|ALIENS VS. ZOMBIES No. 2, August 2015|
Selling a depressingly paltry 3,001 copies during August 2015, despite its four frighteningly chilling colourful variant covers, this second instalment of the five-issue “Zombie virus hits Earth” mini-series by “Zenescope Entertainment” still provides plenty of gruesomely gory entertainment for any perusing horror-based fan. In fact Nova’s furious decapitation of an alleyway full of reanimated corpses with a rotating blade is seriously ‘icky stuff’. Especially as the extra-terrestrial “survivor” spends a couple of subsequent panels gasping for breath as her shocked ship-mates survey the scene of dismemberment and mutilation around their enraged captain.
Predominantly however Joe Brusha’s narrative concentrates upon the lamentably bloodless historical plague infestation of the Sarkillian Homeworld Shimera, and the “alien scientists” dialogue-heavy ‘first contact’ with Mankind as the supposed planet’s saviours inadvertently interrupt a group of dislikeable diamond robbers squabbling over whether to simply murder their captive Jeweller’s driver. Even the painful sounding demise of the slightly-built dome-headed space-farer Tammy, as they are presumably eaten alive by three ever-hungry human cadavers within the wreckage, regrettably occurs off-page.
Fortunately, such sedentary conversation-obsessed scenes are still imbued with a sense of suspense, tension and earnest dread as a result of Vincenzo Riccardi’s wonderful artwork and Grosieta’s brilliantly vibrant colours. The cartoonist’s pacing is particularly strong, and whether they be the insectoid-like gymnastic Tak clearing his colleagues a path through the zombie hordes or Tammy slowly being stalked by the undead through an air duct, the Italian penciller impressively realises each of the script’s numerous protagonists and easily brings them to animated life.