REVIEW: Nazi Zombies #2

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Or – “Some Concepts Sell Themselves…”

I worry that there’s a very real chance that I’ll be disappointed by this comic book, but I’m willing to take the shot based entirely on that title…  It’s a moral imperative!

NAZI ZOMBIES #2
Writer: Joe Wight
Artist: Joe Wight/Ben Dunn
Editor: Jochen Weltjens
Publisher: Antarctic Publishing
Cover Price: $3.99

Previously, in Nazi Zombies:  The German High Command’s experiments have gone places that they never expected, thanks to a few old grimoires and some mystical elbow grease.  The Allied forces are shocked to find that their opponents seem to ignore all physical damage, and keep attacking regardless of their injuries, proving to be almost impossible to turn away or kill.  They are…  NAZI ZOMBIES!

WAKE THE KIDS, PHONE THE NEIGHBORS!

I have to say, this book knows how to kick things off, as the Allied soldiers find themselves trapped on a speeding train, chock full of undead freaks.  The art is lovely black & white with greytones, and the sight of heroic soldiers opening fire on the walking corpses is really compelling.  The dialogue is nicely genre savvy, as our narrator reminds us that he and his partner “know where to fire” as they begin taking rapid-fire headshots, before things get really unpleasant for their target, a Nazi defector.  As the issue progresses, it seems that we’re getting a pretty straightforward war story, with a few concessions to the zombie conceit.  It’s also a bit shocking when we get our first F-bomb, something that catches me by surprise, but actually enhances the simulated reality ala ‘Full Metal Jacket.’

BUT WHERE’S FRANK ROCK?

Something strange is going on in the second half of the issue, as a  sadistic German General (who is clearly our big bad) plies his trade and I recognize the biggest weakness of the art: Faces.  There’s a strange cartooniness about the artist’s close-ups that works against the gritty dialogue, and the issue ends in a very strange place, storywise…  The second tale is familiar to anyone who has seen the ‘B-52′ segment of ‘Heavy Metal,’ taking most of that story and placing it in a wartime sea-going vessel, but the same storybeats are in evidence, with a slightly different ending.  The second story is stronger than the first, but still relies on a combination of zombie-movie shock and war-movie tough-guy dialogue.

THE VERDICT: JOHN WAYNE MEETS GEORGE ROMERO.

When I picked up this issue, I was worried that once the stories began, that we’d pretty much find the book to be either standard horror or standard war with only a namecheck of the other genre, but I was quite amused to find the two stories in the issue falling on different sides of that fence.  Part One is a war movie with zombies, while part two is a zombie movie with soldiers.  Well, sailors, but the basic conceit is the same.  Nazi Zombies #2 is a melange of things that never quite manages to equal more than the sum of it’s parts, earning 2.5 out of 5 stars overall.  The art is nicely moody and delivers impressive machinery, though…

Rating: ★★½☆☆