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28 Days Later #24 – Review

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

The Story: 28 Days Later comes to an end.  Selena and Clint were in a pretty dangerous position when we last saw them.  Will they survive?

What’s Good: First, let’s give the tip of the cap for an outstanding series from Boom! and writer Michael Alan Nelson.  I generally loathe licensed property comics and they’re usually not very good because they don’t have to be: People buy them just because of the brand on the cover page.  But, the 28 Days series told a wonderfully rich, post-apocalyptic tale set in the timeframe between the 28 Days and 28 Weeks movies.  As it became clear that the last 4-5 issues were actually set in London during the beginning of 28 Weeks (when the Rage virus has a nice rally & everyone dies again) we really start to be concerned for our protagonists: Selena and Clint.  Will they survive?  The beauty of this series is that it could have ended just fine with any sort of resolution, but since we care about these characters sooooo much after 24 issues, we really do want a happy ending.

It is really hard to discuss this comic without getting into SPOILERS.  So, go read the comic first and then come back and leave your comments below.
Nelson really packs a lot into this final issue.  First he drags our heroes through one more dreadful circumstance in infected London.  For me, one of the high points of apocalypse-fiction is the writers coming up with new things the characters have to do to survive and as readers, we have to debate in our minds, “Sheesh, would I be willing to do that or would I just lay down and die?  I think I’d just die because that is disgusting.”  But, since the easily grossed-out people didn’t survive the infected, Selena and Clint are able to do that and Nelson also gets the characters out of London pretty fast.  Yippie, they’re on a boat and sailing free straight to France.  Anyone who saw the 28 Weeks movie knows that the final scene of that film showed how the infected had gotten loose in France (and would therefore overrun Eurasia).  Oh no!  Selena and Clint may not be safe after all!  I won’t spoil the final ending, but Nelson continues to tease us right up until the final page.  Very well done!

I’ve never had quite the affinity for Aragon’s art as I did for Declan Shalvey (who started the series before moving to Marvel), but you can’t fault his storytelling.  There are a lot of poignant moments in the second half of this issue that rely on the art more than on the words of the script and Aragon nails it.

What’s Not So Good: My only complaint is that it is over.  That gives me a very mixed feeling.  On one hand, there is nothing worse than a comic or TV show that starts with great promise and then starts to limp towards the finish.  It’s like watching an aging grandparent lose their mind and control over their bladder.  28 Days never made me weary of the story and because of that, I feel like they probably could have gotten at least another 6 issues of excellent story out of this world.  In reality, I suspect they probably contracted with the owner of the franchise for a 24-issue (i.e. 2 year) story.  And, since the intellectual property rights seems to be a little screwed up (from what I understand), this is probably the last we’ll see of this world.  So it is a sad good bye.

Conclusion: Bravo to Boom! and Michael Alan Nelson.  Not only did they bring us 2 years of great stories in a compelling world, but they nailed the ending.  Now that it’s finished, this would be a great read in collected form.

Grade: A

- Dean Stell

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