Comic Review: 28 Days Later #7

28 Days Later #7
Written by Michael Alan Nelson
Art by Declan Shalvey
Colors by Nick Filardi
Letters by Ed Dukeshire
BOOM! Studios
Release date: February 24, 2010

28 Days Later is one of the movies responsible for the sudden re-emergence of the horror film, so I’m surprised that that it took BOOM! Studios so long to come out with a comic book series set in post-apocalyptic Britain, where a virus that creates an irrational homicidal rage in those who come into contact with the blood of infected has shattered civilization. In 28 Days Later #7 we find the American Clint, his hired guide Serena, and their injured friend Derrick way-laid by an armed group of fellow survivors. Clint is desperate to find medicine for Derrick but the band, led by a frumpy middle-aged woman named Kate, are too concerned with their own survival to assist strangers. Kate informs them that there is a pharmacy in the village near their encampment, and they can find the medicine they need there. Unfortunately, Kate has ulterior motives for sending them into the village.

Many would be surprised to pick up a copy of 28 Days Later and find that there isn’t a single appearance by the Infected, but that’s one of the strengths of the comic. Writer Michael Alan Nelson chooses to use conflict and tension between the surviving humans as the major story driver, teasing us with the possibility of the Infected. Like a good magician, you never use your best trick right away.

The survivors have become small bands of scavengers hiding behind reinforced walls and defending their fiefdoms with guns and bats. The character development is also intriguing. The optimistic and cooperative American Cliff plays against the stereotype of the individualistic Yankee while the British women Serena and Kate are violent, paranoid and purely self-interested, inverting the traditional image of the “˜nurturing and pacifistic woman.’

Declan Shalvey‘s art, while somewhat understated, serves the story well. The colouring is light and the images help ratchet up the tension between the characters by focusing on the divisions in geographical space between the two parties. The flaw with the art is the page layout, which is simplistic and common. With a great concept such as 28 Days Later, they could have laid out the plot in a more interesting way.

28 Days Later #7 is a great twist on what has become a horror classic, and holds a lot of promise for the future of the re-emerging genre of horror comics.

RATINGS: 4 out of 5 Machetes.

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