Zombies have become the horror worlds soup du jour for the past decade plus. From Shaun of the Dead to The Walking Dead, from World War Z to iZombie, the undead have become a beloved part of popular culture. They have been the focal point of movies, TV shows and comic books. One such TITAN1STUDIOS title, ZOMBEN, takes a light-hearted approach to the zombie genre and offers a little something for everyone.
ZOMBEN #1 begins with a quick set up for how the world became so zombified. That event is called the ‘Multipocalypse’ where cities were flooded with giant octopus-like creatures, zombies, massive bombs and gun-toting robots. The story then skips 10 years in the future to an amusing school classroom, where students recite all the terms used for the undead and how to kill them. While only a few panels long, this segment offers both humour and plot. Talking zombies and how to destroy them would easily keep many any teenager engaged in school, especially those who might nod off during Math and English.
ZOMBEN #1 is a surprisingly entertaining first issue. It’s only surprisingly because of the mass quantities of zombie stories created as of late. It is a fun adventure that middle-grade aged children and young teens will especially enjoy. Writer Mike Heneghan creates a well-crafted sequence of events. The plot has a solid flow, allowing the reader to get to know the characters while still getting enough action to keep the pages turning. Heneghan crafts a great cliff-hanger at the end of ZOMBEN #1, keeping readers on edge and thirsty for more.
ZOMBEN #1 is the first part of a four issue mini-series. It is essentially a setup comic – giving enough backstory to have the story make sense but also not wasting much time there. Readers get the gist and move into the characters and plot. And in this case, it’s something ZOMBEN #1 does well. There is a little lag in the middle of the comic, but that is due to the setting up of two families. In the last few pages, the story arc picks up and, as mentioned before, offers a great cliff-hanger.
ZOMBEN #1 is illustrated by Abel Cicero. Cicero’s work is solid, creating entertaining and humorous images that will work for the intended younger audience. The illustrations are vibrant, as are the colours by Manoli Martinez.
All in all, ZOMBEN #1 is worth picking up from your local comic book store. And as a series, ZOMBEN appears to be something for both the young and the young-at-heart, bringing a fresh take to a heavily saturated zombie world in popular culture.