Have you ever stopped to think – what if the coronavirus had spread from one human to another via technology? Sounds like a diabolical train of thought, no? Well, as despondent as it sounds, it did not prevent DC Comics from creating their version of a cyber pandemic. And let me tell you, it is all kinds of crazy but like, in the most amazing way possible.
In 2019, DC released the 6-issue original series titled DCeased. If you would like to read the issues for yourself then do not proceed further. We're going to be featuring massive spoilers, so this is your only warning. The story starts with Darkseid, the longtime nemesis of the Justice League, capturing Cyborg. Darkseid's search for the anti-life equation led him to discover that a part of it had manifested inside Cyborg. To extract it without killing Cyborg, Darkseid called upon Death – the Black Racer. However, things did not go as planned as Death corrupted the anti-life equation transforming it into a techno-organic virus. Cyborg, although unaffected by the virus, became patient zero and the first person he infected was Darkseid himself.
The virus drove Darkseid mad and he destroyed Apokolips. Cyborg, unaware of the virus, returned to Earth and his connection to the world wide web immediately caused the anti-life equation to leap from him into the internet. The techno-organic virus attacked through social media and infected the minds of anyone who saw it, causing the infected to claw off their faces before they turned into zombies. Yes, zombies. The virus almost instantly killed the infected and took over their minds. And just within the first few moments, almost 600 million were infected worldwide.
Every single issue of the series ends with a nail-biting cliffhanger, and every single issue will pull on the heartstrings of a DC fan. Superheroes are being infected and dying left and right, others being put in impossible situations and against friends and family. Issue 2 ends with Alfred being forced to kill zombie Batman, who was essentially his son. And in the very next issue, Superman puts down his father Jonathan Kent. The series cuts deep, and the writing is phenomenal – so sad yet so good!
The DCeased story is an allegory for how much we rely on tech and how it affects society. The Justice League, or what remained of it, took down the internet – every major server in every country and every mass digital broadcasting device, including satellites. This didn't prevent things from improving much as the virus still transmitted from one human to another. Ultimately, even Superman was infected and although he tried to snuff his own life out before becoming a zombie, he failed. The series ends with Superman absorbing the entirety of the sun, shrouding the solar system in darkness and cold.
Ultimately, the survivors were forced to evacuate to a different universe altogether. The heroes had lost. DCeased has been so successful that it gave rise to multiple spinoffs, each highly acclaimed. Hell, the next one is scheduled for September 2020 but has already sold out! And as crazy as it sounds, the story gives us all the reason to be grateful that we aren't in the middle of a cyber pandemic.