Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Review - The Mocking Dead #1

"You can look around and see how things are now--"

Vampires, werewolves, zombies...all of the supernatural beings are en vogue these days. The trend shows no signs of abating either, with all continuing to get top-billing in whatever piece of work they're part of. Sometimes though, it's refreshing to take a step back and laugh it all, as Dynamite does in The Mocking Dead #1.

The issue is written by Fred Van Lente, with art by Max Dunbar, letters by Simon Bowland and graynotes/colors by Aikau Olivia.

Aaron Bunch is a misunderstood genius and intelligence analyst. Actually, that might be giving him too much credit, as Vanessa Malik (Defense Intelligence Agency Directorate for Analysis) thinks he's nothing but an abrasive, immature nerd who thinks very highly of his torrenting site. The two were part of a project called Tinseltown that was shut down, but--in light of recent events--has been reanimated so to speak. That plan involves a lot a of horror movies and a lot of flamethrowing.

Van Lente has dabbled in zombies before with the Marvel Zombies series and definitely knows a thing or two about bringing back the dead to mock the living. And in that regard, The Mocking Dead #1 lives up to its billing. The story pokes fun at all the societal tropes that would still likely exist even in apocalyptic times. Grabbing your cell phone for a YouTube video, even though you'll be mauled by zombies, overweight children on the playground...even superhero parody porn. It's everything about society that makes it "great" and throwing zombies in the middle of it makes it much more entertaining.

Dunbar's art is solid and well done. Considering this is a parody book, it would've been easy for the creative team to use illustrations that were equally nonsensical. Instead, the art on display is clean and finished, representative of something you would see in a superhero title. The grayscale effect adds an extra element of B-horror to the work, helping the reader to feel right at home in what is meant to be entertaining and funny. There's a bit of gore on display thanks to a zombie who didn't look both ways before crossing the street, but other than that the book is pretty tame on the blood front.

The Mocking Dead #1 capitalizes on the success of that other comic about the dead walking and zombies in general. It offers readers a bit of a reprieve from all the levity that comes with those zombie works. Aaron is somewhat of a jerk character and Vanessa seems to be very much inspired by Jessica Biel's character in A-Team. Their pairing will likely lead to more entertaining scenarios as the story progresses. The end of the first issue doesn't really offer much in the way of pointing which direction the story will go next though, which hurts potential interest in continuing on. Still, the first issue is entertaining.

The Mocking Dead #1 is in stores now with interiors below.


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