THE OTHER DEAD #5 of 6 ( IDW, January 2014) Writer/Co-Creator: Joshua Ortega. Co-Creator: Digger T Mesch. Art: Qing Ping Mui. Colors: Blond. Letters: Tom B. Long Creative Consultant: Kevin Eastman. Based on a film treatment by Digger T Mesch.
Before you can even open to the first page, the great art assaults you. There are three covers for Issue #5. All three are great and serve as good hints/teasers for the inside contents. Art lovers will want to have all three. (Editor’s Note: A bad time for me to get practical instead of impulsive.)
ART BY PAT DAVID – REGULAR COVER
VARIANT COVER BY SAM SHEARON above left
VARIANT COVER BY KEVIN EASTMAN WITH DAVID MILLGATE. COLORS BY BLOND. above right
Issue #4 ended with our unlikely band of survivors holed up inside redneck Chet’s house. Issue #5 is an all-out zombie animal assault on the house with enough action and killing to last another two issues. The setting might even be a homage to NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD , the original black & white zombie scare fest that is the granddaddy of all current zombie movies, television, fiction, and comics. Never stop the insanity when it’s this good!
Chip, the President’s advisor, does his job and advises everyone to sit tight and wait it out until the evacuation team that President Obama contacted arrives for a rescue extraction. Little Tommy, scoring points for figuring out that Chet is a former Army Ranger (learned it from “video games” ) asks an intelligent rhetorical question: “But didn’t Chet say the animals start coming around at night?” (Flashback to page one where the animal forces are gathering.) Mr. Advisor responds with a classic answer of “Yes, thought I think if we stay put inside we should be just fine.” (Also recalling the infamous line from THE NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD - - - “The cellar’s the safest place!” We know what happened there.)
Chet’s just a little bit paranoid about having an animal-bitten rocker in his home, not to mention a black man (even if he is the President). His suspicions lead him to questioning Obama about the entrance requirements into The Illuminati, as he’s sure that how he landed in office. And then the mayhem begins as the house is broken into by the animals. First it’s a pack of vicious dogs, followed by deer and big ass bears. They all attack with manic fury and don’t go down easy, requiring multiple head shots and smashes.
The art and color throughout the battle scenes is extremely expressive and explicit this issue. Artist Mui is having a field day as he depicts undead animals in various stages of decay, exposed bones and sinews, with skin stretched back across the muzzle to display rotting fangs, etc. The inks and colors are bolder than seen before, with reds and greens illuminating the pages. There are some very effective pages and panels that are shaded one color.
President Obama should definitely take some time out to investigate this book, as it depicts him in a very favorable light (even if it is bathed in crimson). He takes up arms, blows heads apart with both barrels, kicks, chops and hacks away at the animals when he’s balls to the walls and cornered.
It all comes to a head rather quickly, as we’ll have to wait for the conclusion in Issue #6 to see how this turns out. It’s not going to be good for one side or the other. If I told you which side (animals or humans) got the upper hand this issue it would spoil too much of this very engaging story. Recommended.
(Editor’s Notes: It’s already been announced that a sequel is in the works, slated for late 2014. So that would indicate that somebody or something survived to carry this forward.)