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Review: Zombies! Feast #1 June 24, 2006

Posted by HC in Aftershock Reviews, IDW.


Writer: Shane McCarthy

Artist: Chris Bolton

Reviewer: David Zuzelo

Zombies! Feast starts up a promising new series for IDW, containing sharp artwork by Chris Bolton that keeps the blood and viscera flowing well from panel to panel while being pushed along by fast paced script from Shane McCarthy. During a routine prisoner transport for Federal Marshal Cooke and his crew of officers things take a Silent Hill turn as radio signals fail and they crash their bus in a storm. It probably doesn’t help that they are transporting what appear to be a batch of VERY mean men in prison jumpsuits looking for a way out of their own predicaments. I guess we know they are mean because they curse a lot and one is a Nazi wannabee who will no-doubt get in the Marshal’s face. Taking cover in an abandoned farmhouse where they meet a grotesque little zombie girl (whoa, George Romero, take a bow) the stage is set for blunt force trauma to lots of undead skulls as well as buckets of interpersonal mayhem between prisoners and police.
For pure nasty action, Zombies! Feast delivers the gobbling goods, with a particularly gross bit involving some brain swallowing that gave me the heebie jeebies while admiring the lettering on the word THUNK in the same panel. McCarthy focuses his script by letting the artwork carry the action, which it does quite well.

While it feels cinematic, it does make for a very VERY quick read (at $3.99 per book this is a common issue for IDW in my opinion) and this style doesn’t exactly push the comic book form to the bleeding edges of the best told tales. As a set up issue, Zombies! Feast #1 feels a bit like a 5 minute prologue to a very promising splatfilm, and I’ll be sure to check out the further issues. Bolton’s artwork and the moody coloring captured my imagination enough to warrant another look, and once some of the story blanks are filled in and the characters get to have their moments amongst the mayhem this could be a zombie book worth remembering.

Scores: (Out of 5)

Art: 4

Story: 2

Chills: 3

Overall: 3


Review: Angel Spotlight: Illyria #1 June 3, 2006

Posted by HC in Aftershock Reviews, IDW.

Writer: Peter David

Art: Nicola Scott

Reviewer: Cavan Scott

Of all the characters in what these days is called the Buffyverse, Illyria showed the most promise and yet, with the cancellation of Angel, was never allowed to truly come into her own.

After a couple of misfires with their Angel spin-offs, IDW have got this just right. Peter David, no stranger to TV-tie-ins presents a brief but involving tale of a demon striving to understand what remorse means and how it will take her one step closer to being human. In a relatively short page-count David crams in more character development and empathy than most writers can manage in an entire series. Of course his job is made considerably easier thanks to the amazing art of Nicola Scott who perfectly captures actress Amy Acker (although her Wesley is almost unrecognisable).

Unlike IDW's first Angel efforts, this isn't just for completests. If you've not dipped your toe into Buffy-inspired comics then this is a great jumping-on point.

SCORES: Out of 5

Art: 3

Script: 3

Chills: 2

Overall: 3

Aftershock: 30 Days of Night: Dead Space June 2, 2006

Posted by HC in Aftershock Reviews, IDW.

Dead Space

No. of issues: 3

Writer: Steve Niles & Dan Wickline

Art: Milx

Reviewer: Cavan Scott

Hack/Slash: Trailers made a very good point in its collection of mini-adventures this March – when franchises have run out of steam they blast into orbit.

With this in mind I approached 30 Days of Night: Dead Space with trepidation. Did the final frontier equal the first nail in the coffin for horrordom’s latest, and at present, greatest horror darling.

The concept is a simple one. Hours before NASA relaunches its Space Shuttle program the mission commander is converted to the vampire hordes. Once the team hit space, his vampirism hits out and floating in their tin can, high above the world, the NASA team are slaughtered one by one.

However simple the concept, you have to admit it’s a strong one. Claustrophobic location – check. Lots of mindless violence – check. Using as much red ink as you can without prompting a world shortage – check. Every box is ticked then. Well, almost.

Unlike the original 30 Days of Night I am not convinced that Dead Space would warrant many repeat visits. With three issues to build suspense and dread, writers Steve Niles and Dan Wickline choose to rush in and cut to the bloody chase. It’s an admirable tactic but one that means that the characters are mere cyphers, truly lambs to the slaughter. You don’t have the time, or indeed the inclination to form any connection with them and so hardly care when their throats are ripped out in zero G.

The real tribute of the series came in the form of Milx’s art and impressive colouring. A shame that his talent obviously wasn’t stretched by a below-par, phoned-in script.

Perhaps Hack/Slash were right after all.

SCORES: Out of 5

Art: 4

Script: 2

Chills: 2

Overall: 2