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Graveyard of Empires takes on the Undead in Afghanistan in May

From Alexander the Great’s Macedonian army to Genghis Khan’s Mongol horde to the British Imperial machine of the nineteenth to the Soviet Union to the twenty-first century United States of America, no occupying force has ever been able to control Afghanistan — the very reason it’s known as the Graveyard of Empires. Mark Sable and Paul Azaceta drew upon that history in their Image Comics series Graveyard of Empires, set in present-day Afghanistan, where American troops are caught in a seemingly unending conflict with the Taliban. That is, until a new enemy enters the field: the undead. The only way to defeat them is for the Americans and Taliban to unite forces, and as former enemies become uneasy allies, tension will rise on all sides.

All four issues of the critically acclaimed, controversial Graveyard of Empires will be collected into a new trade paperback, set to be in stores on May 1.

The zombies as modern day insurgents is a solid metaphor that works well in the series. Both are seemingly endless foes with deadly motives. Both will come after you wave after wave.

As writer Mark Sable says:

In counter-insurgency theory, there’s something we came across in our research called ‘insurgent math.’ It’s the idea that by killing one terrorist, you can create ten more because you’ve inspired their friends and family. Similarly, in a world where the dead are coming back to life, anyone you kill can return to infect your comrades and turn them against you.

Part of the research into the series was aided by photojournalist Tim Hetherington, who co-directed the Academy Award-nominated documentary Restrepo and who was killed in a mortar attack in Mistrata in 2011 by Libyan government forces while covering the Libyan civil war. Sable and Azaceta dedicated Graveyard of Empires to his memory.

Meticulously detailed and boldly drawn, Graveyard of Empires can be pre-ordered now. A 128-page full-color graphic novel, its retail price $14.99. The first issue is available digitally for free from comiXology and the Image Comics iOS app. A perfect way to read the full story.

Almost American