The Other Dead #1 Review

Another zombie story? Well before you roll your eyes and whip out the latest issue of The Walking Dead, ask yourself what can still be brought to the zombie apocalypse table? The Other Dead answers those questions.

Official description from IDW:
The world’s first Zombie Animal epic is here! A deadly hurricane threatens New Orleans just as a frightening and mysterious outbreak hits the animal kingdom! Join all-star creators for the beginning of this year’s most anticipated new horror series!

I feel the same way as many must when they see another zombie title hit the comic bookstore shelves, a mix of interest and a whole lot of skepticism. The genre is worn tissue paper thin and unless you simply love all things zombie you have to ask, what else can be done? Animals. Yep, it’s that easy. Zombie animals! What begins with a bunch of good ol’ boys out on a deer hunt quickly turns into a zombie horror show of epic proportions! New Orleans is the setting and through background TV news commentary we learn that a new hurricane threat larger and more devastating that Katrina is on the way.

The story then follows several lead characters, Az and members of a struggling death metal band desperate to make it big, the front man’s stripper girlfriend, Justina, who always has a mystical connection to native American culture she uses for profit, a boy with a severe illness, Tommy, Az’s little brother, and none other that the President of the United States, Barack Obama! Yeah, you heard that right the President in a role like we’ve never seen before.

Written by Joshua Ortega who co-created it with Digger Mesch with creative consultation by Kevin Eastman one can only wonder if the zombie animals will feature turtles in any manner. One can hope! The story begins with the deer hunt and continues at rapid-fire pace with animal centric violence from there on out. PETA will have issues (and word has it they’ve already weighed in) but if you love gore, horror and zombies you most certainly won’t. It’s a literal nonstop assault on all levels. Az’s band’s sacrifice to the metal God’s is the most gruesome and cruel moments the book offers up and for a zombie horror book it’s what we need and The Other Dead offers it up in spades.

While the story takes a unique twist in it’s plot the art is what sells it. Artist Qing Ping Mui goes for broke in his use of highly detailed work. A simple thing like Tommy not being able to stomach his breakfast is drawn in such a way that you feel the yuck factor but also sympathise with Tommy pain and that’s something critics will overlook. The gore and horror is in your face but so is the character and for those who simply get lost in the horror you’re only getting half of the story.

The Other Dead has a shot at becoming a well talked about story but I’m afraid for all the wrong reasons. But the book can be more than that and a hell of a lot of fun along the way. The Other Dead hits the shelves at a time when new blood needs to be injected into the zombie genre and they do it with plenty of horror, blood and violence but it’s potential is much more than the sum of it’s parts. Now that Halloween is officially in the air don’t pass on The Other Dead!