|ZOMBIES VS. ROBOTS No. 4, April 2015|
A possible explanation for this waning readership must surely be the fact that the twenty-four page anthology’s lead story “Inherit The Earth” is rapidly moving away from the initial pitch of depicting machine gun toting robots wrestling for control of the planet against a potentially endless horde of flesh-eating zombies. Indeed this book’s fourth instalment appears to offer nothing more than a token offering of ghouls hungry for brains, before Ryall’s narrative veers wildly off-course by introducing a moon-based automaton, who can transform itself into an electrical virus and a gigantic-sized sadistic King Neptune, who traps the last remaining human astronauts in an air-bubble on the sea bed just so he ‘soften them up as a delicacy’ for his pet sharks.
Admittedly such concepts do send “a breath of fresh air into the idea of zombies.” But the inclusion of such fantastical elements as “the Greek god” are a far cry from the ‘promised premise’ of a post-apocalyptic world inhabited by the living dead and murderous machines.
Equally as disappointing, though more as a result of its seemingly half-finished artwork than its departure from its original narrative, is “Tales of “ZVR” by Ashley Wood. The award-winning illustrator’s double-splash story “After The Hands Appeared” is disheartening dire, and simply consists of a large drawing of a war robot gunning down a couple of zeds. The oversized picture isn’t even fully coloured with a good third of the Australian’s ‘pencilling’ simply consisting of rough-looking black ink scratchings.
Finally this supposed gestalt of gore concludes with Steve Niles’ “The Orphan”, ordinarily a well-drawn and competently crafted ten-pager. On this occasion however, despite some highly detailed panels drawn by Val Mayerik, little in the way of action actually takes place within the episode, once Bot-Bot has overcome a rival robot following a rather underwhelming fist-fight. Instead most of the plot revolves around young Rosemary simply building a new home and upgrading her robot with spare parts. Whilst none of the “roving zombies” the pair are supposed to “narrowly escape” in the comic's enticing blurb actually materialise on the printed page.
|The regular cover art of "ZOMBIES VS. ROBOTS" No. 4 by Ashley Wood|