Super Zombies #1Super Zombies #1
Writers: Marc Guggenheim and Vince Gonzales
Art: Mel Rubi
Colors: Vinicius Andrade
Letters: Simon Bowland
I’d like to establish from the outset that I personally believe that there’s a lot that creative people can do with the living dead genre. Clearly, Romero’s Night and Fulci’s Zombie are very different films from one another, as are Shaun of the Dead and 28 Days Later (not precisely living dead, but close enough for government work). Certainly, since the success of The Walking Dead and Kirkman’s subsequent foray into Marvel Zombies, we’ve seen a lot of flesh-eaters shambling through comics. So, for all that, Super Zombies needs to do a few things differently to distinguish itself. And I believe that it’s trying.
A very cool narrative conceit that gets going on the first page involves a use of cascading flashbacks. While the story opens in the present, we get glimpses of ten, five, and one year ago to fill us in on elements of backstory and character. That’s particularly valuable since this book is packed to bursting with characters. Even though that makes some of the early going a bit complicated, it makes sense: there is going to have to be cannon fodder here. Another great concept is the notion that the thing which makes people “super” in this world is directly related to the thing that also makes zombies. You can tell that Guggenheim and Gonzales were aware of certain traps, and they went out of their to avoid them. Overall, the story plays very much like a super-hero story with horror elements; as it goes along, I’d like to see the horror as punched up and pronounced as it is on the final two pages.
The art is very capably handled by Mel Rubi, whom regularly Dynamite readers will know from Red Sonja. He gets the shiny super-hero stuff and the gritty parts right in equal measure. I am a bit unsure of Andrade’s colors; while his brighter palette might have made sense for the flashbacks of a world exploding with super-powered beings, he doesn’t seem to have the shadowy subtlety that would have made the excellently paced and drawn last few pages absolutely kill.
So then, the first issue has a pretty interesting premise and some good art. Thus far, it lacks that one thing that the best zombie films have: at least one character that you can really care about. No one totally clicked with me right away, and it’s essential to have your Ben (Night), your Anna (Dawn remake) . . . hell, even your Bud (Day). Considering the sheer number of characters, I’d bet that someone will step up to be the moral and emotional center. As it is, much of this issue is just getting us started. And it’s a pretty decent start.