By: Michael Alan Nelson (writer), Pablo Peppino (art), Nolan Woodard (colors), Johnny Lowe (letters) & Ian Brill (editor)

The Story: We begin a truly new phase of 28 Days Later as Clint and Selina are now “safe” in a sanitized London.

What’s Good: If you’re looking for a jumping on point for this outstanding series, here it is.  Personally, I think people make way too big of an issue out of “jumping on points” but the fact is that some folks are intimidated by seeing the #18 on a comic because they feel like they’ve missed a lot of story.  This issue seems to completely wrap the first phase of this story that dealt with Clint and Selina (and multiple now deceased friends) trying to make their way to London so that Clint can do a story about post-infection England.

It seems as if this story is flowing right into the events of the movie 28 Weeks Later as this London is controlled by the US military and I’ll be very curious to see how close they stay to the 28 Weeks story because it was a much weaker film and it would represent the reader knowing roughly what will happen next.  I’m sure it won’t be that straight forward and it’ll be interesting to see what surprises Nelson has for us.

There are a couple of big attractions for this issue.  One is just seeing Clint and Selina in a “safe” environment: no infected, no survivors forming despotic enclaves and no murderous British Army officers.  So, they’re a little out of their element.  That’s kinda of a story we’ve all seen in fiction, but Nelson executes really well by showing these two characters being drawn closer by being in an alien environment.

The other enticing new element is the tease about Selina’s past.  We’ve gotten little bits of her past during this series and we get a lot more here.  Selina clearly has a purpose for being in London and I’m highly curious to learn what it is because it can’t be anything as mundane as visiting her old home or laying a wreath of flowers in honor of her husband.  Clearly it’ll end up being something exciting and probably something brings her back into partnership with Clint.

We get a new artist on this issue and Pablo Peppino continues the tradition of strong art on this series.  He keeps the look and feel consistent with what previous artists Declan Shalvey and Alejandro Aragon have given us and I really appreciate that.  Unless an artist is really going to bring something spectacular to the table, I’d almost prefer for titles to have a consistent look.  Peppino may be capable of the spectacular, but 28 Days is really a “story” comic and shouldn’t be an art showcase.  Regardless, his storytelling is impeccable.

What’s Not So Good: I guess the biggest complaint would be the lack of excitement and tension in this issue.  I do appreciate that this is kinda the point: The characters have been on the run and we have to create the illusion of safety so we can toss them back into the fire.  That’s drama and that’s all fine and good, but I thought this title was clicking along just fine with the constant state of tension.

I’m also not sure how much I like the idea of splitting up Clint and Selina.  Thus far, this series hasn’t really had to have any cuts between scenes.  It might have jumped forward in time, but the characters and setting have remained constant and therein lies a lot of the effective tension of the series.

And, I worry a little bit about the touching of the 28 Weeks story.  The magic of a series like this is that it seems like something that could really happen.  But when you have just a complete head-scratcher like the US military trying to reestablish civilization in London it kinda pulls me out of the story.  When a virus completely wipes out the island of Britain, but seems contained, why would anyone ever visit there again?  Makes no sense….

My only quibble with the art was Selina in profile.  It didn’t look quite right and that’s the downside of having a consistent style because it also causes the reader to expect the characters to always look the same even though each artist will have their own look.

Conclusion: A bit of a depressurized issue that shows our main characters getting a much deserved break.  I’m sure it is only temporary and they’ll be back into the frying pan asap.

Grade: B-

-Dean Stell

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