Empire of the Dead 1 (January 2014)

Portrait incredible

There’s something perfect about this comic. The medium gives George Romero a great way to do exposition, with two characters meeting each other, talking about their worlds. But it wouldn’t work without Alex Maleev. Romero’s kicking around ideas he’s been using for thirty years or so, but Maleev makes it all seem so fresh.

This first issue, set after the zombie apocalypse, after the rebuilding has started, is a great start. There’s a particularly awkward moment where Romero retcons Night of the Living Dead, almost half a century after he made that film. Yeah, exactly… Romero should have been writing comics for years, apparently. It’s an awkward fix, but not bad. Maleev makes it work.

The end has a big surprise and instead of finding it cheap, because it is definitely gimmicky, I find myself fully trusting Romero. He sells some lengthy exposition here. He can handle McGuffins I’ll bet.

B+ 

CREDITS

Writer, George A. Romero; artist, Alex Maleev; colorist, Matt Hollingsworth; letterer, Cory Petit; editors, Jake Thomas and Bill Rosemann; publisher, Marvel Comics.

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