Escape of the Living Dead: Airborne + Night of the Living Dead Back from the Grave
Since 28 Days Later broke gospel and made zombies furious, frothing speed-freaks (a lot closer to Romero’s Crazies than traditional zombies) and the Dawn of the Dead remake enforced it, there’s been some debate among horror fans over whether fast zombies are kosher or not. The question has been answered; when John Russo, screenwriter of the original Night of the Living Dead, scripts a zombie moving quicker than a human, it’s acceptable. (Unless this is an addition by scripter Mike Wolfer to Russo’s story, or an artistic contribution by Dheeraj Verma).
Framing the flashbacks to the zombie’s past are two scientists illegally experimenting on him on a warehouse. Otherwise, the story is about a bunch of plot-free hippies flaunting free love and drugs in the swamp while elsewhere a couple of anti-hippie hunters encounter a zombie. It’s not the zombie that infects one, however, but a mosquito that had bitten the zombie earlier. One wonders why the middlemen weren’t cut out and just have the mosquito bite a hippie.
The point of a promotional item like this is to raise anticipation for the actual story—in this case George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead: The Beginning. In that regard, this item fails. Charging $2.99 for an 8-page story and a collection of preview covers that Avatar hopes collectors will buy multiple copies of the same issue in order to acquire the art… that’s kind of low. And while the story shows a higher level of characterization and care for its cast than a typical horror story (Mike Wolfer adapts a story by the original film’s screenwriter, John Russo), it leaves the salesman’s duties to the able artwork of Sebastian Fumara.
If this is just the first 8 pages of the book, save your money and satisfy yourself with this: three kids go into the woods. Two of them are killed by zombies. The end.
Brendan McGinley is a long-time writer for ComicBase. His comic favorites include anything featuring Grim Jack, Punisher, Guy Gardner, Green Lantern, or written buy Evan Dorkin, Grant Morrison, Alan Moore, Deadpool… and the list goes on. But he insists he is of discriminating tastes.