By Dustin Cabeal
It’s been a while since I checked in with Zombie Tramp. It’s a series that I find easy to jump on and off of as I’ve stated many times before, in that way it reminds me a lot of Witchblade. The series never makes any hot shot booking in which they just blow through a storyline, but rather it’s all very methodical so much so that I was able to figure out what I missed just from reading the dialogue.
Xula is in some dimension fucking up some demons. The bulk of this issue is the conclusion of that fight, but there’s more to it than just the fight. A new character is introduced, and he puts doubt into Xula’s head about what she’s doing for the Kaiju Queen. That’s not even the big point of the story as the Kaiju Queen has a twist and turn of her own as well. Yes, there’s a lot of fighting, but then there’s also a lot of story reveals as well.
The writing continues to improve on the series. The series has always been at its best when Mendoza was writing solo and allowed to shake up the pace and the structure. It’s as if he creates the amount of pages he’s supposed to but instead of writing for the issue or the trade, he writes a little old school in that he assumes you’ll be coming back. In that way, he creates this unfulfilled need in the reader making them come back. It’s a cliffhanger without always being a cliffhanger. Mendoza’s dialogue has also improved a lot. There are one-liners of varying degrees of success, but no longer are there chunky bits of dialogue that add nothing to the story. Everything said serves a purpose to either the plot or the characters rather than being filler.
I don’t believe I’ve seen Marco Maccagni’s artwork on the series before if I have; I don’t recall the name. It’s a great fit. It’s probably the closest that anyone has gotten to Mendoza’s style, but it lacks that standout element that Mendoza brings. It would be nice to see Maccagni’s wings spread on future issues and bring a flair to the artwork. Don’t get me wrong, it's good art, but it also feels like it’s playing it safe as if it’s trying to capture the style of the series rather than bring something new to the series. The only time this isn’t true is with the new character and the Kaiju Queen. They look different than the rest of the issue and more in line with what Maccagni could bring to the series.
What has helped and continued to establish the quality of this series is a regular colorist, Marcelo Costa brings a vibrancy that is needed for this world. In particular, the way the new character was colored stood out and made them memorable. They’re worthy of a t-shirt they’re that damn distinct looking. Costa has saved this series from being the muted murky mess of colors it was in its early days.
There is one undeniable truth about Zombie Tramp, whether the series is for you or not, it is one of the most consistent comics being published today. It’s never late, always filled with great talent, and often new talent. This series puts a lot of other titles to shame and has only gotten better with more issues. Janey’s adventure still seems fresh and new, and I for one am looking forward to what comes next.
Zombie Tramp #34
Writer: Dan Mendoza
Artist: Marco Maccagni
Colorist: Marcel Costa
Letterer: Adam Wollet
Publisher: Danger Zone