Review – Resurrection #7 (Onipress, 2010)



SPOILERS

The cover of Resurrection #7 boasts the comment;

“Does for Aliens what Walking Dead does for Zombies” (Blair Butler, G4’s Fresh Ink)

which is quite a bold statement. I tend not to agree with this – though Resurrection has its moments, it simply does not have the quality and consistency of Kirkman & Adlards post-apocalyptic epic. That is more in evidence in the current installment, where, despite plenty of action, it all feels a bit flat. The ‘end of chapter one’ of ‘book two’, is certainly not without incident, but it all feels a bit daft really. Our protagonists encounter a new bunch of survivors, who all wear hooded cloaks. Whatever could that signify? I would give you one guess and you probably would be correct. Yes, our survivors have encountered religious zealots, and we are whisked away to a pristine community (in Baltimore, apparently) – where all the buildings and surrounding area are intact (there is some symmetry here with the latest installment (#69) of The Walking Dead). For example, one of ‘The Righteous’, a follower of ‘The Acolyte’, reacts too strongly when one of the survivors mentions ‘bugs’ in the same sentence as ‘the enlightened’. The big reveal of who (or what) ‘The Acolyte’ is at the end, and it is somewhat predictable, but it is executed well enough.

I think the problem with the issue is that it is a lot of people arguing and plotting against each other, and then we meet some people in hoods – and their ‘god’. And a lot of it (specifically, the bickering) is not all that interesting. This issue is a bit of a drop in quality compared to the last few issues. Felt like a bit of a chore reading it. The dialogue is very clipped, monotonous at times, and the cartoon-like art becomes a problem again – probably because of the lack of action etc is not diverting my attention from the illustrations. There is also a mistake in the lettering on page 17 when a characters dialogue is incomplete (the speech ends with ‘the .’).

Let’s hope that this title gets back on track for the start of Chapter Two.

One highlight – a fantastic cover which is the best of the series yet. Don’t see how it relates at all to the contents inside, but it is a stunning image nevertheless.

Review – The Walking Dead #69 (Image, 2010)

SPOILERS – so if you don’t want to know what happens in issue 69 of The Walking Dead, other than it being MAGNIFICENT, then turn away NOW.

Well, issue 69 just about made it for January (Diamond said it was shipping one week, and then it didn’t, then the week after….). But that is absolutely the ONLY negative thing I am going to say about a CRACKER of an issue.

This issue seems to be a bit of a release for Kirkman and Adlard. I know that it can often be said that The Walking Dead doesn’t necessarily need ‘the walking dead’ in an issue for it to be marvellous – and I agree with that – but blimey, when you read issue 69, you will probably argue that seeing a few more zombies wouldn’t hurt at all. The set-pieces and action sequences are stunning. And that is what I mean about this issue being a bit of release – all that pent-up revenant action comes bursting out of the creative team. And it is messy. Kirkman throws some zombies and a rescue into the mix – and then lets Adlard take centre stage and shine. His artwork (with sterling help from Rathburn), is a tour-de-force of wrecked highways, devastated City streets and some splash pages that are some of the best zombie apocalypse scenarios I have seen. There is so much to enjoy – and wait til you get to the bit when the cavalry turn up – it’s like that bit in The Two Towers when Gandalf and the Riders of Rohan come to the aid of the besieged Helms Deep. Well – nearly as good as that anyway. It’s a very, very cool moment.

What’s more to say? Issue 69 sees our band get to the gates of their new sealed community – but it’s all about the journey this issue. Next issue will be a new environment, and lots of new faces to get used to (and that was what was so great about this installment – lots of faces, but hardly anytime to form opinion on them as they were all pre-occupied with survival, killing zombies and getting the hell out of Dodge.)

But next issue will need to be at the top of its game to come near the majesty of #69….

Couple of points – Rick had a very unusual expression on his face on the final page. Couldn’t work out quite what was going on. I assume he was happy, but he looked like he was going cross-eyed as well. Didn’t detract from the enjoyment, just found it a bit strange. Anyone else notice that? Anyone care to comment on Ricks state of mind at that moment in time?

Second point is that in ‘Letter Hacks’, Kirkman mentions that there are big plans for issue 75 – which will be happening this year, and that the ‘on time in ’09’ pledge is to continue on throughout this year, with this issues late shipping a mere blip. Good stuff.

Finally, amongst all the plaudits for a job well done by Kirkman & Co, I just want to point out there is a few pages of Ben Templesmith’s new twisted opus, ‘Choker’, previewed at the end of the comic. And it looks brilliant. Any title that contains lines like;

“In turn, this residual melancholy bludgeons my liver and fills my lungs with cancerous smog”

deserves your attention. It looks twisted in that very special Ben Templesmith, where pure evil, dread suffering and pain, drips from every panel. I cannot wait.


The Walking Dead #69, the best comic book on the market, is out now.

Review – Victorian Undead #3 (Wildstorm, 2010)

5 Reasons I love this book (and there are some SPOILERS herein);

1) Edgintons lively use of the English language, and the idiosyncrasies of Victorian language in particular (seen in full florid effect in his magnificent Stickleback for 2000AD).

2) The plot! Steampunk revenant shenanigans with Holmes & Watson – and in this issue, the return of a familiar foe……(but not how you may have remembered him).

3) Said plot is lively, witty, on occasion quite chilling. What more do you need from a Sherlock Holmes story?

4) Art (from Fabbri) is bright, with some nice Steampunk touches, and his rendering of the undead is solid. There is light and shade, squalor and sleaze, grotesquery and ghoulishness. He can summon a mood of Victoriana with his bold, clean lines – plus, the guy draws mean sideburns as well – respect.

5) It’s accessible. You do not need to be mired in the mythology of Conan Doyle’s creation to appreciate this for what it is – rip-snorting adventure!

Review – Unknown Soldier #16 (Vertigo, 2010)

Deservedly voted as best new series of 2009 by IGN, Unknown Soldier #16 is another faultless example of how to craft a gripping, intelligent comic book that does not rely on the familiar props and plots to pull in a crowd. This title treads its own distinctive path, and now, in its mid-teens, it makes me wonder how long it will be before some other titles will seek to emulate this critically acclaimed work.

We are now on part 2 of the current arc, ‘Dry Season’, which is, on one level, a murder mystery. The pacing of this whodunit, as our protagonist pieces together the evidence to try and find a murderer amongst a displaced, haunted and hunted tribe in a camp, protected by UDPF soldiers, is exquisite (by the end, you just want issue 17 to turn up at the door at that very instant)
. However, it is an exchange with the UDPF captain midway through this issue that provides the strongest scene – the rationale of child killing in a war torn region laid bare. Moses can barely suppress his rage.

There is much more going on in this issue – Moses shows the other side of his nature as he (by necessity) returns to his profession as a Doctor to try and help the sick in the camp. There is a long, hard look at death, disease and suffering – Ponticelli’s pencils never shying away from the reality of the horror of it all.

Joshua Dysart continues to script this story with an intensity, intelligence and fury that, for a first time reader, will astound you. 16 issues in, I can feel the intensity shimmer off the page. An absolutely essential comic book. An utterly compelling comic book.

Babylon Fields pilot – watch it here! (2007)

Here it is – a pilot for a series that CBS never took the option up on. ‘Babylon Fields’, a story of the Dead coming back to life – and trying to reintegrate into society / attempt to pick up the pieces of the lives and people they left behind. If the premise sounds familiar, it’s because a French film called Les Revenants (aka They Came Back) explored this very territory in 2004. Anyway, the film is here, courtesy of google video;

IMDB entry here

Wiki entry

TV Week article here