WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for DCeased #5 by Tom Taylor, Trevor Hairsine, Stefano Gaudiano, Rain Beredo and Saida Temofonte, in stores now.
When it comes to Lex Luthor's schemes over the years, the most confusing one has been his real-estate plots. We saw it in the first Richard Donner Superman film and then again in Bryan Singer's Superman Returns, as well as in some of the comics. Lex is simply obsessed with making land the most valuable and expensive commodity to man, rather than use his intellect to engineer drugs or other tech to make money or control the world.
Be that as it may, as far-fetched and ridiculous as this scheme has been in the past, it turns out to be something writer Tom Taylor's using effectively in DCeased to save mankind and help ensure the planet lives on past the Anti-Life Infection spreading.
America was rocked in Issue #4 when Captain Atom got infected and went nuclear, the resulting detonation taking out major cities. Now, one issue later, we see it's Washington, Baltimore and Metropolis that's been eviscerated with only those on the Daily Planet rooftop surviving, all thanks to the Green Lantern shield thrown up. Superman's heartbroken, as is Lex who falls to his knees in defeat. They make a truce, however, as they all realize haven's needed across the globe.
Gotham's turned into a safe jungle by Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy, while the Fortress of Solitude is reconfigured into a communications hub that won't spread the infection. Lex is overseeing this tech upgrade with Cyborg, but while he isn't consulted, Lex's real estate plot is used by Diana of Themyscira to turn her home into a much-needed sanctuary.
She enlists Superman and Mera, who's lost Atlantis and Aquaman, to shift sections of the ocean bed and add landmasses to Paradise Island. Wonder Woman needs it to be bigger to hold more rescue victims and even though her Amazon colleagues are skeptical, Diana makes it clear this isn't up for debate: They must save humanity or else the virus will spread to their world.
And so, they turn Paradise Island into a beacon of hope and salvation, throwing nods to when Kevin Spacey's Lex used Kryptonian crystals to increase landmasses in the ocean so when the apocalypse came, people had somewhere to live -- once they paid up.
Here, there are no tidal waves wrecking the planet as it's all calculated, and there's no fee for those who want to live -- it's all about compassion and offering people somewhere they feel safe. It's also quite fitting given the refugee issue sweeping across the world today and as we can see, DC's superheroes are inspiring us to help out in whatever way we can because, ultimately, compassion is what will ease such disasters.
At least, that's what Diana thinks, and while Lex has tried to use real estate for self-gain in the past, through the Justice League, he's seeing how his old, sinister dream can actually be turned into a force for good. Lex's ruthless nature is checked as he witnesses how the heroes selflessly operate and create a safe haven in a mere afternoon -- with no eager bidders around -- teaching him a thing or two on what saving the world truly means in times of dire crisis.
DCeased #6 is scheduled to be released Oct. 30.