Another comedian cancelled, just because he dares to make people uncomfortable? So much for the tolerant left!
The anti-life virus in DCeased operates just like a real virus: just because it was ultimately created by Darkseid, that doesn't mean it only targets heroes and leaves his fellow villains alone. It doesn't care whether you're a good or bad person, if you're successfully exposed to it without some form of effective prophylaxis or natural immunity, you're going to get it - especially considering how easily transmissible it is.
In issue 2, Harley Quinn is being encouraged by Poison Ivy to finally confront Joker and tell him their relationship is over. After a final bit of coaching, Harley goes in alone, because she needs to be able to know she's strong enough to do it on her own. She finds Mistah J sitting in front of a jerry-built bank of television screens on a table to monitor... something? Anyway, virus spreads digitally, he's clearly been infected, which Harl discovers after she tells him it's over and he turns at the sound of her voice.
Technically this figure was released by McFarlane Toys, but only because Todd has taken over distribution of DC Direct's
forgotten product: the DCeased figures are part of DCD's DC Essentials line, complete with sequential numbering. No surprise, then, that from the neck down, this is almost identical to figure #11 from that line. "Almost"? Yes, this one has clawing hands instead of loosely gripping ones. Other than that, the same.
It's a very stylish look for Joker, owing quite a lot to the Marshall Rogers look from the '70s and '80s. He's got a green shirt, orange vest, purple pants and shoes, and then a purple coat with an orange lining. The coat's tails reach down below his knees and flare out to the sides slightly. There's a flower in the lapel, and he wears a sensible necktie instead of a silly floppy thing like other toys have given him.
The newest part of the toy is the head, which is to the toy's benefit: the Essentials Joker had a head that was... not terrific? Pretty bad, really.
This new one is sculpted by Paul Harding, and it looks way, way better. Even Joker tried to reject the Anti-Life equation at first, doing what everyone does relexively upon infection: try to physically scrape the thing out of their own brain. That's why each of these figures has deep scratches all over their face. Joker's got his usual oversized smile, which looks fairly normal even with all the blood everywhere. Basically "Joker is a zombie" is not substantially different from "Joker got some blood on him."
To set DCeased Joker apart from DLiving Joker, the colors are darker on this toy. Darkest timeline! Things that were bright or pastel
before are now solid colors, and the purple could almost pass for black in darker settings. Even his flower has been shifted down a few shades! His skin is white and the blood wildly vibrant. His throat is spattered with blood, and the stuff's all over his clothes as well, though it's hard to see there. In a cool touch, there's a little bit of white paint on his fingertips - he ripped his gloves when he was ripping at his face!
DC Essentials had pretty good articulation, so Joker moves decently well - or at least, he would if the right bicep hadn't been stuck in place and the left hadn't broken off after I got that one fixed. Eh, at least it makes sense for a zombie to be missing a limb, I guess? The figure moves with swivel/hinge/swivel ankles, swivel boots, double-hinged knees, swivel thighs, balljointed hips, a swivel waist, hinged chest, swivel/hinge wrists, double-hinged elbows, swivel biceps, swivel/hinge shoulders, a hinged neck and balljointed head. And it all moved great, except for the two swivel biceps. Whoopsie!
Like Marvel Zombies, DCeased was a surprisingly cool story, so it was exciting when toys based on it were announced, and disappointing when they were cancelled. It's nice that McFarlane Toys is rescuing all the planned ones from the dustbin of history; it'll be even nicer if they expand the line further.