Wednesday, 20 April 2016

The Walking Dead: The Alien Review (Brian K. Vaughan, Marcos Martin)


Like anyone with good taste, Robert Kirkman is a huge fan of The Private Eye by Brian K. Vaughan, Marcos Martin and Muntsa Vicente. He asked Vaughan to let Image publish a hardcover edition of the series. Vaughan would - IF Panel Syndicate could do a canonical issue of The Walking Dead (up til now only Kirkman has written for the title). The deal was done. The gorgeous Cloudburst edition of The Private Eye came out last year from Image Comics and today Panel Syndicate’s The Walking Dead: The Alien was released - and it was very good! 

Unlike the main series which (so far) takes place exclusively in America, The Alien takes readers across the pond to Barcelona where the zombie apocalypse has infected nearly everyone. Young American backpacker Jeff awakens to find the city on fire before being attacked by a zombie - and is then saved by a knight in armour… on a moped. Jeff and the knight make a plan to take the sewers out to the port and escape on a boat to Ibiza before striking out for the States where rumour is a cure exists. But will they make it out of the city alive…? 

The Alien is a pretty fun issue. It’s almost entirely non-stop action as Jeff and Claudia (the knight) battle zombies left and right in a desperate bid for freedom and there are some awesome sequences like what goes down on the boat. And as for the whole “canon” thing? Well, I’m not gonna spoil who Jeff is but it’s a cool reveal - totally forgot him being mentioned in the first Walking Dead book! 

This issue is designed to be read sideways on a tablet like all Panel Syndicate comics but, in the tradition of The Walking Dead, it’s black and white (with some red splashed in of course), so Muntsa Vicente’s beautiful colours are missing. Still, fantastic artwork from Marcos Martin who lovingly draws his home city of Barcelona with its amazing architecture and then happily burns it down! Also, the sequence in the water has a Sin City flavour to it with its look and intensity which I loved. 

Walking Dead fans: of course you’re gonna read this, you didn’t anyone to review the comic and give it a thumbs up! Everyone else: this one’s worth a read too if you’re a horror fan and want to read a fun “escape the zombies” story. Pick up a digital copy of the comic for yourselves over at www.panelsyndicate.com and pay what you want for it (even nothing, ya freeloadin’ jackals!).

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