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Year Zero

Year Zero: Volume Two

I’m a sucker for zombie stories, so I picked up this new Year Zero series, which proved to be World War Z in graphic novel form.

In the first volume, the outbreak had just occurred and we were introduced to five different individuals all over the world. While I expected this second volume to pick up with those characters again, instead we meet four new ones a few months into this new apocalyptic world. There is the sadistic Columbian drug lord, a pregnant woman trapped in an Arizona big-box store, a Rwandan doctor consumed with guilt, and a Norweigan sea captain and her two grandchildren who are trying to elude pirates on their fishing boat. The fates of these new survivors were more at risk than in the first volume, which made it harder to connect with them, as some died and others had implied grim endings. We also get some world-building in the form of a few letters throughout this slim volume.

While Benjamin Percy remained the author, the artist and colorist changed to Juan Jose Ryp and Frank Martin. The art remains strong with great details, with coloring shifts for each location change, which helps somewhat with the constant back and forth. I do wish Percy spent more time with each character at a time, for often it shifted every two to three pages.

While I still remain interested in this series, I’m not up for volume three to introduce even more characters. I hope they start to connect the characters still left alive from these first two volumes, and begin to braid their stories together as they learn to cope with the new world order.

Year Zero

Year Zero is basically World War Z in graphic novel form!

Five stories run parallel to one another to represent a microcosm of a global zombie epidemic- Sara is a polar research scientist who is the one who inadvertently finds the first zombie frozen in time, Daniel is a young orphan from Mexico City, Saga is a paid assassin in Tokyo, Fetemah is an army informant in Kabul and BJ is a doomsday prepper in Minnesota. These five individuals, deal with the sudden fallout when they become the few who have survived the apocalypse. We are only given a few pages of each person’s story before it shifts elsewhere, so the story doesn’t advance much in this first volume beyond them all surviving the first onslaught. But the artist and colorist did an excellent job in capturing each personality and the region they are from. In addition, there was a different color scheme for each of the five, which helped differentiate them.

I first picked up this graphic novel because I am a sucker for zombie stories, and I had been a big fan of The Walking Dead. But I was pleasantly surprised when I noticed the author, Benjamin Percy, as I was first introduced to him through two Wolverine podcasts and later a horror short story collection, Suicide Woods, of his. With this entry, I will continue to seek out his work!

-Nancy

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