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68 #1 (Image Comics) captures the unforgettable violent
nature of war and horror. During the Vietnam War, a platoon of soldiers is
tracking along the vast forests and empty villages in search of their elusive
enemy. They never actually expected to find a pack of zombies waiting for them.
Deserving of great praise, 68 is a brilliant example of story and art fused
As the platoon travels deep into the heart of darkness, they
witness something rather odd happening. Their enemy, the one they have been
trained to kill, is supposed to stay dead after being shot to death. Somehow
their corpselike bodies begin to rise and stumble, as if nothing ever happened.
The foes just won’t stay dead, no matter how many bullets are fired at them.
But the undying adversary is not the only problem facing
this squad. Members of the troop have died fighting valiantly for their
country. Now, these fallen heroes are rising from their graves too. None of the
medical doctors can officially explain what is going on, especially when all
their stored corpses start walking. With no chance of escape, the only choice
is to keep fighting until every single member has lost his last ounce of
Missing in the endless jungle is a young and naive solider
named Yam. Like Hemmingway, Yam writes letters to his parents, telling them
stories of brutal death and camaraderie. Since his arrival, Yam believes he
made a horrible mistake enlisting in the army and is now paying the ultimate
consequences. A horde of zombies is chasing after him and won’t stop until they
have eaten him alive.
Author Mark Kidwell (Fango’s BUMP) gradually builds the
unnerving tension page by page. Unflinching at times, the war violence erupts
in many surprising turns. Soldiers can’t even count on each other, particularly
when they don’t know where the horrifying attacks are coming from. With the
enemy lurking outside in the wild and traitors hidden within, their only
reliable friend is their gun. In this coming-of-age tale, Yam is going to face
his darkest fears, and who he will become toward the end is an interesting
Aided by the gritty colors of Jay Fotos (SAM & TWITCH),
the pencils and inks by artist Nat Jones (ROB ZOMBIE’S THE NAIL) perfectly
illustrates the green jungle setting. The definitive highlight of 68 is the
underground tunnel sequence, which is unbelievably suspenseful. Caught in an
extraordinary situation, Yam is scurrying across the tunnel while being shot
at. Hands are just punching through the soil and dirt trying to grab him!
Because of their flesh tones, 68’s undead here are nasty looking and will
genuinely gross out readers.
This is an incredibly smart and captivating look at war
through the zombie genre. When you start reading, you’ll ask yourself, “Why
didn’t anyone think of this before?” No comic book fan should miss out on 68,
an intense four-part miniseries arriving next week.
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