Monday, 19 January 2015

G.I. Zombie #3 [The New 52] - DC Comics

G.I. ZOMBIE No. 3, December 2014
There have been a number of ‘Zombie’ comic book titles published which address the cause of their respective outbreak or pandemic. Perhaps most well-known and arguably the most outlandish being that of “Marvel Zombies”, where an infected superhero from another dimension infects The Avengers initiating a viral zombie epidemic which spreads throughout the entire Marvel Universe. Others have actually purposely steered away from any explanations, such as “The Walking Dead” by “Image Comics”, preferring instead to simply hint or tease at the possibilities.

The storyline of “G.I. Zombie” is most assuredly in the first camp, as the start to “Small Town Welcome” sees Sergeant Jared Kabe literally clinging on to the contagion’s cause as the biological warhead strikes the Sutterville Animal Hospital in Tennessee. Indeed “DC Comics” have actually published a lengthy build-up to the terrorist attack ‘which started it all’ by exploring the American extremists’ motivations in the previous two issues. With this edition however, whilst co-writers Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti continue to provide more insights behind the fanatics who launched the chemical missile, most of its twenty pages are concerned with the infection’s initial impact upon the local population. And bearing in mind it’s a contagion able to turn “… anything organic into a mindless zombie” you know things are not going to go well for the authorities, despite their prompt presence and intervention. 

However this outbreak is rather novel in that the zombies first encountered by Kabe, and as a result the earliest living creatures to actually be infected, are in fact animals not humans… and quite the menagerie they form as the secret agent faces an attack by an undead python, dog, cat and frog. Slowly though the human victims start to mount up as the animal-loving members of the emergency services fall foul of their rabid pets, and so it isn’t long before G.I. Zombie finds himself confronting a veritable horde of hungry flesh-eating fiends. 

Disappointingly much of this action is poorly illustrated by Scott Hampton, whose unique style and colouring, seems to worsen as the story progresses. His pages depicting Kabe fighting off a ‘spooked’ snake and then the fate of the virus’ first human casualty are competent enough. But as the pace intensifies, and the number of the Undead needed to fill a scene increased, the American comic book artist’s pencilling starts to badly suffer as he leaves out any sort of detail to his figures and simply block colours them in. As a result the issue’s epic conclusion, which sees the Sergeant buried under an army of clawing zombies, is simply illustrated by a page load of featureless, somewhat indistinguishable, coloured blobs pressing upon a single partially submerged monotone arm.
The variant cover art of "G.I. ZOMBIE" No. 3 by Dave Johnson

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