Another Zombie book, do we need one? Zombies are a hot property right now, there’s some TV show on AMC that was a comic book or something, never heard of it you probably haven’t either. Rebel Blood, a four issue mini-series, is also from Image Comics so the comparison immediately jumps to mind. After reading, then rereading this book the comparison was thrown out the window.
In a world of zombies, Rebel Blood stands out. First of all, zombies may not even be the proper word. On the very first page we see our hero Chuck Neville shooting infected wolves. While animals infected by mysterious outbreaks aren’t new, it has been a while since we’ve seen it. The zombies look to have tumors or giant growths on the side of their faces. This is our first clue that something may be off from the normal ‘infection’ story we’ve seen time and time again.
Chuck Neville is our main character. He used to be a firefighter until he got injured on the job. His injury left him out of work, and began to take a strain on his marriage. His wife leaves with their son, and Chuck is now out in the woods watching for fires in fire tower 6 (or as he terms it his “landlocked lighthouse”).
He gets a distress call from Red from Whitlock Law Enforcement about people infected with “something like rabies” and are attacking each other. Red tells Chuck to stay inside, but Chuck is worried about his family. He treks out into the cold, snowy forest. Enter infected wolves. The remainder of the story is Chuck trying to get to his family.
On the first read-through, it was kind of confusing keeping track of what was actually happening. We see some different scenarios playing out with Chuck getting to his family. On a second read-through you can catch the great storytelling that is going on. It is kind of subtle, but you can notice a change in the art when we get a look into Chuck’s mind and how he imagines how the rescue of his family goes.
The art, absolutely magnificent throughout the book, takes on a green hue when we’re looking in Chuck’s mind. More than just a zombie book, the story centers on the psychological aspect of a zombie outbreak. Chuck is battling his mind figuring out what to do, each scenario plays out differently as he races toward his family’s house.
This book really piqued my interest for the remaining three. It requires you to pay attention, the subtle art changes make for a great story but if you aren’t thinking you don’t notice it and it just becomes confusing. I went back through to read it again, and it was just as rewarding as the first time. You can pick up on new things when you go back through. The story is by Alex Link and Riley Rossmo (Proof and Cowboy Ninja Viking) with Rossmo taking up the art. The art is worth the price of admission alone.
Bottom Line: This is a zombie story is worth a shot. It is familiar enough zombie fans and comic fans can immediately jump in and start with a new take on an old theme, but it is different enough you never feel like you’ve read it before. This first issue is very interesting, and I’m definitely going to be looking for the next three.
WRITTEN BY: Alex Link, Riley Rossmo
ART BY: Riley Rossmo
RELEASE: March 21