While this wasn’t exactly the ending I was expecting, it was better because of it. I will be the first to tell you that the story doesn’t wrap up in a nice little bow at the end. You’re not going to see the conclusion of the outbreak because this is just the beginning. Granted with this being a five issue mini-series you’re probably saying, “but it’s only five issues” and to that you have to look at it more like a Mignolaverse story in which this part of the story has ended, but the world will continue moving. If you’ve been paying attention to the series then you should have picked up on the fact that the story has been slowing moving into two halves. With the first issue the story jumped back and forth between our two settings which was great for the beginning of the story. From there it’s jumped less and less until it reached this final issue which cuts the story into two: the city and lab side of the outbreak and the country/family side of the story. Frankly this transition has been seamless and just fits the pacing as the world changes. It also shows that writer JD Arnold didn’t feel stuck to a formula, least of all the played out zombie formulas that have been very active in comics since the genre rose in popularity.
There’s not really a lot for me to tell you about this issue. Last issue we saw hell breaking loose and it continues here. Each group of characters story concludes with the remaining members getting out of their current situation. Now that’s not a spoiler because it’s the journey from point A to B that makes it worth reading and let me tell you… it’s worth reading.
The story may continue, but Arnold makes sure that this issue concludes the arc and end caps this segment. You won’t feel cheated and believe me I would have been the first to call that out (read this review if you don’t believe me). Arnold continues to flex his writing muscles with this series as he uses narration in the beginning section and then breaks from that when he goes to the family. Without that narration for the family it leaves their fate up in the air all the more, but it also makes their journey personal to the reader. (My theory is that the two groups are destined to meet in the future!)
If you’ve enjoyed this series it’s likely that Tony Guaraldi-Brown’s artwork has played a large role in that. His artwork and wonderful water coloring have given this serious a personality that has made it stand out. I believe there were two or three other stories last year that had the zombie outbreaks start with animals, but I can’t remember a single one of them. The Final Plague released bi-monthly and I not only remembered it, but I counted the days for it and Brown’s artwork was a huge reason. This is the prettiest zombie book you’ll ever see.
If you missed out on this series then do yourself a favor and either track down the single issues or buy them digitally. At the very least you should pick up the trade when it releases, but don’t miss out on a great zombie-esque tale. We all know that the genre is thick, THICK, with stories; so when one stands out it should be celebrated and enjoyed.
Writer: J.D. Arnold Artist: Tony Guaraldi-Brown Publisher: Action Lab/Danger Zone Price: $2.99 Release Date: 4/2/14 Format: Mini-Series - Print/Digital