Adam reads as many comics as he can afford. Every week he is going to attempt a mini review of his favourite one, with potential minor spoilers.
In stark contrast to last week, this week I bought way too many comics (admittedly some were those I put back last week). I still haven’t got to all of them, but all those I have read so far have been excellent. Tough choice for a review, but I decided to go with Spread #1 as I enjoyed it the most*. Spread was written by Justin Jordan, with art by Kyle Strahm, colours by Felipe Sobreiro and letters from Crank!, published by Image Comics.
Spread takes place in a post apocalyptic world that is overrun with ‘the spread’, mysterious and grotesquely twisted organisms that will kill anything they see, infecting the living and reanimating the dead, converting them into foul mutated puppets. Think ‘The Thing’ but on a much bigger scale. People scavenge and fight over resources while trying to avoid the spread, but we open on a group that got too close for comfort. It seems that raiders are responsible initially, and now the spread is creeping closer. The protagonist, ‘No’, is connected in some way to these unlucky people, and has to despatch one of them after the spread has taken them, and later the raiders that killed them too. Visually he looks quite a bit like Wolverine, but has two hatchets instead of claws. Which is very much as cool as it sounds. No eventually finds what the group were trying to find: a baby (who will later be called ‘Hope’ apparently) who he must now protect in this hideous world.
While the elements of the plot may be familiar, the writing is very strong and everything combines to a refreshingly interesting take on the horror post apocalyptic genre. The story, in a way similar to Saga, is narrated by the baby from some point in the future (which does somewhat indicate that the child will survive at least a decent stretch of time) but there is no big information dump, no hand-holding to explain at length what is going on. We know what we need to at this stage, and it works very well. The art is disgusting in the best possible way. Gory and revelling in it, and it looks fantastic because of it. The colours are almost where this book shines the most though, the vivid blood red of the spread (and all the actual blood) juxtaposed strikingly over the snow filled surroundings to really bring the horror of the art to life.
So pretty clear this is another new series I really enjoyed, and I think you should pick it up too. If you are a fan of grim horror (and I suspect you are), then you should be into Spread. Check it out at your local comic book shop or digital comics app thingymabob.
Score: 9 Runners out of 10
* Also check out ‘The Life After’ by Joshua Hale Fialkov and Gabo from Oni Press for another really interesting new series.