Zenescope Entertainment 2019
Written by Joe Brusha
Illustrated by Marcelo Mueller
Coloured by Maxflan Araujo
Lettered by Taylor Esposito of Ghost Glyph Studios
PART ONE OF FIVE
Mankind has all but been wiped out, decimated by a virus that turns us into primal beasts. Only a handful of humans are left struggling to survive in a hostile world. But scientists among them have discovered a way to cure the virus. To save us they must call on monsters of our nightmares—vampires, werewolves and worse—who hold the key to the cure. Now, one team is in a race against time to find the lord of the vampires and convince him to help save the thing he despises most...man.
I have always said Joe was a great idea man and this first issue proves that to be true again. His writing is a bit hit or miss for me but so far he's doing a darn fine job of it. I like the fact that as far as I can tell this is a totally separate world from the Grimm Universe so that the impact of the characters we see and meet have a much greater influence on the reader. The opening here which is fabulous with it's narration and visuals shows us something that could have been either or world and then as the story goes on well it looks like it's stand alone.
I like the way that this is being told. The way the story is structured and how the story & plot development works with releasing information to the reader. That we know so little is spot on since that engages the readers' vivid imaginations as to what could have occurred. And this my friends, and frenemies, means we want to see more, come back for more and that's precisely what it should do. The character development is pretty phenomenal and I really like how actions speak louder than words here in how these people are fleshed out as individuals. The pacing is strong and it carries us through the twists & turns, all of which is what creates this nice ebb & flow to the story.
The idea of a virus causing this is one that I really like. We have seen stories where viruses cause the Zombie Apocalypse or just plainly kill off a large portion of the planet, so to see it given a different outcome is the kind of originality that will make a story more sought after.
I am really impressed with Marcelo's linework and how he utilises the varying weights to create such beautiful attention to detail. The backgrounds of a city in ruins, decimated by fighting and the monsters it all has amazing, and I do mean amazing quality to it that really takes you there and you believe it. The creativity and imagination that is on display here is wonderful and to see the monsters and those that are in the supernatural world, I.E. werewolves and such, running for their very lives from these creatures and it's exciting to see what abominations he can create. The utilisation of the page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels along with some darn fine depth perception show this really talented eye for storytelling. The colour work is also really well done and the way the buildings are seen is sensational. The characters with their base colour and then the hues and tones within those utilised to create the shading and shadows is extremely nice to see. How light sources are utilised and even the darkness itself and especially in moments like that ballroom this is the kind of work a person remembers.
I have to say this is a sensational first issue introduction to a story. The writing, characterisation and plot development/advancement alongside this stupendous interiors really make this something you should be taking home with you. If you think you know Zenescope think again because this might just change your mind about them.