Can’t share in the joy that is the return of The Walking Dead to TV this season with your son or daughter?
Don’t worry, Rex, Zombie Killer has your undead all ages comics needs fulfilled!
Taking cues from We3, Lockjaw and the Pet Avengers as well as Kirkman’s zombie opus, Rob Anderson (Comics Experience) and Dafu Yu (Bluewater, Zenoscope) take zombie hunting to the woods with a small gang of animals that are led by Golden Retriever Rex and Gorilla Kenji.
Rotters are crowding the landscape, and for the humans, communique with Washington has been cut off! Our heroes Rex and Kenji, the gorilla with a baseball bat are on a mission to find Rex’ human, a vet being held against her will in a fenced in science facility on the edge of a mountain in Nevada. The pets are in California, making the reverse liberation trek, following their noses and instincts!
Luckily for us, the action isn’t centered wholly on our human counterparts, undead or otherwise. The anthropomorphic team also includes a scarred Pit Bull Brutus, cute Corgi mix Buttercup and a cat named Butterball that sort of hates everything (cats..amiright?).
Talking animals shouldn’t surprise anyone with a suspension of disbelief and a deep entrenched love for Disney and Warner cartoons. The voice of the characters is more Disney than the latter, and Dafu Yu’s expressions and storytelling evokes memories of Don Bluth’s 1988 Land Before Time.
The good stuff lies in the relationships between the animals and how they make choices to work as a team — relying on different skills like Kenji’s strength, Rex’s sometimes hardened leadership skills and Brutus’ tough exterior personality taunting the ‘Rotters’.
Don’t forget we’re still talking a zombie comic here. While perhaps the drawings of the zombies might be a little much for the too-too young, these undead walkers are of the bumbling variety, not too bright, too fast or gory. There’s a wide variety of recently turned zombies infecting the place, including a familiar looking sheriff. Rex is thankfully in the Rick (The Walking Dead) leadership role in this book.
There is interesting world building here as well, we don’t find out about the outbreak, but we do get a glimpse in flashback about the origins of Kenji and Rex and the relationship they had with their humans.
Big action turns up late in the book as a scurry of squirrels detects some movement deep in the forest. Some Zoo animals are on Rex’s trail but it seems that both groups might have a bigger threat to deal with. Again, teamwork will be their best option against the scourge of the dark woods!
As a fan of all ages comics from Archie, My Little Pony, and Aw Yeah Comics, I am enjoying this series. Rex, Zombie Killer proves that indie creators with original concepts can make commentary on mainstream books with compelling storytelling. Teaming up cute animals can’t hurt the mass appeal of the thing either! The writer obviously cares about rescue animals and their plight. Parents should view the Teen+ rating as a suggestion and decide for themselves if the rating skews a bit on the conservative side.
The great story and art make for a family friendly zombie huntin’ good time!