Monday, 29 June 2015

Zombies Vs. Robots #6 - IDW Publishing

ZOMBIES VS. ROBOTS No. 6, June 2015
If any casual purveyor of comic books were to simply read this magazine’s back page blurb and buy Issue Six of “Zombies Verses Robots” blind, then they would undoubtedly be mightily disappointed. For whilst “IDW Publishing” promises “rotting zombies, invaders from the Moon” and “an all-out robot brawl of explosive proportions”, in reality this anthology offers little in the way of exciting entertainment except perhaps the very sad demise of Bot-Bot.

Admittedly “Inherit The Earth” starts out well enough, with co-creator Chris Ryall hurling his “surviving astronauts” up against a seemingly unending horde of brain-hungry ghouls “on an island that used to house Amazons”. In fact until the unexplained arrival of the automaton Virus and dramatic demise of Zeb, the eleven-pager provides plenty of frantic fast-paced action and laughs a plenty; especially when the cosmonauts use the reeking head of a zombified Minotaur to impale several of the rancid undead. But sadly the writing soon takes a turn for the worse as the “lightning-bot” somehow manages to instantly electrocute all the living corpses emanating from “the Mermen’s undersea base”, before being itself impotently “absorbed and dispersed” by Winterbottom the Warbot.

Perhaps as equally uninspired by the script as the title’s declining readership, Anthony Diecidue’s artwork dramatically varies from the humorously fun and detailed, to the childlike and inept. For one moment his highly stylised cartoon-like pencilling poignantly portrays the burial of Cesar and Zeb, and in the next purportedly presents an all-action firefight using stick men and vague inanimate shapes…

Equally as disappointing is Ashley Wood’s “Tales Of ZVR”. This double splash-page short story is as confusingly drawn by the Australian illustrator as it is badly-written and depicts the ever-questing boy with the small ‘bot encountering a rather overbearing foul-mouthed young woman. The Spectrum Award-winning art director is 'clearly' a 'talented' painter. But discouragingly none of that artistic ability is especially evident with this ‘minisode’.

Arguably the most dissatisfying experience of this comic however, has to be Steve Nile’s lack-lustre concluding instalment of “The Orphan”; a ten-page ‘swansong’ which whilst well-drawn by Val Mayerik, appears to be devoid of much of the charm and emotion which made some of its previous chapters such engaging reads. Indeed the entire plot to this ‘tearful tale’ is rather confusing, as Bot-Bot once again bizarrely faces the robot he’s previously destroyed on a couple of occasions.

Strangely it isn’t entirely clear how his foe has managed to reconstruct himself, nor why the murderous machine would send a multi-wheeled spy-bot to simply observe Rosemary and not just kill her. Bot-Bot’s decision to activate his own “self-destruct” in order to save his ‘human ward’ is also an odd resolution considering the resulting explosion resembles that of a nuclear bomb and the lonely girl was nearby when it took place. But there again in Nile’s post-apocalyptic future fruit trees can mature from seed within a year, so maybe children can withstand nuclear fall-out..?
The variant cover art of "ZOMBIES VS. ROBOTS" No. 6 by Mark Torres


  1. You're really not selling this series to me, Simon. Incidentally, I have been splashing out on more zombie related TPBs these past couple of weeks including volumes 22 and 23 of The Walking Dead and volumes 1 and 2 of George Romero's Empire of the Dead for Marvel. Empire of the Dead has a twist that I just love as George adds vampires to the humans vs zombies mix. As you'd expect from such an esteemed author, the writing is excellent.

    1. To be honest Bryan, if it wasn't for a real old-skool variant cover to "ZvR" #7, this would be the last issue in the regular series I'd be buying. I have a couple of the mini-series yet to read, but they are a long way down my queue :-) I've just finished reading the "All Out War" arc for "The Walking Dead" and have a few more issues to read before I come to the end with that particular title - one I find infinitely better suited to tpb than comics. I'd be very interested in your thoughts regarding your tpbs though. I have seen "Empire Of The Dead" but didn't like the artwork as memory serves, and as for vampires I'm still trying to play catch-up with "V-Wars" ; which I really like. So many comics and so little time - even when I read a comic a day :-)