Check out some of our favourite zombie comics which include undead versions of the DC and Marvel Universes, and Sherlock Holmes purging London of a zombie infestation.
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Just like zombie films and zombie books, zombie comics definitely belong to a standalone category. Comics are a medium that adapt very easily to stories that could have been movies or books and this works out especially well with zombies. Graphic display of gore? Check. Storylines that can be easily compressed? Check. Devastatingly vivid portrayals of the post-apocalyptic world? Check. While there are tons of options out there for quality zombie literature, we’ll run you through some of the best zombie comics we’ve read in the last year.
At the moment, there is one man who is the undisputed master of the zombie comics genre, and he is Robert Kirkman. Kirkman released the first issue of The Walking Dead in 2003 and as one of the five partners of Image Comics, he gave them a huge title. The ongoing hit series follows the post-apocalyptic life of police officer Rick Grimes and how he deals with zombie-infested America. The series is gripping because of the amount of hardship that Grimes and his small family seem to endure, but there’s another part of Kirkman’s approach to zombie comics that gives him a real edge. The supporting characters make this comic really worth reading because they are so well-crafted that you can’t get enough of them! It’s really difficult to be invested in a character in a zombie series because the mortality rate is so high, but Kirkman compels you to be a part of the survival story. Once you start reading this series, you’re practically one of them. The comics are now also a major TV show and with director Frank Darabont at the helm, it’s been a smash hit so far (watch the trailer for season one of The Walking Dead here).
Headshots only, my dear Watson! Our man, Sherlock Holmes and willing sidekick, Dr Watson have to deal with a new plague blighting London and he’s going to need help this time. The zombie scourge that’s spreading around London might be a problem too big for Holmes to solve on his own, but the writer, Ian Edington, has added some incredibly enjoyable, steampunk-ish elements that makes the comic book really dynamic. So while it’s not your classic portrayal of Sherlock Holmes, it’s not as flashy as the over-the-top Robert Downey Jr. film version of the character which is a happy compromise in this situation. Still, watching Holmes calmly drop badass, old school Victorian English lines such as, “Unhand him, you fiend!” before he decapitates a zombie is a thrill of it’s own.
Hal Jordan was simply the best Green Lantern ever but his true worth was never realized until after his death. DC saw a sharp drop in interest in the Green Lantern series because new lantern Kyle Rayner never quite fit the bill. DC revived Hal Jordan again in the series Green Lantern: Rebirth before moving onto one of the biggest DC Universe-spanning storylines ever. Blackest Night is awesome because of all the new lantern corps that appear in this huge story arc. There are Yellow, Red, Blue, Indigo, Violet and Orange lanterns but the real problem lies with the Black Lanterns. Surprise surprise! The Black Lanterns are zombies! It seems that the Black Lanterns are intent upon ending life and these Black Lantern rings reanimate dead heroes/villians/parents and get inside the head of the DC Universe folks. Easily one of the best mainstream comics arcs around and having zombie superheroes try and take out the living is just one of those despicably brilliant ideas that come around every once in a while. In fact, DC wasn’t the first major comic book publisher to come across this idea…
The superhero-zombie idea become an instant hit with this short and sweet zombie tale. Once again, Robert Kirkman was the brains behind the idea and once again he delivers the goods. Sure, every zombie superhero could just gather together and finish off whoever’s still alive, but Kirkman has made these zombies a bit more interesting. It turns out that the zombies in this story arc are not mindless drones but do in fact possess cognitive powers, which means they have their memories and their powers. The real gruesome bit is that hunger for brains clouds their minds and overpowers their moral and emotional sensibilities. So they actually know who they’re eating! Damn that’s cold, Kirkman!
Eric Powell is a really warped guy and The Goon is a really warped comic. The difference here is that unlike all the other post-apocalyptic world scenarios where the zombies are wiping everyone out, in Powell’s world zombies are just another bunch of characters. The Goon is eponymous hero of the story and his right-hand man, Franky, is the comic relief. They both work as enforcers for the Labrazio crime family which sees them run into trouble with most of the weird and whacky world around them. This is perhaps some of the darkest comedies you’ll find in comic books, but Powell’s cartoony-yet-smooth artwork makes this one of the most approachable comics in this series. In fact, they’re planning to turn it into a David Fincher-produced animated feature film! While this has been touted for years, production never took place until the movie was recently crowd funded on Kickstarter. If you aren’t excited about this movie yet, here’s The Goon trailer featuring the vocal talents of one Paul Giamatti.
Not enough zombies for one day? Check out previous editions of Double Tap here.