Ahem, now that I have your attention, I’m pleased to report that Zombies Christmas Carol is getting better with every issue — and yes, there really is a zombie horse in this one. It’s rare to find a good zombie read these days when shelves are chock full with every kind of undead rubbish you can think of. Luckily I took a chance with this series because it’s turned into quite the gem.
Following the Charles Dickens storyline, this installment revolves around Scrooge’s visit by the Ghost of Christmas Past that presented not only Scrooge’s past, but who started the zombie plague — or rather, what started the plague. I wasn’t overjoyed at the depiction of how it began spreading. It just seemed a little farfetched to me. Normally, a zombie outbreak with result from two things, a virus or necromancy and Zombies Christmas Carol doesn’t really state which, though it leans towards virus for sure. It doesn’t give the origins of the virus, just that an animal started it. I was a little disappointed in not learning where the virus came from, but McCann looks like he’ll string us along to keep us interested and hopefully give an answer sometime in the next few issues. I suspect the next two will be about the present and future ghosts and then there’ll be a final issue to tie it all together.
This series is an interesting blend of dark storyline and bright artwork. For instance, there can be zombie munching on some brains in the middle of a cobblestone street, but the art still retains use of a vibrant color scheme. Though this issue is a little darker than the last, it mostly takes place either at night in a darkened room or in a dungeon. The few scenes showing Scrooge’s past are very colorful, lending a cheer to the pages only to wither to darkness when the harsh reality sets in. Treece’s artwork is absolutely magnificent on the Ghost of Christmas Past. The eye-popping amount of detail inspires a sense of dread. The entire time she visits Scrooge, she has a kind of veil over her face. The shading allows the audience to see through the flimsy material, but only just. Contours of her face and eye sockets can be seen, but not enough to get a true picture until near the end when her identity is revealed. Whoever decided to do a Hel — Norse goddess who presided over, you guessed it, Hell — type appearance was brilliant. The Ghost’s face was basically done in two halves. The right half is still mostly whole, albeit dead, while the left half is rotten, with muscle sinew shown and her eye missing, leaving only a blank socket to stare into. Imagine a female Two-Face, but without one eye and in a Victorian dress.
Overall, this second issue was much better than the first. Now we’re starting to get into the meat of the story and I’m pleased with how McCann’s blended the zombie story with Charles Dickens’ original, making it a believable, fun read. At first I was uncertain if this was going to turn out to be a good series, but this issue has solidified my belief in a positive way. Zombies Christmas Carol has the perfect team to create a truly spectacular read.
Felicity Gustafson was born in Ohio and, after the astounding realization that there was more to do than look at trees and cows, she decided to become a nerd and got into comics, anime and video games. New to Comics Bulletin, she sticks mostly to reviewing things out of the horror and comedy genres. She spends most of her time working in the manufacturing industry, finishing her computer degree and steadfastly avoiding ham fat at all costs.