Like most people my age I have spent my fair share of time thinking about the zombie apocalypse. What would I do, how would I handle the situation, etc, etc. In recent years I’ve avoided the genre due to the fact that everyone has a take, an opinion and finds it fun to discuss it at great lengths. To put it plainly, what was once special and fun is now so mainstream that it’s as painful to hear about as news of a celebrity being arrested. When I read it’s a “new take” on the zombie genre I scoff because it’s usually not. So why am I talking about and reviewing The Final Plague? Because it’s actually different! At least it was until several other titles recently sprung up with a similar theme of rabies being the transmitter of the zombie virus. The Final Plague has been releasing bi-monthly which hasn’t stopped it from being interesting or enough time for me to forget about it, but it has given other series the opportunity to catch up. Just know that while those series are claiming to be a different take on the genre… again, they’re not.
The thing I enjoy about this book is the different perspectives; seeing people in different situations in different parts of the country dealing with the same overall situation, but different circumstances. In one case we’re following the lab that’s responsible for the outbreak. We see how they’re trying to handle the situation before it gets out of control. What they don’t know is that it is out of control.
Another side of the story has been a farming family in Idaho; the father of the family has been bitten and watching his frightened family and him dealing with the events is something everyone can relate to. I’d be hard pressed to tell you which aspect of JD Arnold’s story I’ve enjoyed more as he has created wonderful characters and dumped them into terrible situations.
Something that definitely sets this book apart is Tony Guaraldi-Brown’s artwork. His wonderful use of water colors makes this every panel a treat to look at. A prime example of his skills can be found on the first page. A dead and zombified woman’s face is in the foreground, while three blackened silhouettes stand in the background. It’s a powerful opening and it really only gets better from there. I would love to talk about other scenes, but it would spoil too much. I will say that cover isn’t just there for looks.
I almost wish there was more to say about this series and issue in particular, but it’s just solid from beginning to end. I’ve very exciting to read the ending and I don’t see how it could be a letdown considering each issue has been better than the last. I dabble in and out of zombie titles, but this is the one I make sure I get. That should tell you something considering how many z-books are shipping just this month and week alone.
Writer: JD Arnold Artist: Tony Guardaldi-Brown Publisher: Action Lab/Danger Zone Price: $3.99 Release Date: 1/29/14