Dead Day #1 is not what I expected going in to the comic. The concept is that there’s now a random day where the dead return from sundown to sun up. They may want to visit family or they may want to seek revenge. Some celebrate this is a miracle and others the zombie apocalypse.
Writer Ryan Parrott has done a fascinating thing with this concept and series and by the time you reach the end of the first issue, it’s not what you expected at all. The story revolves around a family. The wife, Melissa, wants to celebrate, clearly interested in seeing someone. The husband, Daniel, wants to avoid the event like the plague. The daughter is a bit scared of what’s going on and the son, wants to flirt with a girl who’s part of a cult celebrating Dead Day.
While all of that might seem simple enough, where Parrott takes it all is rather interesting. Daniel’s role is that of a jealous husband in some ways and where he’s coming from is understandable. But, where Melissa’s journey goes, it throws you for a loop. Is it just the individual returning that Daniel has issues with? Is it something more in his wife’s past? Things aren’t so simple.
There’s also a solid exploration of this event and what it means on a global scale. The celebration by some, the conspiracy theories, the hatred of it by others, the fear overall, it’s all there and touched upon in various ways. There’s a lot to explore and Parrott delivers it all in an intelligent way fleshing out and creating a realized world and situation.
The art by Evgeniy Bornyakov with colors by JUANCHO! and lettering by Charles Pritchett is fantastic. There’s a tension in the art as idyllic as it is. There’s something there that feels ominous. When we do get to see the dead, that too is done intelligently with a lot being hinted at and hidden under masks and nothing too over the top to distract.
Dead Day #1 is a hell of a debut. The team has put together a comic that introduces you to so much in one issue and really sets things up in an exciting way. There’s back matter material too that fleshes out this holiday and event even more that makes it feel fully realized. This is a hell of a start and from the first issue it feels like Dead Day is something to celebrate.
Story: Ryan Parrott Art: Evgeniy Bornyakov
Color: JUANCHO! Letterer: Charles Pritchett
Story: 9.0 Art: 8.75 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy
AfterShock provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review
Purchase: comiXology – Kindle – TFAW – Zeus Comics