"Rex, Zombie Killer #1" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Big Dog Ink
Written by Rob Anderson
Illustrated by Dafu Yu
2012, 56 Pages, $3.50
Comic released in April, 2012
Let's just put this out there: What if Homeward Bound had zombies in it? Cool, right? That's kind of the idea behind Rex, Zombie Killer, but instead of a couple of house pets we've got a hyper-intelligent Golden Retriever (Rex), a sign-language speaking gorilla with a baseball bat (Kenji), a tough pit bull (Brutus), a peppy Corgi (Buttercup), and...a cat (Snowball). OK, the last part isn't as exciting, but they're a team and they're killing zombies. The group is traveling from California to Nevada in search of the doctor that cared for Rex, who's hopefully in a secret lab. On the way they're clearing through members of the undead that get in their way.
Author Rob Anderson really brought different personalities to all of these animals. Yes, they can talk and that should make things a little easier, but there's clearly more to each of them than the basics of their breed. Rex is a born leader. Kenji is wise and upset at the idea of killing anyone, let alone zombies. Snowball...well, he's a cat.
As with many other zombie stories, this one shot shows us that when the dead rise, that might not be our biggest problem. Mankind is just as cruel as they've always been, but now they aren't held in check by the rules of society. The pack takes on a gang of humans that pit animals against the zombies for entertainment.
The art on Rex, Zombie Killer was handled by Dafu Yu. His humans look great. His zombies are terrifying. The animals look good. My only problem is Kenji's face. It looks too much like that of a person and it kind of freaks me out. Everything else is spot on, but that gorilla's head just doesn't look like a gorilla's head. Now, there are future stories planned past this one shot and maybe we'll find out that Kenji is really some experimental gorilla / human baseball player that was made by the Soviets in an effort to infiltrate America through our favorite pastime, but for now, that just didn't look right.
If my only real problem with Rex, Zombie Killer is one character's noggin, then obviously I found this enjoyable. This is a heartfelt tale about a group of animals in search for a home. Anyone that's ever rescued a pet will find a connection to one of the creatures in this comic. The fact that they fight zombies is a plus and now I'm going to be annoyed at my cats when the dead start to rise and they don't start clawing out the eyes of those biters.
Anderson was kind enough to send over a copy of this book for an advanced review, but it's not due out in stores until April. If you're interested in picking up a copy, I highly urge you to pre-order it at your local comic shop. This is a one shot, but there are more issues planned. Not to spoil it, but Rex doesn't find his master in just 56 pages. He's got a bit more to go and I'd really like to see how he gets there.