I, Zombie #1 - 'Dead To The World' - Roberson and Allred
Story - Has anyone else noticed that Vertigo seems to be going back to it's magic and horror comic roots recently? It kind of got away from them with crime books like Scalped, and whatever the hell genre Y: The Last Man is. But just lately we've been getting back to the magic and horror stuff, The Unwritten, American Vampire, and now I, Zombie. And just like those titles, this is another promising debut issue from the best imprint in comics.
The central premise of I, Zombie is that Gwen Dylan, a Zombie with a difference, eats brains and then has to investigate the deceased's murder alongside her Ghost and Werewolf friends. The Hollywood high concept would be 'Buffy meets Scooby Doo meets the Walking Dead meets Chew meets Being Human meets Scott Pilgrim'. And surprisingly, it works.
This issue is pretty light on action, it mainly sets up the character's and their situations, but I found it engaging. Gwen seems like an interesting character with a past worth exploring. I'm a sucker for Ghosts who are stuck in the past, so Ellie is cool, and we all like to see a hopeless loser guy chase after a girl he loves. Even if that girl is a Zombie and he's a werewolf (sorry, were-terrier). The banter between the characters zings past nicely, and I can see myself enjoying just hanging out with these guys once a month.
Roberson also introduces some subplottish threats, you've got the Vampires who run a paintball game, the mysterious company searching out the undead, and even some ghostly dolls. And of course the mystery of who killed the guy who's brain Gwen eats, and even how she died herself. This issue was only a little taste, but I'm intrigued enough to want to eat a whole brain's worth.
I don't get any criticisms of this being too 'hipsterish' or whatever, it just seems like an interesting concept to me. I didn't detect that much irony here, Roberson seems pretty committed to his vision of what a Zombie is. It may not be as scary as the traditional take, but it's valid, and I liked it.
This is another hit for Vertigo I thinks, it has a strong female protagonist, and what with the current craze for all things horror archetype, this could do really well. This opening issue may be a little light, but for only a dollar, I can accept it.
Art - I think part of what made this book's quirky tone work is the art of Mike Allred. He's just fucking awesome isn't he? I bought Madman for like 2 years despite not knowing what the hell was going on, just to look at his art. His style goes against so many horror conventions, it's bright, with clear linework, and along with the unconventional characters, it's the perfect complement. I hope he sticks around. Accusations of hipster doucheness could become more accurate without an artist of Allred's calibre.
Best Line - 'When the ghost girl thinks you're behind the times, well...'