Monday, April 29, 2013

Review - Night of the 80's Undead #1

Remember the 80's? A heady time rife with bright colors, keytars and a generally relaxed approach to life? That approach to life was set against a much more intense backdrop of a world embroiled by mistrust, specifically between the US and Russia in the Cold War. What if that war escalated and coke zombies were involved? Night of the 80's Undead from Action Lab Entertainment asks just that question.

The issue is written and lettered by Jason Martin, with artwork by Bill McKay.

It's 1986, and Russia's last ditch cold war effort is to strike at our American excess lifestyle with bio-engineered Colombian cocaine. What happens when two girls out for a good time cross paths with a huge celebrity party hyped up on zombie blow? Things get even more outrageous than all the 80's movies would have you believe.

Martin's story is unique and really taps into the zeitgeist that permeated the 1980's. It was a free-wheeling time where the rich partied with an abundance of cocaine and women sought parties to get in on the action. Sarah and Linda find themselves in such a situation, faced with a party full of individuals under the spell of some weaponized cocaine. Martin makes sure that readers get the sense that they're in the 80's, almost hitting the reader the head over with it at times.

There are some nice callouts to artifacts relevant to the 80's as an era. Mentions of leggings, checkered Vans and scrunchies. The first few pages are littered with such callouts, the overabundance of which become a little tiresome after a while. You get the point that the book is set in the 80's and eventually it settles down and doesn't lose itself in that fact. The setting does fit the idea behind the story very well and does so in a rather clever way.

McKay's art moves from color to black and white to some color again. It's not as distracting as you would think it is and it does help keep the with the 80's theme running throughout the comic. The female characters are a little oversexed, relying on that sex appeal to get them into all the great parties. It's a design that's both distracting and works for the story, but if the series starts relying on it the title could get bogged down by it.

While the concept of zombies is certainly nothing new, the concept of coke-infused Hollywoodites is and could work. How Sarah and Linda deal with the situation they've found themselves in will prove to be a fun plotline to follow and if the art evens out in terms of color the series could be a fun read.

Night of the 80's Undead #1 should be in stores soon.


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