Z Nation #1 (April 2017)

THE PATIENTS

Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment
Writers: Craig Engler & Fred Van Lente
Artist: Edu Menna
Colors: Sal Aiala
Letters: Simon Bowland

THE PATHOLOGY

The popular zombie television series expands into another medium via this new comic book incarnation, co-written by one of the show’s co-creators and preserving the TV show’s irreverent and action-packed approach to the zombie genre.

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THE PROGNOSIS

“Sea of Death” takes us to a much earlier point in the Z NATION universe than that seen in the current series (debuting its fourth season this fall), utilizing the medium of comics to fill in a previously unknown chapter in that world’s apocalyptic history. We’re back in Year One, civilization has collapsed, and a National Guard team are dispatched by a very familiar character (you’ll recognize this person immediately if you’ve been watching the show since day one) to obtain a much-needed nutrient known as “Soylent Z.” Naturally, it’s not going to be an easy trip, and things quickly become very complicated. This first issue ends at the docked “Empress of the Seas,” a gargantuan cruise ship whose luck is not likely to be better than the Titanic – but whether it actually sinks or everyone on board just dies is another matter…

This polished debut issue does an excellent job of launching a new adventure while assuring readers that it’s still Z NATION deep down in its mutated DNA.

This fast-paced issue quickly rolls out a new team of characters and sends them on their perilous journey while sketching in their personalities and giving readers a chance to get to know them – all the more effective, then, when some don’t even make it to the final page. There are one or two who just might emerge as this comic’s Murphy or Warren; who knows, perhaps the TV show might even bring a later version of one of these folks onto the small screen! And who’s to say we won’t encounter earlier versions of our favorite Z NATION heroes here as well?

There are some excellent page designs and coloring techniques throughout, from a shadowy sequence in a warehouse of vital supplies, to numerous action beats in which zombies are dispatched in front of orange starburst backgrounds that might even remind readers of the “BAM POW ZAP” moments in the BATMAN TV show. There’s even a character in this story with a very familiar name! Now where have I heard “Blumberg” before, hmm… (and yes, it’s an honor!)

ZNation1Blumberg

It also wouldn’t be Z NATION without a few innovative additions to the vast zombie mythos, and in this issue alone we’re introduced to a weapon that could give Addy’s Z-Whacker a run for its money, as well as a new zombie species whose natural behavior while alive becomes all the more frightening in unlife. And yes, there are serious stakes, comedic repartee, and even heart-breaking or at least shocking losses.

This polished debut issue does an excellent job of launching readers on a new adventure while assuring them that it’s most definitely still Z NATION deep down in its mutated DNA. I’m looking forward to seeing where the rest of this series takes us; there’s a great deal of potential to tell many other stories in the Z NATION universe, so there’s every reason to believe this comic could run for years to come.

RATING

08brains

GET THE Z NATION SERIES AT DYNAMITE COMICS OR YOUR LOCAL COMICS SHOP!

89: We Take Aim at a Post-Apocalyptic Classic – THE OMEGA MAN!

Arnold and Scott return to chat about one of their all-time favorite post-apocalyptic action romps. Pour some genuine 160 proof old Anglo Saxon, dress for dinner, and enjoy the end of the world with Charlton Heston in 1971’s THE OMEGA MAN! One of three adaptations of Richard Matheson’s 1954 novel I AM LEGEND, Chuck’s film falls between Vincent Price vehicle THE LAST MAN ON EARTH (for which the guys recorded a FREE feature-length audio commentary), and Will Smith’s 2007 I AM LEGEND. This in-depth discussion wouldn’t be complete without fellow Omega Man Scott Collura of IGN.com (who also joined the guys for a G2V Podcast on the PLANET OF THE APES franchise). And remember…there is no phone ringing, dammit!

Find Scott Collura on Twitter and check out his STAR TREK podcast, TRANSPORTER ROOM 3!

Support the show via our Patreon page!

Show Music: “Bitter Pill” (feat. Vosmoy) by Still Pluto.

We welcome all feedback at doctorofthedead@yahoo.comcontact@g2vpodcast.com, or on the G2V Facebook page! Find the show on Twitter at @DoctoroftheDead!

ADDITIONAL SHOW LINKS:

Charlton Heston on Whoopi Goldberg’s talk show in the 1990s

99 on 99: “Dragon’s Domain”

99on99023bSPACE IS F-ING TERRIFYING! In a format breaker – flashbacks and narration, strong focus on guest Gianni Garko as tormented Tony Cellini – Koenig is inexplicably devoted to a guy that led a disastrous planetary probe. A shrieking Cthulhu turned his shipmates into dessicated corpses? Yes, and it’s SCARY AS SH**! The spaceships’ graveyard and cobwebbed probe are eerie visuals, but reliable actor Michael Sheard is wasted, the probe appears far from its original position with no explanation, and the literary parallels are too heavily underlined. He’s “very happy to know he put new life into an old myth?” Doubt it!

VISIT MOONBASE ALPHA!

ENTIRE FIRST SEASON: SPACE 1999: SERIES 1
THIS EPISODE: “Dragon’s Domain”

99 on 99: “Mission of the Darians”

99on99022bToo many recycled sci-fi clichés at the end of the season; here’s another mash-up reminiscent of countless DOCTOR WHO episodes. Impressive models and matte paintings, as well as a great early 360-degree shot, can’t mask the tired plot of a generational ship split between sophisticated pretty haves and primitive dirty have-nots. There’s a macabre bit of cannibalism too, but guest stars like Joan Collins and Aubrey Morris – yesss! – are wasted. One again Koenig is more like STAR TREK’s Kirk, solving this culture’s dilemma with one half-hearted speech. And of course, Collins goes for the alpha male (no, not Koenig).

BONUS EYE CANDY:
99on99022c

99on99022d

VISIT MOONBASE ALPHA!

ENTIRE FIRST SEASON: SPACE 1999: SERIES 1
THIS EPISODE: “Mission of the Darians”

99 on 99: “The Infernal Machine”

99on99021bHumanity chafing against confinement and slavery, an alien genius downloading his personality into a computer, Koenig pulling a Captain Kirk and outwitting a machine mind, one last note of awkward sympathy as a lonely being commits suicide – this is an episode assembled from a host of worn-out sci-fi clichés, with even the stalwart regular cast only going through the motions. The proceedings are made barely interesting by some nice set design – great use of space and the color red – and the presence, both corporeally and aurally, of guest star Leo McKern. Paul was lucky to sit this one out.

VISIT MOONBASE ALPHA!

ENTIRE FIRST SEASON: SPACE 1999: SERIES 1
THIS EPISODE: “The Infernal Machine”