By: Michael Alan Nelson (writer), Ron Salas (art), Nolan Woodard (colors), Johnny Lowe (letters) & Ian Brill (editor)
The Story: After escaping from the gang of thugs who pass for civilization in London, Selina and Clint leave town and have a chance to unwind.
What’s Good: Stories like 28 Days need to take their foot off the gas every once in a while. You can’t just keep moving the reader from one tense and horrifying set piece to another. Well, I guess you can, but the reader builds up a callous pretty quickly and the writer’s “shocking moments” start to just bounce off the audience.
Nelson clearly gets this. 28 Days has been pretty tense for ~10 issues now, so it was time to let our gang rest. This is an issue to depressurize and get to know the characters a little more and to be happy for them because for once they are not running for their lives. What I found very interesting here is how different the characters are in their approach to relaxation. They both take their chance, but Selina pops quickly back into “soldier mode”. She has her system of rules that have allowed her to survive and she isn’t bending them for personal convenience.
But…you just know that the sanctity of this issue can’t last and by the end, Nelson is getting ready to toss us right back into the fire. However, he very skillfully avoids showing us what the new danger is. We’ve all seen enough post-apocalypse fiction to let our imaginations run wild, but we don’t know. It is a well-done cliffhanger and you’ll have to wait until next month to see what’s going on.
I’ve said before, if you like The Walking Dead, you should be reading 28 Days, especially if you sometimes wish TWD moved faster.
We get a new artist on this issue in Ron Salas. He’s a newer artist and to the extent people know him, they’ll recognize his name from Existence 2.0 and 3.0 by Nick Spencer. He also contributes sketches to Comictwart. His look is different than what we’ve seen in 28 Days so far, but I like it a lot. And kudos to Nolan Woodard on colors for injecting some appropriate brightness into this issue!
What’s Not So Good: I’m really not liking the U.S. military’s seemingly bad-guy role in this series. Sorry, I just don’t find it remotely believable that after a virus destroys virtually the entire island of Great Britain that anyone would set foot there, much less perhaps have an interest in studying the virus for some nefarious purpose as has been hinted in the past. Maybe its just because I’m American and have a healthy respect for our armed forces, but find another bad guy.
Conclusion: A rare “take time to breathe” issue of 28 Days. Of course, we’re going right back into the meat grinder, but it was fun to see the characters kick back a little bit. Nice art change. I wouldn’t mind Salas being the permanent artist on this title.
– Dean Stell