The second issue of ‘Deadworld: Restoration’, dated January 2014, takes us further into the story set up by issue one, which I reviewed here last month.
We find out more about the history of the zombie apocalypse from Deake. He reveals to his travelling companion, Daniel, that he used to work for a rich part-time warlock called Justin Lansbury, who spent his entire fortune to obtain The Book, a supernatural text that allowed him to open gates to other dimensions. When he did, the apocalypse followed. Oops!
At the end of issue one, the deposed leader of the zombies, known as The King, had located a group of supernatural creatures called the Grakken. They are one of the many things that flowed through the dimensional gates that Lansbury opened. The Grakken are vicious beings that enjoy killing their prey as brutally as possible. The King wants to breed them into a fighting force with which he can defeat Donna and the zombie army she stole off him.
Elsewhere, The Dead Killer finds another two victims of a zombie called Mosaic who skins people alive and then wears their flesh, apparently believing that this will eventually make him human again. The Dead Killer forms a posse with two of the victims’ friends and sets off to kill the deranged creature.
While all this is going on, several of the surviving human groups are still heading for the supposedly safe haven of New Washington. Unfortunately for them, so are Donna and her zombie army, which doesn’t bode well for anybody.
Issue two of ‘Deadworld: Restoration’ kept my interest more readily than the first issue but it also suffered from some of the same weaknesses. For example, one of the reasons I found it hard to get emotionally involved with the story was writer Gary Reed’s habit of calling people and things by generic names. In the first two episodes of this series, we have met The King, The Dead Killer, The Tattered Man and an important book of spells called, you guessed it, The Book. To me, the use of such names makes the story seem flat and one-dimensional. Do I really care what happens to a character known only as The Dead Killer? No!
As with issue one, Sami Makkonen’s rather rough style of artwork suits the horrific nature of the storyline well. However, there were another couple of instances in issue two where the lack of clarity in the art made it difficult to understand who was being chopped up by whom. Again, I found that this distanced me from getting fully involved in the story.
Issue one of ‘Deadworld: Restoration’ left me rather flat. Issue two answered some of my queries and drove the story forwards in interesting new directions. However, after two issues, I still don’t have a strong emotional attachment to any of the characters and I’m left wondering why I should care what happens to them. Perhaps the remaining three issues will provide a reason.
(pub: IDW. 32 page comic. Price: $ 3.99 (US))