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Review: The Rise #1

The Rise #1

Night of the Living Dead is an influential film that sparked a genre. It saw imitators and innovators come after but that film remains a classic. The Rise #1 kicks off a prequel to the “Living Dead universe” focused on the “death, destruction, and tragedy that led to the birth of the modern zombie”. It’s an interesting start that feels more 28 Days Later than Living Dead.

Set upon the backdrop of the Cuban Missile Crisis, The Rise #1 introduces us to Dr. Cartwright, a man working on a way to block out fear. As shown early on, that lack of fear creates rage and also the lack of fear of death. It feels like the early steps of “Rage”, the disease that fueled the zombie outbreak in the 28 Days Later franchise.

Writer George C. Romero infuses the story with politics by using the backdrop. It gives a solid reason for such work to be done as the world was gripped by the fear of nuclear disaster. Romero takes things further by hinting at the weaponization of this research, yet another military-fueled idea that ends in disaster for the world. It’s the type of underlying message Romero’s father embraced in his films. How much the series will lean into it is unknown but there’s clear finger-pointing and blame for the destruction of mankind.

Diego Yapur‘s art is fantastic. Along with limited colors by DC Alonso, and lettering by Saida Temofonte, the visuals are top-notch. The comic keeps it simple with the use of black, white, and reds for colors. It’s an interesting color palette that adds some aspects to be debated on. The red could represent the fear that the world is gripped by, the Communist threat, or the pouring of blood to come. It’s a solid artistic choice that adds an exclamation point to generally beautiful art that captures the time period well.

The Rise #1 is a solid comic. It does well to establish why this dangerous work is happening and hints as to the tragedy to come. It feels like a prequel to so many zombie stories though and not sure it really nails down Romero’s father’s work. But, it’s still really good with a build-up of the tragedy we know will come.

Story: George C. Romero Art: Diego Yapur
Color: DC Alonso Letterer: Saida Temofonte
Story: 8.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 8.15 Recommendation: Buy

Heavy Metal provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Purchase: Zeus Comics

Review: Cold Dead War #1

Cold Dead War #1

Cold Dead War #1 is an intriguing debut that goes in a direction I should have seen coming. Opening in 1950 Kentucky the story focuses on a World War II veteran haunted by his experiences and has a secret. It’s a small town story about a man trying to run from his past and struggling to move on with a normal life. Lance Howard was a pilot during World War II in the Pacific and experienced something while on a mission.

George C. Romero kicks Cold Dead War #1 off with an issue that eventually feels like something we’ve seen so many times. It’s the grizzled veteran being asked to complete one more mission for their country. It takes a while for the issue to get there, then it does. Then you find out more of what’s going on. That twist is something that’s not going to be spoiled. It’s part of the fun and charm of the debut and has me wanting to come back for more.

It’s a story and delivery that’s not surprising in the end but it’s done really well. There’s a quality in the writing and especially the slow build that sucks you in. And it feels like it has a pay off. Romero builds thing to the reveal so when that happens, and it’s unexpected, it feels like a big deal. There’s not really any hints or teases beyond something is troubling his main character.

German Ponce‘s art helps keep the secret. There’s something idyllic and peaceful about the Captain Howard and his small town life. It gets juxtaposed with his war experience and everything gets much more interesting as the war experience feels that much more shocking when we reflect on his now peaceful life. Ponce also handles ink along with Gabriel Rearte with Photobunker on color and lettering by Saida Temofonte. There’s three segments to the comic and the look of each really works as peace and horror are depicted.

Cold Dead War #1 comes together nicely. It’s a solid war debut with a setup that’s familiar but whose twists are unexpected. It has just enough that feels new and different to really pay off and keep things interesting. Overall, it sets up what feels like a entertaining B-movie action story.

Story: George C. Romero Art: German Ponce
Ink: German Ponce, Gabriel Rearte Color: Photobunker Letterer: Saida Temofonte
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy

Heavy Metal provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Purchase: Zeus Comics

Get a Behind the Scenes Look at the Beyond Kuiper: The Galactic Star Alliance Audio Experience. Out Now in Book and Audio!

Beyond Kuiper: The Galactic Star Alliance

While on loan to CERN, a catastrophe of unimaginable proportions leaves astrophysicist Bernard Hubert as the sole survivor. While the scientific community and world looks to him for answers, he states the unthinkable: “It has to be aliens.” Unacceptable to the world, the Hubert family is under investigation and their name tarnished. Disgraced and shunned, Bernard claws his way back into society with his new company C.O.R.E. where he works tirelessly to design an engine capable of interstellar travel. Follow Bernard on his road to redemption and discovery in this ensemble cast of futurism, space travel, and the fate of our species.

A thoughtful meditation on the human race’s place in the universe as well as an entertaining sci-fi adventure, Beyond Kuiper: The Galactic Star Alliance asks some important questions. Why hasn’t sentient life been discovered in our galaxy? If that life exists, why has no other life communicated with us? The answer is simple, no one wants to. Enter the Galactic Star Alliance, a union of species and planets that span the galaxy earth calls home. But while our galaxy has yet to speak to Earth there are some humans who believe it is out there. Not as science-fantasy but as science.

Beyond Kuiper: The Galactic Star Alliance is the first in a planned series of 10 epic sci-fi prose novels from authors Matthew Medney, Heavy Metal CEO, and Lockheed Martin Aerospace Engineer John Connelly.

The audio experience features the talent of actor and entrepreneur Dylan Sprouse (All-Wise Meadery & Sun Eater) voices Odian Spek and film/television director and producer George C. Romero (Romero Pictures) voices Tordok, as well as Kyle Perrin (Another Kingdom: Season 3 and The Cold War: What We Saw) who also sound designed, narrated the majority of the voices and book and scored the audiobook alongside Matt Medney.

Purchase: Audible [Audiobook] – AmazonKindleHeavy Metal