Proving again that the number of tales starring the undead is limitless, BOOM!’s latest issue of its zombie anthology offers another diverse trilogy of zombie action.
Kicking things off is a Civil War adventure in which the forces of the South are cut off and facing certain defeat, until a surprise turn of events gives them a much greater advantage. The weary General is called to witness a dead child who is raised to life thanks to the witchery of a slave woman. This gives the South an edge in battle and they use the corpses strewn across the battle field one more time. Writer Ralph Soll and artist Unai give this nice tale with a twist a great approach, with an easy pace and suitably grimy art, reminiscent of Kyle Hotz.
The second short story is the conclusion to the 2061 saga, by writer Kim Krizan and artist Jon Reed. The central conceit of this mini-epic is that zombies are mutated cannibals and are now running earth. Humans are mere pets in this new society and live primarily as slaves and gladiators for their undead masters. It could easily be a mini-series by itself, especially with scarily amusing touches such as humans in a meat market, or in cages below “1/2 Off Veal” signs. In this finale a group of humans manage to escape from the gladiator pit, leading a makeshift revolt which causes the zombies to shuffle off. They are then chased outside of the city, thrown off a cliff and into the heart of a nuclear reactor. That’s when things get slightly confusing. What appears to be the leader of the human army throws herself into the zombie filled pit because “if it comes into contact with normal particles it will spark a reaction!” Um…okay. Well, that’s what happens which then in one last moment of “what the?!” the horde of zombies appear to travel through space and time to 2061 B.C. It’s a rather stifling end to what has been a grand concept.
The last story, entitled “Population Control,” is written by Bryce Carlson with art by Axel Medelin Machain. Set in the town of Adler Creek, it centres on two life long friends amidst a dwindling population. Jules and Benton eventually have a disagreement about staying in their hometown or leaving, with the survival of both sun scorched men on the line. So they do what best friends should always do – make sacrifices for the other one.
The art in this issue is similar between all three stories. It’s not highly polished, but it works in the zombie context. This issue is not the best of the series, but as a whole Zombie Tales is always a pleasant surprise in this era of comic book decompression. Instead of long, drawn out epics lasting years, BOOM! wisely give us a snack-sized alternative.
For a preview of this ish, go here.