Dead Life #1
Publisher: Statix Press
Dead Life is a new series by Statix Press, and it’s perfect for any Walking Dead fans out there. I’ll admit I started reading this with a certain sense of trepidation – I feel like zombie stories can be really hit or miss, but in the end I was pretty happy with it.
When I say that fans of the Walking Dead will appreciate this series, I want you to understand my full meaning of that statement. We’re only one issue deep, and I can already tell you that the creative team is not willing to pull punches. This is good and bad. The good news is that it adds to the plot, gives the world consequences, and adds a sense of realism to an otherwise unbelievable situation. The bad news is that it can be heavy, graphic, and upsetting. So keep that in mind before you read.
I’ll admit that the cause for the zombie event here (okay, they never once actually call the creatures zombies, but we all know that’s what they are) was unexpected. I love that something so small and unremarkable caused all the ensuing mayhem. It fit perfectly, when you stop to think about it.
What I loved the most though was the unpredictability of it all. When I first started reading, knowing that at some point the characters would be overrun by zombies, I made an assumption of the type of story they were going to be tell us. My assumption was based on the few first pages and the character interactions within them. I was completely off the mark though. While I was a bit sad that was wrong (mostly for the characters sake) I’m thrilled that they managed to surprise me like that. So it was a bitter sweet moment, to be sure.
I will say that there is a decent amount of gore here – I mean, it’s a zombie comic, what do you expect? But it actually isn’t that bad, all things considered. I’ve certainly seen worse. Most of the gore is shown with blood, with implied damage being hidden under it (okay, not every time, but a lot). The more disturbing scenes, if you ask me, had less to do with the gore and more to do with the subjects being harmed. It’s never fun seeing animals and kids hurt, but unfortunately a ‘realistic’ zombie series would do just that. I don’t think they went overboard though, and while I was particularly upset about the dogs I think I could probably continue the series.
As for the ending of the issue…wow. I was certainly not expecting that! I know I already said that, but seriously. I had anticipated the slower form of zombies, the ones incapable of muscle memory, let alone any advanced tricks like opening doors or holding objects. I actually think this was a brilliant move on the creative team’s part – it insures that their zombies will stand out against the latest wave of media about them.