Nazi Zombies #1
Antarctic Press, Joe Wright and Ben Dunn.
Initially, as I looked at this comic, there was a familiar feel, I wondered what movie I had seen or game that I had played with Nazi Zombies, that perhaps writer Joe Wright had also seen, or was in some way threading a similar path to. Yet by the first page of the comic, it was clear that this was a fairly new approach to the zombie sub-genre involving Nazi’s and an original story in its own right.
Wright does the artwork on the first story, and is he incredible and I am especially pleased with his eye for detail, its a beautiful black and white story, with lovely washes of Grey, but what impressed me most, the thing that sucked me in, was the accuracy of the uniforms, the vehicles and train. As a kid, I was always disappointed to see US M3 half tracks painted grey, or M26 Pershings donning the German Cross and portraying German forces, it always felt wrong, Films like Saving Private Ryan for their faults, lovingly made a Tiger out of an old Russian Tank and it worked, and so the accuracy is important to me, I need that to enjoy the story, and here, Wright is spot on.
A group of Americans are sent on an operation, entitled Hammerhead to capture a scientist, and so we follow these specialists, which includes a Britisher, an ex-Long Range desert Group Corporal, Baker, and we find that the Nazi’s are as ever a nasty bunch to deal with not just as characterisations of evil, but her with the fictional premise, that they are creating soldiers that won’t die. The action is spot on, and its well paced, so that this story feels really good. Its not too long winded, and artwork is beautiful.
The second story, Afrika Corpse, which has art by Ben Dunn and is in a different black and white style, has very fine line drawing, no use of wash, and again an accuracy to die for, Dunn is a master at Military artwork for comics, and I always wished that he had drawn a Garth Ennis war story, as he has a real skill with vehicles and weapons. This second story, tells how Baker first met Zombies, while on a mission in Libya, with the SAS. (not LRDG as I assumed) and got recruited for his current job.
I have always found Antarctic press to be interesting, and conciser myself a fan of the 1946 series, by Tedd Namura and Ben Dunn, although there was a time distortion element which frequently left me confused, so I am really pleased with this comic, telling a good story, with incredibly accurate artwork.
I always wished that the 1946 series could be bashed into one clear alternate history, the weapons and concepts are brilliant, taken as they were in many cases from the drawing boards of German designers.
The genre of Military comics has always been with us, but there has been a considerable resurgence in the 21st century, led in many ways by the aformentioned Garth Ennis. DC have spotted this, and are even giving the genre a second go as part of their new 52. The occult trappings of the Nazi’s makes them fodder for the mystical and bizarre, although they were evil and just ordinary men and a comic such as this, doesn’t stop that being true.
The idea that The Nazi’s would reanimate soldiers, is probably a little far fetched, until one hears of the experiments they did on humans, so it is not flippant to say that anything that reminds us that the horrors that men can perpetrate are probably worse than even zombies, is not a bad thing.
Overall, this comic is really pleasing, its straight forward War and Zombies, mixing two genres, that lets be honest are proving very popular in this 21st century, and it puts them together very well and the artwork makes it a winner.