If you haven’t noticed, zombies are all around you; from comics to movies and even an upcoming television series. The concept isn’t new, but its return to the mainstream was in thanks to no small part by the success of the 2002 film 28 Days Later. It, along with a remake of Dawn of the Dead, the return of George A. Romero to zombie films and comics own Walking Dead have made these past few years a zombie resurrection.
The success of 28 Days Later spawned a sequel and several comics, but nothing to find out what happened to the characters we saw in the original film. But that’s about to change, as BOOM! Studios has acquired the license to do comics based on the franchise and is doing it right with an ongoing series whose first story arc follows one of the main people from the first movie into what happens next.
28 Days Later #1 follows the character of Selena from the original film as she has escaped the zombified England and is living in a refugee camp. No sign of fellow survivors Jim or Hannah, and the experiences of escaping seem to have made her into a shell of her former self. Going back to the zombies is the last thing she wants to do, but somehow she ends up back in the thick of it.
For the who’s and the how’s to this continuation to the original 28 Days Later film, we talked with series writer Michael Alan Nelson for more.
Newsarama: There's been other 28 Days Later comics before, but this one seems more seminal to the franchise as it follows one of the characters from the original movie, Selena, after the movie ends. But as I say - it seems pretty gruesome. How'd this all come about?
Michael Alan Nelson: I've been writing for BOOM! Studios ever since the company began. For some odd reason, they seem to like what I do. So when they decided to do a 28 Days Later comic, they thought I would be a good fit since horror writing is in my wheel house. Also, I'm a huge fan of the film. But it wasn't just something they gave me. As with all licenses, they're pretty picky about the creative team. While they were deciding on who they wanted, I went ahead and wrote a short, 6-page scene with Selena just to show them what I could do with the project. They liked it and brought me aboard.
Nrama: Can you set-up for us what this first story arc is about?
Nelson"The first story arc is all about getting Selena back into the thick of it. Let's face it. After what she went through getting out of England, it would have to take something extraordinary to get her to go back. When we first see her at the refugee camp, we can tell that something is eating away at her. And it's that inner turmoil that makes her agree to return.
Nrama: And that thing is an expedition back into the infected England by an American journalist named Clint Harris. What’s he after?
Nelson: The truth. As with all good journalists, he's after the story that the Powers That Be don't want told. He wants to find the real story behind Infection and to investigate the rumor about plans to repatriate London. But for him to get these stories, he has to go into the heart of darkness, to London itself. And he'll need a guide. Someone who knows how to navigate through Infected territory.
That's where Selena comes in.
Nrama: The first issue skips forward a bit to when Selena is in a refugee camp, but I see snippets of flashbacks to her killing Jim from the first film, I believe - but it's so sparse to be unsure. Will you delve into this more as the series goes on?
Nelson: The first page is a collection of moments from the first film, but the flashbacks she has later in the issue, and the series, will paint the larger picture as to her true motivation to return to London. There's definitely a reason she's heading back other than just to help Clint. As for what that reason is, you'll have to wait and see.
Nrama: This story arc is especially notably for returning to see what happened to one of the characters from the first film. But what’s also notable is the absence of the others, Jim and Hannah. Will we be seeing any of the other characters from the first movie at some point?
Nelson: It's safe to assume that eventually we'll get some news as to what happened to Jim and Hannah at some point.
Nrama: Are you onboard for the next story arc after this, and if so, what can we expect?
Nelson: Oh yes. Not only is there the constant threat of Infection, but there's also the threat of other survivors unlucky enough to have not made it off the island. It's going to be a long trip to London.
A lot can happen along the way.For a 10-page preview of issue #1, click here...