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New Zombie Comic Available [Review]

GIs vs. Zombies #1, March 2012

“Command Decisions”
Words by John Michael Helmer
Art by Chris Martinez
Lettering by T. Warren Montgomery
Edits by Rusty Gilligan

“The Lost Private”
Words by Chris Martinez
Art by Luis Colon
Lettering by T. Warren Montgomery
Edits by John Michael Helmer

I’ve reviewed graphic novels before, but I believe this is my first comic book…of course, it has to involve zombies. I came across this particular gem from Red Leaf Comics through C.L. Werner, the Editor-in-chief, as well as a Warhammer author (because my favorite things next to zombies are skavens). Set in 1944, on D-Day, American paratroopers discover undead soldiers in a French village: “This isn’t the war we trained for.”

Command Decisions

While the cover is in color, the illustrations are strictly black and white; Red Leaf Comics specialize in digital comics, so I guess the black & white is a better format for e-readers. At first, I was a little disappointed with the lack of color, but it works well for the setting…not unlike the way black & white worked for the original Night of the Living Dead. Somehow Martinez still managed to make the zombies look disgusting in Command Decisions, but I found the art in The Lost Private much more appealing. Colon’s characters had more movement to them, giving the action scenes more depth.

The Lost Private

Unfortunately, both chapters didn’t have much in the way of dialogue and drama, and the American GIs seem a little too calm, considering what they are dealing with. Granted, one of them calls for his mama, but I didn’t get the sense that they were truly frightened.

“A Town Called Death”
Words by C.L. Werner
Art by Steve Williams
Lettering by T. Warren Montgomery
Edits by John Michael Helmer

A Town Called Death

This is the chapter that will most likely have the zombiephiles coming back for more, and it’s also what most comic fans would probably appreciate as far as style and dialogue go. This chapter manages to find a great balance between the illustrations and the plot; I was on the edge of my seat as the GIs fought their way through a horde of “rotters,” attempting to find some refuge in order to regroup. I loved the struggle between the soldier who doesn’t want to leave anyone behind, and the soldier who wants to cut their losses. But, the last frame had me wondering in what direction this comic is headed. A cliff-hanger is one thing, but this was veering off into some strange territory indeed.

Overall…if you’re expecting something like The Walking Dead, don’t – this is a pretty basic comic, and with all the competition out there, the guys at Red Leaf Comics are going to have to step up their game to be taken more seriously…but if you’re simply looking for something to add to your zombie collection, this might do the trick, especially considering the price of $.99.

I’m curious to see where they take the storyline in future issues.

Ads of the Living Dead.