Zombie #1


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Zombie #1


  • Words: Mike Raicht
  • Art: Kyle Hotz
  • Inks: Kyle Hotz
  • Colors: Dan Brown
  • Story Title: The Getaway
  • Publisher: Marvel Comics
  • Price: $3.99
  • Release Date: Sep 27, 2006

Hapless bank teller Simon Garth is unwillingly kidnapped by bank robbers, and then is lead into a worse predicament when an accidental chemical spill leads to a horde of the living dead.

You know it’s getting close to Halloween when Marvel decides to put a book like Zombie on its publishing schedule. This one features a return of a classic 70’s character (Simon Garth) and that’s coupled with red hot art by Kyle Hotz. The two certainly blend well together to bring about an intriguing horror laden project, and it’s high time the company dipped back into the genre to do so.

Surely there is enough bang for your buck here, and it starts off immediately with Simon Garth (sans his zombie incarnation from the 70’s) pleading with a pair of robbers to take him hostage over fellow employee Layla. Now if this isn’t a bad enough predicament, the bank robbers decide to take them both as hostages and quickly usher everyone into the getaway car. The foursome then drives along an open stretch of road, but unexpectedly run into a police roadblock. They foolishly decide to plow their way through, but by doing so they unwittingly endanger their own lives after realizing the roadblock is set up to contain a nasty accidental chemical spill. Worse yet, the chemical spill is adversely affecting all the locals and turning them into flesh eating zombies, so Simon and company are all forced to take cover and deal with the horrific events.

I think that little synopsis is a fairly cinematic one, and much of the events that take place all seem like one big long movie cliché. In fact writer Mike Raicht did an admirable job setting everything up and telling the opening story in this fashion for that very same reason. I’ve got to hand it to him though for doing so, because the story kept up my interest throughout, and I was even wondering what Simon Garth’s connection was to the horde of zombies appearing here. I’m not sure if this is a revamp or retelling of Simon’s origins since the last time I remember Garth showing up in the Marvel Universe he was already inflicted with the zombie curse, so there was no explanation as to his reversal in this issue. Perhaps subsequent issues will allow for some sort of explanation and I am guessing the second issue will reveal so much more.

On the other hand though, the art of Kyle Hotz surely didn’t hold back at all. In fact, the ending packed a walloping punch and all the events that led up to it illustrated the brilliance of Kyle’s gore laced action sequences. I’ve always like the guy’s work and I remember his stints on books like The Hood and Man-Thing were solid assignments, but he seems perfectly more at home on Zombie. Maybe it has something to do with the subject matter, but nonetheless Kyle’s work is crisp and malevolent looking throughout. His work is reminiscent of artists like Bernie Wrightson and Kelly Jones and quite frankly I was beginning to wonder why this hot talent hasn’t been working more frequently in the industry. It might just come down to being picky for certain projects, but the artist does indeed gravitate towards books with a decidedly edgier tone and Zombie is definitely one of them.

For me, this book is a cool addition into the pantheon of horror related comics coming down the pipe in recent years. I’m already a devoted fan of books like Dead World and The Walking Dead and Zombie so far seems to fit nicely alongside those books. The story is more than adequate enough as far as first issues go and the art will no doubt draw you in as it did for me. I’m giving the project two thumbs up thus far and I am hoping further exposition is given to explain Simon Garth’s current position in the Marvel Universe. I guess only time will tell.

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