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Review: Ghoul Scouts Night of the Unliving Undead #4

ghoul_scouts_4-digital-1I admit that I’m kind of late to the Ghoul Scouts: Night of the Unliving Undead party, by three whole issues. I’m joining in at the end of an arc and with no knowledge of the series , issue #4 is a pretty nice stand alone entry into the series and a damn good reason to pick up the three issues that preceded it. Steve Bryant tells a very good tale of a group of kids trying to save their town from hordes the undead and some other supernatural creatures. He takes a story that has been done in a million ways and structures it in a way that seems original.Issue #4 of Ghoul Scouts: Night of the Living Undead focuses on our gang of underage zombie slayers trying to get through the woods , to gain access to a spooky manor, to stop the threat to their town. The whole scene is set up like the end stages of the original Lost Boys and that’s a damn good thing. We get to watch as our young heroes try and restore the town to the normal sleepy village it once was by going up against a small zombie army and a possible double agent wolf man.

Issue #4 of Ghoul Scouts: Night of the Unliving Undead focuses on our gang of underage zombie slayers trying to get through the woods , to gain access to a spooky manor, to stop the threat to their town. The whole scene is set up like the end stages of the original Lost Boys and that’s a damn good thing. We get to watch as our young heroes try and restore the town to the normal sleepy village it once was by going up against a small zombie army and a possible double agent wolf man.

Being kids they use what kids would use, frying pans, sling shots, a tater gun, a big stick and a baseball bat. It’s realism in a fun way. We’ve all thought about how we would survive the zombie apocalypse and while eyeing the panels of Thud, Krak, Whak and other requisite sounds that you would expect for several pages of fight scenes, you find yourself cheering for this group of zombie slaying misfits. There were just enough of these fight based sound panels to make them seem crucial to the story, it was like a visual remix that played as a soundtrack to our little heroes tale of woe.

I wanted to check out the comic based on the cover art and was expecting something completely different and a little bit more cheeky. I didn’t focus too much until I started reading the comic. The artwork on the cover was a pretty good summary of what to expect and it did what cover art is supposed to do, draw the reader in. Mark Stegbauer and Jason Millet artwork is great. Never too heavy and never too light. It showcases the peril and urgency and they know when to show everything and when to show little or nothing at all. Their artwork was as much a part of the storytelling as Steve’s words.

I decided to review it expecting a kiddy bop version of the walking dead for my tweenage daughter to read because Walking Dead is kind of heavy at times. I got that and so much more, it’s a solid read with good characters, a compelling and eerie story and some well-placed jump scares. The unmasking of the villain at the end turns out not to be an unmasking but, a way to add an extra layer to the story & propel it forward. There is no pandering, no coddling, lots of blood and gore and a great story. It’s a good read no matter what your age is but, if you know a kid or tween that’s all about the zombie apocalypse, you should direct them here. Ghoul Scouts serves up some Lost Boys, with a little Monster Squad and a dose of Walking Dead, sans all the rape and sex scenes. It’s not a bubble gum fun romp through zombie land, it’s a full-on brawl. I was entertained and found myself invested in our heroes journey.

Story: Steve Bryant Art: Mark Stegbauer and Jason Millet
Story: 9.4 Art: 9.5 Overall: 9.2 Recommendation: Buy

Action Lab Entertainment provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review