The Colonized #3 Written by Chris Ryall
Art by Drew Moss
Covers by Nelson Daniel, Jay Fotos, Gabriel Rodriguez, Dave Sim IDW Publishing
Publication Date: June 5, 2013
Cover Price: $3.99
The Colonized is essentially a Zombies Versus Aliens yarn, with humans caught in the middle. Or, more accurately, it’s a Zombies Versus Humans story with aliens caught in the middle. Whatever the case, the third chapter of the new IDW series finally grabs plot fundamentals and puts them to use in a tale that sends up and borderline-parodies the stereotypes of 1950’s horror and sci-fi movies.
Set in the rural remote town of Carbon Falls in Montana, the humans are essentially a community of separatist militiamen that wish for zero interference from the Feds, though the focus of their community is (somewhat ironically) on sustainability and all-things-green. A group of aliens launch their plan to make contact with humanity, though their efforts are messed up by the coincidental event of the dead rising from the graves to feast on the living.
The Colonized #3 traverses towards a conclusion – residents of the town facing their own individual complications of the alien invasion and the arisen zombies. The story centers on the town leader-to-be, Huxley Robertson, whose father had recently died prior to the events of the comic. As the zombie horde begin to overrun the townsfolk, Hux begins taking steps for a plan; but his rival, the redneck Randy Roy Grist, executes a plan of his own that may further difficulties for Hux and the aliens.
At this point, it is difficult to say how solid the plot is of The Colonized, though it is "so far, so good" as all of the essentials and subplots are moving towards a conclusion that will undoubtedly be revealed in the next issue. Despite this, everything is coming to a head; and more importantly, writer Chris Ryall takes plot components that were introduced in the previous issues are finally being used to get to that point.
The characterizations of “green rednecks” (or perhaps we should call them GREENNECKS) is rather diverging, though makes for some interesting banter between rivals in the dialogue.
For the most part, The Colonized resurrects the cheese of the stereotypes remembered from standard alien and/or zombie flicks from the 1950s and 1960s, and drops them in an odd meshing of a ‘colonial’ setting within the 21st century. The dynamics are interesting, especially as it’s learned that the flesh of the aliens restores the human intelligence of the zombies. The comedic elements of the story do work to its advantage, with an almost-slapstick element rendering an enjoyable aspect of the reading.
Alternatively, The Colonized is the most recent in a VERY long line of stereotype crossovers, trying to blend elements of Mars Attacks with Return of the Living Dead. While the mix is mildly amusing, the polish of these creature crossovers is beyond tarnished at this point; and the progress of the plot thus far has been relatively predictable. That being said, with another issue coming, the creative team might be able to bring something interesting and irreplaceable to the table, so I guess we will wait and see. Fingers crossed!
The artwork by Drew Moss is excellent, and plays on the colorizing associated with many of the stereotypes exploited in the plot. The design of the aliens is actually brilliant, deliberately stepping away from overused familiar appearances, and focusing in its place on a look and feel that works nicely with this specific story. The cover art is also worth noting, deliberately zoning in on the stereotype elements, but including some aspects comic fans may recall from the timeworn but classic horror/thriller comics before the Comics Code was instituted.
The Colonized is an interesting, amusing read – though I think many fans may find (as I did) that the mashup of [Insert Creature One] Versus [Insert Creature Two] may be overplayed and worn out. With a concluding issue on the way, there is some hope for Chris Ryall and Drew Moss to deliver something mind-blowingly different (to be honest, the alien flesh benefit for the zombies WAS a surprise in the last issue). Let’s see how it pans out, but I’d recommend taking a look if you are on the hunt for something new to read.
One more thing: For a new town, Carbon Falls certainly has a lot of dead people that have reanimated – the cemetery is unusually big!!