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Wednesday, February 22, 2006
Giffen and DeMatteis team with a variety of artists to tell a story that serves as a prequel to the well-received and quite good Hero Squared. It's very much in the comic tone and style that has characterized most of their writing collaborations. So it's a strongly tongue-in-cheek take on familiar yet different enough to avoid lawsuits superheroic types that still manages to tell an entertaining adventure tale. There's a good bit of action, some cute character bits, and a suitably vague supernatural menace, all leading up to a darn good comic. Plus, I think the Mauve Visitor is an early candidate for "Best New Character of 2006."
Zombie Tales: Death Valley
The second issue of the Andrew Cosby and Johanna Stokes spin-off from the Zombie Tales anthology continues the story of Los Angeles area teens fighting off a zombie horde. The character types are broadly drawn, and straight out of your standard teen film, but somehow the mix of those same broad characters and all-out zombie survival horror makes for an entertaining read. It's the two strongly dissimilar genres that go great together, so to speak.
Rhoald Marcellus' art adds immensely to the book's quality. He's got a loose, cartoony style that's very appealing and engaging. The zombies come off a bit cute, perhaps, but that helps save the book from being too depressing as likeable, or at least sympathetic, characters get eaten.
A Trip to Rundberg
Nate Southard and Shawn Richter follow up their crime-drama Drive with this bleak little zombie comic. It's a quick read, a short and nasty piece of work which seeks to return some of the existential dread that's been missing from many of the more revisionist or hip takes on zombies that have become popular in comics of late. In that sense, it's very similar to Night of the Living Dead, which is still, to my mind, the only zombie film worth watching because of it's claustrophobic staging and despairing ending.
The story begins some time after your standard zombie apocalypse. A group of survivors have managed to eke out a meager existence in the small town of Millwood, but now that the food is running out a group is selected to go to the supermarket in the nearby town of Rundberg, which, according to those who managed to get out, has been over-run with the walking dead. None of the men selected to go expect to make it back.