Publisher: Cult Empire Comics
Writer: George Lennox
Artist: James Devlin
Lettering: Colin Bell
Release Date: 30th July 2015
Cult Empire’s foray into the schlocky, ultra-violent world of Vietnam Zombie Holocaust continues here in its second issue, with things continuing to spiral out of control in the (already somewhat out of control) war-torn jungles of Vietnam. The story itself remains your typical B-Movie fare for the most part; an experimental zombie military unit is sent out into the Vietnam jungle, wreaking unimaginable havoc as they go. It’s about as subtle as a machete to the cranium, but that simplicity actually plays a significant part in its overall charm.
Unfortunately, the characterisation – or lack thereof – remains one of my lone niggles about the series, as it’s difficult to become too invested in the struggles of what are fairly simplistic protagonists. Hey, even the folks in Predator being picked off one-by-one by their unseen alien assailant had their own unique quirks and characteristics. These guys? Not so much. That said, this isn’t a series that claims to be a subtle, nuanced character study about the emotional horrors of war. The clue’s in the title, folks, and if you want to see zombies hacking and chewing their way through the grimy jungles of war-torn Vietnam, this is most definitely the book for you.
One thing that helps give VZH its edge however is the absolutely stunning artwork of James Devlin. Slick, polished and filled with dynamic layouts and jaw-dropping set pieces, two-time SICBA “Best Artist” winner Devlin is churning out career-best work here, seemingly inspired by the wanton carnage he’s getting to bring to life. His colours are crisp and eye-catching without every becoming garish, and Colin Bell rounds out the visual package with his typically slick, professional lettering. Another gorgeous looking issue then, and if you got a kick out of the Zombie donkey in issue one, you’re going to absolutely love the “holy shit!” moment that Lennox and Devlin have cooked up for you this time around. Seriously, it’s wonderful – in a deeply, deeply disturbing way.
As I mentioned in my review of issue one, the clear affection that writer Lennox has for both of the genres being ‘mashed-up’ here is obvious on pretty much every page. This isn’t a mocking critique of the dumb, superficial nature of 80’s action movies, nor is it a wry, ironic look at the clichés of B-Movie horror. Instead, this is a giddy celebration of both; a gloriously over-the-top slice of bicep flexing, bullet spraying, brain munching awesomeness. Vietnam Zombie Holocaust is a title that knows exactly what it is and exactly which demographic it’s likely to appeal to – a demographic I’m more than happy to count myself as a part of. Come get some!
Vietnam Zombie Holocaust #2 goes on sale at Granite City Comic Con in Aberdeen on 30th of July, and will also be on sale via the Cult Empire Comics website.