By: Michael Alan Nelson (writer), Alejandro Aragon (art), William Farmer (colors) & Ed Dukeshire (letters)
The Story: Clint and Selina come face to face with what passes for civilization in post-infection London.
What’s Good: This series just keeps humming right along and any fan of zombies, survival horror, post-apocalypse or The Walking Dead should be reading this title.
In post-apocalyptic fiction, the civilization of survivors being led by some psycho-fascist-strongman is pretty much a cliché, but that’s okay because that is probably what would happen. The closest we have to post-apocalypse in the real world are lawless places like Somalia and regions along the Afghan/Pakistan border and they sure haven’t turned into a worker’s utopia because the happy dudes who want to work together and smoke weed are quickly overrun by madmen with guns who want to take their food and gasoline.
So, it is appropriate that this excellent series would bring Clint and Selina into contact with a group like this. What is key is how Nelson creates the character of the leader and he does a good job of not making him a complete idiot-psycho. This has to be a person who hopeless survivors would follow for some reason and Nelson realizes the importance of making the leader someone who provides security and food. It might be taking things too far, but some will see a slight amount of allegory in what frightened humans will accept from leaders who promise security.
The “star” of this issue, however, is the initiation rite that the leader inflicts on one of our heroes. It is both creative and absolutely horrifying!
Once again, Aragon’s art is very effective. His art is mostly working with Nelson’s script to tell a story, so the art is fairly contained. However, he does play around with perspective to make panels interesting to look at without sacrificing the story.
What’s Not So Good: The beginning of this issue brings back an earlier “bad guy” from this series: The US military. This is not a good development because the injection of “real world” elements into the story mean that we have to suspend our “suspended disbelief” and consider what would really happen if the events of 28 Days Later were to truly happen. It is plausible that some radicals would want to “study” the virus that caused the decimation of the entire British population, but those people would lose out to the folks who just recommend a massive nuclear bombardment of the Isles (with Europe being told that nuclear fallout is preferable to the virus escaping and killing everyone in Eurasia). And, even if they did want to study the virus wouldn’t they just snatch one infected and study him/her on a boat rather than setting up a makeshift camp in infected territory? See, it’s best if you don’t have too much “real world” in these stories because you begin to think too much.
Conclusion: A very good story with a chilling rite of passage for one hero.
– Dean Stell