Archive for the 'zombies' Category

31
Aug
07

Walking Dead #41

Written by Robert Kirkman

Art and cover by Charlie Adlard and Cliff Rathburn

Image Comics $2.99 

After a mild and pretty much peaceful(if you don’t count the amputation) issue last month, Walking Dead comes out early this month and arrives with quite a bite.  By reading this issue you get the strong impression that, when the crew at the prison aren’t practicing shooting, they’re essentially waiting around for the war with Woodbury to start.  Though there isn’t much dialog devoted to the subject, Kirkman devotes a bit of his time to showing the tense mood building, which just might erupt next month maybe kind of sort of.  I actually have come to really have a fondness for not knowing when the shit is going to hit the fan, but knowing that, at some point, there’s going to be this kind of gang war in the post apocalyptic world full of zombies.

I figured Carol was up to something stupid when she was acting normal and trying to be friends with Lori again.  And I was right as hell, but it was incredibly entertaining to watch her go down via a pair of rotten teeth.  I’m all in favor of killing off the idiotic characters, not because I really hate them or anything, but because I know that eventually they’re going to fuck it up for the group.  Oddly enough, I really care about the group and want them to be okay, so when Carol goes down, it’s for the better and makes me smile.  What is VERY interesting is Alice’s idea to keep a zombie under surveillance and study them.   I think that her desire to understand them or find a cure could prove to continue to conflict with Rick’s personal craziness and controlling attitudes and it could become a lot of fun to unfold.  The idea of science in a new era without electricity or any of the advances our society has enjoyed over the last 100 years.  One of the most interesting concepts about Walking Dead is the idea of rebuilding in a world that isn’t destroyed, but it’s almost devoid of intelligence.  I hope that these concepts will be touched on sometime in the future.

Or maybe just a whole lot of fighting with some murderous strangers.

09
Aug
07

Raise the Dead #4 of 4

Written by Leah Moore and John Reppion

Art by Hugo Petrus, Marc Rueda and Ivan Nunes

Cover by Arthur Suydam

Dynamite Entertainment $3.50
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Arthur Suydam’s covers have become the types of girls I liked in high school and it’s starting to bother me. On the outside, a wonderful exterior that makes one trust that the contents found within would be equally interesting, intriguing, important and, at the very least, a little friendly towards a nice stranger like myself. But instead you get dumb, dull, mean and boring once you get past the cover. Like a Fallout Boy song, interesting for a second and horrible for three minutes, Raise the Dead has been an arduous chore of a four issue min-series to read. I feel as though I should have received a prize upon finishing the final panel of this pointless comic which had no beginning, certainly no end and really barely had a plot.

A zombie outbreak occurs because of maybe a meteorite or maybe the government or maybe some scientists, it’s never really cleared up. Some people band together to escape, some are jerks and some of the jerks die. And then maybe some people get away. There you go, I saved you fourteen dollars.

I don’t remember actually putting this in my pull list, but at the time issue one came out I was reading some marvel zombies book, walking dead and the second IDW zombies series; Eclipse of the Undead. Dynamite’s hollow, pointless attempt at a zombie book fails hard, not achieving the characters and interesting plots of Kirkman’s zombies, nor the great inside art or human conflict of IDW’s books. It sure as hell wasn’t funny, so it doesn’t compare with Marvel Zombies. Again, Suydam’s covers were the only reason to even think about looking at this book, the writing is terrible, the art isn’t anything spectacular and the concept is old and tired. Go buy Walking Dead.

06
Aug
07

Welcome to Tranquility #9

Written by Gail Simone

Art by Neil Googe, Carrie Strachan, Francisco Paronzini and Leandro Fernandez

Wildstorm $2.99

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I think I know what’s coming, and if I’m right, this is going to made of non-stop win. Gail Simone is the writer for both Gen13 and Tranquility and in a move that surprised me, she had the kids from Gen13 seek refuge in the town of Tranquility. I just figured that some characters might interact and maybe she’d do some crossover issues a few times, then move it along, but something much better has been playing out in the last three or four issues of the combined series. The gen-active kids show up in town right as Freddie Host, who acts like some sort of lawyer-looking seed of the devil, shows up in Tranquility looking for debts he’s owed by the senior citizens of Tranquility. He even kills Zeke’s snake.

In the meantime, which is likely not to be a coincidence, the dead start coming back to life in town. Agents of the devil can have that effect on grandpa Tom sometimes. This is interesting, not just the zombie idea, but the concept that this guy that works for the devil gave a whole bunch of people superpowers and said he’d come to collect a debt some time. Decades go by and these people are now sixty and seventy years old, they can’t fight back anymore, and he shows up to collect. And he brings zombies. And the Gen13 kids just happen to be in town. I’m actually really fucking excited about what’s going to play out over the summer. Last month I thought the origins of Zeke the zombie and Tommy’s past were okay, but served as filler, but now this is all starting to connect. Simone’s first Tranquility arc was a murder mystery that went into character observations and gave us a great little sketch of this community for super-powered senior citizens. Now she seems to be building a zombie epidemic caused by the devil(a plot that is virtually never used in zombie movies, in fact, they usually never say why the zombies are there), it’s going to be great. It also helps that she’s a fantastic writer.

In addition, we get introduced to the Coyote Kid, an old man who looks like Clint Eastwood and is a perfect shot. And he also happens to have a personal vendetta against zombies. After a few pages the main part of the issue ends and then something from the first arc comes back that I have sorely missed, the vintage back story. Using an old-looking art style and an old comic book feel to the story telling, Simone and a completely different art team from the rest of the issue tell CK’s story and why he’s going to be sticking around for the fight.

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04
Aug
07

New comics for August 03, 2007

I’m a week and a half behind, so this week I ended up picking up quite the pile. I was glad to see so many great issues in my pile this go around. I was particularly excited about walking dead, which is already reviewed, batman, dark tower and JLA. I’ll be putting up several reviews per day and working my way through my pile over the next several days.

Action Comics #853 – Kurt Busiek(w), Brand Walker, Livesay, Lee Loughridge(a)
Batman #666 – Grant Morrison(w), Andy Kubert, Jesse Delperdang(a)
Black Panther #29 – Reginald Hudlin(w), Francias Portela and Val Staples(a) Arthur Suydam(c)
Black Summer #1 of 7 – Warren Ellis(w), Juan Jose Ryp(a)
Chronicles of Wormwood #6 of 6 – Garth Ennis(w), Jacen Burrows(a)
Countdown #39 & 40 – Paul Dini, McKeever(w), Jim Calafiore and Jay Leigten(a)
Dark Tower: The Gunslinger Born #7 of 7 – Peter David and Robin Furth(w), Jae Lee and Richard Isanove(a)
Deathblow #6 – Brian Azzarello(w), Carlos D’Anda, Henry Flint(a)
Fallen Angel #18 – Peter David(w) and J.K. Woodward(a)
Futurama # 32 – Ian Boothby(w), Mike Kazaleh and Andrew Pepoy(a)
Grimm Fairy Tales #16 – Ralph Tedesco and Joe Tyler(w), Andrew Magnum and Roland Salvidor(a)
Justice Society of America #8 – Geoff Johns(w), Fernando Pasarin and Rodney Ramos(a)
Metal Men #1 of 8 – Duncan Roleau(a & w)
Midnighter #10 – Keith Giffen(w), Chris Sprouse, Karl Story, Randy Mayor(a)
Raise the Dead #4 of 4 – Leah Moore and John Reppion(w), Hugo Petrus, Marc Rueda and Ivan Nunes(a)
Speak of the Devil #1 of 6 – Gilbert Hernandez(Spider-Man Fairy Tales #3 of 4 – C.B. Cebulski(w), Kei Kobayashi, Christina Strain(a)
Star Trek: Klingons Blood Will Tell #4 – Scott and David Tipton(w), David Messina and Elaina Casagrande(a)
Star Trek: Year Four #1 – David Tischman(w), Steve Conley, Leonard O’Grady(a)
Uncanny X-Men #489 – Ed Brubaker(w), Mike Perkins and Andrew Hennessey(a)
Unholy Union #1 – Ron Marz(w), Michael Broussard(a)
Walking Dead #39 – Robert Kirkman(w), Charlie Adlard, Cliff Rathburn(a)
Welcome to Tranquility #9 – Gail Simone(w), Neil Googe(a)
Wetworks #11 – J.M. Dematteis(w), Joel Gomez and Trevor Scott(a)
World War Hulk #3 – Greg Pak(w), John Romita Jr, Janson, Strain(a)
World War Hulk: Ironman #20 – Christos Gage(w), Butch Guice, Dean White and Gerald Parel(a)
World War Hulk: The Incredible Hulk #108 – Greg Pak(w), Leonard Kirk, Scott Hanna and Chris Sotomayor(a)
World War Hulk: The Irredeemable Ant-Man #10 – Robert Kirkman(w), Phil Hester, Ande Parks, Bill Crabtree and Val Staples(a)
X-Men #201 – Mike Cary(w), Humberto Ramos, Carlos Cuevas and Edgar Delgado(a)

04
Aug
07

Black Panther #29

Written by Reginald Hudlin

Art by Francis Portela

Cover art by Arthur Suydam

Marvel Comics $2.99

Hell of a Mess Part 02 of 03

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Utterly failing at working with the Skrulls to stop the Galactus-empowered zombies, the Fantastic Four and a helpful faux-Super Skrull manage to make it back to the ship and hide out in the sky while they try to assemble a plan. They bomb the base that the zombies are in, feeding on Skrull workers, but I think we all know how successful that will prove to be. While all of this happens, people say amusing variations on old taglines, such as “it’s slobberin’ time!” and what not, and hundreds of Skrulls get eaten. What becomes a major problem for the universe is that the zombies figure that the Fantastic Four have come from another galaxy and, because they are always hungry and running out of people to feed on, they need to hijack the dimension-jumping device the FF have and take it, turning Earth into a massive meal.

Hudlin does a pretty good job balancing a bit of humor, trying not to force it on the reader, and trying to move the story ahead at a pace that is neither trudging along nor so fast that the group doesn’t seem to be in real danger. That has always been a staple of the horror genre – the suspense of waiting to see who’s going to die. Of course, because this is Marvel and Black Panther is subject to continuity, they aren’t going to kill any of these four characters. The Skrulls, however, are totally fucked.

I’ve actually always hated the Marvel Zombies design, because it looks more like Marvel Skeletons With Costumes, not like actual zombies. Other than disliking the zombie design, which is not Portela fault, as how he had nothing to do with the original design, I really like his art. His work on the live Fantastic Four and the Skrulls, including the Super Skrull, is great. Clean and crisp lines exist in stark contrast to the dark, messy zombie design. The colors of Val Staples keep the pages bright, entertaining and generally interesting among the slightly tired zombie design.

04
Aug
07

The Walking Dead #39

Written by Robert Kirkman

Art by Charlie Adlard and Cliff Rathburn

Image Comics $2.99

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Picking up my comics late this afternoon, I rushed home and quickly flew through this issue first. At one point I even peeked at the first page when I was at a stoplight. I’m absolutely STILL in love with this comic 100%. This series is so satisfying, so well written, drawn, inked, plotted, Christ, it’s the perfect serialized story. I hope it never ends and, according to the notes in the letters column in the end of this issue, it’s sales are higher than they’ve ever been at a time when the comics market is busier than it’s been in a while, which means good things for geeks like me.

I think this issue should make the zombie nerds feel more reassured, as there’s an attack while trying to get gas for the generator. There’s also a moderate level of violence. I say moderate because with this series it ebbs and flows, but the bar is set really high as far as freak out crazy violence goes. The issue opens by closing off the conflict that happened at the end of issue 38, facing the people who were probably from Woodbury in the Wal-Mart where Glenn, Maggie, Andrea, Tyrese, Michonne and I swear Axel was with them, but he’s nowhere to be seen in this issue. It’s verified that they’re from Woodbury, one of them recognizes Glenn. And shoots him, unexpectedly. I really didn’t expect that at all, it was random, like most of the other horrible shit that happens in this comic. Just like life. Andrea keeps getting more and more interesting as the series stretches out. She manages to kill half of the hostile men and Michonne dismembers the other two. I like how strong and able the main female characters are in this book, they’re in stark comparison with Lori, who is so incredibly annoying and essentially useless. Glenn, shot, though he was in riot gear, lays on the ground with Maggie quietly mumbling, “no. no. no. no. no.” It’s done incredibly well.  And he turns out to be perhaps okay.

I have really grown to love Adlard and Rathburn’s combined art using black, white and grays in all of their various shades.. The realism of the art style helps to ground the series in reality. Often times I forget that this is a zombie book at all, because there are large chunks of time without zombie attacks, where it’s just a human drama steeped in tragedy. This is my favorite thing about this book, it is about human suffering and companionship, which makes it one of the most realistic comic books I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading, despite it being set in a universe overpopulated with zombies.

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In the meantime, useless Lori has her baby and Billy and Dale run into some zombies while looking for gas to help run the generator to keep the lights on during the delivery. Despite the ominous cover, there was no zombie baby, which I thought was going to happen, or something equally horrible, until the last page when a normal baby girl is shown.

Another great issue by Kirkman, Adlard and Rathburn, more development on these great characters, putting them through odds that seem insane and realistic at the same time.

28
Jul
07

The Walking Dead #38

Written by Robert Kirkman

Art by Charlie Adlard & Cliff Rathburn

$2.99 Image Comics

The  greatest characterization available in American comic books continues with Michonne, Glenn, Tyrese and a handful of others head out to track down the national guard post.  Rick is forced to stay home because he’s not of much use in a fight anymore and Lori is about to have her baby.  After getting the rest of the supplies from the National Guard post, they torch it and look for supplies in a wal-mart, but some unsavory gentlemen with guns show up on the final panel of the issue.

This is all building towards a war with Woodbury.  It’s wonderful to watch all of this slowly add up.  I’m waiting to see who will come out alive, if these people waiting at the wal-mart were even from Woodbury, or if they’re some new batch of people.  I like that in the post-apocalypse, it’s back to the wild west,  where they just make up the rules that best keep them alive.  I am excited to see if there’s just an all out war immediately or if there are a series of smaller incidents that make a clash of some sort inevitable.

I can’t even bear to read webboards about this anymore because it shows how incredibly unimaginitive, impatient and boring most comic fans are.  People are always bitching about how theis moves at a slow pace, but it moves at a realistic pase.  Life isn’t all non-stop event after another, there are breaks, events of absolute boredom, days that drag on like years and moments of sheer instability where the world seems to be exploding in your face.  I think the people complaining are looking at this book thinking it’s a zombie book, but it’s story of how people interact with each other human beings and what we do with stress, love, hate, desire, opportunity, failure, and how our lives are easier, but possibly worse, with all of these distractions.  And also – zombies can really fuck up your Christmas.