Let me answer your first question… yes that Gorilla does have a baseball bat and a backpack. This series kind of perplexes me because it’s actually about a dog named Rex, but the gorilla Kenji always steals the show for me. The other part of your brain is probably thinking, “oh not another Zombie book” but at this point that’s like saying “oh another superhero title.” With that said the Zombie genre is here to stay so you may as well enjoy fun titles like Rex: Zombie Killer. Now if you missed the one-shot that set the stage for this series is very simple; the world has been overrun by zombies and we’re following a dog that’s been experimented on thus giving him above normal intelligence and a gorilla that more identifies with humans than other animals. Between the two of them they’re keeping their small pack of dogs, and even a cat, alive from the zombies. We open up with two of the dogs and the cat getting the attention of the “rotters.” They run away leading them towards a valley in the forest. As the pack crosses, Kenji dumps the rotters off of the log and into the valley… to their deaths… or at least off of their trailer.
Because the zombies are no longer on their trail the group is able to finally get a good nights worth of sleep and they zonk out quickly. The rest of the issue leads up to several groups of animals meeting up and it’s actually pretty interesting. I don’t really want to say what’s going on because when you see it’s strange, but entertaining.
The strength of this story is that while you’re following animals they all have human personalities. Sure there are moments in which the writer reminds you that they’re just animals as they talk about their owners, but each character fills a roll on the team. Rex is the leader, Kenji is the muscle and Brutus is the tough guy that always throws himself into danger without thinking. Each of our five main characters has a different personality and role which is why it’s so easy to relate to them in any given situation.
This has to be a difficult comic to illustrate. Think about it, you have gorillas and other varieties of monkeys, several breeds of dogs, forest animals and zombies. I really like the art and think that Yu does an amazing job of nailing the wide variety of creatures that the story contains. The coloring is what really makes the story stand out to me. Just the opening page with the dogs overlooking the zombies is actually very beautiful. For a book about zombies it’s actually not that gory and I’m okay with that. The zombies aren’t the star of the show here so there really isn’t a need for them to be bloody and gross. They just need to exist as a threat and that’s good enough.
I really enjoy this series and I’m glad to see it return after the successful one-shot. It’s bringing its spin to the genre and that’s cool. Frankly with so much zombie material it’s nice to have an entertaining story that keeps the threat and danger, but also deliver entertaining moments like a gorilla hitting shit with a baseball bat. That’s a buy right there if you ask me.
Writer: Rob Anderson Artist: Dafu Yu Publisher: Big Dog Ink Price: $3.50