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Soldiers of the Dead #1

Posted: Friday, January 19, 2007
By: Bruce Logan



Writer: Paul Vincent Fusco
Artist: Ulises Roman

Publisher: Atlantis Studios


I donít like zombies. No, that isnít quite right. I donít particularly fancy them. Movie zombies, cartoon zombies, Marvel Zombies, Walking Dead Zombies, even singer/director Rob Zombie and his band, the White Zombies. As far as I am concerned, a good zombie is one staying away from my sight. After all, as the saying goes, out of sight, out of mind. This particular (personality trait if you will), does not make me quite the target audience for Atlantis Studioís new Soldiers of the Dead series. Then why did I end up enjoying myself with this? Well, for one, it could have something to do a simple fact that even with the zombies being a part of it, the "living" characters make the real story.

The issue can almost be split into two halves, with one half narrated in a third person "present time" voice, probably the writerís and the second in a first person "past time" voice, of one of the characters. Although perfectly acceptable on their own, this mashing together of two different timed voices hampered the flow of the story and had me pause for a bit. Even though I am not sure which I prefer, I would like that future issues stay away from this disruption and keep to one main style.

Set in Haiti and starting from "a" past and ending at the same time and place, both halves have the main characters (thanks to the creators for providing character biosí on the first page itself) fighting zombies activated by the main bad guy, the High Priest of the Bizango (do not confuse with Bizarro) sect. As to how the activation takes place, well, itís all done with good old human blood and voodoo spells. Even though the heroes have a spell caster of their own, itís not quite clear whether Du Bwa Willieís chants are for everyone in the team or just to save his own hide. There is more than a chance that it might be for the latter, especially given Willieís under-the-table dealings with the US Government.

While the first half of this issue presents the big fight, it is in the second half that we learn about how things came to be the way they are. This includes the political reasons for the teamís presence in Haiti as also their first few run-ins with the zombies, starting with their own "turned" teammates. In the end it all comes to end from where it started, in the passages of the zombiesí crypt.

The artwork, done in black & white and sightly on the rough side, suits the story setting, even if the sheer expanse of black does tend to get overwhelming sometimes.

Conclusion: Is this the first of many zombie-titles I will be devoting myself to reading? No. Am I 100% sold on even this title and ready to put my money down for every future issue? No on that too. Am I sold enough to give it a second try, and maybe even possibly a third? Yes. Sure.

You can find more reviews by Bruce Logan at www.xcave.net



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