A Zombie comic with a twist and a bucket load of promise. Issue one sets up what could be a series as long running as The Walking Dead.
We get a ton of links to kickstarter campaigns in our inbox, few pique my interest or offer anything that hasn’t been done before. In some respects Under The Flesh shares common themes with existing comic series, and yet it offers something a little different by blending genres into a world that offers infinite possibilities for a varied cast of characters.
Artist J.L Giles graciously sent me a copy of issue one of his and G. Deltres fledgling comic Under The Flesh. At a loose end waiting for a delayed train on my commute home one evening I scanned my inbox and decided to download the PDF and give it a read while I waited, I was truly disappointed when I reached the end before the conclusion of my journey.
The premise is set quickly with little time wasted fleshing out back stories this early in the prospective series. What you’ll find is a familiar ‘super-soldier’ hero plundered into a world that’s spun into chaos by a virus that wipes out much of the male human species turning them into zombie cannibals. Ruben Lobos, is the short-tempered, genetically enhanced soldier. Unaware of the long-term effects of the experimentation he was been subjected to when the virus hit he must learn what his abilities are before learning to control them, all the time coping with his feisty, intensely jealous girlfriend Dinah. He finds himself sheltering in a college library with a gang of strong minded women and Paul, a passive male survivor.
With the male population dwindling the few survivors are rarely the nice guys. A predatory, nomadic bike gang threatens the groups safety as the story propels you straight into the tense thick of the action where survival hangs in the balance.
Should the series progress I’d like to see attention spent on character growth with some of the female members of the group asserting themselves and rising to hold at least an equal standing with Ruben. A little more care over character interaction would be welcome too. At times the dialogue is basic and tensions exist without any real explanation or solid reasoning.
The core premise is strong though with the group’s struggle to exist in a world infested with zombies drawing obvious parallels with The Walking Dead. The addition of the main character with unlocked ‘superhero’ potential forms a twist to the standard zombie plot and it’s refreshing to read a comic with a cast of strong female characters, all-be-it led by a dominant male. Out on a limb here, the story could even be stronger without Ruben at all. A group of women and a passive male surviving the zombie apocalypse and ruthless biker gangs? There’s a lot of potential for kick-ass girls in that.
Giles and Deltres are attempting to raise the funds required to fund a print run of the first two editions of Under The Flesh. The project is 100% independent and they’re looking to raise a hefty $3500. with 19 days left the pair are a little over a third of the way towards reaching their target.
Check out their pitch video below and head over to kickstarter for a list of incentives. Back true independent comic culture.