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Review: Hollywood Zombie Apocalypse #2

hza02aAlthough it is potentially a weak concept to start with, the first issue of this two part series did have some things going for it.  Of course not every comic has to be completely serious, and the fundamental idea of this series is to lampoon the Hollywood culture and to even offer a bit of a critique of popular culture.  Although not particularly inspired, it still managed to make a few jokes worthy of some eye-rolls while setting up an unconventional zombie story.  It can safely be said that the second issue is inspired, but ends up being inspired in the wrong way.  This inspiration has a name and that is Selena Gomez.

Of course Selena Gomez is never named as such in this story, even if she is called Selena and has a whiny boyfriend named Justin.  Nor are any of the other characters like Bryan Cranston, Tom Cruise or Dwayne Johnson named specifically, but in the end it doesn’t even really matter.  While it is fine to lampoon Hollywood, this ends up being something different as instead the actors are very much out of character in what is essentially a setup for the main character to make out with Selena Gomez.  It takes a creepy concept like zombies, and goes into something kind of creepier by seeing what amounts to a realization of a fantasy put to paper.  Presumably the writer holds Selena in high regard in the looks department, because she is pretty interchangeable with any other actress in this same setting.

The story is thus doomed by itself, not in its weak concept, not in its not-so-funny jokes, but more so with its cliched Hollywood ending that the hero gets the girl, even if this is the only part of the book which is meant to be taken seriously.  It should have been an undead battle royale with actors playing out their characters in the comics, but it ended up being a twisted love story with no real justification for it.

Story: Ralph Tedesco and Joe Brusha Art:  David Lorenzo Riveiro
Story: 4.0 Art: 6.5 Overall: 4.0 Recommendation: Pass

Review: Hollywood Zombie Apocalypse #1

hza-covIt seems with Zenescope and the concepts that they come up with that they either hit it out of the park or they strike out swinging.  In the short history of their publishing it is rare enough that they get something that is in the middle ground of quality, but this is one of those rare entries.  It takes an interesting enough variation of the zombie genre and mixes in some jabs at popular culture, including a lot of whom the writers seem to not give much credit to.  Those that tire of Tom Cruise’s scientology antics, those who can’t comprehend the Beliebers or those that don’t like Michael Bay (which is everyone?) will both find a bit of vicarious satisfaction here.  So too does this issue pay homage to the Avengers, especially if the Avengers were played by Tom Cruise, Dwayne Johnson, Bryan Cranston and Selena Gomez.

Unlike some of Zenescope’s other properties, this series is meant to be firmly tongue-in-cheek and so although the humour is often groan-inducing, it also doesn’t really feel out-of-place.  The microbiotic-food-obessed starlets (one of whom is presumably supposed to be Megan Fox?) are a caricature of life in Los Angeles and exemplify some usual stereotypes, but at the same time there is not much wrong with that.  I don’t live in L.A. and so I can’t comment as to whether stars are really so vapid, but it is at least the pop culture cliché and so while it feels a bit forced here, it also works at the same time.

The sum of all these parts is something that doesn’t really work, but doesn’t really fail at the same time.  To be certain there is a lot better that this company puts out, but also a lot worse.  Seeing as this is stuck somewhere in between it might be of interest to those looking for a lighter take on the zombie genre, or just those that are a little tired of pop culture deciding what is popular.  At the same time, I can’t really recommend this, because of its faults and because so many other regular ongoing series from all the various companies bypass this in quality.   I suppose in the end that anyone that is interested in this and picks it up is not going to be losing a lot of money seeing as it is already halfway through the series.

Story: Ralph Tedesco and Joe Brusha Art:  David Lorenzo Riveiro
Story: 6.5 Art: 7.0 Overall: 6.8 Recommendation: Pass