"Nazi Werewolf Zombie Inferno" Graphic Novel Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Markosia
Written by Chris Bradshaw
Illustrated by Karl Jull
2014, 114 Pages
Graphic novel released on December 1st, 2016
A group of mercenaries head into an abandoned World War II bunker in the Alps only to find the results of secret Nazi genetic experiments. Welcome to Nazi Werewolf Zombie Inferno. If a title like that doesn't grab you, nothing will.
The story is predicated upon a researcher who thinks he's located a stash of forgotten Nazi treasure. That's an easy sale to the mercenaries to help him dig it up. Of course, he has ulterior motives to going in there which are soon revealed and cause some turmoil amongst the group. It doesn't help matters that there are werewolf zombies running around ripping them to shreds.
On the surface, the idea of a werewolf zombie is equal parts ridiculous and awesome. It opens up a wealth of ideas as to how it would work, what kind of abilities and weaknesses the creatures would have, and what they would eat. Throwing Nazis into the mix makes them a near perfect villain for almost any story.
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While the premise starts out strong and the monsters are certainly unique and terrifying, Nazi Werewolf Zombie Inferno fails in its execution. The artwork is not traditional, which is certainly not a bad thing. It's rather jarring. Instead of actual hand drawn images, the graphic novel is made up of photographs of actual people that are then passed through PhotoShop for some digital alterations and background replacement. Sure, every comic is just a series of still images, but there's a reason that this practice is not widely used. It's not something that is easy to accomplish without the artwork looking silly or blatantly staged. I've seen it done well in Grey, but not much else.
It doesn't help matters that the bulk of the mercenaries look alike. With the exception of the leader and the one woman, they're all 30-40-year-old white guys with very short hair. Despite a page that names them all, they're completely indistinguishable from one another. We don't get much time to learn anything about them before the bullets and fur start flying so their deaths and/or maimings don't mean anything.
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The special effects for the monsters are the only standout for the art. The creatures look particularly menacing and creepy, especially when standing in a line in their Nazi uniforms. They're all a little different, which makes you believe the scientists tried a number of different ways to create them, splicing a variety of DNA together.
Nazi Werewolf Zombie Inferno has the look and feel of a cheesy monster movie from the 1950s. It's a noble effort that fails to deliver anything too frightening. Instead, it looks more silly than anything else. It's like the demented scrapbook chronicling your uncle's trip to a wax museum with some buddies.