Comic: "Dawn Of The Dead"
Published by: Other
Written by: Steve Niles (adaptation)
Artist: Chee, Tom B. Long
Reviewer: Dr. Boogie
Plot: Two newscasters and two SWAT team members steal a traffic helicopter in order to escape a zombie invasion. In flight, they happen upon a mall that, while surrounded by zombies, is mostly untouched. Taking supplies from a civil defense shelter inside, the group settles in while waiting for word from the outside world.
Review: After taking a look at the Dr. Giggles comics, I wasn’t expecting much from any other movie-based comics. Game adaptations of films are still the worst, but comic adaptations will creep up on them at times.
These Dawn of the Dead comics are based on the original Romero film, and not the 2004 remake. The basic idea of a group of survivors living in a mall surrounded by zombies is the same, but in this case, the threat is from slower, stiffer zombies, rather than the brain-hungry track stars in the remake.
I was impressed with the uncompromising level of blood and gore in the comic. It’s so intense that for most of the first issue, you start to wonder if there is an actual plot, or if the author has decided to forego the dialog in favor of just scene after scene of exploding zombie parts. In spite of that, it is still faithful to the film. It even includes the most memorable line, “when there’s no more room in hell, the dead will walk the earth.” Good thing, too. It would’ve been hard to explain leaving something like that out.
The only real problem is that the pacing is off in the comic. As I mentioned earlier, there is a lot of just zombies and people being mutilated in the first of the three issues, which seems to have the unintended effect of compacting everything else. Granted, it is easy to tear through one issue when most of the dialog is a quick smattering of words in between zombie attacks, but the whole run still seemed a bit lopsided thanks to that early inclusion.
I’m kind of torn about comics based off of movies. Presumably, they exist so that you’ll go check out the movie afterwards. If that is the case, why not have some extras in the comics that aren’t in the movies so that instead of just the comic leading people to the movie, you can have the opposite as well. Games based on movies do this a lot because most of the time, there isn’t enough in an hour-and-a-half movie to stretch out into a game. Those tend to suck anyway, but hey, at least they add something to the franchise, instead of just playing out the events of the film without anything original.
In any case, the Dawn of the Dead comics at least showcase the events of the film with sufficiently-detailed drawings. The action doesn’t unfold quite as well as it does in the film, but such are the limitations of the comic medium. Maybe an extra issue or two would’ve helped with that.
(Scored on a 0.5 - 5 pickles rating: 0.5 being the worst and 5 being the best)
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