Been awhile since one of these. Busy times.

The “Week” In Zombies:

A fucking plethora of cool zombie shit in the past month or so.

A while back I stumbled across this neat little conversation on reddit about the plausibility of zombies. If you frequent reddit, you know pretty intellectual people wander the site, and here all it takes is a guy with a PhD in neurophysiology to ruin my apocalypse fantasies forever.

‘ELLO BRITAINERS! I thought this was fake when I first saw it, but apparently, you can purchase a ticket to “battle the zombie menace in an abandoned shopping mall” in Reading, Berkshire, right outside London. Holy shit! Zombie LARPing! Bring this to the US!

In a bit of more serious news a virus affecting the children of Uganda and surrounding areas give its victims “zombie-like” symptoms. While the disease, said to be passed by flies, is still a bit of a mystery, it seems to mainly target young children and put them in a trace-like state, often coupled by nodding of the head. There are some rumors the sickness causes violence, which is where I think the zombie label comes from.

I’m almost too late on this one – The Dead Linger, a potentially genre-breaking zombie MMO, needs some support and has started a Kickstarter. Now, they have doubled up on their goal, but I’m sure they’re being modest for such an endeavor. This thing look frickin’ spectacular. Even if you don’t want to give, you’ll want to check that out.

Map of the Dead is a Google Maps tweak that pinpoints places of interest in the circumstance of a zombie takeover. Neat, but pointless if you ask the dude from reddit.

The “Week” In Comics:

No way to properly handle the usual tsunami of comic news, but I’ll wade through the pieces that interest me, because well, that is what this is all about. Right?

Hey, look, Gambit is getting his own series (again). Nothing terribly significant about this, I’m not even a huge fan. I used to really love Remy, for no other reason  than him being a slick womanizing badass. His shine waned when writers harped on those same qualities for ten years. But it sounds like the creative team is trying to forge a new path, and that’s probably why I like this. Fan favorites getting their own comics is normally a good thing.

Some mild spoilers ahead for the Marvel series Battle Scars, but only if you are naive about comics. Seems that they’re just straight making Nick Fury black, and adding Agent Coulson, a movie character, into continuity. Wow. Well see how smooth that move goes. I will more than likely review this series for Comics Bulletin in the near future.

Lots and lots of hoopla over the Before Watchmen stuff. Some good, some bad. Earlier I said I would probably dabble, now I’m a little less jazzed. Watchmen does have a certain type of aura to it, and tampering with it is risky. I do not envy guys like Dan DiDio (yeah I do), who have to make a business decision. Watchmen, a work over two decades old, still sells. It’s kind of stupid not to use every bullet in the gun. Then again, is it that desperate? Will Superman and Batman not be around in fifty years because DC never capitalized on Watchmen? I don’t know, but it’s so hard to hate on those Rorschach pages.

Reading Uncanny X-Force yet? Rick Remender answers fan questions over CBR. I mean actual answers some legit questions. That series is severely phenomenal, and continues to deliver high quality.

The game of my dreams, Batman: Arkham City is finally getting the DLC it deserves and needs. Harley Quinn’s Revenge  is set to drop next week, and by reports it’s about two hours and features Batman and Robin gameplay. Sweet deal. However, the trailer says the “Final Chapter”. Now, I have no doubt Rocksteady will continue producing Batman games, too much money and success not to, but is this really the last expansion for Arkham City? Wow, that’s kind of ass considering all the dangling plot threads. I expected big, big things for the DLC, and this is coming up somewhat short.

Took Frank Castle, a.k.a the Punisher, ten years to get a name. #comixfax

The Publisher of Comics Bulletin, Jason Sacks, interviewed all the big wigs of Image comics about their feelings about the company twenty years after its founding. Some fascinating stuff. The origin of Image is a great story. I think their tale would make a nice documentary. Here’s the Eric Larsen portion, and the links to chats with comic demigods like McFarland and Silvestri are at the bottom.

 

The “Week” In Jamil:

I reviewed some stuff.

Secret #1 by Jonathan Hickman and Ryan Bodenheim. I had a tough time reviewing this one. I thought it was decent, but no way great or even particularly enjoyable. It’s a spy thriller, and reminds me of one of those movies you realize is good two thirds of the way in. I trust Hickman, but I’ll check back on this in about 6-12 months.

Resident Alien #0 by Peter Hogan and Steve Parkhouse. An alien stuck on our planet is forced to take over the duties of doctor for a small American town. I really enjoyed it, it’s simple but provides rich material for a potentially great story.

Double Jumpers #1 by Dave Dwonch and Bill Blankenship. Definitely a fun little piece. Dwonch is the creator of Space-Time Condominium and this comic from Action Lab feels like a webcomic. It’s about game designers switching places with their MMO characters, and vice versa. Action Lab is doing some great things, check them out!

Avengers vs X-Men #0 by Brian Micaheal Bendis, Jason Aaron and Frank Cho. Also, Avengers vs X-Men #1 by  Bendis and John Romita Jr. On alternating Sundays look out for Shawn Hill, Chris Kiser and myself to continue review EVERY issue of AvX. We review #2, but it was deleted off the site because of it’s awesomeness. I didn’t plan on reviewing the entirety of AvX, but heck, I’m a sucker. So far it’s not terrible, pretty standard, with some really energetic moments. Marvel took no risks in it’s vanilla premise, so I’m hoping it get’s a little more interesting than two teams fighting over nonsense.

The Last of the Greats by Joshua Hale Fialkov and Brian Peeples. Ass-rapes and superheroes. This ambitious comic out of Image is written by a native of Monroeville, Pennsylvania, where I spent a few formative teenage years. It’s fucking off-the-wall, with at least 4-5 unbelievable twists. The whole thing is kind of hazy, and the series is a in a bit of limbo because of the current state of the market, but applause to the creative team for taking the superheros genre and pulling it inside out.

Key of Z by Claudio Sanchez, Chondra Echert and Aaron Kuder. ZOMBIE ALERT! I reviewed the whole post-apocalyptic limited by the front man of Coheed and Cambria.  I give credit  to the story for taking a route similar to the one in the URL, it focuses on the the “next step”. To a degree. This is set five years ahead of the present, in a New York City where humans live in sports stadiums. It’s a good jumping off point, but eventually falls into character arcs that fail to interest. The visuals are not bad, and don’t do anything to advance zombies. Though, neither does the script.  It’s a decent story about vengeance, and worth a look, but in no way is it memorable.

 

ALRIGHT GANG. That’s enough chatter. Time to get back to making comics.

- Jamil