28 Days Later #1


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28 Days Later #1


  • Words: Michael Alan Nelson
  • Art: Declan Shalvey
  • Colors: Nick Filardi
  • Publisher: BOOM! Studios
  • Price: $3.99
  • Release Date: Aug 20, 2009

Shortly after the events of the film by the same name, a reporter comes to see Selena in a Refugee Camp in Norway. He wants to travel into London and would like Selena to be his guide.

Danny Boyle is as close as England has to Quentin Tarantino, an auteur of pop. With his debut film, Shallow Grave, he showed that he had the chops to handle horrific suspense; but with 2002's 28 Days Later, he showed that he could revolutionize the zombie flick. Here, zombies were fast and seemed to have a bit of intellect or at least the instinct to formulate a strategy. Quickly dissembling a military force, the outlook was bleak at the end of the film.

The film was a landmark and with the timing of the beginning of Kirkman’s The Walking Dead, the current zombie fad got off and running. Not happy just conquering film and comics, we have seen Zombie Survival Kits and even the zombification of Jane Austin since the two giants put life back into the Living Dead.

This comic bridges the gap between the first film and its sequel. London has been quarantined. The governments are keeping mum about what is going on. Selena is just trying to forget her life before the plague hit and more importantly, her life since. Clint Harris, a reporter, tracks her down. He would like her to lead his team through the zombies to the heart of London. He says it is to get the real story, but when she meets a team of war hardened special force Ops, there may be more than meets the eye.

The team plans on entering Britain through a weak back door, but when they get to Scotland they are met by hostile air forces in an area that should be unrestricted and that is when the proverbial stuff hits the fan.

The story is swiftly told and other than an odd flashback that seems rather pointless, it gets about its business pretty quickly. This is all set up though, so zombies are not overrunning anything just yet, however Nelson is smart enough to give the readers a taste of what is to come before he ends the debut issue.

The real problem here is that a comic book that very clearly says #1 on the cover is entirely inaccessible to anyone who has not seen the movie. Banking on the built in audience for the concept may seem like a smart move, but superhero movies have had a hard time translating their popularity into comics sales. Is a comic sequel from one of the second tier companies going to draw in the readers? Only time will tell. When Fox Atomic released their 28 Days Later comic it sold out instantly, but there have always been concerns over the distribution and as any comic fan knows, Diamond’s charts aren’t the most reliable or definitive source of information on sales. The fact that Fox Atomic is no longer around is a telling sign of their ability to get sales. There may be enough of an audience for the movie to get the book to sell, but I would be lying if I didn’t show my doubt.

Shalvey’s art is what we have come to expect from Boom! Studios. It is almost as if they have a house style at this point for their normal line of books. Filardi colors the book a bit dark, which is a good match to the subject matter. Other than that the art is not remarkable in any way. It tells the story, but not in any particular breathtaking manner. In the end, the less than spectacular art of the company probably has to do with the lure of the big two or the Image and Dark Horse brands. As Boom continues to grow, hopefully the art will pick up. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing particularly bad about this art, just nothing great either.

28 Days Later is a risky prospect for Boom. Instead of banking on established niche franchises, it is hoping to start one of its own with an existing property. The story is interesting enough so hopefully it will be a successful gambit.

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  • Bart Croonenborghs

    Bart Croonenborghs Aug 25, 2009 at 2:58am

    Totally with you on the art front, Lee. They do tend to have a blend generic flavour to them, not bad, not great either. I'm following Boom Studios' Philip K Dick adaptation 'Do androids dream of electric sheep' but the art is so uninspiring that I'm going to drop it because of that ...

  • Pezhead

    Pezhead Aug 25, 2009 at 12:37pm

    Could we please stop calling 28 Days Later a "zombie flick" because it wasn't.

  • Bart Croonenborghs

    Bart Croonenborghs Aug 26, 2009 at 6:05am

    What was 20 Days Later then? A postapocalyptic survival epic ................ with zombies? :) How would you classify it?

  • Eric Lindberg

    Eric Lindberg Aug 27, 2009 at 6:01am

    Perhaps it's the "zombie" moniker that's the issue. I hear these days they prefer the term "living impaired."

  • CA3

    CA3 Aug 27, 2009 at 7:16am

    I'm curious to pick this one up since the prelude comic to the movie was actually pretty interesting to read. I've had no problems with people calling the 28 series a zombie flick because honestly that's the best description you could use for it. Calling it a post-apocalyptic outbreak scenario flick, doesn't have the same appeal, besides, zombie rolls right off the tongue with so much ease.

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