The first issue of this series hit like a ton of bricks! I think we can all agree that we’re burnt out on Zombies and this year in particular has not been kind to the genre. Enter The Final Plague to flip the script and turn the animals into zombies and pit them against humans! Ah man is it good. The first issue built up the drama much in the way Night of the Living Dead did, a small introduction to the threat, but mostly character/world introduction. This second issue… the gloves are off… and that means you’re going to get a finger bitten! The issue picks up in Iowa just after our pest control dude has burst from the basement covered in rats. It’s is gnarly! He’s screams for help, but there is a rat in his mouth eating his cheek and another that is taking out his eye. It’s not looking good for him if you catch my drift. The father of the family begins helping but he’s caught unprepared and bitten. Granted we don’t know the rules of this zombie infected world, but a zombie bite is never a good thing. After a long battle and several smashed and decapitated rats the family is able to call the police.
Meanwhile in New Jersey they’re about to discover the undead rats when they cut a “live” one open. A foul smell pours out and they can see the rat’s bones, but little else inside of it. Then the rat snaps its own neck trying to turn around and attack them, but ultimately dies from causing too much damage to itself. We take a quick trip to California to see another animal zombie instance and to hammer home the point that this is everywhere at the same time.
How can anyone not enjoy this story? It’s so fresh and storytelling is perfectly paced. It’s one of the first horror titles that have kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time and that’s two issues and counting now. When the family is fighting the rats I couldn’t help but be a bit freaked out for them. Imagine your family in that situation, but having no idea what’s happening. It’s crazy. The story is an absolute treat and the dialogue is 100% believable.
The art is spectacular. I don’t know if I paid it enough complements in the first issue, but it’s a fantastic style for the story. All of the intensity that the story has comes from the art. If you weren’t genuinely scared by rats then the rest of the story would have little effect on you as a reader. The art is as disturbing as it is beautiful. The water coloring was the perfect choice as it adds to the tone of the story, but also gives it a very unique look for the genre. Even though the story is taking place at night the coloring and lighting make the visuals easy to follow.
I hope that you picked up the first issue because if you didn’t then you missed out on a heck of a read and this is a heck of a follow-up to that issue. The Danger Zone imprint has had a ton of hits already and this series is definitely at the top of the pile. If you’re tired of zombies and anything that looks and is The Walking Dead, then check out Final Plague. You won’t be disappointed.
Writer: J.D. Arnold
Artist: Tony Guaraldi-Brown
Publisher: Danger Zone
Release Date: 8/7/13