The Crazies #1-4 (Image/Top Cow)

Four standalone tales set in the world of the recent zombie film, based on a 1973 George A. Romero classic.

 

32 pgs. ea. full color; $2.99 ea.
(W: Ivan Brandon, Brian Reed, Marc Andreyko, and Joshua Hale Fialkov; A: Jon Buran, Chris DiBari, Hugo Petrus, Vincent Spencer, and Rahsan Ekedal)
 
Released in late February, The Crazies film is a present day take on the old 1973 George A. Romero horror movie of the same name, a story where townsfolk are infected with a disease that causes them to violently kill one another. With this four-issue miniseries, Top Cow Studios offers up four unique, standalone stories that serve up a smart, concise narrative set within the movie’s world. The first three issues each focus solely on one character’s descent into madness, while the fourth issue highlights the experiences of a zombie-killing vigilante threesome.
 
The first issue focuses on the degradation, loss and ultimate demise surrounding a poor pig farmer, Jon Buran and Chris DiBari’s artwork rounding out the quick tale with an elegant flourish whileauthor Ivan Brandon’s script moves the story along at a nice clip. The second issue explores a darker scene. Ms. Marvel writer Brian Reed opens the story at the end and then spends the rest of the comic retracing what happened, leaving nothing unexplained or unexplored. Out of the four, I favored this issue the most because of the curt use of an old plot device. Also, artist Hugo Petrus’ use of pencil and ink is ambient enough to foreshadow what happens to the main character, lending an overall fatalism to the comic. The third comic focuses around a coroner and is definitely my least favorite of the three: Vincent Spencer’s use of color and depth gives the comic a cheap feeling, like the artist threw it together in a day. Meanwhile, Marc Andreyko’s writing lets the story wander off into Stephen King territory in regards to how the man deals with his inner demons, but where King’s use of detail both enhances and progresses the story, Andreyko’s use of detail clobbers you with its lack of subtlety. The last issue is my favorite of the four in regards to art: Rahsan Ekedal’s coloring and layouts are great, moving the story along so nicely you forget you’re just reading a comic. And while Joshua Hale Fialkov’s vigilante plotline is systematic (read: systematic, not cheap), Ekedal’s artistic choices pull the story together.
 
Originally, I was inclined to suggest buying all four issues of The Crazies, but upon rereading them, I have changed my mind. Buy all four only if you want the complete collection, but I’d recommend you avoid the third comic and enjoy the rest. | Jesse Gernigin

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