After the ancient staff of Lilith, mother of the damned, reanimates the dead, country boy J.B. and his estranged upper-crust wife Anne must come together to stop the zombie hordes and save the people of Appalachia!
Cave Pictures Publishing is a new publisher whose mission is to create spiritually focused comics. Think of them as the comics equivalent of Christian films that do quite well in theaters. It’s a great concept and one that hasn’t quite taken off, though others have tried.
With that wide open gap, I’ve been very interested in seeing what their releases would be like and this week we get our first look with Appalachian Apocalypse #1.
Written by Billy Tucci, the first issue is about as religious and spiritual as an Indiana Jones film. An object from biblical times is sought after and found and that leads to an outbreak of zombies. It’s a fine concept and could work. But, here it doesn’t due to lack of focus.
Over a third of the comic is backstory putting us in the Civil War where Union forces fight Confederates as the Confederates attempt to do something with a stick. It’s all set up but the storytelling is so disjointed it’s hard to figure out why I should care. There’s a lack of intensity and urgency so by the time that we learn that something important is happening, pages and numerous panels have been wasted. This is a spin on the Ark sequence for Indiana Jones but in that case we know what’s going on, we don’t need to learn. There’s also just a smattering of soldiers for something that seems important. The lack of set up is an issue as there’s just no threat present.
The characters too lack likeability. We have scientists having affairs. “Rednecks” which are nothing but stereotypes. There’s no one to really rally behind. Everyone is either mean, caricatures, or insulted to a point of losing any respectability. I’d be happy with a great flood to take care of them.
The art by Ethan Nicolle with color by Ben Glibert doesn’t help matters. There’s a lack of details that’s almost laughable at times. Flags missing stars is an example. Add in scenes that don’t flow where characters just seem to change locations. The comic also has a style of Plants vs. Zombies which could work if the comic was supposed to be a comedy. But, it doesn’t seem to be, at least I don’t think it is.
The comic is a pretty safe start which doesn’t seem to know what it wants to be. The concept is fine but it lacks the spiritual heft to it beyond the bauble things revolve and some pages dedicate to its history. The art style is comedic not quite matching the tone within. The comic isn’t a complete mess but it comes off that there was a few concepts without a visionary to really focus it.
Cave has something with their focus of a company but this first issue doesn’t really instill confidence they’ll pull it off. Others have tried and it’s looking like Cave may be just another attempt.
Story: Billy Tucci Art: Ethan Nicolle Color/Letterer: Ben Glibert
Story: 6.0 Art: 6.0 Overall: 6.0 Recommendation: Pass
Cave Pictures Publishing provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review