Our pal Kit sometimes write for the site! This is one of those times.
*This is the second review from a spotlight we’re going to be doing on Hound Comics, a private publishing company with their own ongoing comic series and web series. We’re going to be reviewing first issues of some of their comic series over the next few weeks. You can buy issue #1 of ‘The Infected’ here.*
“On May 21, 2020 A virus began infecting the Super Human population of Tower City.” – First Line of The Infected
Zombie style viruses: the sort that turn a person into a mindless flesh eating monster.
Superheroes: People who have transcended humanity in some way and fight for a better and brighter future with their new found powers.
Mixing these together can prove a hell of a lot of fun! Many of you may have read the Marvel Zombies, if you haven’t and you like zombies then you should get to that immediately! But it’s not just the big names in comics that get to have all the fun. Today I’ll check out The Infected by Chris Hartmann and Dave Mimms.
To try and be balanced here I’ll break my review down into four parts before giving an overall total. I’ll check out:
- The Concept
- The Plot
- The Characters
- The Artwork
Anyway, on with the review!
As I mentioned before, this isn’t unfamiliar territory for me. I’ve read my fair share of zombies, superheroes and zombie-superheroes so this isn’t a revolutionary concept. That isn’t a bad thing though, after all apparently there are only really six stories out there, taking a look at an established idea at a new angle can lead to an excellent series. Also, not having any pre-established superheroes to work which means the novelty of seeing Spidey eat his Aunt May won’t distract from what’s going on here. The idea is taken a bit further with a little exposition on the first page:
- The virus seems to only affect super humans (or ‘Supers’ as they’re known after)
- This has been going on for a little while
- The city is on lockdown and the national guard are moving in
So looks like a Walking Dead, drop you in the action approach and seems your average Joe can’t be infected so it has the humans vs. super humans spin on it.
So, concept score – as this is covering familiar ground for me this will need to take things in a fresh direction, if it can do that then this could be great. 7/10.
So interesting idea, but need to add something new. Time to see if it can deliver. Our hero is Jacob. The first issue focuses on him waking up in the middle of the city in chaos and trying to work out what’s going on. The first half of the comic has him trying to work out what’s happened, whilst other character’s provide exposition to him. Going with the amnesia approach I can see why they did this. The thing is as a reader I just had all of this explained to me on the first page, so it just feels like unnecessary repetition here. Either loose the summary or skip in character exposition, have it explained off screen and give us a bit more plot.
Jacob joins up with John ‘Freedom’ Winters, some kind of lone vigilante, who saves Jacob from being gunned down by the National Guard and they find a spot to hide crash for the night. Some of the exposition Freedom gives seems to contradict itself so I can’t say the world is making a huge amount of sense here.
So, plot score – I can see what you’re trying to do, but half the comic could have been put to better use and some of the exposition makes no sense. 3/10.
Jacob – Doesn’t seems to have much going on for him to be honest. He’s a bit of a blank slate. He’s suffering from amnesia but not much personality really shines through otherwise. I think what sums it up is I can’t really add much more to his personality than this. He’s boring. 2/10.
Freedom – I can’t tell if this guy’s name is supposed to be a parody or played straight. Either way he has a bit more going for him than Jacob does. I wouldn’t call him the smartest guy in the world though. He apparently hates Supers, but kills the National Guard who were about to take down a potential virus crazed, flesh eating super, then let’s said suspect tag along with him, knowing nothing about him. Still, say there’s a sub plot about this guy having been driven insane by the state of things and battling monsters for so long and this could be interesting. 4/10
Character score – Only these two really had much going on in this issue so I’ll average their scores: 3/10.
The art is interesting. A lot of detail has been squeezed in, some of the proportions of facial features and the characters themselves seem a little skewed. However that seems deliberate. It adds to the feeling that by now there won’t be many ‘normal’ people left. The front cover looks cool as well and certainly grabbed my attention. There is one bit where a monster appears out of the blue, which seems a little ridiculous when you look at the size of the thing. But to be fair that may be a plot issue more than an art issue.
Still, the art is one of the strong points of this comic book. Art Score – 7/10.
Overall, The Infected is OK. The idea behind it works and it looks good, but the first issue lacks substance. The characters weren’t engaging and the plot lacking. There is potential to turn this into something great I think, but maybe calling this one a first draft and having another go may be the best approach. If you want to support a more indie publisher and writers and enjoy this sort of thing then check it out.
Final Score – 5 Freedoms out of 10.