The Last Resort #1
Writers: Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray
Art: Giancarlo Caracuzzo
Letters: Chris Mowry
Cover by Darwyn Cooke
Review by Troy Brownfield
As anyone that reads “Listen to Jimmy Palmiotti” here at Blog@ regularly knows, Jimmy Palmiotti has a great sense of humor. With frequent co-writer Justin Gray, Palmiotti has displayed that in a darker, understated way in the occasional grim laughs found amid the violence in Jonah Hex or in some biting moments in Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters. The Palmiotti/Gray humor turns toward the bawdy too, as you’ll notice in Power Girl. However, with The Last Resort, the writing duo get to really ratchet up that approach by pairing it with horror. Zombie horror to be precise. And what remains is a way over-the-top, frequently funny, often disgusting, turn on any number of horror/zombie cliché scenarios.
Part of what makes Resort so much fun is the knowing way in which the creative team builds the expansive cast. We have a large number of people headed out for a tropical vacation that wind up on the same flight. We already know from the first couple of pages that they’re inevitably bound for an island retreat that’s already been (likely) overrun by the undead. Logically then, quite a few of these poor bastards are cannon fodder; some of the fun going forward, surely, will be found in seeing who (if any) make it out alive. Several of the characters are played To Type, which is the expectation in most horror films, and certainly the expectation in anything that takes the piss out of horror films. Palmiotti and Gray nail a number of the types quite appropriately, including, but not limited to: Gorgeous Action Movie Star, Capable But Randy Pilot, Oversexed Annoying Couple, and Overweight Lady with Dog. I don’t hold out much hope for that dog’s chances.
On the visual tip, Caracuzzo seems well-suited to the tale. He handles the initial burst of horror well, but distinguishes himself by depicting a fairly distinct array of characters. Even if I didn’t pick up all the names for the big ensemble on the first past, I could still easily discern whom the characters were as we switched between plotlines. The color employs a bit of a wash that simultaneously achieves a bit of a grainy effect (like the awesome Italian zombie films of yesteryear) and an almost pastel vibe that befits the island setting.
Some of you may be thinking “Zombies again?”, but come on. EVERY strata of every genre, from westerns to cops to super-heroes to vampires to robots/ninjas/pirate/monkeys to indie confessionals, has had any number of permutations wrung on them over the years. It doesn’t matter if it’s another zombie book; it matters if it’s a well-made zombie book. And upon reading the first issue, it appears that we’ve got ourselves a well-made zombie book. If you like your horror blended with bawdy humor that’s not afraid of sex OR violence, check into The Last Resort.