"Plants vs. Zombies: Timepocalypse" Graphic Novel Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Dark Horse Comics
Written by Paul Tobin
Illustrated by Ron Chan
2014, 82 Pages
Graphic novel released on January 14th, 2015
You just can't keep a maniacal zombie genius down. Despite meeting defeat at the hands of young Nate Timely, Patrice, and her uncle Crazy Dave (not to mention a horde of plants), the nefarious Dr. Edgar Zomboss is back and this time he's built a sun vacuum. He plans to suck away all the sunlight, kind of like what Mr. Burns did in that one episode of The Simpsons. Unfortunately, he relies on an army of zombies to do menial tasks and they destroy the machine, scattering its parts through time and space. Now the humans and plants must race to gather the pieces before the zombies can to prevent a total undead uprising. It's Plants vs. Zombies: Timepocalypse!
If you think the premise of this book sounds completely ridiculous, you're absolutely right. It's also incredibly fun. This is a comic that does not take itself too seriously. It's about a couple kids and a madman who are venturing through time in a tricked out Winnebago to nab pieces of a mystery machine. I don't know why they have to collect all of the pieces when they would only realistically need one to prevent Zomboss' machine from working. This and other minor plot holes are overlooked due to the sheer joy of the story.
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As the previous Plants vs. Zombies comic, Lawnmageddon, mostly mirrors the original game, this one incorporates some of the additions from the sequel. New plants like a super sunflower and “Grrawrr-Bear the Ultimate Face-Puncher” add a bit more variety to the lineup. On the other end of the battlefield are a few new zombie faces, including a huge robot with telephone poles for arms. Artist Ron Chan captures the likenesses of both the plants and zombies and adds more life to them than what you get on your mobile phone.
Since time travel is a key plot point, the book explores a variety of eras in the past, present, and future. Nate and Patrice battle dinosaurs, deal with zombie mummies, win a disco dance contest, and tangle with the evil pirate Chestbeard (he looks exactly like you think he'd look). Writer Paul Tobin pokes fun at some of the tropes from these time periods and uses elements from each as the story continues. For example, Nate is destroyed in the dance contest and then when he is zapped into a future version of himself, he's wearing a t-shirt that says “Dance Champ 2023.” It's good to see he never gave up.
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Tobin's humor is spot on with Timepocalypse. There are many laugh-out-loud moments and crazy sight gags. Humor is about timing and this comic is expertly paced. The jokes all hit their marks with precision. Even some that seem a little corny at first, like when Patrice leaps from the time machine yelling, “First lesson! An object in motion tends to stay in motion! Example A is – my foot!” This comes across as cheesy, but it's followed up with her kicking a few zombies with big arrows that say “Motion!” or “Still in motion!”, which is so damn funny.
Plants vs. Zombies: Timepocalypse is a tremendously fun comic. It's an all-ages title that really does work for everyone. It doesn't dumb things down for kids or use lame jokes. It's packed with zombie asskickery and wall-to-wall silliness that will have you smiling from start to finish.