Dark Horse Comics 2016
Written by Justin Jordan
Illustrated by Jonathan Wayshak
Coloured by Lovern Kindzierski
Lettered by Michael Heisler
The Tranzit crew—Marlton, Stuhlinger, Russman, and Misty—have been fighting for survival in a zombie-infested wasteland. Business as usual. But after an encounter with a smarter-than-average zombie, the crew are ready to follow Stuhlinger as he takes them on a mysterious mission that could get them away from the undead for good.
I like this because it’s not your traditional story. There’s this crazy mixture of a classic zombie movie with those “B” movie aspects that we thoroughly enjoy alongside that first person shooter which makes the game something people want to play. The way that Justin can seamlessly blend through so many aspects while keeping the characterisation steady is really impressive.
So last issue was really a gathering of forces and the emergence of a zombie like they’ve never seen before. Now we pick up after they’ve jumped to another location via a portal opened up by Stu’s mysterious voice, in his head. With the team assembled and about their business it’s time for more characterisation and storytelling. I have to admit I’m really liking Russ and how he’s got this whole shellshocked way about him. It’s like he’s experienced so much horror so quickly that he’s had trouble processing it so he comes across as if he isn’t all there. His story and evolution this issue is amazing to witness.
I do like that their mission here is so vague. With little bits and pieces given so that they have to “scramble around in the dark” like they are makes it more interesting. I like to discover alongside the characters what’s going on around them and Justin is really good at doing that for us. Even better is what we learn as the team not only has to find a way to get away from the zombies that followed them through the portal but what awaits them in this new location.
I like the interior artwork here too, it doesn’t bring us that ultra-lifelike realism that many games do these days. Instead what we get comes from some great imagination and creativity by Jonathan and Lovern. The use of page layouts through the use of angles, perspective and backgrounds really do wonders in making this as great and creepy as it can be. There is some nice attention to detail here that really makes things stand out.
Justin weaves an interesting tale through the game universe here. With a zombie that’s becoming much more a threat than anyone could have prepared for and now finding that there are other creatures far worse it’s all almost too much to handle. I’m very much liking that we are seeing something both so familiar and yet so different from the norm here. The characterisation is great and while the characters do have a history with one another and we don’t know the full extent of that it’s still easily accessible to us.