Zombies, they’re everywhere these days: in movies, comics, and even TV, zombies are and have always been a popular creature feature. When we think about these stories, we usually tend to think gore and violence, but we would rarely think about a group of children fighting zombies. Well, leave it to the creative minds at Con Artist Comics to make a bright and quirky comic defying standard zombie feature tropes.
As a zero issue it is more focused on background before really sinking its teeth into the meat of the story. We are introduced to our zombie movie loving young protagonists, as they discuss which zombie movie is better in their tree house. A meteor hits the Earth nearby, releasing a cloud of dust that turns their neighbors into zombies. The children are forced to take up arms and fight to defend their home against the impending onslaught of zombie neighbors.
The creative team has done a great job in creating a fun concept for a zombie story. The Zombie Squad makes a great comic for all ages while still being an engaging read for older audiences. The dialogue is simple, the story is easy to follow, which is what really makes it work great as an all ages comic, although some older readers may issues with this simplicity. We are used to dark and violent zombie stories, and we may become disconnected from the notion of differing formats due to the abundance of zombie titles which fall into the standard styles.
The concept in The Zombie Squad is very interesting, although certainly not perfect, and needs to find something more original than the age of the protagonists and how the plague began to truly be a beacon of innovation within the zombie genre. The dialogue is very simplistic, and the characters have yet to established a definite voice for themselves among the others. These are all things that can be improved upon, but unless they are addressed readers may lose interest quickly. Assuming that it is meant for a younger audience, it could be the perfect substitute for parents looking for an alternative to the kid unfriendly Walking Dead.
Rob Torres’ art is another factor that suggests this comic is for all ages. It has a very cartoony feel, matched with bright comic colours. It matches the fun nature of the story very well, but lacks a bit of polish in a few spots. Some of the actions don’t connect to the dialogue, and some of the anatomy gets wonky in places. It’s definitely not a perfect example of well crafted illustration, but it is still fun to read.
The Zombie Squad #0 is an excellent idea for an all-ages zombie comic. It is a lot of fun to read and has an original concept. If they can fix the pacing, smarten up the dialogue, and give the characters each a unique voice, they could have something special. The art makes it even more fun to read, despite the issues with ambiguous panel transition, anatomy needing a bit of work, and facial expressions needing more variance. For an all ages zombie comic, this one is pretty decent. This issue also comes with a backup story for Joshua Black #2, which is quite enjoyable. Zombie Squad #0 will be available on March 15th, you can find more information at their website: www.conartistentertainment.com.