"28 Days Later: Volume 1 - London Calling" Trade Paperback Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by BOOM! Studios
Written by Michael Alan Nelson
Illustrated by Declan Shalvey
2010, 116 Pages
Trade Paperback released on September 7th, 2010
Despite writing for HorrorTalk, I'm far from an expert on all things horror. There are gaps in my slasher moving database and I haven't seen things like Puppet Master. One of the flicks I have seen, though, is 28 Days Later and it's easily one of my favorite horror movies. The 2002 flick directed by Danny Boyle came out of nowhere for me. I wasn't as impressed with the sequel, but I was excited to check out the continuation of the original film in comic book form from BOOM! Studios.
The story picks up with Selena, one of the three survivors from the film. She's hanging out in a refugee camp in Norway when she's approached by Clint, an intrepid reporter who wants to get an inside scoop on what's going on in London. Sure, there have been a bunch of stories about the "Worsley House" survivors, but he wants to get a first hand look at what's going on so he can explain it all to the world. He needs a guide, though, and that's why he turns to Selena.
Click images to enlarge.
Of course, it wouldn't be much of a story if she turned down his offer. She joins Clint and a group of travelers as they head into the hot zone. The military has quarantined the island so they encounter some opposition to their air travel, but it's clear that Clint will stop at nothing to get this story. Unfortunately, that includes losing some members of his team.
This book collects the first four issues of the series and it works great as a setup. The tease is that I have no idea what happened to Selena or the other two survivors after the movie ended. You'd think that they'd all be together in the refugee camp, but they're nowhere to be found. So what happened to them? We're given no hints as to their whereabouts, but we are provided with some flashbacks to Selena's life before her world went to hell.
Declan Shalvey delivers on his artwork for 28 Days Later. Remember, the infected here aren't zombies. They're filled with rage and want nothing more than to tear out your throat. That just amplifies the terror as Shalvey's infected run at Selena, Clint, and the others. The gore is here in spades as Selena cuts through these mindless killers. In many ways she's like the pre-cursor to The Walking Dead's Michonne. She takes no shit and looks badass with her gas mask and machete.
Click images to enlarge.
Shalvey's art direction is also top notch. He does a great job blending Selena's flashbacks into the present day story. It helps weave them into the story without them seeming like they were just tossed in.
Michael Alan Nelson picked up an odd concept with 28 Days Later. He's continued the plot from a movie that already had a sequel. Rather that starting then, he went back to the between time period to write his story. Fans of the original film will want to check this out. The comic moves so fast that you'll finish it up and immediately want more. That's probably my only real complaint about the book.