By: Michael Alan Nelson (writer), Declan Shalvey (artist), William Farmer (colors) & Ed Dukeshire (letters)
The Story: After getting captured by the U.S. military, our heroes must find a way to escape back into the “sanctuary” of a British countryside that is crawling with infected.
Since this is the first review I’ve done of this series, I would like to say a little more about the series in general. Basically, if you like The Walking Dead, you’ll enjoy this series from Boom!. Most comics based on licensed properties just stink, but this is an exception. This series is set after the events of the movie, 28 Days Later, but you really needn’t have seen the movie to enjoy the comic. I had never seen the film until I’d read issue #7 and it neither enhanced nor took away from my enjoyment of the comic. If anything, I think I enjoy the comic more than the film. It is enough to know that the island of Great Britain has been overrun by a populace infected with this rage virus that turns them into howling banshees (not really zombies, per se). The comic follows Selina (the heroine of the movie) as she is enlisted by a journalist who wants to get into London to report on the disaster and the crap that happens to them along the way.
What’s Good: One thing that this series has done very well is make sure that you don’t think anyone is safe. As compared to when you see Spider-Man supposedly killed, even if you can’t figure a way that it didn’t really happen, you have an expectation that the secret will be revealed in the next issue and Spidey will be okay. Not in this series! Just about anyone could die at any time and in this issue the creators drive that point home by killing off the youngest member of the band in a pretty ghastly way. I’ll give them major kudos for being willing to do what is necessary to keep the readers on their toes.
I also like that by the end of this issue, the heroes are out of the military encampment and back out into the wilderness. I hate to keep comparing this to The Walking Dead, but that series has used very well this bouncing back and forth between safe/not-safe……except that when you’re safe from the infected, you’re now locked up with the humans and that might not be an improvement in your condition.
The art in this series is typically strong and this issue is no exception. Shalvey does art that is perfect for a series like this: no gaudy double-page spreads, just panel-by-panel effective story-telling.
What’s Not So Good: I generally don’t have too many bones to pick with this issue, but do think tossing the U.S. military in as being the bad guys who want to study/perfect the rage virus to create aggressive, but unthinking soldiers is a bit intellectually lazy. I know that the U.S. military doesn’t have the best reputation worldwide or with the creative class that tends to write comics, but it’s a little cliché. In the next issue will we find an evil pharmaceutical company or learn that the virus was created by a cabal of bankers?
I also wouldn’t mind if the writers took some time to slow down a bit. We’re only on issue #12 and we’ve already blasted through several mini-stories. There is only so much you can do with humans afoot in a land of zombies/infected so I wouldn’t mind seeing them milk these scenarios a bit more. Of course, it could be that the creators are only planning on this being ~30 issues.
Conclusion: If you like The Walking Dead, this is definitely something to add to your pull list.
– Dean Stell