Image Comics 2015
Written by Mark Kidwell
Illustrated by Jeff Zornow
Coloured by Jay Fotos
We are back in New York City in the year 1970 and a man is running through the streets, being chased more accurately, by a Vulture which I suppose is a gang of the living trying to capitalize on the current state of the city. He’s being watched by others and this opening sequence really goes a long way to showing you the fall the city has experienced ever since the zombie plague has come to roost.
Mark really has gone away from the small scale stuff of individuals fighting in remote outbreaks to give us this somewhat harrowing look at what this plague will do to such a largely populated city. I like the gangs that roam the city staking claims since they seem a lot more menacing than the zombies currently roaming the city and seeing this group emerge and introducing us to them is a pretty spectacular opening.
Carl Royce has come to New York to let survivor groups know that the U.S. Government has been reborn under Richard Nixon and he’s here to coordinate with them. Though poor Royce really is a poor choice for coming to this war zone for this mission. He has official documents but we’re not sure what happens with those but his fate we are clear on that. I love that Nixon is president and that they are still trying to regroup and get this all under control. I live the idea that perhaps there’s a think tank somewhere trying to combat the zombie disease and possibly trying to find a way to end it.
There’s a moment here when Alice comes to find Kuen’s in order to deliver Yam’s letters to his mother. Bringing a mother closure about her son’s fate and seeing the ties from Vietnam to the States and seeing these characters is wonderful! Could both parties work together and form a larger societal unit to help and support each other and try to clean up things we’ll see but what we see here leaves me hopeful for what’s to come.
Even better is that we see and learn that Nixon isn’t in this alone and he’s kind the man in the spotlight so the man behind him can manipulate things and the identity of this man well that’s revealed here and honestly Mark is a sick and twisted and utterly brilliant individual because I love this huge twist. That Nixon seems to be unhinged isn’t a surprise but his ambitions of being a solo act in the White House and ditching his partner well we’ll see how that goes. Regardless suddenly the United States while keeping with the traditional timeline, President wise anyway, and still reeling in the aftermath of the Vietnam War, Conflict my ass, and trying to re-establish itself well it’s done incredibly well.
If you haven’t been reading these arcs than well A. you really should but B. this is completely easy enough to read on it’s own. The characterization is spectacular and there isn’t anything about this book NOT to like.
Jeff and Jay do some really intense work on the interiors, though Nixon isn’t quite Nixony enough for me but hey it’s all good. I love the intensity of streets of New York in winter time with the dead and the living there really is something beautiful about the horror we see with all that white with splotches of colour. The way J&J depict the people here is fantastic and when we see the result of shooting the dead it’s dynamic and explosive.
Forget what you know about zombie stories because this one definitely stands out from the crowd in the best of ways.