Survival #1 feels like an odd Call of Duty mod

Survival #1

When Emma Reed journeyed back to her hometown in Alaska, she was expecting little more than a tense family reunion at the annual military alumni get together. But early that morning, a plane crash landed in the thick woods near the mountain. And the creature within brings an ancient terror to the last American frontier, and will turn this unspoiled wilderness into a killing ground. Survival #1 is an interesting concept that fails in the buildup.

With anti-Russia hysteria and sentiment rising, it’s not too surprising to see Russians become the villains in pop entertainment more and more. In the 80s, the USSR was the boogeyman in so many films from Red Dawn to Rocky IV and it wasn’t until late in the decade could you see some of that Cold War mentality thaw. Survival #1 looks like it can be added to that list of entertainment as a group of military worshippers need to face off against what seems like Russian vampires, that part’s a little unclear.

Written by Sean Lewis, Survival #1 has some good ideas within. The concept of military cosplayers, the “tough guys” who wave their guns around against conspiracies going against an actual threat has a lot to explore. There’s something there. Here, we seem to get a mix of real military, militia, and private contractors taking on some Russian threat. It feels like there’s a mix of things and what everyone’s abilities are is never quite explained. Then there’s the threat itself which shows itself far too early with little build up and more of punch to the gut as things go from 0 to 60. Letting the threat play out a little longer and a bit more of a mystery would go a long way to creating tension and the eventual cathartic release. As is, things just play out with little leading up.

The art by Bryndon Everett is ok. With color by Natalie Barahona and Everett and lettering by Ed Dukeshire, the comic looks good but is a bit too bright and clean for it’s horror roots. The art doesn’t quite match the subject and like the story itself, things just kind of happen. There’s visual steps that feel like they’re missing creating a feel of snippets of scenes as opposed to a flowing narrative.

Survival #1 has an interesting concept though, and where the next issue goes should really nail down the series but for a start, it’s a bit of a stumble that feels like a good structure overall but the details get in the way.

Story: Sean Lewis Art: Bryndon Everett
Color: Natalie Barahona, Bryndon Everett Letterer: Ed Dukeshire
Story: 7.0 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.0 Recommendation: Read

Dark Horse provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Purchase: TFWZeus ComicsKindle