Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Zombies Vs. Robots #5 - IDW Publishing

ZOMBIES VS. ROBOTS No. 5, May 2015
There is an awful lot going on inside “Issue Five” of “Zombies Verses Robots”, and whilst the majority of this anthology’s storylines are engaging zed-killing fun, the plot to Chris Ryall’s lead feature “Inherit The Earth” is arguably by far one of the most fantastical post-apocalyptic adventures ever imagined with homicidal human personas inhabiting robotic killing machines and astronauts being assaulted by Mermen deep under water. Throw in a long abandoned Grecian island once inhabited by Amazons, a zombie Minotaur and the living corpse of a naked female with a penchant for ‘popping’ men’s eyeballs with her teeth, and it’s reasonably clear that the innovative Californian writer is probably taking his role as Chief Creative Officer for “IDW Publishing” a little too far.

Such a ludicrously insane narrative however, does still contain some outrageously entertaining moments, and despite being utterly absurd, the ten-page tale is undoubtedly a fun read… Especially when the bombastic King Neptune is eaten alive by his own giant killer squid, following the multi-limbed sea-beast’s displeasure at having a zombie chomp into one of its tentacles. The American Editor-In-Chief also provides a most welcome return to this comic book title's basic premise, by having Warbot 7-G gun down a horde of hungry zombies within the story’s final few panels.

Disappointingly Anthony Diecidue’s pencilling fails to be as appealing as his illustrations are grisly and gory. Indeed the Los Angeles-based artist’s scratchy style is dishearteningly indistinct and makes it confusingly unclear as to whether the dead astronaut Cesar has bitten the Merman’s pet monster or one of the other of the ghouls depicted populating the sea-people’s aquarium.

A far simpler more straightforward plot is that of “Tales Of ZVR”. Having been saved from a group of ravenous walking cadavers by a half-dormant war robot, Ashley Wood’s unnamed boy makes his way to “The Dark Docklands” and there encounters a mysterious female and her “floating deathbot ball.” The Australian’s distinctive sketches are as depressingly bleak as they are abrasive-looking. But Minzy’s hut, precariously perched upon the back of a prone giant robot is wonderfully drawn.

Concluding this issue with a suitably grim and bloody zed-killing fun-fest is Steve Niles’ “The Orphan”. Whilst lacking the naïve charm of Wood’s aforementioned two-pager, Rosemary’s attachment to Bot-Bot nonetheless provides an endearing element to an initially somewhat tepid tale of searching for fruit tree seeds in the wasteland. Fortunately the walking dead soon turn up, albeit these mind-controlled zombies are more akin to Terry Nation’s Robomen than George A. Romero's flesh hungry corpses. But for a few pages at least artist Val Mayerik’s wonderfully dynamic panels portray the fiends being either torn apart with gunfire, battered by the large robot’s fists or extravagantly blown to pieces by a mini-rocket.
The regular cover art of "ZOMBIES VS. ROBOTS" No. 5 by Ashley Wood

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