What I’ve found particularly interesting about Double Take’s shared universe, has been when they’ve taken moments and character from Night of the Living Dead and reimagined their endings. For instance, Rise looked at Johnny and Barbara’s ending, while Soul takes a look at Ben’s. Now granted, that was one of the best things about the film and its social commentary about the era, but this is a new universe just inspired by the events. They’re not trying to redo or one up the movie, but use elements of it to create a new universe. Much like the end of Night, we see hunters and volunteers rounded up by the police to shoot the undead. We start there and cut to the scene of Ben getting shot while on live TV. From there though, we see Ben wake up. Only grazed by the bullet meant for his skull. He screams out to the others letting them know he’s alive. The chief comes in and we have a small crossover with the characters from Honor.
There’s something interesting going on in this series. The story is short and not a lot happens other than just showing the aftermath of the evening, but there’s something else going on. I won’t spoil it. I think there’s something up with Ben as well. I’m not so sure he was missed and I think this might be one of those spots in which we see the ground work laid for the universe to jump fifty years into the future.
The art is pretty decent, but there’s a lot of dead space towards the middle of the comic. It feels a little light on the content because of this. Also the last two pages feel stretched out. I liked what it did for the story, but at the same time it could have been more impactful had it been approached a different way or just shorter. A long zoom would have built the suspense a bit more, but at the same time that’s a very cinematic approach and this is comic books. With comics you get the benefit of cutting to the shot faster. Otherwise there was only one character that looked off. The female police officer from Honor is almost unrecognizable which is strange considering how detailed Ben and the rest of the cast look.
Once again I can’t stress enough how much fun it is reading Double Take’s line of books in print. The price is right, there are ads to enjoy and frankly didn’t distract from the reading and most importantly… the paper stock. I know some of you are like, “shut up about the paper, what’s the big deal!?!” Well you either get it or you don’t. I like my covers two ways, the way that Double Take does it and the way Valiant does it with their Premiere line of comics. That’s it. Sure I’ll take some lesser versions, but if you want to win me over with your comic… print on good paper and have a great cover feel. I touch the cover more than anything else, it shouldn’t feel like the rest of the comic.
Soul has potential, but I think it’s saving it for the upcoming issues which is okay, it just leaves this first issue a little weak. At the end of the day though, I’m glad to see a Ben angle being worked into the universe and I can’t wait to see if they can capture his character. That will be the deciding factor for this series if he continues to be the main character. We’ll see.
Soul #1 – “Friendly Fire” Story: Michael Coast, Julian Rowe, Bill Jemas Script: Michael Coast Layouts: Julian Rowe Pencils: Ricardo Sanchez, Jose Luis, Ricardo Silva Publisher: Double Take Comics Price: $2.50 Format: Ongoing; Print/Digital