I don’t think there’s a better place to start a series of ten reviews then there is with Rise, “Sister’s Keeper” from Double Take. If you’re unfamiliar with Double Take’s line of books, they’re set in the world of The Night of the Living Dead, but the charming thing is that they’re not regurgitating the original movie. Instead they’re drawing inspiration from the film. Point in case, Rise stars the two characters that Night originally introduces. Johnny and his sister Barbara. The difference is, it takes a different story route. We follow Johnny. Which you’re probably thinking, “that’s not possible”, but keep in mind this is a new universe. Johnny wakes up, but there’s something off about him. The undead don’t seem to notice him, but he’s able to talk and move regularly. As such he goes about finding Barbara.
We also learn that these Zombies/undead aren’t your typical zombies. They’ll actually eat anything. People, food, animals… candy. It’s a noticeable difference that’s pointed out in quite a few of the Double Take books.
Rise was definitely one of my favorites from the ten first issues. Perhaps because Johnny and Barbara’s opening always stood out to me so to see a new twist on Johnny really caught my attention. I’m curious to see what’s different about him from the rest of the undead and is Barbara in danger? Will her brother that saved her from a zombie horde be able to keep himself in check?
Overall, this is a quick story, but very interesting. I liked the different POV is provided on the timeline from Night. I’m curious to see where it’s going to go. Something I noticed about all of the first issues was that they’re all dealing with that first 24-hour period, either a little before or after. Because of that, this first issue doesn’t give us much of an idea of where the story is going. It’s a solid starting point, but we won’t really know where the series is going or what it has in store for us until the next issue. Which, I want to read.
The art was also solid. There are some strange panels that looked almost like a zoomed in panel. It’s again something I noticed in all of the issues so it might be a design choice, but it was noticeable. Otherwise the line work was very clean and the coloring was soft and gave the book a creepy atmosphere. Again, Rise was one of my favorites and a lot of it came from the art.
Now, I plan on saying this on every review because I think it’s important to point out. While reading Rise and the other first issues from Double Take, I had this overwhelming sensation of reading a comic for the first time in a long time. I know that sounds weird considering I write reviews for comics every week so I’ll explain. There have always been ads in comics, but we got to the point in which the big two didn’t think they needed ads and didn’t see the benefit of “breaking up the reading experience” and the rest of the industry followed suit. Here’s the thing about ads though… they keep the cost down. All of Double Take’s books are $2.50 and here’s something that even more important… they’re printed on great paper which smooth covers. Let me tell you that when I pick up a Marvel or DC book it feels like I’m holding trash in my hand. I refuse to buy any of their print books because for $3.99 and twenty-two pages, it shouldn’t feel like I’m holding a food wrapper in my hand. Obviously Double Take is a new company and their formula isn’t 100% proven, but I can’t stress enough that I felt like I was reading a comic book since I first got into comic books as an adult. I know, that seems dumb to some. Some that began reading comics after the age of ads, but to me this was a magical experience.
Overall I would return for more of Rise. Like I said, I don’t know where it’s going. This is the very start and because of that we need to read more. For me, I want to read more. I will also say that reading all ten issues together gives a great sense of this shared universe. Every comic has something to tie it to another comic and at the very least the unifying event. If you were curious to see how Double Take would handle The Night of the Living Dead as a shared comic universe, you’ll be pleased.
Rise #1 – “Sister’s Keeper” Story: Bill Jemas, Michael Coast Script: Michael Coast, Jeff McComsey Layouts: Kurt Tiede Pencils: Federica Manfredi Publisher: Double Take Comics Price: $2.50 Format: Ongoing; Print/Digital