It seems like the hits just keep on coming from Red 5 comics. After successful launches of two well received series and three more just nipping at their heels, the publisher announced two weeks ago that Zombies of Mass Destruction will be their latest title to hit store shelves. Handling the scripting duties is rising fan favorite Kevin Grevioux. The actor/writer made a splash in 2006 forming two comic book imprints: Astounding Studios and DarkStorm Studios, but is most well known for writing and starring in the 2003 werewolf/vampire movie Underworld. Currently he’s also writing volume four of New Warriors for Marvel. Being the busy man he is, I managed to squeeze a few questions in to ask the creator what we can look forward to with his take on zombies.
Chris Murman: Red 5 is calling ZMD an action-horror comic series, but the name does have kind of a spoof/humor sound to it. What’s the premise behind ZMD and how serious is this zombie story?
Kevin Grevioux: Yes the title and the motif we’re going for in the cover art direction does have some humor to it, but the actual story is anything but. The story is a combination of Night of the Living Dead and Apocalypse Now. The government has accidentally developed a method of zombification and is using it as a way to augment our military fighting force. No longer do we have to send live soldiers in a combat hot zone like Iraq or Mogadishu, you can now drop these zombies, or “necronites” as I call them, into a hostile theater to infect enemy soldiers and spare American lives.
The unfortunate thing is that one of the zombies did not dissolve like it was suppose to, and as a result it is infecting other people, namely civilians in that region and creating other sentient zombies like himself that are under his complete control. The government then has to send a semi-retired soldier in to stop this epidemic in before the infection spreads too far.
CM: The press release refers to the initial zombie weapon as “Zombie Zero.” What can you tell us about this central character?
KG: I can’t tell you too much without giving something away, but this is the zombie that started the infection in the Middle East as far as our story goes. He is sentient and realizes that he has been used as a weapon of mass destruction, as the title implies, to help American interests. He is the ultimate biological weapon and realizes that what he is and how he is being used is wrong, and sets out to show the world just how heinous using necronites.
CM: You have mentioned that you aren’t really a zombie fan. What is it about this series that would appeal to fans of this genre? What would make non-zombie fans interested?
KG: For zombie fans they will get just that, ZOMBIES. Not only that, but zombies who are a force of nature that cannot be easily stopped. Only this time, they are cunning and with a myriad of resources at their disposal. For non-zombie fans they will get interesting characters that have to deal with this surreal situation as well as the politics and conspiracies surrounding such an egregious miscarriage of science. It’s been real fun writing it thus far.
CM: With the backdrop of this story being the war in the Middle East, it might seem that your political ideas might wander into the series somewhere. How do you feel about writing personal platforms into fictional pieces in the comics’ world?
KG: Personally, I see nothing wrong with it. In my case, I’m using it as a metaphor for what’s happening in the real world. It makes stories fresh and poignant. Comics, novels, movies etc, are all rife with metaphors. It happens all the time. Sometimes we push it, other times it’s just entertainment and nothing more.
CM: Fans of this growing publisher have to be looking forward to issue #1. Give us a tease about what is in store for ZMD?
KG: It’s going to be a 6-issue miniseries. Paul Ens and Scott Chitwood are great to work with. It’s been a blast so far.
Zombies of Mass Destruction is available for pre-order through Diamond (order code MAY084097) and will be on store shelves July 23. Read more about the series at Red 5’s site.