ZMD (Zombies of Mass Destruction) #2 (of six) (Red 5 – Grevious / Broges / Reyes / Dalhouse)
When a U.S. military zombie operative goes missing in Lebanon, Colonel Matthew Drake is summoned to the Pentagon where he is exposed to the true horrors of the necronites program. Drake’s past and future are called into question, with answers to be found only with an undead soldier wandering the desert. From the creator the of UNDERWORLD movie franchise.
The first issue of ZMD had very much the “zombie / monster / slasher movie” feel to it… mad scientists types making bad choices involving reanimating dead soldiers and government bureaucrat types thinking it was all a good idea to save some money. Not so deep or gripping, but a lot of fun! One of the great things about Red 5 books, is just when you think you figured out the “schtick” of a particular title, they twist it on you and twist it in a fantastic way.
Whether it is the drama in Neozoic, the comedy in Atomic Robo, or the compelling characters in Afterburn; Red 5 takes a classic arch-type story, gives the reader the expected and familiar components and then synthesizes something new within the constraints of the arch-type. Whether it’s dinosaur clans, dark future or even classic super-hero, if you think you have figured out a genre and can’t be impressed by it anymore… Red 5 will surprise you!
I am one of those guys that when I watch a zombie movie, I lay out the 90 minute plot in my head in the first 15 minutes or so. I try to peg who will die, who will be the survivor(s), what caused the zombies, how the zombies will kill and what will be the big “showdown” at the climax of the movie. I find zombie tales very enjoyable, but very predictable. Truly, I though I had ZMD figured out at the end of issue #1… the zombie soldier they thought would die after twelve hours didn’t and now the reader will follow different “G.I.Joe”esque task forces that will try to stop him as he creates a plague of undead across the Middle East. Now, I’m not saying that’s not going to happen, but in issue two Grevious gives this the book a much more “government conspiracy / thriller” feel to it and less of a “zombie / monster / slasher” feel. He brings in some unexpected story components, takes it in a new direction and still gives a gripping “oh crap!” cliffhanger type ending. Excellent writing and great art!
Many fanboys out there are “zombie”d out from the last few years of undead overload in both comics and movies (can we say zombie Howard the Duck? – true story!). Well, while I can sympathize with the feeling, I also know fans will be very sad if they overlook this excellent example of a great zombie story!
Issue Grade: A