There are a lot of comics about zombies out right now. "The Walking Dead" is still going strong, and it seems like every week, another zombie book hits the stands.
So, we bought them all. We read them all. And now?
We're ranking them all, from worst to best.
We ripped on this hard when the first issue came out, but we went back, took a deep breath, bought a second issue, read that...and still have no idea what the hell they're smoking over at Image. The satire of consumerism is flat and the whole book comes off as vaguely misogynist, somehow.
A standing note to comics artists and writers: we get that you want to bone a Suicide Girl. That doesn't automatically make her a compelling protagonist. Or even an interesting one.
It kills us to put this book so low on the list. But it really is awful. The whole "Ashes on Infinite Earths" plotline started out interestingly, but this book just wants to lean on the franchise to push issues out the door. There's no ambition here. Worse, the art is Dynamite at its worst: bland and free of any background touches or individual style. Bruce Campbell would not approve.
This concept can go one of two ways: a bunch of pathetic nerds and wannabe indie chicks discover they're not Bruce Campbell, or a bunch of studly nerds and hot indie chicks discover that they totally are Bruce Campbell. You know, just like the crappy realfic starring your friends you wrote in high school.
Guess which this one is. It wouldn't be so annoying if the book weren't so predictable and assuming it can get away with it because it's set at Comic-Con and using the same tired nerd jokes we've seen a thousand times before. Seriously? Aspiring to be like "The Big Bang Theory" is not a good thing.
And if it's not tired nerd jokes, it's tired con jokes. Yes, the food at Comic-Con sucks. This joke stopped being funny when a Lobo special did it in the '90s. What's next? Con crud jokes? Gamer stank jokes? I can get this from reading old issues of "Dragon" online.
We'd be a lot more prone to making a judgement call if the writing didn't make it damn near impossible to figure out what the hell is going on in this book in its first issue. Seriously, confusing does not even begin to cover it. The entire first issue is a series of what seem to be either fantasies in the protagonist's head, or flashbacks, or...something.
That said, it does have a distinct art style, the second issue is a little clearer on the plot, which weirdly just goes straight up action movie, and it's at least trying something different. In this book, everything down to the animals has the zombie virus, so our hero, Chuck, fights things like zombie rats. It's a nice change of pace.
We're torn about this one. The comic about the undead superhero Rob Liefeld came up with is sometimes exactly as dumb as you'd expect, and other times, manages to get some genuine pathos out of a man who fought his entire life, died, thought he was done...and then got dragged right back into the muck.
It's a bit unsteady, but worth keeping an eye on.
This book is pretty much "The Ghost Whisperer", only with smaller boobs, more gore, and much better writing. Mike Allred's art is always welcome, and the overall mythology, centered around Egyptian beliefs, gets taken to some surprising places. Every now and then the book shows off some overly "quirky" touches, like Scott the gay wereterrier, but it does a good job of balancing its weirdness with its plots.
We can't say it's a must-read, every month, but at the very least, it's consistently solid and consistently fun, which puts it well above a good chunk of this list.
Ninety plus issues is a loooooong run. But Kirkman, despite it all, still manages to consistently deliver the goods. It's still not quite the best zombie series, though.
OK, so zombies aren't always the focus of this book...but they're an ongoing antagonist, and Eric Powell can use them for everything from horror to comedy.
We'll be honest, the stupid title on this one nearly drove us away. It's a good title in the sense that you immediately get the concept, but bad in that it makes the book sound a lot jokier and dumber than it actually is.
Instead, it's a clever mixture of vampires, zombies, and a period setting. Zombies are everywhere in Edwardian England, and vampirism is the "cure" for the zombie virus. What makes it easily the best book on the stands is the fact that Dan Abnett doesn't lean on his concept; for example, it isn't entirely clear, at first, that the upper class are mostly vampires and the lower classes are mostly zombies. Helping are the fact that the British have an exceptionally uptight name for everything: vampires, for example, are called The Young.
Secondly, the zombies and vampires are key to the plot...but the plot isn't about them. It's a murder mystery: somebody has killed a vampire, and hasn't used the traditional three methods to do it.
This is, quite honestly, one of the best books Vertigo is putting out right now: give it a shot if you haven't already.
I want more like this!
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