’68: Jungle Jim #1 Review

Highly detailed work with zombies, horror and violence is nothing new in comics but in the hands of artist Jeff Zornow and writer Mark Kidwell rarely has the horror been as vivid as it is in ’68: Jungle Jim.

Official description from IMAGE:

Private Brian Curliss is a one-man-army, sworn to wade through a wet red jungle gone straight to hell in search of a ghost named Jungle Jim. To the Viet Cong, he’s a nightmare. To POWs trapped in enemy hands, he’s salvation.

This is the first time I have picked up a ’68 title, and while it turned out to be a great place to jump on, I am only sorry I haven’t picked any of them up until now. As a first time reader, the image of a one-man killing machine in a gas mask was not only cool but also shocking with the reveal of Private Curliss as the one beneath the mask.

‘68 kicks off in the highest possible gear and by page three you witness more carnage, action and violence than one might think possible. Again, Zornow’s art drives the point home with incredible detail and he has an understanding of pacing there’s no mistake on the reader’s eye to how the action and panels flow. Kidwell’s writing punches you in the gut with very little chance to catch your breath. However, a sequence of a French Catholic mission camp slows the story down enough to try and get your bearings on the much larger tale at hand.

This isn’t a story for everyone and certainly not for the squeamish. What I see as mostly action many will see has horror and make no mistake there’s plenty of it. But the struggle of Private Curliss’ cross to bear and the hope of salvation from not only the Vietnam war but a Vietnam/Zombie apocalypse makes this much more of a well-rounded story than one of just a one-man killing machine in a gas mask.

So if you like zombies but are in search of a story with a new take then ’68: Jungle Jim is a worthy read.


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