Friday, 18 September 2015

Aliens Vs. Zombies #2 - Zenescope Entertainment

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.

Indeed it is only towards the end of this twenty-page periodical that the crew of the Tiberuis finally start to seek out “the broken pieces of their ship containing [the] vital equipment [needed] in order to save the planet” and then in a somewhat disappointingly contrived piece of plotting by the publisher’s President and Chief Creative Officer, the primary part of the rocket ship Nova needs to get to has coincidentally crash-landed in the middle of the local graveyard; "I may be able to help you get there... But you're probably not going to like what you find when you get there."

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.
The regular cover art of "ALIENS VS. ZOMBIES" No. 2 by Jason Metcalf and Ivan Nunes


  1. I'm reading your reviews of this series with keen interest, Simon, as I hope to purchase it in TPB format. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that you like it enough to recommend it to me. So far, I must say, so good.

    1. This is a real corker of a title Bryan, and as you say "so far... so good." Indeed I plan on picking up another "Zenescope Entertainment" title once this one finishes - though I haven't decide upon which yet as they're all horror-based :-) Considering some of the huge sales figures far less impressive titles are attaining "Vampirella/Army Of Darkness" being one which leaps to the mind, I don't understand why this comic hasn't had better sales.