Review: Overrun #1-4

It dawned on me by the second issue of Overrun what the series was… Reboot plus the zombie virus. Obviously there’s some more elements to it and that doesn’t touch upon the characters, but that is the general idea of this story. Overrun-#1-1The series begins with a slow zoom into a computer screen which tells you a lot of what’s going to happen. We meet a man asleep on a pop mail direct train as everyone is about to have their e-ticket checked to make sure they’re not spam. One man, a spam file of some kind, decides that he won’t be filtered and jumps off the train. This gives our main character the chance to get away and figure out who he is, where he is and what he’s supposed to be doing.

From there the story introduces us to video game characters, some old and some new as they wait to become the heroes of our story. We meet the villains and the police that walk a fine line between helpful or hurtful. The villains of the story plan to corrupt the system so that it can be recreated in the image of Macintosh… the bad guy. Our main character Cooper releases a virus on the hard drive that begins to corrupt everything. In the news though, he’s the fall guy until running into the video game characters that take him in and help him along. They’ll have to fight the corrupted though and they’re basically the zombie virus.

The story is entertaining. There was a lot of thought put into this world and while the computer references are obvious they’re not cheesy. There’s actually just enough of them to make you smile. Obviously if you’re like what’s a RAM, then you’re not going to get the joke. For the rest of us, when a cabby says, “I just need the memory” you can’t help but laugh at this world. Laugh in a good way that is.

Overrun-#4-1Unfortunately, the story suffers from some pacing problems and being a victim of its own creation. There’s such focus on keeping the computer gag realistic that the character motivation is weak on both sides of the story. Sure the heroes have a bit more motivation to stop the virus, but none to help Cooper. That and their backstories are weak and really do nothing for the story other than add a few gags for the writer to work with. The pacing is choppy. We cut back to the villains and cops too many times and they really don’t add to the story so much as they break the flow. The cops on that note are a clever addition, but under-utilized. I would have liked to see them play a bigger role or even replace the video game characters.

The art was surprisingly good. It has a Chris Madden mixed with Francisco Herrera look to it, but with cleaner line work and better coloring. The art saves a lot of the story, but it’s not strong enough to hold the story on its own. There’s some interesting design choices and it does get creative in parts, but it’s almost as the artist had too much to work with and not enough pages to get everything in there. It would have been great to deal with the corrupted more and just to let the action in general breathe a bit more. There’s a lot that the story could have done to play to the art’s strengths without compromising itself. That said, the character designs aren’t perfect. More than a few characters’ look the same or similar which was confusing at times. Cooper’s cab driver looked like Cooper with a goatee and considering doppelgänger Cooper shows up later it was even more confusing.

Overall though, I enjoyed this world. The ending is a bit weak, that is until the last few pages, but overall it was a satisfying read from beginning to end. With all of the issues released at once I would recommend reading them all at once since they do a heck of a job roping you in for more. I thought I would simply try out the first issue and see how I felt, but soon I had read the entire series. Even with all of its flaws, that says more about the story than anything else to me. I wanted to keep reading and that’s all you can ask for from a comic book.

Score: 3/5

Overrun #1-4 Writers: Andi Ewington, Matt Woodley Artist: Paul Green Publisher: Treemondo Price: $3.99 Format: Mini-Series; Digital/Limited Print Run Website