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Longbox Junk Halloween Horror 2022 Deadworld #1

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Welcome to Longbox Junk, where I write comic reviews nobody ever asked for!

 
The Longbox Junk 2022 Halloween Horror Party is still going strong, so this time out, how about we get Indie up in here?
 
Not so long ago here in Longbox Junk, I was spotlighting some of the ubiquitous bargain bin comics.  Those comic series you're practically GUARANTEED to find at least one issue of in just about any bargain bin you happen to dive into.  The series at hand is exactly that.  
 
I've seen so many of these Deadworld comics in bargain bins that I wonder just how many of them they printed!  For a 1980s black and white Indie horror comic, it sure gets around.  And yeah. . .I've bought a few of them for the covers, but (not being a fan of black and white comics in general) I've never actually READ one.
 
UNTIL NOW! Let's do it!

DEADWORLD #1

ARROW (1986)

 
 
COVER:  Vincent Locke
 
THE COVER:
 
The cover is basically the only reason I dropped a dollar on this comic, and it's great!  I'm a sucker for monochromatic backgrounds on comic covers and the stark black REALLY frames the supremely detailed zombie very nicely.  I also really like the gruesome greenish-yellow color on the zombie.  This is just a great horror comic cover. . .simple, but effective.  Let's get inside this thing!
 
EYE OF THE ZOMBIE
 
SCRIPT: Stuart Kerr
PENCILS: Vincent Locke
INKS: Vincent Locke
 
THE STORY:
 
In Louisiana, a group of teenagers are riding out a zombie apocalypse in a school bus, scavenging for food and supplies as they try to make sense of what has happened over the past month.  It's a situation made harder by conflict and bickering among the group.  They finally decide to travel through Texas and head for California.
 
 
Little do they know as they fight and argue with each other, they are being watched by a group of zombies. . .but THESE zombies aren't the mindless husks the kids are used to, these zombies are intelligent, making plans to attack the group.
 
 
Later that night, the group is attacked by a horde of zombies!  As the kids desperately fight and try to gather everyone into the bus, they are horrified to see a trio of zombies riding motorcycles and firing weapons at them!  
 
 
 
The kids manage to get the bus started and escape, but the leader of the zombies vows to follow them.
 
 
To be continued. . .
 
THE REVIEW:
 
Hmmmmm. . .okay.  There it is.  Deadworld #1.  Let's break it on down!
 
So, what we have here is a zombie apocalypse survival story with a twist. . .intelligent zombies.  To be honest, I didn't like it much.  Intelligent zombies sort of step on the whole appeal of zombie fiction, which is the fight to survive against a mindless, overwhelming enemy that never stops coming no matter what you do.  All you can do is run, hide, and hope to live another day.  Once you make the zombies intelligent, they might as well not even be called zombies!
 
The story itself is mostly made up of the group of teenage survivors arguing among themselves.  The zombies only show up for a few pages out of the whole issue.  This makes for a pretty wordy first issue.  The focus on conflict among the survivors works in something like the Walking Dead comics, but here. . .well. . .let's just say Stuart Kerr is no Robert Kirkman.  It gets a little annoying.
 
On the art side of things. . .this comic is a little hard on the eyes.  There's a lot of crosshatching that makes it kind of hard to tell what's going on.  The artist also has some trouble with human faces.  You can tell that he'd MUCH rather be drawing zombies than humans.  To be fair, I do have a few more issues of this series and the art is greatly improved as it goes on, but HERE the art looks pretty amateurish.
 

CONCLUSION

 
It's an interesting comic because I can see some of the things the creative team were doing in it were trying to step outside of the box of zombie fiction.  I can appreciate the effort.  But at the same time, it doesn't really work well.
 
Long, wordy passages of teenagers constantly arguing combined with artwork that is just sort of annoying and topped with an intelligent zombie twist that falls sort of flat all serve to let me know that this comic's constant presence in the bargain bin is deserved.
 
I can't really recommend this one to anyone except the most die-hard fans of zombie fiction.  In my humble opinion, the best thing about this issue is that awesome zombie cover.  
 
Up Next. . .
 
MORE Longbox Junk Halloween Horror fun!
 
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