Dynamite Entertainment 2017
Written by Craig Engler & Fred Van Lente
Illustrated by Edu Menna
Coloured by Sal Aiala
Lettered by Simon Bowland
It’s a year into the zombie apocalypse, a worldwide tipping point when most of the surviving population dies and turns zombie. All remaining forms of government collapse. The last vestiges of civilization are abandoned. Everyone is starving and nobody is safe. Amidst the chaos, a small team of National Guard set out on a Hail Mary mission to find a cache of the food substitute Soylent Z, which may be the only hope to save the few people left.
I’ll wholeheartedly admit that I’m a fan of this series, I’m enjoying it a lot more than I am the Walking Dead. While this takes itself serious to a degree there’s more underlying humour added to the mix here that makes this series a pleasure to watch. So while I was surprised that we weren’t getting a book focusing on the cast itself that this set a year into the zombie apocalypse well before the group met indeed caught my attention. Also that Craig Engler is a writer and producer for the show and is working alongside the always award worthy talent of Fred Van Lente and well heck yeah I’m in for this.
I do like the opening for this issue as it shows us the worldwide epidemic of the zombie plague in full effect as governments crumble and fall leaving mankind to fend for itself. This of course leads us to a group stationed at Fort Benning, Georgia who discovers that FEMA had something they called Soylent Z which was their cure for world hunger should it ever arise. It’s basically a powder that when you add water could feed people so a synthetic food substitute. Now Fort Benning is running low on food supplies and needs that Soylent Z if they are going to survive and keep those they are protecting alive. So we see a mission team form and off they go, these will be there adventure.
It’s a very good solid story tie-in to the show as we’re all familiar with Z-Weed I’m sure. So for those of us who follow the show it’s a great thing to have introduced for those that haven’t, as of yet, then it’s a great way to learn about this world and what makes it unique. We start to see that here in this issue and if you pay attention you’ll notice what I’m referring to.
Edu and Sal do some magnificent work on the interiors here. I really like the comic book style that they bring to this while still allowing for some incredible attention to detail. Edie’s tattoo, the folds in the clothing and how they drape the body are perfect examples of that attention to detail I’m talking about. The use of page layouts with their angles, perspective and strategic use of backgrounds make reading this a joy. Also it’s in my humble opinion that perfect blend of seriousness and comedy that makes the show a success but here they manage it visually.
Dynamite scored a huge coup with getting the rights to the show and to produce comics based on it. With some extremely good talent and someone who knows the show inside and out there’s nothing to stop this from usurping the role of best zombie title on stands. Of course that depends on if it’s going to be an ongoing monthly or simply and arc by arc series. Right now it’s got a very interesting cast of characters and at least one familiar face and with this introductory issue it has all the comradery, death and humour you need to love the book as much as the show.
A serious zombie tale infused with superb adult humour is what we get from this!