First off, I would like to apologize to the people at Zenescope Comics. The reason for that is simply due to the tardiness’ of this review. If I had read The Theater when I first got it I could tell you instantly that this is their best book ever. Let’s go.
A young couple enters a theater to catch a movie; the movie, The Change. In the year 2025 a virus aids to the dead returning and feasting on the living. Everything goes to hell, humanity is wrecked but the armed forces fight back and destroy the hordes of the dead and slowly rebuild the world. When all is said and the dead are wiped out, all of the dead but one.
Three years later, young David and his father receive the news that it’s all over. The dead are no longer a threat. A few months later the father and son attempt to adapt into some sort of human routine. They try to become comfortable living their new way of life. In one of their outings searching for food, the unspeakable happens and David’s father is bitten by one of the last zombies. The two escape but David’s father is now sick and he’s changing.
That’s it. That’s all you need to know and here’s why. It’s the POV from David that matters and it’s his thoughts that carry the book and it really works. The trick with The Theater is that it reads like a cornucopia of different things. It seems to pay a little homage to Tales from the Crypt, a squirt of Steven King’s The Mist, a dash of The Walking Dead (the early days of the comic only) and hell, even a little Dead Alive. But get it straight, the horror-zombie wheel isn’t being reinvented here but that’s the best part, it doesn’t need to. All The Theater needs to do is be entertaining and it does that in spades.
The Theater harkens back to an 80’s style of horror storytelling and presentation and that just adds to the amazing atmosphere making for an awesome book. With the kick-ass art work by Martin Montiel (Earp: Saints For Sinners) and the smooth dialog from Raven Greory (Fly) you will find something to like here. If there is a nitpick to be had, it‘s a small one. The pick is, that the book becomes a little to self aware by having the young movie theater couple discuses the movie’s ending almost as if to explain it to the reader. It almost takes away from momentum and power that The Change story had. But at the same time that story is over and that is what people do when they make a trip to the cinema so you got me on that one Greogry, ya got me.
Bottom line, Theater number one is a great comic book. It felt like it hit a spot that horror comics books sorely needed again. What spot is that you ask? If you’re a true horror fan or just a real comic book fan you’ll know that spot when you read it.