Saturday, July 14, 2012

Comic Reviews: 28 Days Later: Bend in the Road & Hot Zone

    The second volume of this series, Bend in the Road, starts with a flashback telling the story of the two American combat reporters who have instigated the action of the series.  How and why they end up in England, recruiting survivor Selena.  And after that issue worth of back-story, we return to the action that volume 1 finished on.

    There are evocative moments in this movie.  The bit in the back of the pick-up truck is very cinematic and one of the few times reading a comic where I felt the kind of tension a movie can create.  Things go off the rail a bit when they discover some survivors.  They’re a bit too pat, too much the sort of folks you’d expect to show up at this point in a story.

    The dirty, grimy look to the art and its thick shadow help carry the oppressive nature of the hell the characters are marching into.  It’s not really great art, but its serviceable and again, matches the vibe.  Don’t start here.  But if you enjoyed the first film, this really is one of the better media tie-in comics I’ve read, and it’s worth checking out.  Start at volume 1, though.

    In the third volume, Hot Zone, we start to get hints of something else going on.  Some military forces are up to something, and somebody wants Selena’s hide.  So, they can’t expect help from anyone official.  There are hints of Day of the Dead, but again, set up for something bigger going on.  I don’t know if it’ll play into the re-settling of England.

    The pacing is brisk and when the action happens, it tends to be sudden and nasty.  The art is still rough and dark, to go along the tone of the story.  Shalvey seems to be getting better as the issues progress.

28 Days Later: Bend in the Road
Author: Michael Alan Nelson
Artists: Marek Oleksicki & Declan Shalvey
Publisher: Boom! Studios
ISBN: 978-1-60886-635-9

28 Days Later: Hot Zone
Author: Michael Alan Nelson
Artists: Leonardo Manco & Declan Shalvey
Publisher: Boom! Studios
ISBN: 978-1-60886-631-1


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