Review - Call of Duty: Zombies 2 #1 (@DarkHorseComics)

"I may not have understood my father or his stories at all."

Call of Duty was a staple on consoles during the Xbox 360/PS3 heydays. The FPS was (love it or hate it) probably one of the most mainstream shooters ever created and it got even bigger when it tapped into the zombie zeitgeist. Call of Duty: Zombies 2 #1 from Dark Horse Comics knows all of its roots and embraces them. The issue is written by Justin Jordan, penciled by Andres Ponce, inked by Mauro Vargas, colored by Dan Jackson and lettered by Nate Piekos.

The year is 1910, the place is Morocco, and there is a job that needs doing. The man to do it? A commanding officer in the French Foreign Legion. The prize? An artifact of unspeakable power. The price? More than he bargained for.

Jordan's approach in Call of Duty: Zombies 2 #1 relies very little on either components of the title; instead, his script reads more like an adventure in the life of Indiana Jones. WWI is the backdrop for the action and most of the issue follows along with main characters Bruno and Alistair as they seek out a magical artifact for reasons that aren't entirely known. In fact, very little of the issue sits still with Jordan moving all over to work in key story details. Jordan does some light character development in getting the reader up to speed, but the primary thrust of the issues seems to be about getting to the zombies part by the end. And much of the issue is "spoken" in French which is a nice touch as it helps ground the setting a bit more in a firmer time and place.

Ponce's pencils are firm in their depiction of the characters. Bruno in particular is illustrated as a hulking bruiser and it helps lend credibility to his stature as a feared gangster turned soldier turned treasure hunter. Vargas' inks skew dark as he emphasizes quite a bit of shadows and intense shading, again primarily focused on Bruno's massive frame. The panels are arranged very neatly and cleanly throughout the issue, giving the book a steady visual rhythm. Jackson's colors are darker in concert with the inks.

Call of Duty: Zombies 2 #1 is another entry in the long-running franchise that capitalizes on both parts of its title. Bruno joins a quest not entirely knowing what he's getting into and likely even more confused by the end of the issue. Jordan's script is straightforward and simple, embracing the ridiculous combination of zombies and World War I. The illustrations by Ponce and Vargas do a solid job of conveying the heft of the soldiers. Call of Duty: Zombies 2 #1 will definitely appeal to fans of the games that bear the same name.

Call of Duty: Zombies 2 #1 is available September 5.