Monday, 14 July 2014

Monstrous futures

Tales of the apocalypse are common in comic book form, with Zombies in particular being flavour of the moment. The Walking Dead by Robert Kirkman not only sells shed loads of comics and dominates the graphic novel charts but is now also a prime time TV show.

So what other horrible fate awaits mankind in the mind of writers?

Two new comic books with different takes on the apocalyptic future hit the stands this week.

Spread (Image Comics)

By Justin Jordan (w) and Kyle Strahm (a)

This was a book that I chose to purchase simply on the strength of it's solicitation a couple of months back.  The promotion explained:

Ten years ago, humanity dug too deep and unleashed something ancient that couldn’t be controlled. Something that couldn’t be stopped, twisting everything it touched into more of itself. The Spread. Humanity was nearly destroyed before finding a way to slow the Spread to a crawl. Now, deep inside the quarantined zone, one man has found what might be the key to stopping it forever: a baby girl. And if he can save her, he might save the world.

The first issue takes us straight into the horror of the "spread" in the opening pages as we see vicious tentacles dominating a devastated landscape, swallowing all that was there. A dead body (killed by arrows) is dragged into the mire. Turning the page we are treated to the gory sight of something inexplicable consuming an aeroplane whilst more dead bodies lie in wait killed by human hand...

Of course not all that is dead is quite dead it would seem as our hero examines the scene...

Neither is the spread as you will discover.

Enormous (215)

by Tim Daniel (w) and Mehdi Cheggour (a)

Although the first issue of an on-going series this is not the first appearance of the world that is "Enormous". Previously we were treated to a Treasury sized graphic novel (see below) way back in July 2012.  This was set 17 years after the disaster. Like most readers I thought this was just a one off story and nearly missed the announcement of the new series in the Previews catalogue a couple of months back. 

But here we are and right at the begining of the story. We are told:

In the midst of a planetary crisis for food and fuel, a vast ecological cataclysm has spawned ‘The Enormous’, massive beasts unlike anything ever witnessed. Humankind struggles to stave off extinction and the only law is hunt or be hunted.

Oh they certainly are big and rather nasty with it.

Big monsters, pretty girl trying to rescue her mom and the military getting their arses kicked. What more could you ask for?

A parasitic fungus. A severely mutated endoparasitoid? Don't ask just go with the flow in this double sized issue (for the price of a single one).

One thing that does set the bar high with this series is the exquisite art by Mehdi Cheggour. 

The story is pretty good too.

Environmentalists will certainly relate to this tale of mankind's folly.

GM crops? Nah. Think I'll stay organic thanks!

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