From the pages of the blockbuster British horror movie of 2002, return to infected England as Selena guides a band of reporters into the heart of the disease. Can these seasoned war correspondents adapt to the reality of a plague torn England, or will they be the death of Selena?
Title: 28 Days Later
Publisher: Boom! Studios
Writer: Michael Alan Nelson
Artist: Declan Shalvey
Colorist: Nick Filardi
Editor: Ian Brill
Managing Editor: Matt Gagnon
Cover A: Tim Bradstreet
Cover B: Sean Phillips
Cover C: 280 Days Later Promo Art
From Boom! Studios comes the latest installment of the new 28 Days Later comic series. In the previous issues we found Selena, one of the three survivors from the first movie, at a refugee camp in Norway. Her story has become widely known despite trying to be alone, she is approached by an America war correspondent, Clint Harris, to be his guide on an expedition back into London to get the â€œrealâ€ story of what happened. Hesitant at first, she decides to accompany them. She meets his four person team and flies out toward England. Things quickly went wrong as and American fighter jet forced them to land on a remote island, and they found that the infection had spread. Earning the animosity of the correspondents, Selena gives them their first lessons in survival. But after one of their own is bitten, can they do what has to be done?
I enjoyed the movie, 28 Days Later. I never bothered to see 28 Weeks Later, no real reason; I just never bothered to pick up the DVD. So when I had the chance to checkout the new series from Boom! Studios, I figured it would be anther one of those ill-fated attempts to cash in on a popular movie franchise. Hey, everybody gets to be wrong sometimes!
After the events of the first two issues, this third issue finds the team, guided by Selena, preparing to fight off Rage victims as they await a supply boat to take them closer to England. The plan was originally to get in through Scotland, less infection there. Needless to say, the best plans always fail when put to the test. The American lead NATO forces have widened the quarantine around England, and things are not looking good for our heroes.
Like the first two issues, we get a good mixture of action and character development, and you begin to see the personalities of the correspondent team in this issue, beyond their initial, â€œWeâ€™ve done the war zone thingâ€ attitudes. Itâ€™s not major, but there are some stand outs. Also, you get to see some of the more base human instincts come out. My big question is, we are on the third issue, and already we have seen some back stabbing, what will happen 28 ISSUES later?
And this is a title that I would be happy to see last that long. Writer Michael Alan Nelson (Dead Run, Fall of Cthulhu) has a strong grasp of Selenaâ€™s character. She comes off as a tough as nails woman that has seen and done too much and would rather not see it or do it again. But, like all good heroes, she does it anyway to try and help others. While I am not so sure that her motives are as pure as protecting the correspondents, there is no malicious outward intention to it. And I love the mask, its a wonderful addition to her character! Not only does it serve the purpose of protection, it also looks intimidating and adds a layer to the character. The physical mask that Selena dons to fight the infected may also be a symbol for the walls she puts up to protect herself from the people she may be forced to kill. Michael Alan Nelson gives Selena a great line when she is rebuked by another character after offering help, â€œBecause, I donâ€™t like having to kill people when I know their names, TRINA.â€ That little statement says volumes about her character. Yeah, the mask metaphor may be a little heavy handed, but it works in the context of this world.
In addition, the art by Declan Shalvey (Hero Killers) works great as well. At first, it seems to be the same scratchy realism that many non-super hero books subscribe to, but when you get in on it at another level, you notice more. His panel layouts work on a creative level, and be they close-ups, birdâ€™s eye or panoramic, they get you into the story. Add in the brilliant colors ofÂ Nick Filardi (Powers, Comic Book Tattoo) and you have a winning combination.
Overall, this series has a raw element to it that captured the nature of the original movie beautifully. Having only recently started reading the horror/zombie genre, I was pleased with this issue. The cliffhanger at the end, a real, â€œOh $h!t!â€ moment has me looking forward to the next installment. Iâ€™m going with 4 out of 5 stars here, Iâ€™m glad I took the time to discover it.