Additionally, King and Gerads’ work almost instantly set itself apart by featuring a signature storytelling device: the use of nine-panel grids, meant to reflect Scott Free’s everlasting imprisonment. A Good Day to Die may not only star Miracle and Barda but, when it does focus solely on the duo, it tips its hat to King and Gerads by featuring a few nine-panel pages.
That marriage of the cosmic and the mundane, of the godly and the human, was at the center of King and Gerads’ series, and the DCeased one-shot continues this take on Scott and Barda. They might not make it out of the issue alive but if Mister Miracle taught us anything, it’s that those New Gods can always find a way to escape.