Thursday, 22 January 2015

G.I. Zombie #4 [The New 52] - DC Comics

G.I. ZOMBIE No. 4, January 2015
An unexpected ‘reveal’ as to Carmen King’s past as a sole-surviving military helicopter lieutenant at the start of this comic book is simply not enough to save a rather lack-lustre, somewhat confusing and ultimately disappointing publication. There is a genuine tiredness to both the writing and the artwork for Issue Four of “G.I. Zombie”; almost as if the creative team behind ‘the man who is neither dead or alive’ knew the title was about to be cancelled by “DC Comics” and aware of their estimated sales figure of approximately just 7,500 copies, simply lacked the energy or willpower to produce a half-decent issue.

Whatever the reason “Exit Strategy” contains little passion, ambition or direction and at best appears to be a collection of short stories based upon a handful of characters who are either responsible for or fighting against the zombie outbreak at Sutterville, Tennessee. Quite rightly the title’s lead, Jared Kabe, still gets the lion’s share of attention but co-writers Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray fail to satisfactorily resolve the previous edition’s cliff-hanger of the Sergeant being overrun by a swarm of zombies and disappearing beneath their tearing hands and gnashing teeth. Time has clearly moved on, albeit briefly, since the undead soldier fell beneath his foe through the sheer weight of their numbers. For instead of being ‘flattened’ upon the ground in danger of being crushed by the ravenous hungry horde assailing him, the story picks up with Kabe once again on his feet, simply punching his way to freedom.

Unfortunately with his safety is firmly established atop a local garage, G.I. Zombie’s co-creators suddenly seem lost as to what to do next. We’re introduced to some new characters testing out a bullet-proof full-body suit “at an undisclosed location”, then discover “the infected can drive” as a fuel lorry is driven straight through the military’s contamination recovery centre, and finally shown the Rinaldi Spa, a Roman-inspired hotel complete with togas, where the brain behind the ‘zombie bomb’ resides and dines his guest whilst literally surrounded by numerous missiles. As King states “You’ve got to be kidding!”

Equally as poor is Scot Hampton’s pencilling, which somehow manages to resemble little more than the school-book sketchings of a young child. Many of the figures are indistinct over-coloured figures, whilst others are misshapen distorted parodies of human anatomy… and these aren’t depictions of zombies either.
Writers: Jimmy Palmiotti & Justin Gray, and Artist and Colorist: Scott Hampton

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