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Year Zero 1 Main

"Year Zero #1" Comic Review

Written by James Ferguson

Published by AWA Studios

article-cover

Written by Benjamin Percy
Illustrated by Ramon Rosanas
Colored by Lee Loughridge
Lettered by Sal Cipriano
2020, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on May 20th, 2020

Review:

The zombie apocalypse had to start somewhere, but who knew it would start everywhere at once? Such is the case with Year Zero as we check in on people from around the world to see where they were and what they were doing when everything hit the fan. This includes a wide variety of folks, including a child in Mexico, a hitman in Japan, and a survivalist in Minnesota.

Year Zero picks up right before everything goes wrong. You get a glimpse of the lives of these characters, scattered around the globe. Everything was normal. While there were ups and downs, they were getting by. All in all there are five main characters. Each one gets a few pages for introduction and establishment. That doesn't leave a lot of room for story, so this debut issue ends just when it really gets going.

There's a nice variety of perspectives at work in Year Zero. It will be interesting to see if they intersect later on or if they will remain independent. While we don't have much development yet, I am most intrigued by the survivalist, especially after the past few months where people just like this guy were protesting wearing a mask and demanding to see a hair dresser. This is the kind of thing those protesters were really hoping for. He's presented as cold and callous as he watches his neighbor beg for help outside of his locked doors and secure bunker.

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Each of these characters are presented as utterly normal, which makes the zombies they encounter all the more horrifying. Artist Ramon Rosanas builds tension by implying much of the terror without actually showing it. We understand the chaos that's unfolding around these folks, but we don't see it directly. Our minds are left to fill in the gaps and that's even more frightening.

This tension also lends itself to further implied horror, such as a group of scared prisoners peering out of the shadows. Are they zombies? Or are they innocent in all this? We don't know and that feeling is incredible.

The normalcy comes through in Lee Loughridge's colors too. Everything is in its place and appears to be on the level...then you see the blood. It splatters across the page in an alarming manner, destroying whatever lives these characters had as they're birthed into something entirely different and they'll never be the same again.

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Every character's perspective is differentiated by their appearance, obviously, but letterer Sal Cipriano also uses a different colored caption box for them which is a nice touch. It gives each of these sections a unique look that stands out.

Year Zero debuts with a bang, completely changing the lives of five people as the world falls into chaos around them. We have a lot of questions, like what caused the zombie apocalypse and what makes these folks special, but there's more than enough to grab onto. You might think you've seen it all when it comes to zombies, but you'd be wrong. Year Zero is proof of that.

Grades:

Story: threeandahalfstars Cover
Buy from Amazon US
Cover
Buy from Amazon UK
Art: fourstars
Overall: 4 Star Rating

About The Author
James Ferguson
Lord of the Funny Books
James has a 2nd grade reading level and, as a result, only reads books with pictures. Horror is his 5th favorite genre right after romantic comedy and just before silent films. No one knows why he's here, but he won't leave.
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