Xena The Thanksgiving Day Princess

Welcome to this Thanksgiving Rotten Ink update something that I hope has become a Turkey Day tradition for you just like the old Mystery Science Theater 3000 Turkey Day Marathons use to be for me! And for this update I choose to cover something very special, as this is not only the Thanksgiving update but also is celebrating 10 Years that Rotten Ink has been up on the worldwide web. And normally Hercules would be the one to join us on Thanksgiving but as of last year we are taking a break from spending Turkey Day with him and this year will be our first without him and will instead be about a badass female warrior that is a Warrior Princess and I am of course talking about Xena and the comic series we will be looking at is the original series done by Topps Comics! So while that Turkey is still cooking in the oven and before your guests arrive or you leave to be a guest lets talk about Xena Warrior Princess on this Thanksgiving Day holiday.

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Xena Warrior Princess was a spin-off show of the hugely popular syndicated show “Hercules Legendary Journeys” as Xena first appeared in the 1995 episode called “The Warrior Princess” and she became super popular with viewers as she was a badass female warrior who could handle herself against the likes of Hercules. So because of this on September 4, 1995 she got her own series thanks to Renaissance Pictures. The show in syndication was a major hit and was a ratings draw for all the stations who added it their line up. I for one would watch the show every Sunday Morning and would even set the VCR to tape the episodes I would miss due to family trips and such. The show would have Xena not only face her past of being a raider who killed but would also have her face fellow warriors, amazons as well as even monsters and Gods! And the big thing being is that Xena grew as a character throughout the series run and this added more appeal to the character as she would fall in love, show remorse for his actions and even would doubt herself at time. The show would last for six seasons and a total of 134 episodes and even when the show ended in 2001 it still was one of the most watched syndicated shows on television at the time. During its run it would win and be nominated for many awards including the Emmys and Saturns. It would build up a huge following in the LGBTQ Community, as Xena and her sidekick Gabrielle became role models for young ladies and spawned a lot of merchandise for fans to collect. Xena was a show that was for everyone and the character Xena is still popular even to this day as fans still would love to see her return to their TV screens. And for me it still ranks in my top 10 shows of all time as I was a big fan and still am to this day. The series has been released on home media via VHS and DVD and can be found on some streaming sites from time to time.

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Xena was a feared female warrior who along with his army would loot, destroy and murder any villager in her path and she loved what she did. But her life changes when her own brother is killed in a raid by the Warlord Cortese and she sees the sorrow that her own actions has caused over the years and even her own Mother turns her back on her. Now on a mission for revenge and to right all her wrongs that she has done over the years, she also builds new friendships and trusts and becomes a symbol of change and empowerment from women. She is skilled with a sword as well as her chakram that she can throw super accrete. Xena also has a war cry that sends fear down the spines of her enemies and can stand her ground against any warlord as well as god like being. Xena was played by the lovely Lucy Lawless who was the crush for many nerdy kids of the time and in fact many still do have a crush on her, and I am not ashamed to say I still do as Lucy Laweless is an amazing actress who is beautiful on many levels. Lucy Lawless would go on to be is such shows and movies as The X-Files, The L Word, Spartacus, Ash vs. Evil Dead, Spider-Man, Boogeyman and Bitch Slap. She would even voice Wonder Woman in the 2008 animated film Justice League: The New Frontier. For those of use who grew up watching and for those of who discovered the show after its run we truly know how awesome, amazing, beautiful and ass kicking Xena and Lucy Lawless really is.

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Gabrielle was a farm girl from the village of Potidaea and after being kidnapped by a warlord and then freed by Xena she decides that she wants to follow her savior and together the two have many great journies and adventures. Gabrielle is wise, sarcastic at times and becomes skilled with a staff as well as a sword later on and she becomes a warrior in her own right. Her sister is Lila who is her only sibling and they two do get along well. The character of Gabrielle was super popular with fans and growing up for me on TV you could not beat the duo of Xena and Gabriella as they just played so well off each other. Gabrielle was played by actress Rene O’Connor who was in such films as “Night Game (1989)”, “Stone Cold (1991)”, “The Adventures Of Huck Finn (1993)” and “Darkman II: The Return Of Durant (1995)” among others as well as was on TV Shows like “Tales From The Crypt”, “NYPD Blue” and “FBI: The Untold Stories”. Rene is a great actress and Gabrielle is an amazing character and for many Gabriella rivaled Xena at being their favorite character of the whole series, and lets be honest I think it was Rene who’s acting really made the character be so iconic.

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The show had many amazing side character over the years that made up the Xena universe like the goofball wannabe hero Joxer played by Ted Raimi, Autolycus The King Of Thieves played by Bruce Campbell, Cyrene is the mother of Xena and she was played by Darien Takle, Hercules and Iolaus would show up from time to time and they were played of course by Kevin Sorbo and Michael Hurst. And on the villain side two of the biggest baddies in the series (and man she had many) was Aries The God Of War played by Kevin Smith and female warrior Callisto played by Hudson Leick. And this is just a small amount of the recurring characters that appeared on the show and made it so awesome. My favorite side character has to be Callisto as she was beautiful, crazy and dangerous and was a great villain for Xena and her episodes were always well done. But to be fair Ares is also a very entertaining villain and Kevin Smith was perfect in the role and it’s a shame he had to pass away at such a young age. Man writing this really does make me look back and see just how awesome all of the characters I have mentioned and more really did make this show special. Oh and I need not forget Caesar played by Karl Urban was also a great baddie who was a pain in Xena’s side. Who was your favorite side character in Xena?

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Like I have said I was an every week watcher of Xena The Warrior Princess and hands down one of my favorite episodes was called “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” and was a Halloween episode that aired in October 1996. In this spooky episode Xena and Gabrielle go after Bacchus The God Of Wine who has a legion of female vampires, and during this adventure Gabriella is bitten and turned into one of his servants and its up to Xena to save her friend and kill Bacchus and allow all of those he has infected to return to being human. The episode also had appearances by Joxer and Orpheus and the episode played like a mix between a Horror Movie and a Rock Video that was airing on MTV at the time…and you can never go wrong with Gabrielle looking all gothed out…you just cant. The episode also had a very lesbian overtone and the demonic look of Bacchus was badass and it’s a shame that he was not used more often as a featured villain of the week for the Xena series. Long before the episodes made their way to home media this was one that I can remember taping off TV and watching a lot as the episode was just really cool and the plot felt like a good B-Movie vampire film. And the episode would also go on to be praised by not only fans but also critics who site this as one of the series best episodes. Those who have seen the episode know how awesome it is, and those of you who have not seen it track down the DVD set for Season 2 and give it a watch…also Toy Biz should have made an action figure of Bacchus and one of his female vampire minions…just saying.

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Like all great shows Xena Warrior Princess has had her fair share of action figures and dolls with her first figure being in the Hercules Legendary Journeys line that was released by Toy Biz and she had two figures in the line with the difference being coloring on her armor. And at the time of these figures release I was collecting them all as Hercules was one of my favorite shows and it would be cool to have them set up in my room, and Xena at the time in my area was the hardest one to track down. And I have to also say the Xena from the Hercules toys looks nothing like Lucy Lawless and for the most part is a really cheesy figure. But when Xena got her own TV Show Toy Biz also gave her a toy line that featured not only Xena but also all the characters from the show and these figures and later dolls were way better done and captured likeness better than the Hercules line did. And of course I still have many of my Xena toys and if you are a fan of the show make sure to track some of these figures down as they are pretty cool and a part of the shows history.

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When the TV Show was not on one thing fans could do is get the paperback novels based on Xena and her adventures to fill that void and these were good reads for fans. Many of the novels were written by such authors as Ru Emerson and Stella Howard and the novels most popular reads was the Quest Trilogy that was written by Emerson and consisted of “Go Quest Young Man”, “Questward Ho!” and “How The Quest Was Won”. And growing up I had these books and in fact I still have many of these books and while the lack the visional charm of the show Emerson and Howard did a great job of capturing the fun feel of it and really did deliver very entertaining reads. If you love the show make sure to tack down these novels and give them a read in your favorite spot.

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Xena The Warrior Princess made her way to the world of video games and was in a total of three home console games and a few for the PC. In 1999 Titus Interactive released the fighting game “Xena Warrior Princess: The Talisman Of Fate” for the N64. It was met with mixed reviews as it was an odd fighter but did allow you to play as such characters as Callisto, Ares, Julius Caesar and Autolycus to name a few. Also in 1999 for the Sony Playstation and released by EA came a adventure game that had you play as Xena who is on a quest to rescue Gabrielle and must fight warriors and monsters along the way, and this was a game I have played and beat so many times as I just really enjoyed the quest hack slash style game play and plus it was cool to be able to play a video game based on one of my favorite TV Shows of all time. And yet Xena would also get a Game Boy Color game as well this time in 2001, as even the handheld market needed some Xena for gamers to play as. So while I am not a mega fan of the Game Boy Color or N64 versions, I am a fan of the PS1 version and say that if you have the old console at your house and want to play a Xena adventure give this one a try.

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The score music used for Xena The Warrior Princess was done by Joseph LoDuca and is fantastic stuff as the opening theme always built the excitement for the episode and is something that we all remember to this day as it became one of the most iconic themes for a TV Show at the time. Let’s be honest, you have hummed the theme at least once as you have been reading this update. Many of you might not know that composer Joseph LoDuca is the musical mastermind behind scores for such movies as “The Evil Dead”, “Brotherhood Of The Wolf”, “Boogeyman”, “Curse Of Chucky” and “Bad Samaritan” and shows like “Hercules: The Legendary Journeys”, “Cleopatra 2525” and “Jack Of All Trades” to name a few. And if you like myself enjoy the music of Xena you can get many volumes of the scores on CD thanks to Varese Sarabande; the musical episode even found its way onto CD! So make sure if you are a music collector to track these down as copies can be found on EBay and Amazon.

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As you know Xena was one of the biggest syndicated shows of all time and this is what lead to it having so much merchandise to be made about it and besides comics, novels, video games, toys and soundtracks, the show also got Home Media, Posters, Shirts, Costumes, Trading Cards, Cardboard Standees, Stickers, Drinking Glasses, Magazines, Clocks, Key Chains, Bags, Jewelry, Snow Globe and so much more official and unofficial stuff! And because I am a fan I do have much of this stuff as I have several shirts as well as some of the trading cards along with the other stuff I have mentioned I own. So if you like Xena and are a collector, the world is filled with lots of cool stuff for you to get for your collection.

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As you can see, Xena was a major force for TV in the 1990’s and sparked a tidal wave of great merchandise as well as gave female viewers a cool character to look up to as she was strong and a badass and at the time this was a little more rare for TV to have such a character in “nerdy” shows like this at the time. She also is an icon in the LGBTQ community as they show was laced with a lesbian overtones and this again was not the norm for this time on broadcast TV. And I want to also note that for fans the novels, comics, video games and even toys helped add new adventures for Xena while they waited for new seasons to start and new episodes to air. I want to thank Half Price Books and Game Swap Kettering for having these issues in stock and making this update possible. I want to also remind you all that I grade these comics on a star scale of 1 to 4 and am looking for how well the comics stay to the source material, its entertainment value and i’s art and story. So with that while the turkey is still in the oven and those potatoes are not yet mashe, let’s go on an adventure with Topps Comics and Xena The Warrior Princess.

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Xena Warrior Princess # 0  **1/2
Released in 1997    Cover Price $2.95   Topps Comics     # 0 of 2

Xena and Gabrielle are walking along a path and stumble on a tomb at the side of a mountain and just as they notice it the ground shakes and a horde of zombie warriors come from the ground and go on the attack! Xena fights hard but is unable to save Gabrielle who is pulled underground by the zombies. Xena rushes inside the temple hoping that she can find Gabrielle alive inside and meets Psoriasese, the undead caretaker of the temple who warns Xena of the Dragon God who dwells inside and who has already claimed the soul of Xena as he wants her to enter his temple, this does not scare Xena who enters to save her friend as she learns that if she stabs the Dragon’s heart she will not only kill the beast but also free all the souls he has trapped. Xena ends up fighting and killing the three monsters that guard the dragon’s gate and once inside the Dragon taunts Xena with Gabrielle who is now in the zombie trance and this causes the warrior princess to go on the attack! After dodging the dragons attack as well as trying to hit his heart she is lucky to shrug off his attempt to put her into the zombie trance and is able to throw her sword into his heart and kill him and this frees the souls of all those he damned! In the end Xena and Gabrielle come back together as people are back to normal all around them and continue their quest.

This is a pretty fun first comic for Xena The Warrior Princess and does a pretty good job of capturing the mood and feel of the TV Show is based on, but I will say some of the humor in the comic does fall flat at times as the jokes and one liners were cheesy. The plot is very simple and has Xena fighting zombies, monsters and a dragon in order to save her friend Gabrielle who was kidnapped by them, and like always Xena and her warrior skills save the day. Xena in this issue is skilled in her fighting and is confidante in her skills as she has no fear charging into a tomb filled with the dead and monsters in order to protect her friend, she truly is one of the best female warriors in all of fandom. Gabrielle in this issue is very bored and sadly does not get her chance to see much action as she is taken by zombies and turned into one of them before she knew what even happened, and she still is very much around for some comedy relief at the start of the issue. The issue’s bad guy is the Dragon God who is in this tomb to try and collect souls to please Hades and to get his way into being in the underworld. He has the power to use a death stare in order to turn people into his mindless zombie slaves and to send their souls to Hades! He is very mean and evil looking but is also very slow in his attacks and had one big weakness his heart that is the key to free all those he damned. The comics action is well done and I do like the fight she has with the three monsters as she makes quick work of them and makes them pay for the decades of killing of people they have done and sends them all to the underworld. The cover I have is eye catching and showcases Lucy Lawless as Xena and the interior art is really great and done by Aaron Lopresti who can truly draw dragons, zombies and monsters and his work on Xena is good and it looks like Lawless. Over all a good start to this series as its fast paced and has some great art and fun action.

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Xena Warrior Princess # 1  ***
Released in 1997    Cover Price $2.95   Topps Comics     # 1 of 2

Salmoneus is in charge of the Spring Fair and a threat has been made toward the hero turned king Perseus’s life and that is why he has called in many of his friends to help protect the king’s life as well as keep the fair safe. On hand is Xena, Gabrielle and Joxer The Brave and for a brief time Hercules and Iolaus are around to stop a drunken giant. As the heroes all come together a strange old man in a cloak offers money to a charity if Xena and Hercules would fight each other to see who the better hero is, they refuse and Hercules leaves to visit his mother. Meanwhile Xena, Gabrielle, Iolaus and Joxer stick around to protect the King during the fair but things go wrong when the Gorgon Sisters show up as they are the sisters of Medusa and want revenge on Perseus for killing their loved one. The Gorgon Sisters can turn people to stone via their eyes as well as firing laser beams from them and they are able to turn Perseus, Iolaus, Salmoneus and Gabrielle into stone and worse a spear has went through Gabrielle right as she turned! Xena tricks the Gorgon Sisters into hitting each other with their stone eye beams, and this kills them both. As Xena and Joxer go to check on their friends cloaked man appears and shows that he is classic hero Gilgamesh and that Xena should join him on a quest to get a plant that gives eternal life as in 30 Days all those turned to stone will turn normal and this would be the death of Gabrielle!

What a fun comic as this brings in so many familiar faces from the classic Xena and Hercules TV Shows and brings them all together in order to protect Perseus who many know not only by the myth of his story but also the film Clash Of The Titans from the 1980’s. The story is that Perseus is now a King and his throwing a big fair for his people that the conman Salmoneus is in charge of, but a threat is looming so he calls on his hero friends to come act as guards and security only for them to have to face the evil sisters of Medusa who turn many into stone and during this fight Gabrielle is hit with a spear right as she is turned, after killing the sisters Xena now must find a way to save her friend in 30 Days as once she turns flesh again she will surely die. Xena in this issue shows that she has no fear as she rushes head on to fight The Gorgon Sisters and out smarts them in order to end their lives, as they are immortal but they could not survive their own attacks. Xena by he quick actions is able to save many lives! Poor Gabrielle tries to help during the mayhem but finds herself being hit in the gut with a spear and then turned to stone at the same time, she has thirty days to live as stone before returning back to flesh and bleeding to death. Joxer is a goofball and during the fight has his helmet fall and saves no lives nor does not battle the Sisters. The one odd thing is that Hercules is around for a few moments, but leaves before the attack to visit his mom…its like could he not wait one day to visit her and help his friends stay safe? Poor Iolaus and Salmoneus find themselves stone, but do try to help during this attack. I for one don’t trust Gilgamesh who uses Iolaus as a human shield, tries to hire Hercules and Xena to fight and then tries to say he has a way to save Gabrielle’s life as well as give him more life as he should have been dead long ago…don’t trust him as he comes off shady. The cover is very cool and eye catching and the interior art by Joyce Chin and is great stuff, I really like her style lots and she captures the looks of the actors who play the characters and adds he own touch and style to them. Over all this is a great start for this mini series and shows that Xena is not only great on TV but also in comics!

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Xena Warrior Princess # 2  ***
Released in 1997    Cover Price $2.95    Topps Comics     # 2 of 2

Xena and Gilgamesh are on their quest to get the plant that grows every 500 years and gives a person immortality, but they are attacked by some Lion Men and they have to kill the flesh eating beasts and soon find that Joxer has been following them as he wants to help! Gilgamesh opens up to Xena and says that he once touched the flower and that is how he is still alive after all these centuries and that he does not want to die as he feels the effects fading and that watching his friend die before him is what has driven him to this quest as he thinks heroes should not have such fates. The three head to the river and meet the ferryman who uses a sea monster to get them across, once at the location Gilgamesh uses his club and knocks out both Xena and Joxer and then ties Xena up into the air and tells her that he must slit her throat in order for the planet to fully bloom, and she reminds him that he was one of the greatest heroes and that this is murder…he knows she is right and stops his attack. But before they can talk, more monsters appear and Xena and he team up to bring them down. Gilgamesh then says while his life will end he thinks the roots of the flower will heel the wounds of Gabrielle if they can make it back in time. Thirty days pass and those turned to stone turn back to flesh and at the last second Gilgamesh makes it to Gabrielle in time and saves her life! As Gilgamesh leaves to return to his homeland to die, Hercules makes it back from his mom’s home and asks Xena what he missed.

The final issue in this mini series has Xena on a quest for a plant that should be able to save the life of her best friend Gabrielle, but soon finds that she was tricked and a sacrificial lamb so that her blood can help the planet bloom, but her attacker and quest buddy Gilgamesh could not commit murder and they end up using the plants roots in order to at least save the life of Gabrielle as the root heals her wounds. I told you readers not to trust Gilgamesh and while in the end he turns into the hero is was, he had his own self in mind and was willing to kill a brave warrior in order for himself to live forever. Xena as always is brave and kills some monsters as well as goes into the unknown in order to save her friends life as well as help a legendary hero live forever. Gilgamesh is aging and dying and while he was a great warrior at one time its clear his fear of death as well as aging is breaking him down. Joxer is around but is pretty much just used as comedy for the issue. Hercules, Iolaus, Salmoneus and Perseus show up at then end of the issue and add their own charm, but are pretty much just background characters. Gabrielle turns flesh and is saved and still has her sense of humor as she talks about having a tummy ache. This comic mini series has lots going for it as I feel the story is fun and fitting for an episode of Xena, the art is really great and all artists do a great job of making the characters look like the actors and yet also add their own touches, it has lots of action, humor and monsters…plus you can not go wrong with having Hercules in a cameo role. Topps Comics really was a great indie comic company in the 90’s that delivered very entertaining reads and I think their Xena series is proof that they put care behind their releases. The cover is pretty great and showcases Xena being a badass and the interior art in this issue is done by Joyce Chin again and is great stuff, as she even adds a little sexy cheesecake feel to Xena throughout. To sum it up these comics lived up to what I remember and if you are a Xena Warrior Princess fan make sure to give this mini series a read. Checkout the artwork bellow to see the style used by Chin in the series.

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Xena Warrior Princess was a fantastic TV Show that was a big part of my TV watching growing up and made for a great comic book series thanks to Topps Comics who I feel was gone way to soon as I think the amount of amazing comics they could have released over the years they have been gone could have been very epic. You can tell that the creative minds behind this mini series at least cared about delivering a entertaining comic and great read to the fans of the show and that’s what makes it standout from many of the others that have failed their readers and fans. And I think truly that the show should return for one more season and it’s a must that Lucy Lawless and Rene O’Connor step back into the roles of Xena and Gabrielle, but enough of that talk as I could chat about Xena for days! Thank you so much for spending a small part of your Thanksgiving with Rotten Ink and I hope looking back at Xena Warrior Princess made your Turkey Day a little better. Before we part ways let me tell you that our next update is our kickoff to Christmas Eve and will be about the first Superman movie in cinemas that had him meeting Mole Men, that’s right it’s a photo comic graphic novel based on the George Reeves as Superman film “Superman And The Mole Men” so that should be a fun flashback. So I hope you are enjoying your meal with your family, friends and pets and as always until next time read an indie comic or three, watch a Xena episode or two and as always support your local Horror Host. See you soon as Superman has some Mole Men to save!

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American Hero: G.I. Zombie

Welcome back to Rotten Ink, and Happy 4th of July! And I am sure you are like me and waiting for the fireworks to fill the sky while eating some grilled food and chatting with friends, and as well thinking about American Heroes.  Today’s topic is a strange one as he is a zombie, a solider and a hero! I am talking about the DC Horror character Jared Kabe also known as G.I. Zombie who is a member of the U.S. Army in the DC Universe and does what he can to keep our nation safe! So while the burgers are on the grill and the fireworks are still a little while away, let’s take a look at the American Hero: G.I. Zombie. And also keep in mind this is 10 Years of Rotten Ink, and I would like for you readers to take a moment and think about your favorite hero in your life from the past or present and to sit back a relax and as always thank you for spending a small part of your Holiday with Rotten Ink.

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Jared Kabe is an American Army Soldier who has been working for the government for many decades and has been involved in many wars for his country, and he as lasted as the nation’s ultimate soldier for so many years because he is in fact dead and is a zombie that is sent into what would be suicide missions for any living soldier! So if there are bio weapons in play, chemical attacks or even good old-fashioned zombie plagues, the man for the job is Jared Kabe who is code-named G.I. Zombie. The powers that Jared has are that he is skilled in military combat, he is stronger than a normal living human, he has great use of his senses, can regenerate after being wounded and more important he is immortal! The character of G.I. Zombie was the created by the creative team of Jimmy Palmiotti, Scott Hampton and Justin Gray in 2014 for DC Comics who was making an attempt to update their universe. And weird enough G.I. Zombie is not really used by DC Comics anymore and for the most part he only lasted the one-year of his release. While not a major player in the world of DC Horror or even DC War Heroes, he is still an interesting character who had his readers that enjoyed his issues.

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G.I. Zombie is a character that I just learned about in late 2021, or should I say paid attention too as he was never on my radar as in modern times I have paid very little attention to DC Comics and he just never was a Horror Comic that I picked up at the local comic shops as most of the time I have found most of DC’s Horror Comic work to be a little weak with Swamp Thing, Man-Bat and House Of Mystery being the ones that I find to be really good. And I think really that in 2014 the Zombie comic trained started by Walking Dead from Image Comics has started to be over done and that is also why I paid no attention to G.I. Zombie. Over the years I have found myself being a little less picky about Horror Comics I read when it comes to the big two companies Marvel & DC as sometimes they are the better offerings they have as their main Superhero titles have been very poorly written for many years now in my opinion, and the Horror titles I feel lets the creators have a little more freedom in the stories they are telling. What makes me intrigued about G.I. Zombie is that I know nothing about the character and I am looking forward to seeing if they play more on the spooky aspect of the character or the army hero…or will it be a great blend of the two? Regardless of what angle DC Comics goes with the character I will say that Jared Kabe aka G.I. Zombie is an American Hero in the world of Comic Books and that is why he is getting this American Hero update.

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So as you can see, the burgers are almost done on the grill and it’s inching so much closer to firework time so I think we should get into the comic review part of this American Hero update that I have to say is also a DC Horror update for this 10 Year Celebration for Rotten Ink! I want to thank Game Swap Kettering and Lone Star Comics for having these issues in stock and making this update possible. I want to also remind you that I grade these comics on a star scale of 1 to 4 and am looking for how well the comics stay to the source material, its entertainment value and its art and story. So grab a sparkler and your favorite cold beverage, and let’s make a toast to G.I. Zombie and see what his comic series was all about. Oh and on a side note, this series is called “Star Spangled War Stories G.I. Zombie” but for the sake of this update we will just shorten the title to G.I. Zombie.

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G.I. Zombie # 1  ***
Released in 2014     Cover Price $2.99    DC Comics    # 1 of 8

At a small bar in the backwoods of Mississippi recent released female prisoner Carmen King meets Duke and his men who have just captured a F.B.I Agent and have him tied up in the back of the bar and worse the Agent have been beaten up and will not spill the beans on how many are with him and were they are based out of. Carmen in order to impress Duke and get a job with his outlaw gang tortures and shoots the Agent in the head killing him when her interrogation does not work. Carmen takes the body of the agent away and Duke sets up a night meeting time for the two. We soon find out that the agent is G.I. Zombie who repairs his body and that Carmen is working with him. The two while having to work together do not know each other and Carmen is a little nervous about having to stay in a motel with a zombie. As Carmen takes a shower and then goes to bed, G.I. Zombie sneaks out of the room and ends up attacking and killing a man who was abusing his wife in front of a gas station, he kills the man to eat him…but sadly he does so in front of the mans wife and child. Later that night Carmen and Zombie head to the farm that is were Duke told Carmen to meet him, and they have a car wreck when Carmen hits a deer and they have to travel by foot. Once they arrive at the farm the notice that Duke and his gang of outlaws have missiles!

The first issue of G.I. Zombie is really good and they drop us right into the story that has our undead solider teaming up with a female agent in order to bring down an outlaw group that is dealing in stolen guns and more. We learn that G.I. Zombie has been around for a very long time and has always survived his country and really loves America, we also see that while he is a good guy he still craves human flesh and feeds on it when he can get it. His uncanny powers of not being able to die and being able to reattach cut off limbs and heal up his wounds is really cool and very useful in his line of work. Carmen King from what we gather is a good solider/agent who is doing her job, but clearly only kind of trust her undead partner, as she knows very little about him and his character. Duke and his gang are a bunch of outlaws who look like they deal in all types of crime from murder to stolen guns and I am sure while he looks like the big fish now, someone else is truly calling the shots. The comic has some blood and gore in it and that was nice to see and some moments are gruesome like when G.I. Zombie is shot in the head by Carmen so she could impress Duke and his gang. The issue also does a great job of ending on a cliffhanger as our heroes see missiles are part of the groups weapons they have stockpiled and this is proof that Duke is working for a bigger threat. The cover for issue one is really good and eye catching and captures both the War and Horror aspects of the series, and the interior art by Scott Hampton is not the style I like in comics but it is really good work. Over all a great start for this series, and I am looking forward to see what happens in issue two.

GI Zombie Comic 2

G.I. Zombie # 2  ***
Released in 2014     Cover Price $2.99    DC Comics    # 2 of 8

Carmen arrives alone at the gate and is let in to see Duke after she alerts the guard that she has had a car wreck and that is why she is late. Meanwhile G.I. Zombie is out in the woods and takes out one of Duke’s men and then takes another hostage with the threat of eating him alive he is able to get some info as well as the man’s cellphone in order to hear the communication between the rest of the outlaws. While inside a deadly virus has been delivered to Duke and as the two that dropped it off leave G.I. Zombie is able to snap a picture of them and send it to his bosses via the stolen phone. Carmen is shown by Duke a massive pot field on the farm compound and he then starts talking to her about his distaste for the government and if she has the same dislike he wants to offer her a job with his group. But G.I. Zombie is spotted and the alarm goes off and Duke has Carmen leave with some of his people to go to another secret farm compound while G.I. Zombie has a shootout with the outlaws, and Zombie gets back up when Commander Gravedigger and fellow soldiers show up to help in the fight. Duke has his men fire off one of the missiles that has the virus inside it and its headed toward Washington D.C., but G.I. Zombie jumps on the missile and pulls out wires and causes it to crash into a small town in Tennessee.

This second issue is as good as the first as this story progresses and has me drawn in on what is going to happen next! In this issue Carmen and G.I. Zombie make it to the farm hideout of Duke and his militia outlaw group and while Carmen gets deeper in their ranks, G.I. Zombie finds himself trying to stop a virus carrying missile that will have collateral damage of human life. G.I. Zombie in this issue shows that he is also very skilled in combat as he uses guns as well as his zombie ways to take out many of the outlaws and its clear that he is very hard to stop and those who face him seen see the horror that this solider can inflict on them. Carmen meanwhile has to play it cool and build up trust with Duke who is clearly a very dangerous man who is now also getting bio-weapons from some government agency or maybe its ones made up of former workers, we will have to read more issues to find out. And Duke and his outlaw militia clearly are dangerous and do not care about how many people die in their quest to stick it to the government, and they have all tools and weapons to really be a threat. I like how the officer in charge of this mission is called Gravedigger, a nice touch sense he is in charge of a zombie soldier. The issue has some good blood and gore moments of G.I. Zombie eating some flesh and the story is really good and does a good job of keeping you interested as a reader. The cover for this issue I have is cool and eye catching even though it’s also misleading as G.I. Zombie does not parachute into battle at all. The interior art is done by Scott Hampton and is again really good if you like the more modern style art in comic books. With that the series is staying strong and I want to see what chaos this missile is going to cause and what will Carmen witness next from this outlaw group.

GI Zombie Comic 3

G.I. Zombie # 3  ***
Released in 2014     Cover Price $2.99    DC Comics    # 3 of 8

The missile goes down in Tennessee and G.I. Zombie knows that the virus inside it will cause a zombie outbreak and it seems that the animals around are now attacking him in aggression is it cause of the virus or are they just scared. Meanwhile Gravedigger has captured Duke who is not giving up any information on what his group is truly up to and who is the people behind getting them the weapons. Meanwhile Carmen is with some of the outlaws on their way to the farm and she is trying to get as much information out of them as possible. Back in the small town the animals are infected by the virus and when they are biting people its making them infected as well with a sort of rabies that is turning everyone in contract with a bite into a zombie in seconds. G.I. Zombie ties up an infected person and finds the towns doctor when they find that the people who are infected are pretty much brain dead and a cure is unlikely, and then the G.I. Zombie safely gets the doctor and her assistant home safe and then gets the towns exits from the mayor to give to Gravedigger who is on his way with soldiers to try and contain the outbreak. As G.I. Zombie waits on one of the bridges out of town he is attack by a horde of zombies and is fighting them off, as he cannot let one single human or animal that is infected to leave the town.

This poor small town gets infected by a virus that was unleashed by a nut job who is anti government, but all he did was hurt the innocent people in a town by infecting them and the animals with a zombie rabies! We know that the animals are the first to be infected by the virus and that when they bite people the virus passes and they become raging zombies who kill and infect others. G.I. Zombie is not scared of being infected but does hate watching and having to kill the animals and feels bad for the people who are being hunted down by those infected, but when it comes to protecting the innocent people as well as the fellow towns he goes into solider mode and will do what must be done. Meanwhile Carmen is still on her road trip to the other farm and is not getting too much information for her female road buddy. Gravedigger and his soldiers have captured Duke and are now on their way to the infected town to back up G.I. Zombie to contain the virus the best they can. The end also is a nice cliffhanger as G.I. Zombie armed with a knife is being over taken by a massive zombie horde that are on the path of getting out of the town and spreading this infection to a wider population. The issue has some blood and really is doing a great job of keeping me interested in the storyline as well as wondering what is next for the characters. The cover for this issue is really cool and has G.I. Zombie fighting a zombie horde and like before the interior artwork by Scott Hampton is good stuff. DC Comics and the creators behind this series have delivered a good series this far and let’s see if they can keep it up in the fourth issue.

G.I. Zombie # 4  ***
Released in 2015     Cover Price $2.99    DC Comics    # 4 of 8

Carmen and her escort who’s named Cat find a motel room and while trying to rest she has a nightmare about a helicopter crash she was the only survivor in during a war, and even when up she can not get any info out of Cat about were they are going. Meanwhile G.I. Zombie breaks free from the zombie horde and finds a safe place on top of a building and watches as Gravedigger and the army show up and blow up the zombies, once G.I. Zombie joins them they find that the infected can drive some what and this adds to the possibility of them leaving the town so Gravedigger and G.I. Zombie must act fast to fully contain this. Meanwhile Cat and Carmen arrive at a massive spa in the middle of nowhere that is the hidden base and Carmen meets Forrest, the money man behind Duke and his movement, and she also notices that he himself has weapons of all types around him.

This issue is very fast paced and we get more information on many of the characters as well as some questions are answered. G.I. Zombie himself goes from being out numbered and fighting off zombies to escaping the attack and spending some time on a flat tar roof of a store and ends the issue alongside the army and Gravedigger as they try and figure out the best way to stop this virus from spreading. While on the other hand, we learn that Carmen was the sole survivor of a helicopter crash and this is what haunts her dreams and drives her to protect her country.  We also see that she might be in over her head when she finally arrives at the next hidden base location as it is packed with weapons. Forrest is a rich man who is clearly the moneyman behind this home grown terrorist group and is investing in even more weapons to fight the fight and this includes more of the zombie virus as well as suits that can take bullets and is indestructible! I really think that Forrest and his indestructible suits will be a huge pain for G.I. Zombie in the coming issues, I also hope that Carmen’s cover is not blown as the odds would be against her as her army friends have no clue to were she is even at. The issue has some blood and the story is good as the zombies can drive adds even more drama, horror and stress for the army to deal with! The cover is great and has G.I. Zombie and Carmen backed into a massive tree on a hill and are surrounded by zombies and this is very eye catching. And like a broken record the interior art by Scott Hampton is good stuff, so with that said again I have to say that DC Comics are on a good stretch as this was another great issue and G.I. Zombie is proven to be one of their best modern series for me. So let’s see what issue five has in store for us, and I am going to guess it will be a fun Horror War Comic surrounded by a simple yet entertaining story.

GI Zombie Comic 5

G.I. Zombie # 5  ***
Released in 2015     Cover Price $2.99    DC Comics    # 5 of 8

G.I. Zombie is back in the small town and is having issues as his craving for flesh is taking control as he needs to eat and soon before he loses control, so they send for a child killer on death row and is sent into a tent with Zombie who eats him and gets back on track to save America. Meanwhile Carmen is shown around the base by Forrest who alerts her to some of the over all plan that he and his groups have for the world, that includes over throwing the US Government and give the power to the people. Meanwhile a few miles away the this base G.I. Zombie meets up with longtime agent friend Elliot who fills him in on the last sighting of Carmen and tells him of the base that is also acting as a spa for the rich, he also tells him to head to this small motel down the road and he will find his “new” identity as a video game maker who has a treatment set at the spa for the next day. Later as G.I. Zombie sits alone in his room a young woman named Libby enters and is running for her life as she hides in his bathroom as two men are following her, after exchanging some words with them Zombie takes them down only to be shot in the head by Libby who is the true baddie as she works for Forrest and after cleaning the room she is taking the bodies to the spa hideout for disposal.

The plot thickens in the fifth issue as we now know that Forrest and all of those who follow or are apart of his group’s true goal is to take over America as they claim they want the power back to the people, but somehow I feel that Forrest has other true plans and is using these militia groups and ex-criminals to further along his true underline plan that I can not figure out yet. Poor Carmen is truly stuck in a very dangerous situation as she is truly in the hornet’s nest and has seen and heard too much to be figured out as a spy as they would and could easily kill her. Libby and Cat are also two females who work for Forrest and it’s clear that they will also kill for him on his orders and will leave no loose ends. Gravedigger and Elliot are two of the good guys who clearly want to try and stop this group from doing another attack as they have unleashed a virus once that has taken way to many innocent human and animal lives, and they both know that G.I. Zombie is America’s only hope. Speaking of G.I. Zombie we have all seen up to this point how much of a good undead guy he is who is always helpful, respectful and follows orders…but I do love that he does have the urge and craving for human flesh and that the army gives him inmates of the worst kind from near by prisons in order to fill the hunger! A very cool aspect of the character as he could snap and kill if he is not fed after a while. The story is really keeping me intrigued and I like the small turns we get as well as the character development and new characters being added into our story. This issue has some blood and murder and the cover is a strange one as its G.I. Zombie kissing a woman and blood is linking their lips, and you know the interior art is done by Hampton and is good. So with another good issue in the books let’s see what issue six has in store for us.

GI Zombie Comic 6

G.I. Zombie # 6  ***
Released in 2015     Cover Price $2.99    DC Comics    # 6 of 8

Forrest is on the phone and is calling Leo, the man who is making the zombie virus in Ecuador and explains that the sample has been used in Tennessee and was a success and that he needs his full shipment sent, Leo is annoyed that Duke used it already and agrees to send more, but it comes with a threat if the virus is linked back to him. Forrest then leaves and creeps around Carmen’s room and half hearted flirts with her before leaving. Meanwhile Carmen tries to sneak around to find a phone to call Gravedigger, but instead runs into Cat and they both go and get a midnight snack from the kitchen. G.I. Zombie who was set to be burned up in a furnace snaps into action and takes down several guards and top officials for Forrest and even finds his gun stockpile room before he himself is caught on a security camera and a red alert goes out to the guards. Forrest recognizes G.I. Zombie and knows that he works for the Government and tells Libby to get the jet ready that they along with a few other including Cat and Carmen are leaving the hideout, and the rest of the people will sadly die as he is dropping a nuke bomb on it as he can not have any information leak out!

The gig is up at the spa hideout of Forrest and his crew of over throwers and his big plan to deal with being caught is for him and few to escape and them bomb and kill all the others who have been loyal to him and the cause, so it shows you that Forrest is a rich a-hole who does not care about anything but himself as I am sure if push comes to shove the likes of Libby and Cat would be sacrificed if it meant saving his own hide. And Carmen is really trapped as she keeps getting deeper into the trust of these people and this makes it so if she is exposed for being an undercover agent, she will be killed and the worst part is her own people are always a few steps behind her in order to save or get the information she has out of her. Also it looks like Leo and his people are surly the ones behind the creation of the virus and this also shows that this network is even bigger and spread out then what it appears in the first few issues. G.I. Zombie snaps into action and goes after the baddies in their own base and uses a knife and a gun to deal death and gets a few before being caught on a security camera, he so wants to get to Carmen and also complete this mission before anymore innocent Americans are hurt. Some blood and death in this one with a gruesome one being a man set on fire and then gets a knife to his skill as he ran around, pretty brutal kill from G.I. Zombie. The cover is our hero being nuked and you all know by now who did the art and that it’s good stuff. Over all a great issue that leaves us on a good cliffhanger of the hideout being blown up and only a few of Forrest closest crew escaping along side him, can G.I. Zombie stop the bomb and save lives or will be apart of the explosion…I guess we have to read issue seven to find out.

GI Zombie Comic 7

G.I. Zombie # 7  ***
Released in 2015     Cover Price $2.99    DC Comics    # 7 of 8

Forrest has set the timer for the nuke bomb to go off and he along with a select few have escaped the hideout via a private jet set for California to another secret lab hideout. Meanwhile G.I. Zombie tries to figure out a way to stop the bomb from going off and soon finds that that task is impossible and that everyone inside this hideout is going to die. Gravedigger meanwhile along with a hammer is able to get a little bit of information out of Duke and he learns just how dangerous this group is as they plan to truly unleash a massive attack on America. While stealing a car and trying to get as far away from the explosion as possible G.I. Zombie is able to get a cellphone and call Gravedigger to tell him about what is going to happen and sure enough the bomb goes off and also unleashes more of the zombie virus, the explosion causes G.I. Zombie to wreck and he is even injured cause of this, and he is saved just in time by some Army guys as two civilians who was hit by the virus tried to kill him. Meanwhile at the new hideout Carmen makes a run for it as she thinks Forrest and the others have caught on that she is an agent, and after calling Gravedigger she is surrounded by heavily armed guards. In the end Gravedigger alerts G.I. Zombie that they have to leave now and try and stop this Armageddon style attack that Forrest is about to commit.

That Forrest is one evil man as not only has he killed innocent people and animals with his zombie virus but this time around he used a bomb to blow up his discovered hideout killing hundreds of his own workers in order to cover his own butt. Plus it’s clear that he is more like a rich doomsday cult leader than a give the people the power one. Duke the big bad biker leader of the Mississippi sure does squeal when a hammer is taken to his fingers in order to get questions answered as this also proves Gravedigger will do what he must in order to save America from this threat, and that includes bashing a mans fingers with a hammer. Carmen is was over her head and its clear that by the end of this issue she is spooked by Forrest and his people as she thinks they have made out that she is an agent spy, and when escaping the hideout she also shows that she is a skilled fighter as she takes a gun with only four bullets and makes it work. G.I. Zombie does what he can to try and figure out how to stop the bomb and how to save the workers inside, but sadly time was just not on his side. While he is undead it shows that he still cares about living people even if most fear him. We also see that the end game is near as Forrest is about to set off tons of his zombie virus in order to shake up America, and we have to see in the next issue if G.I. Zombie and this secret branch of the Army can stop it. This issue also is more about building to the final issue and is less about the horror aspects, don’t get me wrong we still get blood and death, it’s just a little more toned down. The stakes feel high coming up as the threat is world changing and the fact that only a small few know and can stop this also adds to the drama. The cover for this issue is eye catching and has G.I. Zombie fighting zombies and you know what I am going to say for the interior art. Over all a great issue that was perfect for setting up the final issue in the mini series.

GI Zombie Comic 8

G.I. Zombie # 8  **1/2
Released in 2015     Cover Price $2.99     DC Comics     # 8 of 8

Carmen escapes the ambush and is able to kill all the armed guards that was sent after her, she has a mission to stop this threat and that is just what she is going to do. Meanwhile G.I. Zombie and Gravedigger board a jet and head to the next hidden base of the outlaw terrorist in hope to stop them as well as save Carmen from danger. Back at the hideout Forrest decides that Cat is the one who brought the agent to their doorstep and puts a bullet in her brain for doing so. Once at the location G.I. Zombie, Gravedigger and the team find Carmen and go into the base with orders to stop the bomb and kill anyone inside as they are terrorist and need to be taken down. Carmen and G.I. Zombie enter the base and take out anyone they come across and finally they find Forrest who has set another bomb to go off to let the virus out all over and spread this zombie infection. Forrest has a past with G.I. Zombie as once they see each other they both realize they have a past, and when Carmen decides she has had enough she beats up Forrest as G.I. Zombie alerts Gravedigger to the location of the launch room and as well gets Forrest’s cellphone and calls Leo the creator of the virus and says that they are coming for him as well! Gravedigger lets off a sonic device that not only takes out the terrorist who are not wearing earplugs but also gives them time to find the main power and to stop the bomb from going off. In the end Gravedigger tells G.I. Zombie and Carmen that they make a great team and that they will be placed together from now on.

I am not going to lie I am a little disappointed in the ending of this series as I found the wrap up to be a little weak and not pack a punch like it should. While the good guys do stop the bomb from going off, characters like Forrest just don’t seem to really get what is coming to him, sure he gets shot in the ear and beat up…but his “death” by sonic vibes is a little bland. I also feel that the fact that they call and alert Leo that they know who he is and that they are coming after him also was a strange move as now all he has to do is relocate…why warn him. I do like the team up of Carmen and G.I. Zombie and I would have liked to seen more of them, maybe even at some point teaming alongside the Creature Commandos or even Unknown Soldier. I also feel that the end “battle” was way to easy and quick and all of a sudden Forrest and his men seem less threatening as they fall like a house of cards on a windy day, and it really is disappointing as the creators of this series did such a great job building to this last issue and for this comic reader it fell a little flat. Now I am not saying I didn’t enjoy this issue, it’s just a weak ending to a very solid series. G.I. Zombie is a very interesting character that we have learned lots about in this series as he is an American Army member who even in death tries to protect the land that he loves and is a true warrior and skilled in fighting and strategies, and that a lost body part of his is what helped create the zombie virus being used by the terrorist. We also see that he is a caring man as he looks out for not only his agent friends but also innocent people and animals. Carmen is also a pretty cool character an army vet who survived a terrible crash during war and is using her skills still to help keep America safe and to honor her fallen friends. Gravedigger is pretty cool as well as he clearly is a veteran of situations like this and does not crack under pressure. This mini series really did do a great job of mixing Horror and War Comics with elements of both getting time to shine and the amount of blood used throughout was a nice touch for those readers who loved zombie comics, plus bonus points to them for some of the more gruesome deaths. The cover for this issue is pretty cool and lacks the punch of the covers before it and throughout the series Scott Hampton has really rocked it with his art and won me over as at first I was not a fan of the style, but by the end I really liked and respected it. Over all DC Comics had a good series here and a cool character that they should still be using today! Check out the artwork below to see the style of Scott Hampton used in this series.

GI Zombie Comic Art 1GI Zombie Comic Art 2GI Zombie Comic Art 3

But wait there is more! Given that this is July 4th and Rotten Ink’s 10 Year Anniversary, let’s take a look at G.I. Zombie special that was released in 2014 and was part of the “Future Ends” stories that DC Comics had going at the time. So with that, let’s dive into this one and spend just a little more time with G.I. Zombie.

GI Zombie Comic Special 1

G.I. Zombie: Special # 1  **
Released in 2014     Cover Price $3.99    DC Comics     # 1 of 1

G.I. Zombie is on a ship and his partner Carmen has been infected with the virus and is now a flesh eating zombie and doctors are going to try a treatment that they hope will help her. But things get worse when zombies are parachuting out of the sky and are now attacking the agents and G.I. Zombie is given the orders to attack and get these undead nightmares off the ship. And he does so when he charges into them and turns into a massive deformed zombie that rips many of them to shreds, but he is attacked by the helicopter that dropped the zombies off and is taken down for a few moments before he can comeback together. The scientists deliver the antidote to Carmen and at first it looks as if it didn’t, work but just in time she is cured as G.I. Zombie pulls himself together and they come up with a plan to drop the antidote from a crop duster on the city of Gotham that has been infected by the virus. But the enemy helicopter approaches and shoots down the crop duster, but G.I. Zombie is able to leap into the copter and gets it to crash…and the man behind this attack is Gravedigger who himself is now a zombie that is just like G.I. Zombie and the two fight for a moment when G.I. Zombie removes his head and takes it away causing Gravediggers body to wonder around, after this fight G.I. Zombie gives the order for the antidote to be dropped so that lives can be saved. Later G.I. Zombie and Carmen are having dinner and she has decided to retire as an agent and go live in the mountains, while G.I. Zombie is sad, he understands and the two enjoy one last meal together.

What a strange One-Shot comic as everything we know from the mini series is thrown out of the water and in this one G.I. Zombie is calling the shots, the army has found a cure for the virus, Carmen goes from being a zombie to cure and the most weird change is that now Gravedigger is pro the virus infecting people and is now a bad guy that is as well a super zombie solider who is taken down very easily by G.I. Zombie. And so many questions are not answered in the comic and that’s why this is a very odd read like why is Gravedigger bad now, who is spreading the virus and why, why is Gotham City under attack and why does G.I. Zombie turn into a massive zombie Hulk for a few panels and then its never spoke of again…just so many weird moments in this one that made it slightly less enjoyable of a read as I really do feel that this story kind of disrespects the characters and story that the mini series introduced us to and I dislike the fighting and large changes to personalities of the main three and those of course as G.I. Zombie, Carmen King and Gravedigger. The story also seems very bland and rushed and I hate to say this was a major letdown for me, as I feel that DC had something very cool with G.I. Zombie and this comic makes him and the lore seem like an after thought to just delivering a comic with a cheesy gimmick cover that while cool does not save this issue from being lazy. The interior artwork by Scott Hampton is good and helps bring some of the charm from the mini series into this. Not much to say besides this is just an ok issue and if you like the mini series and have not read this one I say skip it as it does nothing but ruins aspects of the series. Checkout the artwork below, and again art is good sadly this comic story is not.

GI Zombie Comic Special Art 1GI Zombie Comic Special Art 2GI Zombie Comic Special Art 3

Well it’s time to go eat some grilled food and enjoy time with family and friends before the fireworks fill the sky, so once more thanks for spending some of your holiday with me here at Rotten Ink and also I need to say that while DC Comics had a few miss fires with G.I. Zombie, I do feel that in 2014 they created a good American Hero character that truly did walk the line between War and Horror. Well for the next update we will be leaving the DC Universe Zombies behind but will be once more visiting the Romero Zombies when we cover Dead Dog Comics series “Night Of The Living Dead: The Barbara Chronicles” as well as take a look at Monster Bash Convention 2022 and Juliet and I’s adventures in Cranberry Township, PA. So until next time, read a comic or three, watch a zombie film or two and as always support your local Horror Host! See you soon as we are coming to read you Barbara…

NOTLD Barbra Chronicles Preview Logo

From Horror Movie To Horror Comic: WolfCop (2014)

Halloween is drawing closer, and this countdown to this spooky holiday update will be about the Horror Comedy film WolfCop and the Dynamite Comic series based around it! WolfCop is one of those indie films that I was alerted to early on and knew I needed to see it as I am a mega werewolf fan and also enjoy a good Horror Comedy from time to time. But after a short limited theatrical run and me not liking digital movies, I had to wait a while and finally was able to get it on DVD, and after watching it I was a fan of its fun over the top nature. And when thinking about what film and comic should get the “From Horror Movie To Horror Comic” update treatment I knew I had to cover WolfCop sooner then later and now here it is, so grab a drink, sit back and relax as we are going on a crazy werewolf crime busting adventure with Sergeant Lou Garou or as we all really know him WolfCop.

Let’s take a look at Sergeant Lou Garou aka The Wolfcop and his way of dealing with criminals that get in his way, as he does not kill the innocent. As human Lou Garou he is an officer of the law who spends more time drinking and getting drunk than busting crime and is over all looked at as a failure and joke. But once he is turned into a werewolf and called WolfCop he is still a drunk but also is some how a better officer! WolfCop can use his super senses like smell and hearing in order to track down his targets as they can run but cannot hide, as he can also move pretty fast for a drunken werewolf. WolfCop is also really strong and can use his strength to toss around as well as rip apart criminals and cult members alike. While WolfCop can use handguns and shotguns to deal death his main tools are his razor sharp teeth and claws that can rip and tear flesh like rice paper. WolfCops can also scare criminals with his appearances as well as his howl that can chill their bones and freeze them with fear. WolfCop is also fearless and will walk into danger and as he is not only has a don’t care attitude but also has liquid courage as he is drunk at all times. WolfCop not only gets his powers from the full moon but also booze and oh yeah he loves doughnuts. It should also be noted that normal bullets and stab wounds does not kill him. WolfCop does have weaknesses as he is human most of the time, and there for can be hurt and killed. Magic and Silver weapons of death can also kill him as again he is a werewolf and he hates silver. WolfCop also cause he is drunk can also be outsmarted and set up allowing his enemies to attack or escape him. WolfCop is a pretty strong killing machine and while he only kills the guilty those on the wrong side of the law have lots to worry about.

So as you can see, WolfCop is one law enforcement killing machine who while a raging beast is still on the side of the law and does what’s right and slaughters the bad people of the world. But now that we have talked about WolfCop the creature we need to now dive into the film that spawned him! I will be taking the films write up from our pals at IMDB after that I will be writing about the film’s production as well as my thoughts of the film. So let’s talk WolfCop the Full Moon Avenger Of Law Enforcement.

WolfCop (2014)

“It’s not unusual for alcoholic cop Lou to black out and wake up in unfamiliar surroundings, but lately things have taken a turn for the strange…and hairy. WolfCop is the story of one cop’s quest to become a better man. One transformation at a time.”

Lowell Dean was coming off his first feature film “13 Eerie” that was released in 2013 and had the bug to make another film. He wanted to make a film that as well did not rely on computer effects and wanted practical and being a horror fan he wanted to stay in that genre but also add in a touch of comedy. The film was shot in the same location area as 13 Eerie and was your typical independent filming production. Lowell did a great job of casting as he hired Leo Fafard to play Lou Garou/ The WolfCop as well as such named as Sarah Lind, Jonathan Cherry and Amy Matysio in supporting roles. He also got the scoring and music skills of Shooting Guns to do the soundtrack. The film was released on June 6, 2014 and was meet with great reviews from horror fans and critics as always was split on it with most given it praise. The film was released along side such films as Dracula Untold, As Above So Below, Last Shift, It Follows, A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night and What We Do In The Shadows to name a few. The film would be released on DVD, Blu-Ray and Digital and find even more of a following.

WolfCop was a film that I first heard about thanks to Horror Movie websites that I visit all the time sites like Gorezone, Bloody Disgusting and Dread Central to name a few and the coverage they were given it, and then once I seen the trailer I knew I had to see this film as werewolves are my favorite classic monster and the film looked crazy and funny as well. Of course no local theater in my area picked it up when it had its limited run theatrically so I had to wait for home media before I was able to view it and did so at a Horror Movie Marathon and the film was a big hit with everyone in attendance enjoying! And the shocking part for me was that I really liked it and laughed at several of the over the top moments as well as crude gross humor, and that’s shocking as for the most part I am not a mega fan of the more modern Horror Comedy films that was spawned after Shaun Of The Dead. And even more shocking is when the sequel Another WolfCop was released in 2017 I as well really enjoyed that one as well! Besides the gross humor what really worked for me was the look of WolfCop as well as the blood and gore as the film had no CGI effects and the practical effects made the scenes more gruesome and made the humor pop more. Plus you can never go wrong with the films end theme being a rap about the films character, man more movies need to do this. If you like werewolves, dark crude gross humor, indie Horror flicks and cool effects I say make sure to check out WolfCop! Oh and Lowell Dean were is WolfCop 3?

WolfCop is a film that I think every Horror Movie fan with a weird sense of humor should see at least once in their lives as I think much of the over the top goof gore and kills will put a smile on your face. Now it’s time that we take a look at the comics based on this film and I would like to thank Mavericks Cards And Comics for getting me these comics for my pull file and making this long overdue update possible. I would also like to remind you readers that I grade these comics on a star scale of 1 to 4 and am looking for how well the comics stay to the source material, its entertainment value and it’s art and story. So if you are ready, let’s go on patrol with WolfCop and see what violent calls we will get while he is on duty.

WolfCop # 1  ***
Released in 2016     Cover Price $3.99   Dynamite     #1 of 3

Just outside the town of Woodhaven, a door-less police car is speeding away from the town and behind the wheel is the drunk Sergeant Lou Garou who is guzzling liquor and with him is his friend Willie Higgins who is a little scared of Lou’s poor drunk driving skills. The car ends up dying and the two are stuck out in the middle of nowhere just in time to be harassed by a motorcycle gang that has two young ladies kidnapped, Lou being an officer of the law tries to save the ladies…but he and Willie are overpowered and are as well taken. While tied up and placed in a cycles sidecar the moon comes out and Lou turns into WolfCop and slaughters all but one biker who ran away and saves the ladies, while one lady runs off if fear the other tells them that the bikers were taken them to a place called The Meat Locker and that many people before them had been taken to it and have never returned. The Meat Locker is ran by a fat cannibal who has the bikers kidnap people and bring them to this place so he can eat them, and once hearing about WolfCop he gets a craving for werewolf meat! WolfCop takes Willie and the woman to the Meat Locker on a stolen bike and rushes in and takes out many of the henchmen and butchers with ease, but he finds that the man in charge is really a monster a giant Boar monster and its strong, real strong and even worse hungry! WolfCop and The Boar Monster clash with WolfCop coming out the winner with a well-placed bullet to the creature’s brain! In the end the young woman frees all the hostages that were to be eaten as Willie and WolfCop ride off on a motorcycle.

This first issue in the WolfCop mini series is a fantastic read that is filled with lots of blood and guts as well as humor and shows that Horror Movie characters like WolfCop are perfect for comic books. The plot has Officer Garou on the run along with his close friend Willie who stumble onto a biker gang who are taking people to a place to be killed and eaten by a man who is really a monster boar, really the plot is that crazy and that fantastic. WolfCop is a werewolf of few words besides when he wants a hard drink and lets his actions speak for themselves, he is not afraid to rush into danger as well as has zero issues with massacring bad guys. As human Lou Garou he is nothing more than a drunk who loves taking a drink one after another. Willie Higgins is a loyal friend to Lou who watches out for his friend not only as a human but also as a werewolf and is willing to risk his own life to help out his pal. The Biker Gang are just evil minions for a Boar Creature who is brutal in nature and loves to eat flesh and is always hungry for blood and meat…he is massive when turned into the creature and all those who were to be eaten have to think WolfCop for coming and saving the day and their lives. The comic is very bloody and has lots of blood splatter and even flesh eating making it truly feel like a horror comic straight of the 90’s indie scene. The pacing of the issue is also really well done and feels like a fast read with lots of action and a cool fight between monsters with a good payout. The cover is really great and super eye catching not only for fans of the WolfCop film but also for fans of Horror Comics! The interior art is done by Arcana Studios and is top-notch work and captures the awesome look of WolfCop really well. This comic is a nice fit and feels like apart of the film universe and shows that Horror Comics based on films can be done right when the right creative team is behind the creative wheel.

WolfCop # 2  ***
Released in 2016     Cover Price $3.99   Dynamite     #2 of 3

Lou and Willie are in a small town trying to get his old beat up police cruiser fix when they meet Madame Faye at a strip club and she invites them to stay at her place for the night while the car is being worked on. They get to her home and see that it’s filled with beautiful women and she also has a mountain of a man named Sammy who acts as the houses security guard even caring a massive sword. As Willie goes off to a room with all the ladies, Lou heads off with Madame Faye and things start to turn bad real bad for the friends! Madame Faye is some sort of witch and uses black magic to bring the werewolf out of Lou as well as keeps him in place with a spell, as poor Willie ends up having to fight for his life as the women he is with are all zombies! After killing all the zombie women Willie makes his way to Lou and finds him stuck and now as WolfCop the beast in mad and wants something hard to drink to try and break the spell, but all they have is a little booze left in a flask. Willie tries his best to free WolfCop but is found out by Madame Faye and Sammy and pays with his life as Sammy cuts Willie’s hand and head off, and this enrages WolfCop who breaks free and kills Sammy in return who can not be kept down as he is some sort of demon, and worse for WolfCop more Zombie woman are around and the house is no on fire! WolfCop is able to get the Sammy Demon outside and finds some booze that he quickly drinks that gives him the power to rip the heart out of Sammy killing the demon. He leaves Madame Faye in the burning house as she is being attacked and killed by her zombie women as the flames close in. WolfCop is upset and gives a call to Sergeant Tina and alerts her that he is coming back home to Woodhaven.

This second issue puts WolfCop into another very dangerous situation as he this time around must fight off an evil powerful Witch, her Demon sidekick and a horde of female zombies hungry for flesh all in a small town at a whorehouse and witnesses his best friend be killed before his eyes! So as you can see this was a really bad night for WolfCop who allows his rage to take over, well as well as lots of booze in order to break a spell he was under and escape and kill those who ruined his night. WolfCop in this issues not only uses his claws and teeth to cause death but also uses his gun to bring down the evil all around him. It always makes me laugh when WolfCop uses his addiction to booze to be more powerful as a werewolf and it works for him as the drunker he is the more skilled he is. Poor Willie who is the babysitter for WolfCop was looking forward to bedding some beautiful women, instead is attacked by them as they turn into zombies and then become the victim of a beheading at the hands of a demon. The Demon Sammy is a killer who listens to his master and uses his sword to deliver death as well as has a burning body that can inflict pain as well. Madame Faye is a witch that uses her black magic to kill people that come to her brothel and control a demon and zombies. She is powerful but also when she gets weakened by a gunshot wound she finds herself the lunch buffet for her own zombie ladies. This issue is lots of fun just like the first one and has a fast paced silly Comedy Horror vibe that captures the film series really well. The comic has blood and guts and even has the death of a character that was a fan favorite for readers and viewers. The cover on this issue is just ok and is a little lacking and while eye catching does not do the issue justice. The interior art is well done and is done by Allan Otero and is well done and his WolfCop drawings are on point. Over all another great issue in this WolfCop mini series and I like that this one ends with him returning home and who knows what creatures he will face in the next and final issue.

WolfCop # 3  **1/2
Released in 2016     Cover Price $3.99   Dynamite     #3 of 3

WolfCop returns to Woodheaven and once out of his car kills off some gang members before entering Willie’s old gun store to find Willie alive inside as he re-spawned after getting his head cut off by Sammy at the brothel. You see Willie who is a shape shifter has an unknown amount of returns in his life. Once inside the shop WolfCop and Willie talk about the curse the witch placed on him that now keeps him stuck as a werewolf! Just then Officer Tina shows up and notices that Willie has all types of illegal guns and warns them both that they need to leave town as they are wanted for many murders. As WolfCop and Willie are heading to the car to once more leave town a sniper using high-powered ammo opens fire on WolfCop who shrugs off the bullets and ends up killing the sniper. A homeless man from nowhere shows up and is upset that the sniper failed and as he keeps getting mad he changes into a monster with a massive mouth filled with razor sharp teeth and many tentacles legs and goes for WolfCop as he wants to drink the werewolves blood. Tina and Willie try and help their friend by shooting at and even hitting the monster with grenades, but while it slows the monster down it does not stop him! WolfCop is loosing as the monster is way to big and strong, but Willie tosses WolfCop a grenade launcher and lycan cop fires right into the monsters mouth and kills it. In the end Willie and WolfCop are leaving town and Tina watches them walk away as WolfCop asks for doughnuts.

The third and final issue of WolfCop has him returning home in order to pick up his friend Willie who has re-spawned back to life their after being killed. Once in town he is attacked by yet another monster and even gets to see is old partner Tina. The Monster in this issue is a weird looking almost H.P. Lovercraft creature that wants to drink the blood of WolfCop and spends his time also talking down to the officer while beating him. The Monster is way to cocky and that’s what leads to him being exploded into pieces is the fact he thinks he is unbeatable. Willie Higgins returns and he is happy to be back to life and is as goofy and gun loving as ever, and because he loves guns and weapons is how they are able to bring down the monster that was attacking and killing his friend WolfCop. It’s also great to see Officer Tina in action as she is a very important character in the films series and plays a smaller role here in the comic, but still great to see her. WolfCop in this issue is stuck being a werewolf and is not drunk enough and is hungry for some good old doughnuts, but even with these cravings he still has the mindset to kill some punks as well as try and fight a monster that was bigger then he was! Through out this whole mini series WolfCop as always backs down from no fight and goes into them with no plan and no fear and always comes out the winner. I mean think about this just in these three issues he has killed a Cannibal Boar Monster, Bikers, A Witch, Female Zombies, a Demon, Punks, A Sniper and a Monster…see WolfCop is a drunken badass! This issue has some blood and violence but is not in the same league as the last two issues that had way more gory deaths. I feel like Dynamite really dropped the ball by not making WolfCop an ongoing series as it would have been awesome to see it continue and even maybe crossover with Army Of Darkness, as who wouldn’t want to see WolfCop team with Ash and fight the deadites! The cover for this third issue is pretty good and shows WolfCop crashing through a window looking very pissed off and ready for a fight. The interior art is done by Allan Otero and like before is very well done, and for those wondering Allan is an artist who has done so much for Zenescope Comics. I really enjoyed the WolfCop mini series and really do feel that more issues should have been made and that a third film should be as well, and I will say if you like WolfCop or Another WolfCop you should give this comic series a read. Check out the artwork below to see the style used in this series.

WolfCop and Dynamite Comics come together to once more prove my point that comics based on Horror Movies are a great way to not only promote the film as this one was a great way to build hype for the sequel Another WolfCop that was coming out soon as well as helps bring readers to the comic company that released it, as fans of WolfCop would go on to see Dynamite release Jeepers Creepers and Pumpkinhead as well as their long running Army Of Darkness series. That is why in my opinion companies like Eibon Press, IDW and Blood Scream Comics are doing it right as they deliver not only great original comics but also amazing must read ones based on Horror Films. But enough of that I don’t need to bring out my soapbox here to talk about Horror Comics, as our patrol with WolfCop has came to an end and I need to alert you all that the next update that will be about the 1996 shot on video film “A Night Of Total Terror” that was directed by James Rolfe! So until next time read a Horror Comic or three, watch a Horror Movie or two and as always support your local Horror Host. Man, I really hope that you readers are ready for a Night that is packed with Total Terror!

From Horror Movie To Horror Comic: Zombi 2

Happy Scary Halloween! For this year’s spooky holiday update I decided to do a “From Horror Movie To Horror Comic” update based on one of my favorite Italian horror movies that was directed by one of Italy’s best directors, the godfather of splatter & gore, Lucio Fulci, and the comic series released by one of the world’s best Indie comic companies going, Eibon Press! I am sure that by now you guessed that I am talking about “Zombi 2.” This is one that is long over due and one that I have been looking forward to reading and reviewing here at Rotten Ink, and after a very terrible 2020, I figured why not make it this Halloween update as this is sure to make your holiday a little more spooky! So if you’re ready, let’s get on this boat the S.S. Eibon and set sail for the island of the dead. Along the way we have to watch out for sharks and the zombies of the ocean as they are both super hungry and super deadly. Oh, I do want to say that this update does have spoilers.

Let’s first break down the zombies of this film and their way of dealing with the living that are foolish enough to be in their paths. The zombies in Zombi 2 are undead reanimated bodies that range from freshly dead to the long dead and have a hunger for human flesh and guts that drive them to find their meal. In appearance, the zombies range from rotten flesh to bloody flesh and can use their looks to frighten and shock their human victims as, for example, they can be missing eyes and have open eye sockets complete with worms crawling out! The zombies will shuffle and stalk alone or in large groups and seem to also be smart in some of their attacks, not to mention that in a massive horde they could overtake and overwhelm a person or even a group of people. But I also do not want to downplay how dangerous they are on their own as one zombie could easily sneak up and take a bite out of you. These zombies can swim and walk under water. They do not need air and can take gunshots and massive hits to the body and still get back up to try to rip you apart. The zombies use their hands and teeth to rip away your flesh and do not slow down or get tired, making them super dangerous to the living; not to mention a bite from them can be toxic and lead to becoming one yourself. The zombies do have a few weaknesses though.  The main way to bring them down is head trauma and that means a gunshot to the brain or bashing the brain in with a heavy object. They can also be stopped with fire; if you set them ablaze, they will eventually fall and not get back up. Like all zombies, the ones in Zombi 2 are very hungry and very dangerous and the more of them there are, the more your days are numbered.

Now that we all understand that the zombies of Zombi 2 are flesh eating terrors that will not stop until they are ripping your guts out and scarfing them down, we should now take a look at the cult classic film that they are from and that really is one of my all time favorite films from Italy. As always, I will be taking the film’s plot from our friends at IMDB and after I will write briefly about the film’s production and then share about my thoughts on the film. So sit back and alert the crew that the boat can leave now.

Zombie (1979)

“A zombie is found aboard a boat off the New York coast which belongs to do a famous scientist. Peter West, a journalist, travels to the Antilles with Ann, the daughter of the scientist. On the way, they meet with with Brian, an ethnologist, and Susan. When they arrive at Matul Island, they find Dr. Menard, and discover a terrifying disease which is turning the islanders into horrifying zombies which devour human flesh and seem indestructible.”

In 1978, George Romero with Dario Argento released Dawn Of The Dead as Zombi in Italy, and the film was a mega hit. With that enter producer Fabrizio De Angelis, who wanted to make a “sequel” and tried to bring filmmaker Enzo G. Castellari on to direct but he turned it down. And then enter Lucio Fulci who was coming off two very good splatter horror films and was making a name for himself as an up and coming horror director. The screenwriter was Dardano Sacchetti, who called the script “Nightmare Island” and was very much inspired by the novel The Island Of Doctor Moreau and classic zombie films like Voodoo Island and I Walked With A Zombie.

Filming started in June 1979 in Latina, Italy with shots in New York City and Santo Domingo. Actors like Tisa Farrow, Ian McCulloch, Richard Johnson, Olga Karlatos and Al Cliver were hired on with Fabio Frizzi joining to score the zombie fright flick. During filming, the producers lied to the actors as no trailers were provided for them and it was a very demanding film to shoot, with even the classic shark vs. zombie scene being shot without Fulci even knowing about it!

When finished, the film was rushed to Italian Cinemas for release on August 25, 1979. It would hit English speaking markets in 1980 and was a major hit world wide and built a very big cult following. In fact, in England the film was labeled as a Video Nasty and was banned! Years after its released it found even more success on home video, DVD and Blu-Ray, becoming a must have film for horror collectors.

When the film was released in 1979, it was joined by such Horror Classics as Phantasm, The Amityville Horror, Alien, Tourist Trap, Savage Weekend, Capture Of Bigfoot and Salem’s Lot, to name a few. The film was followed by Zombi 3 (that was also partly directed by Fulci) and then the series here in America would have more sequel numbers slapped on VHS boxes that really were just other films from foreign markets like After Death, Killing Birds, Absurd and A Virgin Among The Living Dead, to name a few. If you have never seen Zombie and are a major fan of zombie films or even Italian horror, do yourself a major favor and give it a watch.

I first heard of Zombie thanks to the book Gore Score by Chas Balun, who peeked my interest when he kept talking how about a splinter going into a woman’s eye changed his life and gave it very high on the gore level. I would see more coverage of the film in the pages of old Fangoria Magazines, and seeing pictures of the worm-eyed zombie locked it in my mind that I had to see the film someday! For years I waited for the film to play on TV as well as looked for it at video rental stores my parents visited and could not find it, and this was so frustrating.

Years would pass, and as a teenager, I was finally able to find a copy of the film on VHS at Suncoast in the Dayton Mall and I was hyped to get home and watch it. While the quality of the film transfer was poor, after watching the film I became hooked as I loved so much about it. The gore was fantastic, the zombies looked creepy, the score was top notch, the atmosphere was spooky and the ladies were beautiful with Olga Karlatos who played Mrs. Menard being stunning. Plus seeing the splinter to the eye scene that haunted the nightmares of Balun was as gruesome as I imagined and truly grossed me out. The crazy thing is that this film is a sequel to a sequel that spawned more sequels…and in reality this film has zero to do with Dawn Of The Dead and was a cheap cash in that ended up being really good and can stand on its own and became a cult classic. Plus I am not going to lie, I really do also like Zombi 3 that was its follow up, but Dawn Of The Dead’s follow up Day Of The Dead is my favorite zombie film of all time.

Over the years I have often recommended this film to my friends who enjoy horror films if they have never seen it and enjoy Italian films. And of course over the years I have owned this film on VHS and DVD and it still remains in my top 10 best zombie films of all time list! I will say that at times some horror fans tend to make fun of this film due to a scene of a zombie fighting a shark and hands down that scene is awesome and sets it apart from all the other undead films that flooded the market at that time. Over all this is a great film and if any of you readers have not seen this film, make sure to check it out!

Like all cult horror movies, Fulci’s Zombie has had its fair share of cool merchandise for fans that include posters, t-shirts, buttons/pins, toys, comics, hats, books, CDs, magazines and of course the film on all types of home media. Over the years I have had my fair share of items based around Zombie like the classic Blackest Heart Media soundtrack on CD, the original Zombie graphic novel, and t-shirts with worm eyed zombie on it. I own a rubber figure of worm eyed zombie that was made by Rubber Monsters, and I have the enamel pin that my cousin Stephen got me. Plus of course I have the full set of comics from Eibon Press that in my opinion are must own comics for any horror comic reader.

I also want to take a moment to remind readers about Eibon Press, the masterminds behind the Fulci Comic universe that not only includes Zombie but also mini series based on The Beyond, Gates Of Hell and House By The Cemetery!

Eibon Press is an indie comic company that is for fans of horror comics and horror movies as. They do a fantastic job of bringing these films to pages and keeping true to the source but also adding their own touches and adding to the classic stories delivering ghoulish nightmare soaked pages. They also have comics based on other film series like 1980’s Maniac and Laserblast, plus original series like Bottomfeeder and Wasteland 1989 proving they can also deliver original frights to readers. Shawn Lewis, who is also the main man behind Rotten Cotton, is the brains behind Eibon Press, and hands down if you readers and friends have yet to check them out, make sure to do so as they are doing some really killer horror comics. Make sure to support indie comic companies as they are the ones who are truly allowing creative minds to express their ideas and bring stories to life. They are also the ones who are not taking the cookie cutter route of Marvel and DC and making comics based on fresh ideas as well as cult classic films that go beyond Star Wars and other Hollywood blockbusters. Long live Eibon Press as well as all the other micro and indie comic companies that are making comic reading fun again!

Before we move on, let’s also talk about just how crazy the world of Zombi is and how it has sparked a truckload of sequels and re-labeled films shoehorned into the series!

So we all know that Zombi is the title for George Romero’s 1978 classic Dawn Of The Dead in Italy and that the Fulci film Zombi 2 called Zombie here in America is an unofficial sequel. But here is where things get crazy: the real Zombi 3 was directed by Fulci, and yet there is Zombie 3: Return Of The Zombies that is just the Paul Naschy film The Hanging Woman renamed and released in the U.S. on VHS.

The fourth film in the series, Zombie 4: After Death, is really just the film After Death that has the Zombie title slapped on it, and there is also Zombie 4: A Virgin Among The Living Dead, a VHS release here in America that is just a Jesus Franco film with the Zombie 4 prefix tacked to it! And the tacked on title of Zombie continued with the fifth film as Zombie 5: Killing Birds was an Italian film called just Killing Birds, and here in the U.S. on VHS we had Zombie 5: Revenge In The House Of Usher that is another Jesus Franco film. Now we are getting into the rest of the VHS releases here in America, all put out by T-Z Video with Zombie 6: Monster Hunter that is just the Joe D’Amato film Absurd!

Many other films have been tagged with the Zombie label such as Anthropophagus, Night Of The Seagulls, Let Sleeping Corpses Lie, Zombie Holocaust, Nightmare City, Pulgasari, Panic, Burial Ground, Zombie ’90 and The Dead Next Door, to name a few! So as you can see, this series is a mess and is filled with tons of false sequels to the original films, and to be honest, someone in the indie filmmaking world should take up the mantel from T-Z Video of making and releasing zombie films with the Zombie brand taped onto the covers. Below are the covers for the films that have Zombie tagged onto the film by T-Z Video.

So as you can see, these zombies are true flesh eating soulless killing machines and are in one of Italy’s best horror movies ever made, and thanks to Eibon Press, they also got this comic series! First I want to thank Shawn Lewis and everyone at Eibon Press for doing these comics as the world needs more spooky comics based films and they are delivering and have many more to come. I also want to remind you all that I grade these comics on a star scale of 1 to 4 and am looking for how well the comics stay to the source material, its entertainment value and its art and story. So if you are ready, let’s head to this island filled with the dead and see why the dead are rising.

Zombie # 1  ***
Released in 2016   Cover Price $10.00   Eibon Press   # 1 of 8

A voodoo ceremony is going down, and after a sacrifice, a zombie tribal priest type figure named Biacando comes alive! Doctor David Menard wakes up from a feverish dream of that event and then has to shoot a dead patient in the head that was bitten by his dead wife. This is when Menard knows that the dead have risen. We then cut to a boat in New York that appears to be unmanned. The harbor cop comes aboard, and they find that a fat bloated zombie is on the ship. He kills one cop and the other guns down the bloated zombie down who falls overboard into the cold water below. Reporter Peter West reports to work and gets an assignment to check out the pier near where the cop and the bloated zombie were killed. While at the hospital, the dead cop comes back and kills the two doctors, spreading the zombie infection. Near the edge of the water a homeless man is attacked by the bloated zombie, who is now also in New York! Meanwhile Peter West meets Ann Bowles, the daughter of the man who owned the abandoned boat, and together the sneak into the pier at night to see if they can get answers as her father has been missing for a while now while working on an exotic island and the police are being rude and no help. While on board Anne finds a letter from her father that tells of a disease, a native tribe and unknown things on the Island of Matul. Peter gets his bosses at the paper to allow him to travel with Anne to the island to break this scoop that could be the biggest story in the world. While in Jamaica, Anne and Peter hire vacationing couple Bryan Hull and Susan Barrett to take them to Matul as a man with a voodoo doll watches them sail off.

This first issue of Zombie brings elements of the Lucio Fulci film as well as original plots from the mind of writer Stephen Romano! The plot of the issue has zombies infecting the island of Matul as well as later New York and a journalist and a missing doctor’s daughter are traveling to get the answers they seek after reading a letter written by her dad and left on a boat that washed into NY’s harbor.

The new plot elements that break away from the film show the natives of Matul bringing on the curse of the undead, complete with a clearly powerful zombie named Biacando! They also add in the fact that Peter West had a brother that was murdered on his first day out as a cop by a drug pusher, and that they were close…I smell the dead brother returning from the grave in a future issue. They also show the classic bloated zombie coming out of the water and making his way into New York and also stress that he is in fact the one who starts the zombie invasion in America.

Peter West is a goofball who admits to himself he is bad at his job of being a reporter and if not for his uncle owing the paper, he would have been fired long ago. But while bad at it, he still has the heart and right frame of mind when he gets wind of this story that could be the biggest the world has ever read if all works out right.

Ann Bowles is a strong willed woman who is not taking crap from the cops and wants to find her father and figure out why his boat was being sailed by someone other then him, and she even will team with a reporter she doesn’t know in order to get what she seeks.

We are only introduced briefly to Doctor David Menard, who worked with Ann’s father on Matul and who is stressed out and worn down by the zombies, as well as Bryan and Susan, the married couple who are enjoying life off the island of Jamaica, as Bryan is a retired Green Beret and Susan is a journalist for a nature publication.

The zombies are flesh hungry and brutal in nature as they just don’t eat the living, they massacre them! It’s great seeing the bloated zombie come alive in comic pages, and plus I want to know more about Biacando, who I am sure is a major force in what’s spreading this disease, as with every zombie kill, it seems maybe his spirit is around.

The comic does not shy away from blood, guts, gore and nudity and each kill is done in a glorious splatter fashion, and fans of comics like The Dead (Arrow Comics) and the original Walking Dead (Aircel Comics) will surely be pleased in the gore department. The cover for this first issue is very eye catching and will surely please fans of the film as it showcases the film’s most popular zombie. The interior art work is top notch and is a team up of artists Michael Broom with additional art by Derek Rook, and these guys capture the gritty nature of indie horror comics as well as Italian horror movies really well. To sum up this first issue, I will say that it’s a very solid horror comic that is doing the film its based on justice thus far and the creators adding their own touch makes it feel fresh and new. Let’s see what issue two has in store for us via story and gore!

Zombie # 2  ***
Released in 2016    Cover Price $10.00    Eibon Press    # 2 of 8

Doctor David Menard is once more having a dream about the tribe and the undead Biacando, who is doing more and more brutal sacrifices, and worse Doctor Menard finds that the hospital’s radio is no longer working and his wife Olga Menard is now upset. They get into an argument as she wants to leave and he wants to stay as he thinks he is close to finding a cure! And when things get too heated, Doctor Menard slaps Olga and she alerts him that she hates his guts! Later that night Olga is home alone taking a shower and unbeknownst to her, zombies are outside watching and looking for a way inside. They break in and force her eye onto a giant wood splinter and end her life. Meanwhile Peter, Ann, Bryan and Susan are on the boat heading toward Matul when Susan asks them to stop so that she can dive and get some underwater photos. Once in the water, a zombie attacks her and she only escapes from by using razor sharp coral that she scraps across its face. As Susan swims back to the boat and tells her story of a bloody man in the water which insights Bryan to be mad at Peter as he feels the reporter is not telling him the truth on what is going on in Matul. Meanwhile, the zombie ends up fighting with a shark! After Peter shares what he knows about the island and the rumor of the undead curse, they get on a rowboat and head toward Matul as Doctor David Menard watches them approach.

In this second issue our “heroes” are almost to the island, and while taking a break, they find a zombie under water. The threat of voodoo and the undead really starts to sink in, while Doctor David Menard decides that he will find a cure, even if it costs him his marriage and life.

The second issue once more is mostly based on the cult film from 1979, and once more the Eibon Press crew added their own touches to it that add a fresh layer to the comic and also adds more of a backstory to many of the characters! First, they show that David Menard was a man who really only has cared about experiments and even was a part of some in World War II. Olga Menard was shown to have been a lady of the night way before she married Menard and has looked at all these people who used and abused her as monsters. Lastly they hint that Susan was assaulted by her father when she was a youngster…adding many dirty secret layers to them.

Peter is one of those “hero” characters that have somewhat good intentions, but along the way he comes off as a snarky smartass. At one point when Bryan is upset that his wife was attacked by a man at the bottom of the Ocean and looks to Peter for answers as its on his request they are heading toward a cursed island that will only really benefit Peter (and somewhat Ann) as he will get a story that will make him famous. Ann kind of takes a backseat in this issue and is on the boat but keeps mostly to herself besides trying to keep Susan calm after seeing the zombie in the water. Bryan and Susan at first seem to be game to drop their paying guests at the island and start to second guess their decision when they notice that the legends of the island could be true.

Doctor David Menard is a man on a mission for answers, but sadly his want to find a cure is not fully in order to help mankind as its more to fulfill his ego to be the best. Poor Olga Menard; we hardly get to know her before she becomes dinner for zombies.

This issue again pulls no punches on the blood and guts and delivers the splinter to the eye death and its done pretty damn well! The cover is cool and eye catching and features another key zombies from the film, and the interior art is top notch and done by Michael Broom with others. So far this is very great series, and I cannot stress how cool it is that this adaptation has some new fresh elements added to the plot to deliver a familiar and yet new experience. Let’s see what issue three has in store for us!

Zombie # 3  ***
Released in 2017    Cover Price $10.00    Eibon Press    # 3 of 8

Doctor David Menard has the island’s new guests in his jeep and is heading back to the hospital when he tells Ann about the death of her father that had him being taken into the tribe of Biacando and that he along with the hospital crew went into the tribe and shot all the undead including Biacando and returned her father to the hospital where he was infected and turned into a zombie and Menard himself pulled the trigger when he reanimated. The boat crew was sent to New York for supplies and had orders to dump infected bodies into the ocean, and Menard says they must have been infected before they arrived in America. Once back at the hospital nurse Stephanie runs out and alerts Menard that his friend Fritz is inside in bad shape. Menard gives his guests the keys to the jeep and asks them to check in on his wife and to wash up as he will come for them a little later as he rushes inside. Peter, Ann, Susan and Bryan take the jeep and head to his house, and they don’t think his story of voodoo adds up. Things get worse for them as they enter the house and find his wife being eaten by zombies that are now all over the place as they are hungry and they are on the menu! Bryan snaps and grabs a shovel and smashes zombie skulls, and the group makes it safely to the jeep as the voodoo drums once more fill the air. Unlucky for them, a little way down the road the jeeps engine just stops working and they know they have to get to the hospital for shelter as the zombies are coming. While at the hospital, Doctor David Menard has to shoot his injured friend who turns into a zombie and orders his two helpers Lucas and nurse Stephanie to lock all the doors and windows. Meanwhile Peter and the rest are making a run for the hospital and have to go through an old cemetery, and as they take a momentary breather, the ground beneath them starts to rumble. The long dead are also coming back to life, and one with worms in one of his eye sockets takes a bite out of Susan’s neck, killing her! Peter and Ann help the shocked and sad Bryan as more and more zombies are coming.

This third issue is super action packed as the plot has our heroes meeting the island doctor who gives them answers to some of their questions. They discover the half eaten and mutilated body of the doctor’s wife, battle their way through zombie and lose one of their own to the series’ top zombie in Worm Eye! And this all happens super fast.

We also get more of a look into Biacando whose voodoo that is causing all of this and who is the one who infected Ann’s dad with the infection that lead to his death and then re-death at the hands of his own friend.

It’s clear by this third issue that Doctor David Menard is a man on the edge as the stress and the horrors he has seen on this island are starting to really get to him, and being the kind of guy he is, giving up and running away is not an option. I mean it’s crazy as so far in the series, he has had to shoot two of his close friends in the head after they have returned as zombies, not to mention all the other villagers he has had to do this with and soon he will find out his wife as well has fallen victim to this infection!

Bryan and Susan are clearly second guessing themselves as they went to this cursed island only because strangers offered money and they had a intriguing story…but thus far all they have gotten is Bryan losing his mind and flashing back to his military days and Susan ends up dead with a bite hole in her neck! Peter and Ann have gotten answers about the death of her father as well as a little about the infection that is bringing the dead back to life, but they don’t fully trust what they have been told! Also it’s clear that they are now also starting to fall for each other and that they all must watch out for one another if they want to get off the island alive.

Poor Stephanie and Lucas are trying to help with the sickness and the dead at the hospital, but it’s clear they are scared out of their minds.

The main attraction of course is seeing the Worm Eyed Zombie do his thing and take a chunk out of Susan’s neck! Like before, this issue adds its own touches to the adaptation like showing Ann’s father was under the cursed charm of Biacando and Bryan going crazy with a shovel and bashing and smashing zombies at Menard’s home. The jeep’s engine fails, and they don’t crash into a tree like in the film. Those are just some of the small and big changes. The story is reaching the fever pitch of what is to come with the living against the dead in a showdown of survival, and this comic series is doing a great job of building the hype! The cover is eye catching and once more showcases a zombie from the film, and the interior art by Michael Broom and Derek Rook is top notch and is perfect for a horror comic based on a film. This issue also pours out the blood and guts on the pages and has some true splatter moments! So let’s see what issue four has in store for us.

Zombie # 4  ***
Released in 2017    Cover Price $10.00    Eibon Press    # 4 of 8

Peter takes charge in the cemetery as Bryan is breaking down over the death of his wife Susan while zombies are surrounding them. Finally Peter is able to get them all to run and make it to the boarded up hospital. Inside Doctor David Menard is getting Stephanie and Lucas to get bottles and kerosene to make molotov cocktails, and then lets in Peter and the others who inform him that his wife is dead and that the hospital is being surrounded by zombies! Doctor David Menard informs Bryan to go to a closet to fetch guns to arm themselves, and then the Doctor wanders off and records his final message before being eaten by a zombie as he has embraced death. Poor Stephanie and Lucas also get attacked and eaten by zombies leaving Peter, Ann and Bryan to fend for themselves. The three hold their ground and use guns and the molotov cocktails on as many of the undead as they can, and once the hospital is burning down, they run out the back door and standing there is the zombie of Susan…who bites Bryan. Peter shoots her, and the three rush back to the boat and set sail to get back to New York. Meanwhile Doctor David Menard is now a zombie and gets the call from Biacando, who clearly had more plans for the dead. As Peter and Ann listen to the confessions of war from Bryan, he dies, and they store his body in the belly of the boat to use him as proof of their story. As the couple get close to New York, they hear on the boat’s radio that the zombies are now in New York and have started to slaughter and kill and that things are really bad. As they listen, zombie Bryan busts out of the door and charges for an attack as we end this issue with hordes of zombies entering the city.

The adaptation part of this comic series comes to an end with this issue, and it goes out with a massive bang and does a great job of building up the excitement of what is to come as it’s clear the zombies are many and mankind needs to take a stand to try and end this terror. And I have to say that writer Stephen Romano did a fantastic job of capturing the feel and spirit of the Fulci film as well as added his own touches that truly brought a new level of fright to the story. The stuff he added was well done as he fleshed out the characters of Peter West, Ann Bowles, Doctor David Menard, Olga Menard among others and this was wise as it made you understand the characters better and showcased some of their dark secrets.

I also like how he added the touch that maybe the zombies are not being brought back by voodoo or an infection as it could also be the fault of toxic waste that has been hidden on the island thanks to Doctor David Menard and his shady war crime past. That’s the thing, Doctor David Menard clearly did some terrible things during war and should have been jailed, but thanks to his knowledge and friends in dark places, he and his wife were spared paying for what he did…it’s also crazy as he is now a zombie, and I am sure he will be coming back into play later in the series. To me it seemed like when he got the news that his wife was dead and zombie food, he lost the will to live and was sick of running from his past.

Peter West is the story’s main hero as he fights through the fear and doubt and does what he can to keep Ann safe as well as watch after Bryan who is losing it due to the killing of his wife. Peter shows great growth as he starts off as a snarky reporter and by the end he turns into a reluctant hero.

Ann and Bryan are great backup characters, and I like that Bryan at the end is a zombie and could continue on in later issues. Biacando, the zombie witch doctor, is also still around as Dr. Menard as a zombie goes to him, and this is cool, as I cannot to see what Biacando is and why he is!

The end of New York being attacked by zombies is truly awesome as it’s a bloodbath of flesh and blood being spilled all over the place and shows just how easily a zombie apocalypse could be upon us all if one would to break out. With that said, the issue does not shy away from blood, guts, gore and some nudity delivering a truly classic horror comic feel. The cover is great and showcases another amazing zombie from the film, and I cannot praise the interior artwork of Michael Broom and Derek Rook enough as their style is so fitting for a comic like this. I have to say that the first four issues of Zombie is really great stuff and everyone at Eibon Press and the creators who have done this series should be proud of it, as it truly is a treat for horror comic readers! So with that, let’s see what issue five has in store for us and where this series goes beyond the movie’s plot as I am really hyped to read and find out!

Zombie # 5  ***
Released in 2017    Cover Price $10.00    Eibon Press    # 5 of 8

The zombie of Doctor David Menard is now under the orders of zombie witch doctor Biacando who has chosen Menard to continue his experiments this time, on zombies…and has replaced his fingers with needles. Meanwhile in New York, the city is overrun with zombies. Peter has taken Ann on a date to a fancy restaurant. When zombies bust in, Peter guns them down and after clearing them out, the couple is confronted by Colonel Louis Fulci who at first thinks that Peter and Ann are looters but soon after killing more incoming zombies takes them along to their base. Meanwhile in a cemetery William West, who is Peter’s brother who was a cop and murdered while on duty, has returned from the grave and is mad when he flashes back to his funeral and the fact his brother did not cry for him. Now the zombie cop wants answers! Back at the base camp, Colonel Fulci informs them that he and his men are the only hope right now of keeping these zombies in New York, and Peter tells him about the Island as well as how they had stayed on the boat for months after killing their friend Bryan again once he turned into a zombie. He says that after running out of food they had to come to shore to get something to eat when he and his men found them. Colonel Fulci then alerts them that he has heard of Doctor David Menard and is looking for a toxic waste dump site that is said to be what is bring the dead back to life! Colonel Fulci’s campsite is a grindhouse movie theater and he takes his two new allies out and shows them the street that is filled with thousands of zombies. He and his men open fire on the zombies as well as blast them with flamethrowers, after many of the zombies are down for the final count, Ann informs him she might have an idea where the toxic dump is!

Months after the events of the film, the state of New York is in really bad shape as the zombies are all over and have killed most of the living. A group of Army soldiers lead by a tough as nails Colonel is our only hope, and Peter and Ann find themselves in another blood soaked adventure as they tag along for the ride with the soldiers.

Peter and Ann are clearly a couple now and just want to have a little bit of normalcy to their lives as they live on Bryan’s boat until they run out of food and only then adventure into the city only to find it a wasteland of death and destruction.

Colonel Fulci is a man on a mission to kill all the zombies they see and get to the bottom of this undead nightmare, though he clearly has a dark side as he has a very bad reputation that is known by Peter West. On a side note, I love the fact Colonel Fulci looks like director Lucio Fulci as it’s a great touch to let the true godfather of gore’s memory stay alive. I also look forward to seeing more of Colonel Fulci’s history unfold and if the world can really trust him.

The zombies are truly everywhere now and are looking for blood and guts as they want to show that this is their world now and that mankind is coming to an end. Biacando is using his voodoo to bring the zombies all together on the island as well is forcing the undead Doctor David Menard to do some experiments that I am sure will help make the zombies even more unstoppable. I also like that Doctor David Menard has embraced his undead nature and even removes his own fingers to replace with needles. Something tells me what ever they are up to on the island will be very bad for the world.

The use of 42nd Street in this issue is also really cool as the street back in the 70’s and 80’s was very much filled with many adult theaters and shops and was the place to see grindhouse films…so it’s great seeing it the way it was not the tourist stop it has become. The issue is filled with lots of blood and gore like before, and we even get cameos from The Worm Eyed Zombie as well as the Bloated Zombie and they are always welcome additions to see in issues.

Writer Stephen Romano did a great job making this feel like it belongs in the Zombie universe and ties it into the film really well by delivering classic characters in a new storyline as well as bring in new ones with a plot that has depth. The cover is fun and has Peter and Ann looking like they just stepped out of a James Bond movie poster, and the interior art is done by Pat Carbajal and is great as his style does a great job of capturing the likeness of the actors and characters. Over all this original story kick off in the Fulci Zombie universe is well done and feels like a true sequel to the film series. Let’s see what issue six has in store for not only us the readers but also the characters!

Zombie # 6  ***
Released in 2018    Cover Price $10.00    Eibon Press    # 6 of 8

Doctor Menard is being followed by zombies as they enter a hut of a female villager and her son. It’s clear that Menard is not like the other zombies as he can talk and takes the life of the young boy and alerts the mom that the future is here! While back in New York the fires still burn as Colonel Fulci goes on the news and explains that it’s up to him and his men to save the world from the undead. As Ann and Peter argue over the tactics he is using to do so, Colonel Fulci shows up with a gun to the head of Peter as the Colonel alerts Ann to the fact that Peter is the one who got him thrown out of the military and his story lead to the death of many soldiers! Colonel Fulci then says that he is going to kill Peter as all he really needs is Ann to find the island of Dr. Menard! Meanwhile Dr. Menard has taken the woman from the hut and has her rigged up to machines and then shows her his grand plan of making the zombies more powerful with upgrades. He also speaks of time travel and the ways of the past with the ways of the future. Menard then shows that if he injects his blood into the zombies it makes the stronger, and their power comes from their eyes…he also shows that he has saved Worm Eyed Zombie and places one of the zombie’s worms into the eye of the mom and alerts her that he is the kid’s father and once they had an affair that lead to the child…but the mom fights off the infection, and this is interesting to Menard. The President Of The United States is then shown to be the one who sent Colonel Fulci into New York. He wants the zombie hordes taken care of fast as he is worried the press will figure out the he ordered the attack on the city by the rogue military that has left many civilians dead! As Colonel Fulci and his crew head to the island, they push Peter out of the helicopter into the middle of Central Park with a gun that only has six bullets, and unlucky for him, the park is packed with tons of zombies! Ann meanwhile has had enough and when the soldiers are ordered to torture her for information on the island, she snaps and kicks some ass, which even leads to Colonel Fulci being shot. She alerts him that her mom was a Marine and now she is in charge of this mission. In the end Peter watches as a escaped zoo gorilla rips apart zombies, and when the beast sets his sights on him, his undead zombie cop brother shows up and starts fighting the beast!

This series is getting more and more crazy as the lore of the Zombie universe gets more and more dark and weird!

The plot of this issue has Dr. Menard doing experiments on the dead to make them more powerful as he is preparing for war and wants to take down the world as we all know it! While Peter and Ann are stuck with a crazy man and his army that are secretly being given orders by the American President!

Dr. Menard has changed so much thus far in the series as he starts out as a man trying to crack the code of what is causing the dead to rise. By now he himself is a undead mad scientist who loves creating this new type of zombie and even as a man he took advantage of a young village girl and had a child with her! Speaking of that villager, her name is Jamilya and she was only 16 years old when he met her, and with the promise of teaching her medicine he seduced her, got her pregnant and now has turned their son into and zombie and wants to do the same to her, but she seems like a fighter!

Colonel Fulci is a sadistic madman who clearly doesn’t care about human lives and only cares about finishing his mission, plus it’s now clear he is the hired gun for the President! Ann and Peter are prisoners of Fulci, and when Peter is shown to have a past with Fulci that gives him a death sentence and Ann shows that she is sick of this all and proves she can take care of herself!

Plus the issue features Worm Eyed Zombie, Bloated Zombie and as well as zombies based on other cool zombie film characters! Now I have to say that I feel that the machine experiments are a little blah as I like the voodoo aspect of the curse more, but with that said, I cannot wait so see how it plays out and makes me wonder where this is going…and I guess I should also say it’s an interesting twist to add these wires and machines and takes it out of the classic style of zombie films and comics. One really cool aspect of the comic is that the President looks like one of my favorite horror actors Joe Spinell and the Gorilla is based after the look of King Kong from 1976! Oh I should also say that Peter’s undead cop brother fighting the gorilla is the Zombie vs. Shark moment for this comic series.

The cover for both the Eibon Sleeve and the issue are great and show case zombies as well as the Kong inspired Gorilla! And the interior art by Pat Carbajal is fantastic like before. I have to stress that thus far Eibon Presses Zombie series is a fantastic read and is the best comic series that features zombies I have ever read…and is way more entertaining then Image Comics Walking Dead Series and more bloody and creepy than it as well!

Zombie # 7  ***
Released in 2018   Cover Price $10.00   Eibon Press   # 7 of 8

Jamilya is fighting hard to not become a mindless zombie and watches as Dr. Menard and Biacando take the heart of her son and place it inside a weird humanoid that was born from her when she threw it up! She escapes her bindings and runs off into the jungle after taking out a few zombies and promising to return for her son. While back in New York, Peter and his undead cop brother William team up and with a bullet to its brain kill the rampaging gorilla. Peter is in shock as he watches his brother speak and the zombies around listen! While in Washington D.C. the President has a plan to use a nuke on New York to stop the zombies, and when questioned about his motives, he shoots and kills a general and continues with his attack plan. Back at the base, Ann has Fulci tied up and is torturing him with his own sword, as she has ordered some of his soldiers to go back to Central Park and rescue Peter and if her boyfriend is dead, she tells Fluci that his life will also come to a bloody end. When the Helicopter arrives Peter along with William are on board, but so is a horde of zombies that attack Fulci and his remaining men who become lunch! While Jamilya uses her own voodoo knowledge to try and beat the curse on herself and gears up for war against Biacando! Back at the base Ann along with Peter know that they have to return to the island and end this undead curse once and for all.They soon learn that Colonel Fulci and his men are now zombies and willing to be the army needed to fight against Biacando and burn Matul to the ground!

The war between the living and the undead is about to go off, and this issue is the build up to that war and sadly also to the final issue in this series!

Ann, Peter, William and the undead Colonel Fulci and his men are gearing up and ready to go to Matul and wipe out the evil voodoo curse that is plaguing the world. Ann is showing that she is one tough lady as she proves she has a killer instinct when she tortures Fulci and barks orders at his men that are listening to her orders!

Colonel Fulci, who is an S.O.B., is mean spirited all the way until the very end, and even when he gets his eye poked out and faced slashed up, he still trash talks! And oddly enough, once he is attacked by zombies and turned into one he seems to be more on track to team with Ann and Peter to head to the island and bring it all down. Peter and his zombie brother William are a team once more, and we learned that they moved to America after they defended themselves and left one person dead. Now William can speak to the dead and some zombies seem to follow his orders.

Jamilya..what can be said about her besides she is awesome and not only does she escape the zombie hell, but she also shakes off the infection with her will and own voodoo powers and is also on a one woman warpath to save her son and end these zombies’ reign of terror.

Dr. Menard and Biacando are showing they are pure evil and are mixing old voodoo with modern technology and medicine to create super zombies whose eyes are the key to their souls. And the President clearly doesn’t care about the lives of the people as he is willing to drop a nuke on New York to kill the zombies and save his own hide and bury his dirty little secrets.

This is a great read and I am cheering for Jamilya as she is a great original character created by the Eibon team, and I am sure will be joining with Ann and Peter in the fight against the evil zombies. The issue has a lot of blood and guts, and sadly the Gorilla meets his end with a bullet to his brain, and it’s a shame as it would have been awesome to seen the Gorilla turn into a zombie and go on a rampage in New York and end up being around the Empire State Building before being gunned down. That would have been amazing and played more into the King Kong connection. Writer Stephen Romano has really has killed it with this series so far and did the film adaptation portion justice and then has added new layers to the characters and lore. The super talented Pat Carbajal did the interior art again and he captures the savage nature of this story and his gore art his great. Well we only have one more issue in this series to go and it’s a shame as I wish it had more then 8 issues! So let’s see how this war of the dead and living ends.

Zombie # 8 ***
Released in 2018   Cover Price $10.00   Eibon Press   # 8 of 8

On the island of Matul, the zombies have all been treated and are ready to march into the ocean and start a war with the living, and Biacando is leading the way and even smacks down Dr. Menard when he gets too cocky about his blood being part of what is giving them the power. Jamilya meanwhile is in the jungle watching the rift in the ranks between the two zombie leaders and plans an attack with the goal to save her zombie son and return his heart. Ann and Peter are in a helicopter that is on its way to Matul to start a war, and Peter notices that Ann has changed, as she is now so cold and filled with the want for revenge. Back in Washington, the President has killed many of his aids and now is forcing the last two to help in his plan to blow up New York. When the helicopters get to the island, they find that over a thousand zombies are on the beach, and Colonel Fulci orders for fire to be fired into the horde, and he does so in waves taking down many of the zombies! Biacando is not having it as he uses the two zombie kids in order to get into the minds of all the zombies and causes the helicopters to crash and William West and Colonel Fulci to lead their undead army against the remaining island horde! William West was in bad shape after fighting the gorilla in New York, but after biting and tasting the blood of an island zombie he regains his missing limbs and leads them to victory. Meanwhile Peter and Ann find themselves in the jungle and being stalked by Biacando who in turn is being stalked by Jamilya! Biacando and Dr. Menard are at it again when Jamilya armed with a bazooka fires on the pair and then stabs Menard in the eye killing him once and for all! She then gives her own life of immortality to her son and turns him normal. Ann and Peter show up just in time to witness this act of love and this triggers Ann to give her life in order to stop Biacando once and for all. In the end Peter watches out for the son of Jamilya as The President goes ahead and nukes New York!

Wow, what an ending for one of the best comic series based on a film. I mean it –  the creators as Eibon Press nailed this one out of the ballpark as they not only captured the mood and spirit of the Fulci film but they also added a new level to the over all story and allowed us to see what happened to some of the characters we became attached to in the film!

The biggest change comes from Ann as she goes from being a worried daughter to a survivor and ends by being a hero who brings the terror of Biacando to an end…and even gives her life to end his madness.

Peter loses so much in this series as he loses his job and story because New York is blown up, his brother has returned from the grave and is now a zombie commando and worst of all, he lost his true love Ann! Peter also faces death many times and cheats it and by the end he ends up having to watch over a child who’s mother he watched be eaten by a zombie kid including the one he is watching over now! Peter is a character that you start off thinking is a scumbag and by the end you find yourself cheering for him as well as Ann as what started out for them as a missing persons case turns into a fight to save the world from evil voodoo and zombies.

I love that Jamilya is able to save her son’s soul and life, plus she gets her revenge on the terrible Dr. Menard, but I do wish she had survived, as I would have loved to see her character continue on in more zombie comics or even other releases from Eibon Press.

Dr. Menard in this series goes from a drunken doctor trying to dodge his past and doing what he can to make up for his sins, to being an undead right hand man to Biacando who has a god complex because his blood is what gives the zombies the extra power. Biacando is pure evil and shows his voodoo power is very strong and wants to be the only one in power of the army of the dead, and want to give to credit to Menard and his science. I also like that Biacando can use his powers to take over the body and souls of the living to keep his powers strong and to give his evil spirit a vessel to live in.

William West and Colonel Fulci are zombies who lead other zombies in war and in the end becomes supped up on the blood of Dr. Menard and have a mission to stay a team and make the world safe. The President is…well, crazy, and to be in charge he kills all his men and then still blows up New York thinking he is ending the war for everyone, and more importantly himself.

Now let’s talk about the over all series as it’s fantastic on almost every front as the writing and art are top notch and I cannot stress enough that it does the film its based on justice. The characters are likable and have growth and the ones you are suppose to despise you do as the baddies are truly evil and have no redeeming quality. The blood and gore is brutal as so many eyes are popped like grapes, guts are ripped out, blood is splattered and violence happens to men, women, animals and children. So in other words, gorehounds will love this!

The comic is fast paced, and the 8 issues fly by as the story draws you in, and that to me is a sign of a good comic mini series.

Now I have to point out some of the issues I have with the series and they are pretty few and far between as the only thing I wished for is that some characters got a little more panel time as sometimes with some characters like The President it would have been really cool to see why he is such a self centered ass. And my major complaint is this…I wanted more than 8 issues as they were just not enough as this could be an ongoing series and I for one would be game to get every issue! I mean imagine Peter being placed in the situation of Zombi 3, like what would he doing during the events of that film…and what if he would be mixed in with the survivors of that film in future issues of Zombie…just saying, Eibon GIVE US MORE ZOMBIE! The cover and the Eibon Sleeve are great and eye-catching, and the interior art by Pat Carbajal is great as always. To sum it all up, if you love the films of Lucio Fulci, love indie horror comics, love great art and story telling then do yourself a big favor and check out this series, hell, check out all the titles from Eibon Press! Check out some artwork below from this series.

Eibon Press is really one of the best Indie comic companies going as they really do make some of the best horror comics today, and they clearly care about what they make and it shows in every issue. Not to mention, they pack each Eibon Sleeve with some amazing extra goodies like stickers, trading cards, bookmarks, posters and even CDs that have soundtracks for the comic and or the film its based on, giving you more bang for your buck! But with that said, let’s leave the island of Matul behind and head into the world of myth as our next update will be about the titan Atlas and a Dark Horse Comics mini series based on an adventure on modern Earth. So until next time, read a horror comic or three, watch a Fulci film or two and as always, support your local Horror Host. Wait, if Atlas is in a comic book who’s holding up the sky?

The Undead Files: Isle Of The Dead

So as crazy as this sounds, I decided to cover the promo comic for the PC Game “Isle Of The Dead” and bump “Batman Nosferatu” to another update in the future. When I was growing up, my parents got a computer, and while from time to time we could use it, playing games on it was few and far and mostly I would play SkiFree, Free Cell or Minesweeper, all super classic games for PC Gaming. And then some time later, my brother bought himself a computer that he planned on using for college class projects as he was about to graduate high school and had plans of becoming a schoolteacher. Along with the computer that was rocking Windows 95 and had both a CD Rom and diskette drive, he bought a printer and a hand scanner and this opened the door for us to play a ton of PC Games. What was very cool was that my brother allowed me as well to get on the computer to play games or even get online via AOL. My brother’s PC opened the world of classic PC Horror Games for me and that is why we will be taking a look at one of those games and a promo comic that came with the game for this countdown to Halloween 2020 update! So if you are ready, let’s visit the world of Isle Of The Dead and see if we can survive the hordes of the undead! Oh and I do want to warn you that some of the gifs used on this update do have some disturbing imagery, so keep that in mind as you read on.

Isle Of The Dead was developed by Rainmaker Software and released by Merit Software in 1993 for PC and was a first person adventure survival horror game. Rainmaker Software was a very short-lived game developer who besides Isle Of The Dead only had one other game under their belt, the 1995 game “Nerves Of Steel” that was a war game that played much like Isle. The creators behind this game were A. Sean Glaspell along with Myk Friedman, Bryan Kelsch and Bruce J. Mack, and they wanted to bring a story driven hack slash game to gamers that was very much inspired by comic books. The game had music done by Scott Loehr and was shown off at the 1993 Consumer Electronics Show, and even at one point a port was made and ready to go for release on the Atari Jaguar home console, but was cancelled before being unleashed. The game was massacred by reviewers as it was getting mostly low scores with Dragon Magazine giving it a 0 out of 5 stars and PC Joker giving it a 38%. To this day YouTube gamers are still giving the game poor reviews. Most of the complaints about the game were the sloppy game play, the repetitive music, the goofy gore and the lack of real direction of where you are and what you are doing. But while for many, the game is in their Top 100 Worst Classic PC Games, it has also found cult classic status as many enjoy the cheesy nature of the game, and I am proud to say that I am one of those who grew up playing it and loving it! The game was not only released on diskette but also on CD. I think that the game was harshly panned by many reviewers is because it followed in the shadow of other first person games like Wolfenstein 3D and even Doom was released in late 1993…and because of this Isle Of The Dead was just lost in shuffle. While Isle Of The Dead never got a sequel or an official remake, I will say that a game series that I feel that could be connected to it is “Dead Island” that first started in 2011 for home consoles like PS3 and Xbox 360. While it’s not really connected, at least the undead island video game adventures lived on with it.

My Brother Bryan and I would look for PC games at a local used media shop (that we both ended up working for later) called “Replay Media,” and I can remember him buying games like “Doom II”, “You Don’t Know Jack”, “Plan Nine From Outer Space” and even one that was trivia and movie reviews that was made by Blockbuster Video. I on the other had remember having games based on “X-Men”, “Tom and Jerry” and an amazing one called “WaxWorks.” We would also hit thrift stores and that’s were my brother found Isle Of The Dead and with it being a horror game, we knew we had to buy it. The edition he had was the four diskettes version and came in a very cool big box and had the comic book in it as well. I can remember that when my brother first played it, he was not that impressed with the first person horror shooter, and when it was my turn to play, I can remember I was confused on what the heck I was doing and where I was suppose to go…and even with these frustrations…we both kept playing the game over time and each time we would get a little further and figure out the puzzles and traps. Of course once technology changed and we upgraded to bigger and better PC’s, the day and age of DOS Diskette games faded away into the background, but for some reason Isle Of The Dead always stuck with me from the simple game play, to the story of an island filled with zombie and even the music that plays throughout the game have always been something I looked back on fondly. I look back at my days sitting in my brother’s room near a window trying my best to figure out and beat Isle Of The Dead very fondly, and I have no shame in saying…I never beat the game as it would crash so many times and when not crashing I just found myself wandering around. Over all, I wish I could play Isle Of The Dead again…and just maybe I can one day on my Mac laptop!

Now let’s talk about the baddies that make up the Isle Of The Dead!! The main brains behind the horrors you face is a Mad Scientist who is evil and who seems to enjoy having the island filled with the undead and chasing off anyone foolish enough to step foot on it. He also is holding a woman hostage and is super dastardly. The island is filled with tons of flesh eating zombies that range from the mutated, female, fatty with guts out, cub scout kid zombie and of course muscle bound surfer dude zombie! Also around are massive killer bats that stalk around the caves. So as you can see, the Isle Of The Dead is filled with so many terrors that all want you dead!

I almost forgot to talk about the game’s hero, Jake Dunbar, the lone survivor of a bad plane crash that leaves all his fellow passengers dead! Jake is a man who just wants off the island and wants to survive the onslaught of the undead that appear and want him dead. Jake is a hero as well as when he finds out that the Mad Scientist has a woman held captive, and he knows he must rescue her before he escapes the island. Jake is armed with two kinds of shotguns as well as a machete in order to fight off the zombie horde and also must pick up items along the way to help in his journey. Jake Dunbar is a cool character, and while he does not have a huge back story, you get to know him and bond with him along the journey. One crazy thing about this game though, is if you quit the game this makes Jake kill himself…yeah super depressing way to end this hero’s life in this game.

So as you can see, Isle Of The Dead is a PC game that is not super popular, but over the decades has built up a cult following…I mean it’s such a indie game that when I was a teenager and many of my friends were PC Gamers, none of them had ever heard of this title, let alone played it! I also am very happy that I was able to track down a copy of the comic book to make this Countdown To Halloween 2020 and Undead File update possible. Plus I want to thank the Ebay seller for having this in stock and also letting me reread this after all these years. I want to remind you all that I grade these comics on a star scale of 1 to 4 and am looking for how well the comics stay to the source material, its entertainment value and its art and story. So if you are ready, let’s head out into the isle and see what these zombies have in store for us.

Isle Of The Dead # 1  **1/2
Released in 1993   Cover Price $0.00     Rainmaker   # 1 of 1

Two brave pilots lose control of the plane and crash land on Nuwapu, and it leaves everyone dead onboard, well besides Jake Dunbar who was tossed out during the crash. Jake uses all the strength he has and passes out on the beach. After a while he wakes up and looks around the wreckage and finds a shotgun as well as a med kit and looks for whatever else he can find. While looking around Jake is attacked by a zombie and uses the shotgun to blow its head off, and then all scared and nervous he knows that he must find the villagers of the island and see if they can help him get off it! As Jake heads into the jungle, it’s clear that he is being watched and stocked by zombies! The comic ends with the question of if Jake will get off the island and if he will find out who the madman is who is creating the zombies.

This comic book does a great job of setting up the moments before the game takes place and even gives you a few hints of what to look for in the plane like the shotgun and med kit! The comic follows Jake Dunbar, a man who was a passenger on a plane that crashes on an island that is filled with zombies, traps and mysteries…and ends with the question of whether he will survive the island or be eaten alive! Jake is a hero that does not want to be a hero and is fighting his way through the jungle in order to survive and with the temptation of a pretty woman in distress (as seen in the game) he arms himself and becomes the hero he needs to be! The zombies are hungry for human flesh and are running on instinct to eat and consume. The comic has one massive gory moment that has a zombies head being blown off by a shotgun and it reminds me of so many of the indie zombie comics of the 90’s like The Dead, The Walking Dead and Dead World. The cover for this promo comic is great and very eye catching, but I will also say very lazy, as it’s just the box cover used for the game. The interior art is great and done by a uncredited artist and really does have a indie comic look to it and the art could be at home with companies like Aircel and Arrow. Over all this is a good short promo comic that does a good job of showcasing the PC Game it was made to promote. If you like Isle Of The Dead or indie zombie horror comics, track this one down and give it a read. Oh and I have to say, when reading this comic again after all these years, much of it came back to me. Check out the artwork below from the unknown artist and see what I mean that this art style would have been right at home at Aircel Comics in the 90’s.

Isle Of The Dead for me is up there with Doom and Wolfenstein as some of the most iconic first generation of first-person shooters released for the PC! And as I have said before, survival horror and just horror video games are things that I think about around Halloween time as I think everyone reading this update should at least play one horror video game this October. This year on the PS4 I have been playing “Zombie Army 4”, “World War Z”, “Predator: Hunting Ground” and “Blair Witch” all games that are super fun and have added to this year that has started off so badly with the virus crisis. For our next update, we are escaping the Isle and will be heading to the country to take a look at a killer warlock scarecrow that is from the 1995 direct to video movie “Night Of The Scarecrow”! So until next time, read a horror comic or three, play a horror video game or two and as always, support your local Horror Host. See you next update for a bloody good time down on the farm.

DC War Superstars Featuring Sgt. Rock!

In the words of Edwin Starr “War, huh, yeah…What is it good for…Absolutely nothing.” While the lyrics to that song make lots of sense, they also forget the fact that war is good for something as without it, the world would not have American Heroes in comic books like Captain America, Fighting American, The Shield and Super Green Beret to name a few. And let’s not forget literary and movie heroes like Rambo and Colonel John Matrix. For this quick update, I will showcase a DC Comics one-shot issue that reprinted a classic war story that featured some of their top characters of the time that included Sgt. Rock, Lt. Johnny Cloud and Haunted Tank driver Jeb Stuart as they have to work together to save and deliver one of America’s only hopes in an agent that’s very unusual. So if you are ready, strap on your helmet and let’s head to war DC Comic style!

I am sure you longtime readers know that the update after the July 4th has always been about my trip to the Horror Convention Monster Bash with Juliet, but sadly this year the summer event was cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak that pretty much shut down the world and changed lots of events that I had planned. I 100% understand why events like Monster Bash, Horror Hound, Cinema Wasteland and others were cancelled as lots of people attend them and the virus could spread very easily from attendee to attendee causing more illness and even deaths. But while I do understand, I was also very disappointed as every year I look forward to going to Monster Bash and enjoying all the amazing restaurants, sites and friends I get to see while in Cranberry Township. So while I am bummed, maybe later this year if all this clears up, Juliet and I will take a trip and I will cover it here on Rotten Ink.

Typical none-superhero War Comics were never my thing growing up, and the only one that I really enjoyed and still do to this day is DC Comics character The Unknown Solider who I will 100% cover some year soon for a July 4th American Hero update as he is a true comic icon and hero in this blogger’s eyes! Growing up I can remember my brother getting some issues of DC war comics from our Grandma Brassfield when she would get them from garage sales for him, and for the most part I would barely read or look at them with Sgt. Rock being the only one I would once in a blue moon read as the action in his comic was slightly more fast paced. But one comic from those hauls that always caught my attention was called “Battle Classics” that brought Sgt. Rock together with many of the other War characters teaming up to save the life of a person stuck in a metal suit, and to be honest, the cover showcasing the metal suit is why I checked it out! When planning this update I figured that I should give a little brief bio on each of the heroes that are showcased in this issue. So sit back, relax, and let’s chat about DC Comic’s battle stars, only after I talk about the July 4th Holiday Horror Movie Marathon 2020!

With Monster Bash not happening this year, Juliet and I decided on the long July 4, 2020 weekend that we would have ourselves a Horror Movie Marathon! On July 4th we had ourselves a pre-show of four frightful films as we ate pork chops, baked potatoes and corn! The first film of the day was the 1958 Horror/Sci-Fi film called “Frankenstein 1970” that is about the last relative of Frankenstein trying to create a life in his image all the while hosting a TV Film crew trying to make a Horror series that are clueless to his plan of creating a monster. Next up was the “horror” western film “Rawhide Terror” about a masked killer who is killing people of a small town for crimes of their past. Fun side note: this film was done by Al Adamson’s dad! We then watched the 1970 made for TV version of the George Dibdin Pitt story The String Of Pearls with “Mystery And Imagination: Sweeney Todd” about a killer barber who is slipping into total madness. And the last film of the night was “Mystery And Imagination: Dracula” that was released in 1968 and is about vampire Count Dracula and attempt to turn Lucy Weston into one of his undead brides.

This was a super fun Holiday night of horrors as the food was great and the films were very entertaining! The Golden Turkey of this pre-show for both of us hands down was “Rawhide Terror.” While it was a very cheesy and poorly made western, the “horror” aspect was not in sight and to be honest the film had some many plot holes and dead ends that it made Swiss Cheese look solid. The best film of the night for me was “Mystery And Imagination: Dracula” as I felt this short film captured the book well in 75min with Susan George who played Lucy being not only beautiful but also fantastic in the role, and Denholm Elliot was okay as Dracula…even if we nicknamed him Chubby Dracula! Juliet picked “Frankenstein 1970” as she loved the vibe and feel of this Sci-Fi Horror film and thought The Monster was cheesy fantastic! For the Golden Turkey of the Pre-Show, Juliet and I both picked “Rawhide Terror” as it was kind of a mess plot wise, and while it had a killer on the loose, it was not pulled off very well at all…in other words this Horror Western was a miss. To sum it up, a great night as after the movies we sat and listened to the booms of the fireworks outside.

The main day of The Holiday Horror Movie Marathon Weekend took place on July 5th and started at 8am, and of course this day was as well packed with good food that included breakfast casserole, chips and dip, mixed nuts and burritos! We started our day with the 1958 Sci-Fi/Horror flick “Colossus Of New York” about a genius that dies in an accident and his father & brother put his brain into a massive robotic man. We then viewed “Pharaoh’s Curse” about a tomb being opened in Egypt that turns one of the expedition team members into a walking Mummy! For the third movie we stayed in the 1950’s and watched “Invasion Of The Saucer-Men” about aliens that land near a lovers lane and a couple trying to prove that they are real to the adults and the law. “The Gallows Act II” was the next fright flick and it was about a young woman who craves fame and makes the mistake of taking “The Charlie Challenge” on a YouTube Video. Space themed Horror Flick “Plaguers” was next on the blood tap and is about a space crew and space pirates fighting for their lives against infected mutated humans. The super cheesy and sleazy “Dracula In A Women’s Prison” was next and follows Dracula and his vampire brides running a prison, while a former victim’s sister tries to kill him. Indie film “Moon Of The Blood Beast” was next and is a sort of sequel to the film Track Of The Moon Beast that’s about a killer monster on the loose in a park. Next up was “A Nun’s Curse” a film I helped crowdfund that is about an evil sprit of a Nun called Sister Monday who has become a life long obsession of a young woman. The unlucky number nine film of the day was the reboot/sequel film “I Eat You Skin” about a group of photographers in the Philippines trying to take a picture of a rare bird, but instead one becomes a murderous zombie! The next indie fright flick to try and scare us was “Straight Edge Kegger” about a group of Straight Edge young men who snap when a member leaves the group and goes to a party, and all they can think of is to kill the drinkers! We then watched the 1989 Italian Horror Flick “Paganini Horror” about a popular female singer shooting a music video in a haunted mansion, that turns out to be a true nightmarish terror for her and her band. The final film of the night is the Bela Lugosi film “Invisible Ghost” about strange killings that take place in a respected Doctors home, who’s the killer and why are they killing? Over all as always this was a great day spent with Juliet as we watched many great films and ate some amazing food and was a great way to forget the Virus Crisis for just one day.

So something happened on this Horror Movie Marathon that has never happened before: Juliet and I picked the same films in the same order for our top three films of the event and we both choose the same film as the Golden Turkey! For The Golden Turkey we picked “Moon Of The Blood Beast” and while it was not a bad film at all, the only thing that took us both out of the film was the long segments that just showed footage from the old flick “Track Of The Moon Beast” which is a kind of prequel to this film. Otherwise, the monster was cool and plus seeing Alana Evans in a none adult film role was great to see. Our # 3 pick was “Straight Edge Kegger,” a really cool indie Horror Movie that starts out as a drama of a young man struggling with the Straight Edge militant lifestyle and then turns into a mix of The Purge and You’re Next! Our # 2 was Paganini Horror a silly and yet entertaining Italian spooky ghost mixed with a slasher film with a very cool killer and silly 80’s music! And our # 1 went to “Colossus Of New York” as it was a great classic Sci-Fi Horror Film that mixed the elements of both very well and even had a cool looking robotic monster that racked up a decent body count. I also want to note that Invisible Ghost almost took my # 3 spot as I really enjoyed the cheaply made Lugosi film. This Marathon from start to finish was packed with some great films and even the Golden Turkey ones we picked were good and entertaining in there own way.

So The Golden Massacre Award goes to the Straight Edge Warriors from Straight Kegger as they racked up a body count of over 15 people in brutal and quick ways! One of the most brutal has a poor partier who had drain cleaner forced down his throat via a beer funnel! The Straight Edge Warriors killed people in a pack and had a very brutal mentality when dealing death and sadly think that their killing of people drinking and using drugs is right. So here is to the Straight Edge Warriors who made this July 4th 2020 marathon a little more bloody.

Sgt. Franklin John Rock is part of the infantry branch of the U.S. Army during World War II and later became the head of a unit that was called Easy Company that would get into the dangerous missions. He joined the Army after the attack on Pearl Harbor as he was working in a steel mill and was set off by the sneak attack. His time in the military he was well respected by his peers and feared by his enemies as he was a great combat fighter, a crack shot, is hard to kill, seems to have a weird sixth sense when it comes to battles and is a quick thinker under extreme pressure. Sadly the Earth 1 Sgt. Rock was killed at the end of the war by the final bullet fired by the enemy. He is a true icon of War Comics and a true Comic Book American Hero.

LT. Johnny “Flying Cloud” Cloud is a Native American fighter pilot that is very skilled and respected by most of his peers as he single handily killed many Nazi pilots by gunning their plans down in firefights. His unit of fighters was called “The Happy Braves” and later became a member of a group called “The Losers”. Johnny would also go on to be promoted to Captain and by the end of the war he was thought dead, but it turned out to not be true and he went on to live a normal life. A very interesting and cool character that played up on the treatment of Native American people at that time, worth checking out if you like war comics.

Jeb Stuart is the commander of a tank in World War II that is dubbed The Haunted Tank as the spirit of his ancestor J.E.B. Stuart, a General in the Confederate Army, haunts the tank and helps Jeb in battle against the Nazis. The Haunted Tank was DC Comics second longest running War Comic character and would over the years go on to make appearances in comics. I would like to also point out to those who might not know that J.E.B. Stuart was indeed a real General during the Civil War. The Haunted Tank is a cool concept for a character but not one I have must interest in.

So before we get to the review section of this update I want to take a moment to talk about a 1980’s shot on video fan film called Sgt. Rock that was done by Red Planet Films on a budget of only $300.00! This short film’s plot is about Sgt. Rock being thirteen years old and fighting cyborgs, zombies and the evil Queen that controls them. Along with two of his best soldiers they travel behind enemy lines and come face to face with a skilled ninja, a killer Cyborg with massive firepower and after defeating them and stealing the armor and helmets of two other Cyborgs Sgt. Rock and his one surviving ally enter the Queens base and blow it up with her inside it.

And after watching this short fan film I must say it was lots of fun and these guys clearly loved the comic series Sgt. Rock and as well loved Horror and Sci-Fi films as they mashed them all together like a big bowl of mashed potatoes and delivered a really fun and entertaining flick. The acting is pure backyard film stuff, but I must admit it is better than most I have seen. The Cyborgs and Zombies are nothing more than Halloween masks and helmets with one actor wearing an old Darth Vader helmet! While it’s not perfect, it is a really fun little fan film that you should check out on YouTube after you read this update.

So I can see you readers are ready to gear up and head into Battle Classics so let’s not talk about our fellow soldiers on the suicide mission, let’s not talk about fan films and let’s talk about how I am grading this comic on a scale of 1 to 4 and am looking for how well the comic stays to the source material, its entertainment value and its art and story. And if not for those brave soldiers at Bell, Book And Comic for having this comic in stock this Classic Battle could not be talked about…so grab your MRE Full Meal and pull up your seat as it’s time to talk about Sgt. Rock and his war time buddies.

Battle Classics # 1  ***
Released in 1978     Cover Price .50     DC Comics     # 1 of 1

“Suicide Mission” Fighter pilot Lt. Johnny Cloud is given a very top secret special mission that does not even allow him to open until he is in air and away from enemy lines and is given orders if captured to blow himself and the orders up! After taking a Nazi plane, he opens his orders that is to pick up an agent named “Martin” and get him to a military base as he has info that could help end the war as well as save lives! Johnny Cloud arrives at the pick up point and finds a fatally wounded man who shows him a man in a heavy iron suit that is Martin, you see the Nazis trapped him in the suit so he could not get away, and just in time Johnny is able to help Martin into the plane and they fly off as a Nazi gunner shows up missing his time to bring them down. And while in the air Johnny has another air battle with Nazi planes and bringing them down, he gets help from an American tank lead by Jeb Stuart who gets Martin and Johnny into his super tank as Johnny’s plane is down for the count after the battle. Jeb in his tank with his new passengers inside goes up against a Nazi tanks and when things look bad the Ghost of a Civil War General that haunts the tank helps guide them through, and things look good until they hit a land mine! Sgt. Rock and his men are nearby and start to make their way to the stalled American tank when a blast from a Nazi tank leaves them all dead, besides Sgt. Rock who with every bit of energy he has fires a bazooka at the tank blowing it up. Sgt. Rock makes his way to the US Tank and is meet by Jeb Stuart and Johnny Cloud and all three men help Martin out of the tank and they start their journey to home base. Along the way Sgt. Rock gets Jeb and Johnny to help him get Martin out of the metal suit and find that Martin is really female French Agent Mlle Marie! Now the four of them make their way faster to the US Military Base, but they get stopped by a Nazi Tank close to the base and with quick thinking Sgt. Rock is able to use his skills and blow up the enemy tank and saving all their lives as they were all marked for death. In the end for delivering Mlle safe and she tells the secrets that she knows Sgt. Rock, Johnny Cloud and Jeb Stuart all receive promotions for their bravery in what was called a Suicide Mission.

This World War II war comic from DC Comics is a fantastic read that brings together some of their best characters from this genre of comics in one single issue on one epic mission that they all have to work together in order to pull off. Suicide Mission is a great title for this story arc as pilot Lt. Johnny Cloud is given a mission to pick up and rescue a French informant that has info that could help win the war and has orders that if he is captured to self destruct his plane! And when things go south after he gets the informant, they must depend on American soldiers to get the informant safe to the Military base. Lt. Johnny Cloud is awesome and is a Native American pilot who wants to make his tribe and country proud of his actions, and he is damn good at what he does! He is a character that I knew about but never read any issues off besides this one and now as an adult I find myself wanting to find some issues to enjoy. Jeb Stuart and his Haunted Tank that has a ghost of a civil war general that haunts it is a little silly, but yet still pretty cool as DC blends their war and horror comics together. While Jeb Stuart is interesting and very noble to the cause of bringing down Nazi’s he was the weaker of our heroes, as I don’t think they let his personality really shine. Mademoiselle Marie or Mll. Marie for short is the female agent that is stuck in the iron suit and goes by the name “Martin”, and she herself is a hero of DC war comics and is really a Nazi butt kicker in her own right. And Mll. is the true hero of the issue as she is the one that has all the information of the super weapon that the enemy planned to use! And the main star of the comic and the most iconic is Sgt. Rock, a tough as nails soldier who has no fear and risks his own life in order to save his fellow fighters and to help completer the mission at hand. I also like how Sgt. Rock brings down a tank with some grenades like it was something he does every day! The Nazis are total scumbags and as the reader you find yourself cheering for our heroes to deal out death to them, as they are super cold blooded and egotistical and deserve it.

This comic really did hold up for me and in fact I think now that I am older I enjoyed this comic even more and was even able to understand the stakes a lot better that each of our war heroes faced. The cover is great and fantastic and eye catching and is what made me read it when I was a kid from the stack of comics my Brother got that day, and to be honest that cover has always stuck in my mind when I think of comics from my youth. The interior art is done by the iconic artist Joe Kubert and is fantastic, but what do you expect from an artist who had his own art school named after him that is still going to this day. Over all I am not a major fan of War Comics but I will say that this comic as well as Unknown Solider issues are worth checking out and if you find a copy of this at your local comic shop make sure to pick it up and give it a read. Check out some artwork bellow from this issue and check out the style of Kubert.

I hope you enjoyed this quick update and that maybe it has also sparked your interest in checking out this one shot issue as it really is a good read for fans and even none fans of War Comics. While I am very much bummed out about not attended Monster Bash and being in Evans City walking around the NOTLD Cemetery I am very thankful for all of my family, friends and you readers being well! For my next update I am going to be turning over Rotten Ink once more to Juliet who is going to be covering the HBO Vampire show True Blood, so you know that’s going to be a good one. So until next time read a comic or three, watch a movie or two, support your local Horror Host and let your loved ones know you care. See you next update for a good old glass of True Blood to keep those hunger pains away.

Marvel Horror Showcase – The Zombie Simon Garth

Marvel Horror was a gateway for me to the world of Horror Comics. As I have stated before the likes of Werewolf By Night, Man-Thing and Tomb Of Dracula all were comics I would read late nights in my nearly darkened room. One of my favorite past times was reading a Marvel Horror comic as it rained or a thunderstorm raged outside. I would grab an issue I had not read and listened to the storm as I read the eerie story that unfolded on the pages. But one classic Marvel Horror Monster that seems to not get as much respect as he should is Simon Garth, also known as The Zombie who was the main character in Marvel Horror Magazine “Tales Of The Zombie”! So I feel it’s my duty as a comic reader to bring you an update that is long overdue and one in my “Marvel Horror Showcase” themed updates based on Simon Garth The Zombie. So sit back and enjoy this spooky and yet heroic update.

Simon Garth was a mean businessman who treated everyone near him badly as he felt they were below him and his successful ways. One day he made the mistake of his life when his behavior and snooty ways lead to him firing his gardener, and this sparks his former employee to snap and kidnap Garth and stab him to death near the swamps of New Orleans! Once dead he takes the body and forces a Voodoo Queen (who happens to also work for Garth) to turn him into a mindless zombie that can be controlled with two necklaces that are worn by the zombie and the one who wants to control him. The gardener filled with a new sense of power uses the Zombie to do his will, but soon finds that even the undead can fight back when a line is crossed and he was commanded to kidnap his own daughter and instead fights the order and kills his master! For a while The Zombie wandered the Earth with many people controlling him when they got the amulet necklace, and at one point the necklace went missing and he roamed around until he could get it back and that was only after having a run in with Spider-Man. Sometime later the amulet landed in the hands of vampire Lilith Drake, and this time around Zombie had to team up with Spider-Man to get it back, and once they get it back Zombie returned to his slumber for years. His body would be found and taken to a morgue where he would once more rise and this time took a corpse bride before returning to his slumber. The Zombie would later be recruited to be a member of the supernatural team “ The Howling Commandos” alongside other Marvel Horror characters like Man-Thing, The Living Mummy, Golem and Frankenstein’s Monster. The Zombie would rise from time to time, and his most recent appearance came in 2018 that is the issue we will be reviewing shortly. As you can see, while Zombie is not a major character in the Marvel Universe he is one that is well loved by us readers who have always enjoyed the dark world of Marvel Horror.

Tales Of The Zombie started in 1973 and was a Horror Magazine that was created by Roy Thomas for Marvel Monster Group, and the character Zombie was taken from the 1953 Atlas Comic Menace # 5 with the character being created by Stan Lee. You see, in the 70’s Horror Comics became big money as the Comic Code Authority had become more relaxed and allowed werewolves, zombies, vampires and ghouls back in comics and violence and blood could also be added. The series lasted for 10 issues and had one Annual, and along with original stories, each magazine also had reprints of classic horror comics as well as showcased some other characters from their horror line like Brother Voodoo. Tales Of The Zombie came to an end in 1975 ending his spooky ride for a time, but like any good zombie, you can’t keep him down. Simon Garth The Zombie would return and make appearances in such Marvel Comics as Daredevil, Spider-Man, S.H.E.I.L.D., Deadpool and Marvel Zombies to name a few. Even in 2008 for the Marvel Max line, The Zombie once more had a mini series that lasted four issues and entertained readers who enjoy this character. His most recent comic appearance was in 2018 with Marvel Zombie a one shot issue that brought him into the world of an alternate Marvel Zombies universe. Who knows what Marvel has in store for the future of Zombie, and one wonders if he ever will get his own series or mini series ever again…and this even makes one wonder if he ever will make an appearance in a Marvel Movie Universe or TV show! One thing for sure, if you have never read a comic book featuring Zombie, I would say do yourself a favor and get an issue or two and give them a read.

Over the years Marvel Comics has dusted off the Zombie when someone working for them had a great idea for him, and this made his fans very happy! And one cool thing that happened in the world of Marvel in 2018 was when they released a One Shot issue of Zombie and set it in a world of gloom and doom, and this is the comic we are going to review for this Marvel Horror update as I stated earlier. I want to thank Bell, Book And Comic for having this copy in stock. I want to remind you readers that I am grading this comic on a star scale of 1 to 4 and am looking for how well the comic stays to the source material, its entertainment value and its art and story. So if you are ready to walk on the undead dark side of Marvel, let’s take a look at Zombie!

Marvel Zombie # 1  ***
Released in 2018     Cover Price $4.99     Marvel Comics     # 1 of 1

The Marvel Universe is in bad shape as a plague has infected the world and has caused most of the population to turn into bloodthirsty zombies. Simon Garth is wandering the decayed world enjoying his undead life, some humans still remain and are protected by The Defenders that are Daredevil, Spider-Man, Black Widow, Moon Girl, Devil Dinosaur 2.0, Hawkeye and Misty Knight who fight off the zombie horde. While the heroes battle the horde, young Donny finds a necklace and puts it on and during the fight he falls and is about to be eaten alive by zombies when all looks dark he is saved by Simon Garth and the pair start up a friendship. The heroes return to base and Moon Girl has figured out a way to use a bomb to dispose of a large section of the zombie horde. When Donny returns to base with Simon at first the heroes were going to kill the zombie until he proves he is different and a hero like them, but then things turn bad again when they want to use him to wear the bomb and become their suicide bomber! Falcon is another hero that is still alive and he returns to base with news that a massive horde is on the way and that they need to act soon, and this sets the suicide bomber plan into action. Donny is upset by the decision that Daredevil made to send his friend on a death mission. When the time comes Donny talks to Moon Girl about the original Devil Dinosaur and compares their friendship to his friendship with Simon and this causes Moon Girl to take the bomb off him and The Defenders die when they are swarmed waiting for the suicide bomber to appear. In the end with the heroes gone, Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur 2.0 go their own way as do Donny and Simon Garth.

This was a great read, and I read this comic in the middle of a cemetery on a chilly day with my car windows down. The plot of this comic has the world being overrun by zombies with only a small amount of people and heroes left alive. And when a young boy finds the necklaces of Simon Garth, he controls the zombie and he chooses friendship over the fate of the world. Donny is the main character of this comic, and while he is a youngster he has lived his whole life in a world filled with flesh eating zombies, and when he befriends one he chooses to save the life of one undead creature to the masses as he allows all the rest of the worlds superheroes to be eaten alive. Think about that… Donny allows the world’s only hope to survive to be killed in order to have a “friend”…. Simon Garth is a zombie with a mind who is living in a world filled with zombies who only want to feed and kill. He is a good soul who protects those who has his necklace. Daredevil is the leader of The Defenders and with his crew of heroes, he thinks that there is a hope to save the world, and sadly his master plan backfires due to a young kid’s selfishness and leads to his own death as well as that of all his fellow heroes. What works the best for this issue is the fact is a self-contained issue and has a “Marvel Zombies” meets “What If?” feel to it. I like the aspect of Simon wandering the world filled with other zombies that he has nothing in common with and is almost super thankful when the young kid finds the necklace that controls and bonds with him. The comic does have some blood and violence and proves that Marvel still knows how to do Horror. The cover I have is amazing and very eye catching, and the interior art is top notch and done by Stefano Raffaele. If you like classic Marvel Horror characters, make sure to check this out as it’s a great read. Check out the art below to see the style of Raffaele and see how Simon Garth looks like in this issue.

This one shot Marvel Zombie issue to me proves that they as a company should do this more often! Why not make a one shot issue based on Tomb Of Dracula, Werewolf By Night, Living Mummy, The Golem and Man-Thing to introduce the classic Marvel Horror characters to new readers as well as deliver something new to their long time fans. I truly do think they should make these type of comics a Halloween season tradition. They should also use Simon Garth the Zombie more often in the regular Marvel Universe. For our next update, we will be walking away from Horror and will once more be stepping into the wrestling ring as we take a look at GLOW wrestler Sunny! So until next update, read a comic or three, watch a movie or two and as always support your local Horror Host! Get ready for the original wrestling Sunny days next update so I will see you then.

From Horror Movie To Horror Comic: Zombie Apocalypse (2008)

Zombie films have been a popular part of the Horror genre for a very long time at this point, and the TV show The Walking Dead has ensured that Zombies will not fall out of style anytime soon. Most of the films that are coming from indie directors and companies also want their piece of the undead pie. And for this “From Horror Movie To Horror Comic” update we will be taking a look at a promo comic that was released alongside the 2008 direct to video film Zombie Apocalypse! This is a film that I am sure many of you readers have never heard of but that you are surely Googling now…go on…I’ll wait. So if you are ready like I am, let’s see what the Zombie Apocalypse world has in store for us in both movie and comic worlds!

The Zombies in Zombie Apocalypse are created by a gas that was made by the Government and the Illuminati to use as a weapon against mankind. What started as a lab experiment now has the gas make the undead rise all over town, and they infect and eat people all around them. The zombies in this film are all over and kill in packs as they overwhelm their victims with sheer numbers, but they also kill by themselves, and as a single zombie, they can be even more dangerous as they are more silent and can stalk with more ease. The zombies look like dead humans with many of them having bloody open wounds on their faces making them easy to spot, but can also cause lots of panic in the living who have to look at them. To dispatch their human prey, the zombies use not only their numbers but also their teeth that carry the virus and can rip flesh as well as their hands that they scratch and rip at their victims. They also attack with fury making them even harder to escape from once they have you in their grip. These zombies also move at a normal speed and are not super slow, but are also not super fast making them a moderate threat when it comes to them giving chase. But while they are dead, they do also have weaknesses as you can kill them with guns, knives and almost any normal way you can kill a person as long as you give them head trauma. They are also not that smart and can be out maneuvered when dodging them. Over all these zombies are not as threatening as the ones we have covered before like Dawn Of The Dead (2004), Plague Of The Zombies or even Human vs Zombies, but they still are a major threats and can kill and eat a human with the best of them. I should also note that the zombies who started this outbreak was set free by the despicable Agent Net who is using them to hunt down the man who trained him and has turned on the Illuminati, making his one of their secret weapons when it comes to killing humans.

Now that we understand the killing nature of the Zombies, we should take a look at the film they are from, Zombie Apocalypse. Like always I will take the film’s write up from our pals at IMDB, and I will write a little about the films production as well as my thoughts on the film. So if you’re ready, let’s see what this Zombie Apocalypse has in store for us.

Zombie Apocalypse (2008)

“Two college roommates get the fright of their lives when they head out to the bar, and come face to face with a shambling army of the undead. All Mark and Tom wanted was a fun night out on the town, but now they’ll be forced to fight if they want to survive until dawn. Thankfully Mark is handy with an axe, and medical student Tom has played enough video games to keep his cool in the chaos. With depressive video store clerk Raven helping to fend off the horde, they may stand a chance of making it through the night without getting devoured – or worse. But who is Miller, and what connection does his missing wife have to these horrible creatures. By the time the weary survivors find out, it may already be too late.”

Zombie Apocalypse was written and directed by Ryan Thompson and was his first feature film. It went direct to video and caused a mini splash for fans of indie zombie flicks. The film’s budget was around $5,000.00 and was released by Phantasmal Pictures that released many of Ryan’s other films as well. The cast included such actors as Kenny James, Hannah Gaff and David Calkins and many others including Kelly Knoll and Matt King, with this being many of their first roles. The cast and crew also went to many conventions and screenings to try and get this film out and in the public eye. The film when released was met with mix reviews with many Horror Fans being very displeased with it and giving it low star ratings. While not a household name when it comes to zombie Horror Movies, this film did make a mark no matter how small. The film did spawn a sequel in 2011 called “Zombie Apocalypse: Redemption” showing that it did have its own cult following.

I remember seeing this film before on the shelves of second hand media stores when I was looking through the Horror section to find a good fright flick to watch, but never bought it as I have been burnt out on micro budget zombie flicks for a long time. Years would pass before I would finally breakdown and buy a copy, and the main reason I did was because the copy came with the prequel comic and was perfect to cover here on Rotten Ink. So I ordered a copy of the film from Amazon and once in I read the comic and watched the film…the comic review will be coming up in this update soon while I can talk about the movie now. The film was not nearly as bad as most reviews would have you believe as it does have some charm with its over all dark humor and zombie shuffling around the streets. Another highlight for me was actress Kelly Knoll who plays Raven a woman who loves Horror and worked for a Video Rental Store…she reminded me of some of the ladies I knew that worked at local rental media stores. The downside is the acting is really terrible in spots, some scenes are out of focus and the widescreen presentation stretches the picture making it look odd. The effects are also pretty cheesy and most major blood splatter takes place off camera or so quickly you cannot make it out or worse is digital blood! Over all I enjoyed watching the film and while it is a bad movie, it does have some cool elements that make it enjoyable watch on a boring late night.

 

So now that we have taken a look at the film and the zombies who bring the terror in said film, I think it’s time we take a look at the promo comic that came FREE with the DVD! I want to thank Amazon for having this DVD/Comic Combo in stock and making this update possible. I also want to send a big thank you to the makers of this film for making this comic and bringing Horror Films and Horror Comics together. I want to also remind you all that I grade this comic on a star scale of 1 to 4 and am looking for how well the comic stays to the source material, its entertainment value and its art and story. So if you are ready like I am, let’s see what Zombie Apocalypse has to offer in the way of scares on pages with ink!

Zombie Apocalypse # 0  *1/2
Released in 2008   Cover Price FREE     Apocalypse Comics     # 0 of 0

A biker is riding on a quest to find his wife who is missing and has clearly been kidnapped. He remembers the past and in a research lab his wife Dr. Irene Miller is ordered to fill a room with gas that poisons and turns a group of men into zombies. She is heartbroken that she damned these men, but the Army General in charge is pleased with the outcome. The plan is to use the zombies as soldiers and win wars with the undead, never losing another American life of foreign soil. The biker who was once an agent has gone rogue and is now wanted for all the knowledge he has about the zombie project, and while on the run and searching for his wife, he stops at a strip bar and after talking to an old man, he flashes back to when he met Irene and how his own partner Net turned on him and reported them to the higher ups who in turn took Irene away. As he leaves the strip bar, he is sucker punched by Net who throws him into a car and so ends this prequel comic.

The plot of this comic has a rogue agent on the run form the Government and the Illuminati all the while trying to find his missing wife! While this is a fun prequel comic that showcases our hero, naked ladies and the true evil nature of those in charge of Project Apocalypse…there is no horror at all and the zombies themselves are barely seen and are behind glass. Our hero is Miller, who is a man who is running from his past as well as trying his best to find his missing wife. We don’t get a feel for the character and who he is and in the movie he is a silent badass while the comic kind of has him being a confused man with a one-track mind. Agent Net only shows up on the last page for the most part and is a scum bag who’s idea of a fair fight is punching a man as he walks through a door, what a coward! The Zombies in the issue are an after thought as they really do only appear behind glass when the gas infects men who were locked in the room. The comic is bloodless and does not pack any scares as no horror action takes place. The comic does showcase nudity as a scene takes place in a strip club…so I guess it does at least have one of the three elements of a Horror Comic. The cover for this issue 0 is pretty good and does have a indie zombie look and feel to it. The interior art is ok and while not the style or art I like, Brian Sheehy does a good job with what he has to work with. Over all this is a cool promo comic that acts as a way to start the film, but is a pretty bad Horror Comic…so I guess I will give it a below average star rating as it could have and should have been more. Check out the art below to see the style of Sheehy.

So Zombie Apocalypse was a Indie Horror Movie that made a wise move when they made a comic book to go alongside it, and while this comic was not that great, I do give them credit for doing it as I have said before more filmmakers and companies should do this as it helps add to the film’s story and can even bring viewers in. Let’s be honest, I may have never gotten around to seeing this film and the comic is what brought me to it, showing comics as promo items work! But for our next update let’s leave a world over run with zombies behind and take a look at ghost pirates as we take a look at the 2005 remake of The Fog as well as the Dark Horse Graphic Novel based on it! So until next time, read a Horror Comic or three, watch a Horror Movie or two and as always support your local Horror Host! See you next time for terror of the sea….or is that ocean?

Another Night Of The Living Monster Bash Vacation (2019)

It’s that time of the year again when Juliet and I pack our bags and put them into the old Mazda 3 and head to Cranberry Township to enjoy yet another Monster Bash Convention and some relaxing days in Cranberry Township taking in all the local stores, sights and restaurants the area has to offer. As always, I was very much looking forward to getting some time away from work, comic book making and filming and being able to sit back and relax and spend some time with Juliet as well as all the classic monsters at Monster Bash! This year’s theme was very heavy on Hammer Horror as guests like Martine Beswicke, Veronica Carlson and Christopher Neame were all on hand while other guests included Ricou Browning, Tom Savini, John Russo and Horror Host Son Of Ghoul! So if you are ready, grab a snack pack, jump on in and let’s have some fun as we celebrate the best Horror Con in the world and all of cool wonders around it!

We started our quest on June 20th and hit the road at around 11:30am after eating a breakfast that Juliet from Dorothy Lane Market. Once on the road we chatted about wrestling, comics and goofy stuff! We also talked about our plans for the night and made a stop at our normal Ruby Tuesdays where I had a meal of Bourbon Salmon, Loaded Baked Potato and Dirty Rice and as always it was a good meal that helped give me energy for the road. At around 5:30pm, we made it to our hotel that was yet another new one for us to stay at as both of the ones we stayed at before were filled so we stayed at the Hilton Garden Inn, and I must say that first impression was it was nice and the staff was friendly! After relaxing for a few minutes, we headed out to go to New Dimension Comics so I could pick up a few good reads for the weekend. As always I found some cool comics that included issues of Thor, Uncanny Tales From The Grave, Tower Of Shadows and Comet Man from Marvel. From DC, I got issues of Batman, The Comet and Super Friends. And finally I also got some indie comics like Ex-Mutants, The New Krofft Supershow, Escape To The Stars and Radical Dreamer. For dinner we decided to have Eat’n Park and I had a Hot Turkey Sandwich with Mashed Potatoes and a Baked Potato! For the rest of the night I read some comics, watched some TV, chatted with Juliet and geared up for the first day of Monster Bash! Oh and I should note that the day was filled with lots of rain and muggy weather…making it a perfect day to hang out in the hotel and read and write.

On June 21st marked the first day of Monster Bash and sadly the convention did not open until 3pm so in the morning we got up around 9am and after eating a quick breakfast from Starbucks, we headed out and our first place to visit was The Living Dead Museum in Evans City as its been a while since we got to visit it and when in the Pittsburgh area you have to spend time with the living dead! I really like The Living Dead Museum as it celebrates the rich history of the Romero Zombie films as well as zombies in Horror Movies in general. And when we arrived, Juliet and I were happy to see our friend and Nashville Horror Host Dr. Gangrene also waiting to enter the museum and even better he was going to be at Monster Bash and the area all weekend! The Museum was as great as always and after walking around and taking some pictures, we bought a t-shirt and a pin and headed back toward the hotel to gear up for Monster Bash. And after a meal at Max & Erma’s, we headed to The Bash!

As Juliet and I made our way to Monster Bash I wondered what statues would greet us and what cool car would be parked up front…if I had to make a guess on car I would say once more the Dragula from The Munsters, and as far as statues, I would guess Hammer Horror as it seemed like the theme of this year. And as we made it to the front of the hotel we noticed no car was in place yet and the wait to get tickets was not too bad. The dealer room was packed with people, and it was great to see so many people enjoying the world of classic movie monsters, and what was nice this year was I saw some younger kids in the crowd enjoying the likes of Dracula and Frankenstein’s Monster. After walking around to all the dealer tables and making several purchases (more on that later) we also took time to chat with our Horror Host friends Janet Decay and Grimm Gorri about Horror Hosting and cool classic local TV! Much like last year, some of the people looking around were kind of rude and would step in front of you while you looked, would stand really close and sometimes just stand in the way of items as they looked off into space or at their phone…while annoying, I have been to Horror Conventions where this behavior is a lot worse. As we were leaving, we ran into indie filmmaker and friend David “The Rock” Nelson and we chatted for awhile about the production of his newest film Howl Of The Werewolf. It’s always a blast to see David. Over all a very cool first day of Monster Bash that once more showcases why this is my favorite show. Oh and as for the statues, this year they did have Hammer’s Frankenstein’s Monster as played by Christopher Lee many of them were based on classic Universal Monsters as well as a few Silent Horror Icons and even one of Bela Lugosi from White Zombie!

So I am sure you are wondering what the first day’s haul was like…well it was really good! I picked up a Universal Mummy bendy toy by JusToys for $8.00, Masters Of The Universe He-Man drinking glass for $10.00, Frankenstein And The Monster From Hell Wooden Plaque for $25.00, The Werewolf from Sungold Monsters for $15.00, Two Knock-Off Mini Figures of Phantom Of the Opera and Yeti from a series called “Un Mundo De Figuras” for $10.00 each, Eerie Greatest Hits Graphic Novel for $5.00, The Tomb Of Dracula # 37 comic for $5.00, The Creation Of King Kong Novel for $4.00, Predator Movie Adaptation Novel for $3.00, The Adult Version Of Jekyll & Hide DVD for $7.00, two episodes of The Son Of Ghoul Show that has him hosting The Hideous Sun Demon & Lady Frankenstein for $10.00 each and what would Monster Bash be without me buying David “The Rock” Nelson movies as I got Mummy A.D. 1993 for only $20.00 and Howl Of The Werewolf for $25.00! So as you can see, this was a pretty amazing day 1 of Monster Bash goodies!

So for the first night we wanted to have Dinner and a Movie at the hotel so we chose to eat our favorite restaurant in this area, Wing Kings where I had Garlic Wings and Cheese Fries with a Coke to drink. The night’s film was Howl Of The Werewolf, the newest no budget monster movie classic from David Nelson. The film was over 3hrs and 30min long and was pure classic Rock stuff complete with Detective Rock eating and random attacks by the film’s monster. And I will give all you readers a little info on something very cool….Sparkle Comics will be doing some comic books based on David “The Rock” Nelson films and Howl Of The Werewolf will be the first one released in 2020! The script will be written by Juliet, and the art will be done by Don Stephenson. So keep your eyes open for more news soon on this comic release. Over all a great night of good food and a super fun film and this ended the first night of Monster Bash!

On the second day of Monster Bash we woke up early and had popped into Monster Bash really quick before heading to Pig Iron for an amazing breakfast! Once done we headed back to Monster Bash and soaked in all the amazing sights of classic monsters! This year I noticed that more vendors had DVD’s and Blu-Rays and people were buying like crazy showing physical media is alive and well. Juliet and I also were able to look around a little better as while packed again people seemed to be aware of others around them and this allowed us to shop for not only ourselves but also our friends. We then chatted some more with Janet Decay and Grimm Gorri and once walking around and buying some more we headed out of the Bash and into the world of Cranberry!

The second day of Monster Bash goodies was also great pick ups as I got a Phantom Of The Paradise Wood Plaque for $25.00, Two more Un Mundo De Figuras of Dracula and Werewolf for $12.00 each. A Scary Monsters Magazine Vampire Detection Kit for FREE and lastly I got two episodes of Gunga Jim of him hosting Revenge Of Dr. X and Assignment Terror on DVD for only $5.00 each! So while this time around I did not buy as much, they still are some great finds.

After Monster Bash we headed back to New Dimension Comics as they had a massive store sale so we loaded up on some comic books as I got issues of Silver Surfer, Roger Rabbit, Ex-Mutants and G.I. Joe all for only .30 each! After that we relaxed for a few minutes and then headed back out and ended up at Barnes & Nobles and looked around at books, magazines and POP figures all before we headed to get a tasty treat at TCBY Yogurt that is always a must for Juliet when we come to Monster Bash. The traffic on this day was terrible but at least the weather was nice and sunny with a high of only 73 degrees. Once back at the hotel we watched The Mummy Returns on SyFy and later for dinner Juliet wanted to have Moe’s and as always I had a Chicken Burrito, and as always it was a good meal and made us both miss Moe’s being in Dayton.

After dinner we ended the night with a Horror Host feature as we watched Son Of Ghoul hosting Lady Frankenstein! The art of Horror Hosting to me goes hand and hand with classic monsters, and I wish Monster Bash would do a massive Horror Host gathering at one of the conventions as this year was pretty great as on hand was Janet Decay, Grimm Gorri, Drac, Countess Carita, Son Of Ghoul, Gunga Jim and even Dr. Gangrene around! Always a fun time to end a Saturday Night with a Horror Host and why not do so with one from Ohio!

June 23rd not only marked the final day of Monster Bash 2019 but also was the birthday of the late great Dr. Creep who was a great friend and a true icon in the world of Horror Hosting. For the last day we walked around for a few minutes and enjoyed the classic monster atmosphere as well as ran back into Dr. Gangrene and we chatted about classic amusement parks and roadside attractions. And after one more sweep through to pick up some last minute goodies we left Monster Bash for the last time in 2019 and looking back I truly feel that this is an event that if you love classic monsters should make the trip to as it’s a great and is filled with good times, great guests, top notch vendors and spooky monsters.

The final days Monster Bash Goodies was very small but pretty dang cool as I had to buy four more Un Mundo De Figuras figure and this time I got The Mummy, The Fly, Jack The Ripper and Swamp Creature for $10.00 each. These little things are amazing and I feel now I need to collect the whole set. And lastly I bought the double feature DVD of The Beast Within and The Bat People and the main movie I wanted on this set was Bat People and I paid $20.00 for this out of print MGM release. Another great year of pick up’s, as Monster Bash has never let me down!

After we left Monster Bash, we headed to a little amusement park called Conneaut Lake Park as they have a classic Horror Ride called “The Devil’s Den” and we heard about it thanks to Dr. Gangrene. It was around an hour away from Monster Bash, and the ride to it was nice and filled with some small towns and really beautiful landscapes, and when we arrived at the theme park it was everything we ever wanted and more! After parking in a field, we walked to the main gates and found that we had to buy the wristbands from a stand that is in the middle, and walking to the stand we saw many of the classic style rides like Tumble Bugs, Paratrooper, Music Express, Bumper Cars, Carousel and Blue Streak an amazing wooden roller coaster…and no joke people who grew up in the Dayton, Ohio area will know what I mean when I say my first feeling was “Wow, this has a Fantasy Farm and Americana Amusement Park feel”! And after a short line to get our admission wristband we headed straight to The Devil’s Den as this was the main attraction for us, and man I have lots to say so we will get to it shortly. The rides were also connected to a water park as well as a lake and all around us were families and couples having fun and this helped added to the great atmosphere of the park. Not to mention all of the park workers seemed very nice and helpful. After Juliet and I rode The Devil’s Den, she rode The Blue Streak and had a blast and from there we went and rode the train that went around Blue Streak and the park all the while we would pass wooden cutouts of famous cartoon characters. From there, Juliet rode the Tumble Bugs and after we ate some loaded fries and funnel cake from one of the food stands and just soaked in the park. After leaving Juliet and I both agreed that we will come back to Conneaut Lake Park as it was a very fun time!

The Devil’s Den was everything in a classic Horror Ride I could ever want! We got at the park right at open so the ride had no line and Juliet and I were able to walk right up. Sadly the cars were tiny and we had to ride separately and as the worker pushed my cart into the track, the spooky ride started! Now keep in mind I loved the cart and while it would have been fun to ride with Juliet, it also was an amazing ride to experience alone. And Devil’s Den was filled with creepy paintings, spooky sounds, flashing lights, darkness, a gum caked wall and the Devil and his minions. This made me flashback to the old Horror Ride that was at Fantasy Farm and I had a massive smile on my face the whole ride as each dark turn made me come face to face with another monster. The highlight for me is when I got to see The Devil that looked just one straight from a B-Horror Movie. The ride had some great old school scare moments like string hanging down to touch your face in dark rooms and had lots of twists and turns. This was a fantastic way to feel like a kid again as I enjoyed every moment of this ride and I think that if you are in the Pittsburgh area, you need to take a trip to Conneaut Lake Park and pay the $10.00 entrance fee and do yourself a favor and take a ride on The Devil’s Den and after doing so soak up all the amazing attractions of a true indie amusement park. The pictures below come from the rides official Facebook page at CLP Devils Den so make sure to check it out and give it a like. No joke, this was a perfect attraction for Juliet and I to spend a good part of our day at….and oh yeah I also bought myself a Devil’s Den T-Shirt!

After Conneaut Lake Park we headed toward The Snowman as I needed a good old Yeti Shake and to my shock and sadness, the horses were gone! While I was sad not to see the horses again, the shake was fantastic as always! Later in the day we ate dinner at a restaurant called Burgatory and it was fantastic and I made a custom chicken burger that was one of the best I have ever had! The waitress we had was super nice and the restaurant itself was very welcoming and had a cool look. We ended the evening once more watching an episode of Son Of Ghoul that had him hosting The Hideous Sun Demon as I figured what better way to end the final day of Monster Bash than with a Horror Host program.

June 24, 2019 marked the first day of after Monster Bash blues, but marked the first full day of lets go do cool stuff in Cranberry! We started out morning with a breakfast from Einstein Bros Bagels and then made our way to see the remake of Child’s Play at Cranberry Cinema, as I have said before this is a great indie ran theater that has a great feel and no joke I also really enjoyed Child’s Play! From there Juliet and I had lunch at Moe’s and just like last time the meal was really good. After lunch we headed back to Evans City and visited the Cemetery, as it’s a must every time we are in PA. The drive to the cemetery is so peaceful and once there we soaked up the sun, nature and just the over all creative vibe you get when there. The cemetery was filled with chipmunks again and besides the caretaker, no one else was around and made for a very peaceful visit. After enjoying the wonders that is Evans City Cemetery we headed back to the hotel and waited for dinner…that was Wing Kings of course and then we watched WWE Raw on the USA Network.

June 25 marked our last day in Pennsylvania and on this day we started out by going to Target to pick up some road snacks. We then headed to Mars and had some coffee from Mars Brew House and walked around the small town for a few moments. Juliet and I chatted about our time at Monster Bash as well as talked about Horror Hosting and even about Rotten Ink. We then went and filmed the UFO in downtown Mars to send to my pal Victor for a project for Rockstar Pro Wrestling. But this was just the start of our journey back to home as I wanted to make a stop that was very important to me…and that was to visit the grave of a true wrestling legend.

Before we made the long drive back to Dayton we stopped at Christ Our Redeemer Catholic Cemetery in Pittsburgh so I could pay my respects to WWE Legend and Wrestling Icon Bruno Sammartino. For those who don’t know who Bruno was, I first want to say shame on you, as he is the longest WWE Champion in history and was one of the world’s most popular wrestlers in the 60s-80s and hands down is one of the best in the business. And after paying my respects Juliet and I walked around the massive cemetery and we talked about how important Bruno was and still is to the legacy of the WWE as much like Hulk Hogan he was what kept them in business for decades. And I am making a promise to all you readers that when Inverse Press finishes the comic series based on Bruno Sammartino I will cover it here on Rotten Ink and truly talk about this icon of the squared circle. Once we left the cemetery we headed back to Ohio, but not before stopping again at Ruby Tuesdays for a quick meal.

Once we ended up back home I had to deliver copies of the Sparkle Comics release of Spring Heeled Jack # 2 to local shops as well as spent some time with family and friends and even went to the theater to see Annabelle Comes Home! I also ended up filming a one off cheesy Horror Host show with my pal Damien…more on that in the future. But on June 29, 2019 we decided to have a Horror Movie Marathon that would be packed with some great Horror, Science Fiction and Thriller films. We started the marathon at 8am and started with the Universal Horror film “The Thing That Couldn’t Die!” that is about a cursed head tormenting a group of people on an isolated ranch. The second film was “Zarkorr! The Invader” about a massive space monster on a rampage to test earthlings that must be saved by a postal worker. We then watched “Golem” from 2018 that brings the silent film and classic Jewish folklore and is about a woman that brings to life a Golem to protect her village. The 1995 thriller “Mommy” starting Patty McCormack was next and was about an evil woman who will kill those who get in her young daughters way…and more so her own. Our fifth film was the Sc-Fi classic “Target Earth” about a group of strangers that wake up in a city alone during a mechanical alien invasion! “The 27 Club” is about a musician who sells her soul to the devil to get fame, but it comes with a price on her 27th birthday. The shot on video film “Masked Mutilator” was next and is about a group of kids in a halfway house that are being killed by a crazed masked pro wrestler. Indie Horror Movie “Close Calls” starring the lovely Jordan Phipps is about a young woman who is battling drug addiction being grounded as strange and deadly things are going down at her home. Our 9th film of the marathon was “Leprechaun Returns” the newest sequel in the long running series that has him coming back again to claim his gold and torments a group of sorority girls. And the final film was the 1975 fright flick starring Peter Cushing “The Ghoul” about a mansion that holds a terrible secret and a murderous thing in the attic.

This was another great Horror Movie Marathon filled with some great flicks and amazing food and snacks! After we watched the films, as always Juliet and I sat and talked about them and picked our best three as well as our Golden Turkey. For Juliet she selected Masked Mutilator as her Golden Turkey as she did not hate the film she just felt it dragged in spots, and I choose Zarkorr! The Invader as I found it to be a little to slow with a so-so hero and a lackluster final battle. My Top Films went as following # 1 went to Golem as I found this to be a very fun and bloody way to bring this classic horror icon back to modern viewers, plus it was well acted, well shot and the blood effects were really good. # 2 for me was Leprechaun Returns as I felt this was a fantastically silly and fun sequel and washed the bad taste of Leprechaun Origins out of my mouth, plus the film was way more gore in it than I expected. And my pick for # 3 was The Ghoul as I found it to be a fun spooky atmospheric classic style Horror Flick that once more showed why Peter Cushing is one of the best actors in Horror ever. And for me Close Calls was a runner up as I found myself still thinking about the film way after it ended as it left me thinking about what the ending meant. Juliet’s picks were as follows # 1 The Golem, # 2 The Ghoul and # 3 went to Target Earth, but she wanted to let you all know that the film The Thing That Wouldn’t Die almost made it on her list and was her runner up. So as you can see, another great Marathon and a great way to end my Monster Bash 2019 vacation!

This Marathon’s Golden Chainsaw Award for most kills goes to Golem as he had about 13 on screen kills and a ton of off screen! While he looked like a child this creatures was brutal and ruthless when it came to murdering those who crossed him or his creator. The Golem’s best kill for me is when he would make peoples heads explode into a mess of bloody goo filled with chunks of brains! So thanks Golem for not only being the best movie of the Marathon but for also making it a little bloodier!

It’s crazy to think that the world lost George A. Romero over two years ago. I mean the man delivered some of the most iconic zombie films of all time with titles like Night Of The Living Dead, Dawn Of The Dead, Day Of The Dead, Land Of The Dead, Diary Of The Dead and Survival Of The Dead, all amazing films in their own right. But many others love his none-zombie horror work like Season Of The Witch, The Crazies, Martin, Knightriders, Creepshow, Monkey Shines, Two Evil Eyes, The Dark Half and Bruiser all films that delivered chills and entertainment to viewers. They just don’t make filmmakers like Romero anymore who had a vision and brought a group of creative minds together like he did in the Pittsburgh area. While George might be gone and no one can make zombie films like him no matter how they try, his legacy will live on forever not only in his work but also in all those film creators who he inspired.

George A. Romero’s masterpiece of zombie horror cinema Night Of The Living Dead is truly a film that has inspired and has been imitated by so many filmmakers and media creators. I mean NOTLD is even a film that has been hosted by so many Horror Hosts around the world, and I would even bet that it’s the most hosted movie of all time! And oddly enough, beside the official sequels like Dawn of The Dead, Day Of The Dead and Land Of The Dead to name a few it has also spawned a remake from effects master Tom Savini and a ton of unofficial sequels that all branding the name Night Of The Living Dead….now I am sure your wondering how this is so, right? Well the film has fallen into the public domain and this allows creative minds to do what they want with the title and the film itself and this is how these “sequels” and “ different takes” are able to be made and viewed by Horror Movie viewers world wide. So let’s take a moment and talk about some of these films that cashed in and continued the legacy of NOTLD. And let’s talk about what we will call The Good, The Bad, The Ugly And The Turkey as I will pick what one I find to be the best, the so-so, the worst and the golden turkey! So be ready as they are coming to get you readers! They’re coming for you….look here comes the rip offs now!

The first film in these unofficial sequels is “Night Of The Living Dead 3D” that was released in 2006 and stars the likes of Sid Haig and Brianna Brown and follows Barb and college student Ben as they try and survive a zombie horde while finding shelter in the farmhouse of the Cooper family. But when the zombies arrive, things get bad for the survivors, as they cannot stop the living dead! Next up is “Night Of The Living Dead Re-Animation 3D” that was released in 2012 and is a prequel to the above mentioned film and stars Jeffrey Combs and Denice Duff and follows a mortician who foolishly exposes dead bodies to medical toxic waste that brings them back and hungry for the living. “Night Of The Living Dead Resurrection” was as well released in 2012 and stars Sule Rimi and Kathy Saxondale and is about a group of humans hiding in a farmhouse as the dead rise and they drama inside the house seems to be worse than the horrors outside. And lastly is “Night Of The Living Dead Darkest Dawn” that was released in 2015 and stars Danielle Harris and Tony Todd and is an animated fright flick that changes the location to New York as humans hide out in an apartment building as the dead try and get them! So these are the dirty undead four, and man all of them are the same and yet all so different! I would say The Good For me would be Night Of The Living Dead Darkest Dawn as it’s a weird take and the voice acting from some of the greats of the horror world was a nice addition. The Bad, who is not terrible but average, would go to Night Of The Living Dead 3D as it is cheesy and bad but Sid Haig is solid in it. The Ugly that is bad but not the worst would go to Night Of The Living Dead Re-Animation 3D, an underwhelming sequel to NOTLD 3D and is just nothing special and an average lower budget zombie film. And the Golden Turkey is Night Of The Living Dead Resurrection as it’s just very, very boring and is clearly a cash in on the namesake of NOLD. So there you have it, a quick rundown of the knock off films of Night Of The Living Dead…and if you want to see a good zombie film just watch the original or even the remake as they both are leaps and bounds better than all the films mentioned above.

While we took a look at the films that cashed in on the legacy of NOTLD, I also want to take a brief moment to talk about a cool tribute short movie called “Flowers For The DEAD” that was released in 2013 and is directed by Joe Barbarisi who clearly loved the classic work of Romero and even shot parts of the film in the Evan City Cemetery that the original film shot in. The films plot is about Linda a woman whose parents have passed away who finds herself in the cemetery during a zombie outbreak and to make things worse she is being stalked all through the massive cemetery by zombies who want to make her their dinner and she has no signs of help. Now Lisa must fight for her life and find a way to out step the dead and get back to her car! Does she make it out alive…or does she become another meal for the living dead…watch this film on YouTube and find out for yourself! This short film is well shot and making it black and white was a very nice touch as it helps make it feel right at home with NOTLD. The zombies as well are well done for an indie film with some being make-up and others wearing masks, and again this added to the vibe and feel of the film. I want to also say that I really dug the films score as it fit the film perfectly, and to be honest I would love to have it on CD! I love indie horror, and this was a fun one that someday I would love to show at an Indie Horror Showcase event that is put on by Horrorama Dayton and Blood Scream Comics! So I want to just say good work to Joe Barbarisi and his cast and crew for making such a fun and classically spooky Horror Short film.

So now that we have traveled to the land of the living dead once more and had a great time at Monsterbash, I think we should see what the second series based on Night Of The Living Dead by Fantaco has in store for us! So before we find a good crypt to hide in, I should remind you all that I grade these comics on a star scale of 1 to 4 and am looking for how well the comics stay to the source material, its entertainment value and its art and story. I also want to thank a vendor at Cinema Wasteland many years back for having these comics in stock. So if you’re ready to once more walk with the Living Dead, let’s see what this Fantaco mini series has in store for us.

Night Of The Living Dead # 0  **
Released in 1994       Cover Price $1.95     Fantaco     # 0 of 3

Actress Kate Koresh is taking a vacation in Haiti and becomes the target for a voodoo cult who wants to sacrifice her to zombies of the sea, and unlucky for her, they kidnap her and take her to the beach to do the ceremony. Meanwhile zombie hunter Randy Von Richtofen is also on a getaway in Haiti as he is staying at the hut of Papa Shaka while he is away, and Randy is lucky when he meets Amber and Bianca two beautiful women who are the trainees of Shaka. While relaxing in the hot tub, Randy hears the drums on the beach and rushes off and he and the ladies end up saving Kate from being eaten by zombies and they kill not only the undead but also the voodoo cult! In the end Randy and the ladies return to the hut as Kate returns to America never wanting to see a zombie again! We end with the government talking about a satellite in space and hope that this time around it does not start another zombie outbreak.

This quick read is an odd one as it was a fun read and really does capture the indie zombie horror comic feel of the 90’s from that time…but it also has a weird very cheesy over the top nature that is nothing like the spirit of Night Of The Living Dead as it all just seems a little off! The plot follows two people on vacation, one being an actress and the other being a zombie hunter who cross paths when a cult wants to feed and please the undead from the ocean. Our main hero is the sleazy and overly gun happy undead basher Randy Von Richtofen who is a man who has seen and done so much to rid the world of the zombies that have infested it. We know he loves the ladies, and he loves to blow away zombies. Bianca and Amber are two hot women who are loyal to their teacher the voodoo master Papa Shaka and who are very handy with guns and taking down zombies. Our would-be victim, the snooty actress Kate Koresh, is also a survivor as she as well fights for her own life and takes on cult members as well as zombies to escape. The Cult, who are the issue’s baddies, are silly and love bikinis and want to please the zombies of the ocean that are divers, swimmers and seamen and are no major threat as they are taken out with ease. The comic, while horror, also has a dash of comedy to it, as the over all feel really is cheesy as well as comic indie action moments. Thus far as well I am not 100% sold on Randy and am more cheering for Amber and Bianca who seem more like the heroes of the book and are not just into killing zombies to be macho and brag about it. I do like the nice addition of the government once more making a mistake in space and this could spark another zombie upraise and spell doom for mankind. The cover for this issue 0 is not all that eye catching and besides the name does not make one think of NOTLD! The interior art is done by Rik Rawling and is pretty standard indie horror stuff. Over all this is an average comic that offers some blood and kills but is not scary and was worth the read. Let’s see what this story arc has in store for us with issue # 1.

Night Of The Living Dead # 1  **
Released in 1994       Cover Price $3.50     Fantaco     # 1 of 3

The Government’s Star Wars satellite is set to be used in a foreign land in order to test if it can do mind control when the machine decides to choose another target and hits in California and hits the set of Kate Koresh’s TV show killing many of the crew as well as infects others to become zombies! Para-gliders Phil and Phred land and find that zombies are all around and want to eat some human flesh, and as they flee the beach they come across Kate Koresh who has returned from Haiti and finds herself as well being attacked by zombies and the two dudes with attitudes try and save her! After the pair kill the zombies attacking her the trio rush off to a house in the hills to wait out the outbreak! Meanwhile the Government is in damage mode and realize that they once more have created a undead uprising again and set to come up with a plan to neutralize it. Meanwhile the safe house for Kate, Phred and Phil is being swarmed by zombies, and the guns they are using to protect themselves are running out of bullets when they remember an ad in the newspaper and call Randy Von Richtofen who shows up and kicks some undead butt! They all team up and trick the infected townspeople into entering a meat factor and fill it with gas blowing it up and containing the outbreak in California, but the satellite has fired again this time in Florida!

The first issue in the series as well lacks the true charm of Night Of The Living Dead and once more is a little too sleazy/cheesy and not so scary, making me a little puzzled why they moved away from their first style of NOTLD comics and went for more of a The Dead and the original Walking Dead mood and feel. The plot has the satellite firing in California causing a zombie outbreak that once more poor actress Kate Koresh is stuck in, but she is lucky enough that two goofy dudes are around to protect her and that once more zombie killer Randy Von Richtofen is back in town as well! This issues main heroes are Phil and Phred who are a pair of beach bums who enjoy chicks and paragliding, but while goofy when the dead start to rise and crave human flesh these two step up save a life and protect themselves and others. Kate Koresh can not win to lose as she returns from vacation were she was attacked by zombies only to once more find herself on the menu for lunch, but just like before she defends herself well and has the survival instinct. Randy Von Richtofen is still the same as the last issue and is a butt-kicking machine with no real personality. The Zombies in this issue attack in hordes and are hungry for human meat and flesh, not much else to say about them besides they are lined up to be slaughtered by our heroes in gory fashion. The real bad guys of this issue are the Government as they with their Star Wars program are what has caused all this chaos, seems they learned nothing from the outbreak they causes in 1968! The issue has some great bloody and gory kills and the pacing is good keeping my attention throughout. The cover is eye catching for fans of zombie comics and the art by Rik Rawling is ok. Over all another average and entertaining zombie book that is an odd direction for one based on such an iconic film.

Night Of The Living Dead # 2  **
Released in 1994       Cover Price $3.50     Fantaco     # 2 of 3

The amusement park McKie Moose World in Florida is hit by the laser from the Star Wars Satellite next and this causing employees to turn into flesh eating zombies! Randy Von Richtofen sees the reports on the news and calls in a favor to Papa Shaka and his two trainees Amber & Bianca for help to rid the park of the undead. Meanwhile at the park, the President’s Daughter is enjoying here time when the zombies attack and she is stuck with a Secret Service who is scared and offers her no protection! Meanwhile when out zombie hunter group lead by Randy shows up they use the voodoo skill of Papa Shaka to flood the park and kill off the zombies who infested it. Meanwhile the Government tries to destroy the satellite and fail as now it begins to fire randomly all over the planet!

This second issue is a mix of horror, comedy and sleaze and comes together pretty well and is an entertaining read. The plot follows once more Randy as he takes care of a zombie outbreak that this time takes place at an amusement park. And he brings in voodoo master Papa Shaka and his lovely ladies to help! I really love the idea of a zombie outbreak taking place in an amusement park all the while the President’s daughter is stuck inside as the Government and a group of zombie hunters are the only hope for those stuck inside…and while this sounds fantastic right, the issue never offers any real moments of danger as they are easily killed and are wiped out by water! The zombies in this issue are not scary or a threat, the Government this time around come off more like fools and not major baddies leaving a void for any serious threat. Randy Von Richtofen shows slightly more of a personality when he knows that he is out numbered and needs help to take out the zombies that was eating people in Florida, a cool generic badass hero character that so far just doesn’t do much for me. Papa Shaka shows that he doesn’t need a gun as the man’s voodoo skills are great, and he wipes the floor with the zombies. Amber & Bianca are very much downplayed in this issue and are more eye candy than zombie fighters, very disappointing as they could be very cool characters. Again the setting for this issue is great, the feel and mode are off, the comedy didn’t work for me and the horror is very slight. The cover is great and eye catching for fans of 90’s Horror Comics and the interior art done by Rik Rawling is the same level as the other issues. Over all this issue was slightly better than the previous two and was worth reading, let’s see what the final issue has in store for us.

Night Of The Living Dead # 3  **
Released in 1994       Cover Price $3.50     Fantaco      # 3 of 3

Outbreaks are taking place all over the world as the Star Wars Satellite has gone crazy and fired its ray all over creating zombies everywhere! The American President knows that things are bad and that under his watch this terrible thing has happened so he calls Randy Von Richtofen to help give pointers to S.C.U.D (Specialist In Cannibal Undead Destruction) a team that is government based and are ready to save the world. Randy agrees to give them some pointers and is shocked when he finds that actress Kate Koresh is one of the team’s leaders and he soon finds that he is being forced to join her group of soldiers as they head to Germany to ride the area of zombies that are breeding! The team is made up of Jane Redhawk, Jimmy Woo, Waylon Creole and Lunk. Once there they find out that the zombies are way more powerful and that this mission is going to be very hard tor pull off and survive. Kate takes Randy and Redhawk on a recon mission and they pair soon finds that they are at odds with each other as both have different ideas on how to deal with the zombies all around them, as those who are left behind at the base camp must fend off a wave of zombies. Once they make it to a massive tower made of dead humans that is acting as the base for the zombies, they find that the undead are reproducing at a fast pass and the only way to bring them down is to get into the tower and blow it up! Once back at camp Randy leaves the group behind as he thinks this is nothing more than a suicide mission, and Kate gets super mad and leads her team on the mission and to her horror one by one they are taken out by the zombies! Kate starts to lose her mind and shuts down as Redhawk is able to get them both to the center of the tower and as the zombies close in Randy appears again with his zombie bashing car and saves Kate as Redhawk sets off a bomb killing herself and also bringing down the tower and the zombie horde around it. In the end Randy and Kate stand at the graves of her fallen soldiers and pitches the idea of her and Randy becoming a team as he gives a none committed answer.

This final issue in this mini series goes out as average as it started as the story wraps up with no major impact nor does it have horror in sight. The plot of this issue has Randy joining Kate as she leads a rag tag team into the heart of a major zombie outbreak in Germany that is the worlds last defense to truly get this undead emergency under control. And I must say that the stakes in this final issue are bigger and it does feel as if the dead could truly win the final battle as they are all over and ready to kill and eat our heroes. And this is refreshing as through out this mini series I never found the zombies to be a threat nor dangerous as they were easily taken down and barely killed any one who could see. Our series main hero is Randy Von Richtofen, who is a man who enjoys killing zombies and has no real personality at all, and while I did not hate this character, I also had no real connection to him as he also just felt to dang generic. Our second main hero would be Kate Koresh as she grows as a character and goes from cheesy actress to leader of a military team! She is way more interesting of a character she just lacks the major will to kill like Randy does. The side characters in this series are pretty good and I would say my favorites would be Jane Redhawk, Amber & Bianca as they all had potential and all could have been better used in this series. As you long time readers know, I am a major Horror Comic reader and have always enjoyed a good zombie comic and love Night Of The Living Dead and its legacy and I think would have enjoyed this series a little more if it did not carry the NOTLD name as the comics holds none of the spirit of that film and again really comes off as a clone of other dark indie zombie comics that came out before it. The series does have some great moments of carnage and bloodshed, but does not get too overboard. The cover for this issue is just okay and is nothing special, the interior artwork is again is good normal indie style done by Rik Rawling. The best way to sum up this comic mini series is that it’s entertaining and also very disappointing. If you like dark horror comedy comics this might be one you will want to check out, if you’re a pure NOTLD fan you might find yourself finding this one a little of a letdown as even the zombies just feel all wrong. Check out the artwork below to see the style of Rawling used in this series.

So while this Fantaco NOTLD comic series has not the best zombie comics I have ever read, it still delivered an entertaining read for this update. It’s odd that no comic company is making comics based on Night Of The Living Dead as it just lends itself to be an amazing comic series. I want to also stress that if you love classic movie monsters, comics books and cool old toys you need to do yourself a favor and go to one of the Monster Bash Conventions as they are great events that deliver a spooky good time. So to keep up my love for classic monsters I think our next update we will be taking a look at the Marvel Horror character The Golem! So until next time read a Horror Comic or three, watch a classic monster movie or two and as always support your local Horror Host! See you next update for my first Marvel Horror Showcase.

Captain Klutz The MAD Goofy Hero That Time Might Have Forgot!

Welcome back friends and readers to another update to Rotten Ink, my blog here on the world wide web. Can you believe that we are so close to Thanksgiving 2018? That means we are at our first update in our countdown to this Turkey Day Holiday and also means we need to take a look at a forgotten hero from comic books of the past as over the years we have taken looks at such backburner superheroes as 3-D Man, Holo-Man, Solarman, Red Demon and Drastik to name a few, his year I have chosen to cover a hero that is a little different than all of them as he is a comedy goofball hero who graced the pages of MAD Magazine paperback books named Captain Klutz that was created by the amazing artist Don Martin! So sit back and get ready to get your funny bone tickled as we travel to Megalopolis and witness Captain Klutz do his best to stop crime….man, this masked hero is a true goofball.

Ringo Fonebone was a strange kid who didn’t do things normally; from eating to learning to walk he was just a little off. While other kids his age played outside and acted normal young Ringo sat alone reading comic books! As Ringo grew up, he still lived with his parents and only read comics all day long until they kicked him out, but his comic reading didn’t stop and caused him to hold no job nor home as he was kicked out of his flop house with just his boxers and his pajamas to his name. Broke and lonely, Ringo decides that he must kill himself as he has been a failure to his family and Wonder Woman, and as he falls from the top of a building, he bonks his head several times and even gets a hat on his way down. Before he hits pavement, he crashes into a bank robber who is caught by the police and so Captain Klutz superhero is born! The thing is, after his attempted suicide, Ringo doesn’t remember who he is and truly thinks he is indeed a superhero called Captain Klutz! While he is a superhero, he still is not respected and is by all accounts a goof who sometimes happens to fall backwards into stopping crime and villains. His only ally is Police Chief O’Freenbean who don’t respect him but does call on him for help with the odd cases the city is being plagued with. Captain Klutz is also very poor and at times is homeless or staying in a slum house filled with roaches and trash. Captain Klutz has no super powers and is by all accounts just a normal guy in a costume who read too many comic books and wants to fight crime and make his city safe. While he might not be as strong as Superman, as rich as Batman or as skilled as Spider-Man, the masked hero Captain Klutz is doing what he can to try and stop crime. Below are some pictures of Captain Klutz including one that shows some of his famed rogues gallery.

So know that we know a little about Captain Klutz, let’s take a look at the man who created him. Don Martin was born on May 18, 1931 in New Jersey and was into art from even a young age. In 1952 he graduated form the Pennsylvania Academy Of Fine Arts. After he graduated he took several odd jobs that included doing covers for Jazz Artist albums like Miles Davis and Stan Getz, and by 1956 he starting appearing in MAD and would be the magazines top artist for decades. Martin would use his artistic talent to deliver not only original comedy comic strips but also for parodies, pin-ups and stickers and this lead to him to be called “Mad’s Maddest Artist” and built him a huge fan base. He worked for MAD until 1987 with his last contribution being printed in March 1988. After leaving MAD, he jumped ship and joined Cracked Magazine who were super happy to have him on board even teasing MAD by calling Martin “Cracked’s Crackedest Artist”! If you’re wondering why Don Martin left MAD, it was because he and publisher William Gains got into it over royalties as they were not paying Martin for reprinting his work in paperback books and magazines, and Martin even testified before a Congressional subcommittee over the rights of freelance artists and both sides MAD and Martin seemed to have had enough of each other. Don Martin worked six years for Cracked Magazine and was happy working for them even though they were not as well respected by comedy magazine readers, and later he made his own very short lived comedy magazine called “Don Martin Magazine” as he also worked on a comic strip called “The Nutheads” that was syndicated in newspapers. During his time as a comedy magazine artist he won many awards such as the National Cartoonist Society in 1981 and 1982 and even was inducted into the Comic Book Hall Of Fame in 2004. Don Martin suffered from eye issues his whole life and even had two surgeries on them and later in life needed special magnifying equipment to draw. Don Martin was a quite man who enjoyed spending time with his family and playing jokes on tourists near his home in Florida and loved drawing and creating his off the wall characters and stories. Sadly Don Martin passed away on January 6, 2000 of cancer at the age of 68 and up until his death he was still at odds with MAD Magazine and was still a very respected comic artist. While Don Martin is gone, his work still entertains readers and his style influences many artist still to this day.

I am sure many of you like myself grew up reading MAD and or Cracked Magazine and enjoyed the silly nature of the jokes and parodies, and I am sure many of you like myself always enjoyed the work of Don Martin as well as fellow comedy artist like Wally Wood, Al Jaffee, Don Edwing, Antonio Prohias and Sergio Aragones who delivered funny comic strips to these magazines. And I am also sure many of you remember the amazing Captain Klutz, who was a favorite of my brother Bryan and I growing up as we had his paperback book adventures. And I am very happy to be going back to my youth and revisiting this goofy hero and his zany adventures and would like to say a big thank you to Game Swap Kettering and an Amazon Seller for having these paperback books in stock so that I could go back and revisit them for this comedic update. Wait a minute, my phone is ringing….and it’s a collect call and it’s Captain Klutz himself who wants me to remind you that I grade these comics on a star scale of 1 to 4 and am looking for how well the comic stays to the source material, its entertainment value and its art and story. So let’s gear up and hit the streets with Captain Klutz and see if these comic paperback books are as good as I remember.

MAD Adventures Of Captain Klutz # 1  ***1/2
Released in 1967    Cover Price .50     Signet Books     #1 of 2

“Sissyman” in this first adventure Captain Klutz is awakened from a nightmare by his archenemy Sissyman, who taunts him with names and causing our hero get onto his scooter and track Sissyman down at his mom’s home! While getting lost trying to find the house, he runs into Police Chief O’Freenbean who informs him that diamonds have been stolen by Sissyman and when they get to the crime scene they find a handkerchief that has the evil goofy thief’s address on it. Captain Klutz goes to the house alone and uses a disguise to get into the home but is soon trapped under ice cream thanks to Sissyman’s new gun and now he is off to steal gold. After escaping the ice cream trap, Klutz gets a message from Police Chief O’Freenbean that Sissyman has just robbed the bank and is now heading to a jewelry store, Klutz jumps into a phone booth to get into a new disguise that is Count Of Monte Cristo and by accident strips down a woman who was using the phone! As she runs away naked, he enters the Jewelry store and stops Sissyman only to be himself put under arrest for stripping down the woman and in this story crime does win as Sissyman gets away free for his crimes. “The Case Of Chicken Soup” is the second goofy adventure and has Captain Klutz getting ready to give Granny Santini an award for all her good work with the homeless, and before Captain Klutz leaves, he gets a call from his downstairs neighbor who is jarring her famous pickled pigs feet and needs fast drying pectin to finish her batch. After getting the pectin, he meets the Mayor and they stop into Granny’s soup kitchen. After the Mayor tries the chicken soup he along with the homeless turn into mindless zombies who go to work at Granny’s gift shop and soon it’s seen that Granny Santini is evil and has Captain Klutz hung above a vat of boiling chicken soup! But thanks to the bag of pectin that rips, he just bounces off the once scalding soup and is ready for action and hides in a totem and shoots and kills Granny and soon finds out the effects of the soup will wear off on the homeless and mayor in a few days. Our third adventure is called “Captain Klutz Meets Gorgonzola” and has a father and son being chased by the giant spider named Gorgonzola. They run into Captain Klutz who is homeless sleeping on a bench and who says he will help them until he notices that he is face to face with a very mean giant spider and he passes out! Once awakened he and Police Chief O’Freenbean travel to a carnival on Gorgonzola’s trail. When they find him, the giant spider beats up Klutz until our hero figures out the spider is really just a machine and after plugging his leg into an outlet the man inside the suit pops out and it was Lousy Louie, a man who has been arrested before for Trick Or Treating with out a license and now is going to jail for life for his last stunt in a Halloween costume. “ Captain Klutz Meets Mervin The Mad Bomber” has our hero waking up in his rundown apartment he answers a help wanted ad from Police Chief O’Freenbean who needs help to stop and capture a mad bomber loose in the city! Captain Klutz finds that he and the police are the target of the bombs and call after call Klutz finds himself getting blown up! Finally he figures it all out and saves Police Chief O’Freenbean who is tied to a giant bomb and brings Mervin The Mad Bomber who has been disguised as the Police Chief and saving the day once more our hero in the end is blown up once more by the very last bomb he thought he stopped.

Wow! This was just as silly and enjoyable as I remember it being and I must say that Captain Klutz is a character that I wish would still be around till this day and could even have cross overs with other goofy heroes like Impossible Man from Marvel or Bat-Mite from DC! This paperback has four main adventures and two small gag stories and all of them follow Captain Klutz in Megalopolis as he tries his best to stop crime and not get hurt to bad doing so. The thing about Captain Klutz is that while he is a nerd who at times gets beat up and or passes out from fright he does in the end always find away to bring down the baddie in front of him with Sissyman being the only one to escape and Granny Santini being one that he murders with gunshot wounds. Plus you have to feel bad for him as most of the time he is homeless sleeping on the cold streets while other times he is in nasty gross motel rooms. I must say that I also dig that Captain Klutz rides around on a cheesy little shooter and looks like a fool doing it! Police Chief O’Freenbean is a gruff man who while talks down to Klutz still calls on him when the police need help, he is like a mean cornball version of Commissioner Gordon! The baddies of this book are as following Sissyman, a mama’s boy who is a nerd and likes to rob places of their riches! Granny Santini, an old woman who hides behind being super sweet and wanting to help the homeless, but really is using her chicken soup to turn them into zombies to make them slaves in her sweatshops to make cheap products for he gift shops. Gorgonzola is a spider suit warn by Lousy Louie in order to trick or treat and scare people around him. And lastly and the most dangerous is Mervin The Mad Bomber, who enjoys placing bombs in the city and watching them go BOOM! While none of the bad guys are as sinister as Batman or Spider-Man’s foes, they are perfect for the world Don Martin created for his masked hero. The humor of this comic paperback works as well as did the characters and holds up to this day given that its nothing more that sight gags and slapstick style humor, but a few things do stand out as cringe worthy like one of the names of a comic he is reading is very much a slur for gay people and is a little out of place. The cover is eye catching and the art by Don Martin is classic silly stuff and I would say that for me this book has held up and I still enjoyed it every much like I did when I was a kid and am looking forward to revisiting the second book next!

Captain Klutz II # 2  **1/2
Released in 1983    Cover Price $3.50   Warner Books    #2 of 2

“To Brusha With Love” in Brusha their leader Ivanovitch Eyebrowski and Comrade Stupidska have a plan to clog high stacks at power plants to cause poison gas clouds and to kill the good people of America and their plan works and three toxic clouds are floating around the city! Meanwhile Police Chief O’Freenbean needs the help of Captain Klutz to stop the clouds and before our hero can come to the rescue he inhales some of the toxic cloud and it gives him superhuman powers like the ability to fly and super muscles! Captain Klutz by accident captures the Brusha Spy who set up the clouds and then just as Comrade Stupidska and more Brusha soldiers are about to attack the city Captain Klutz explodes injuring Chief O’Freenbean, killing the Brushins and leaving Captain Klutz in pieces! “Hollywood Whodunnit” actress Deanna Drano is having her life threatened as accidents keep happing to her while she is filming her movies and she has hired Captain Klutz to protect her, and after more accidents happen to her and Klutz keeps failing at his task she finally comes clean and admits she did this to herself to draw press for her failing career and she and the director run off to get married as Captain Klutz tries to make up a story about when he knew it was her all along. “Agendum For Secret Messages” our masked hero Captain Klutz follows clues that were left behind by his friend Police Chief O’Freenbean and each clue leads him to a new place for only at the end to find out that O’Freenbean thinks this is a silly way for them to talk and cancels these type of meetings. Our final adventure tale is called “The Major Catastrophe” and has Captain Klutz having to watch his cousin Elmer who is a walking disaster causing major destruction everywhere he goes! And when Klutz gets a call from Police Chief O’Freenbean that the mayor has been kidnapped by drugged out terrorist he must suit up his cousin and calls him Major Catastrophe and together they save the mayor and cause the city and the mayor lots of harm!

This second book that features Captain Klutz is good but sadly not as good as the first book as this one is filled with lots of filler pages and short stories to make the page count. In fact in this book we are not only treated to some short adventures but also sound effects and a long song about our hero…each while fun also take away from some of the main stories that seem to have rushed endings. Keep in mind while this is still a really good read and does pack a few good chuckles. Missing in this issue is true super villains as we only get Ivanovitch Eyebrowski and Comrade Stupidska who are only briefly shown and sadly are no major threat as the toxic gas they unleash only brings on their downfall as it gives Captain Klutz even more power. Captain Klutz here is still as silly and goofy as ever and once more falls butt backwards into stopping crime, but odd to say he is lacking a little of the charm that made him fantastic in the first book and I cant put my finger on why he feels off he just does. Police Chief O’Freenbean and the police force are around but they seem like background characters and O’Freenbean and Klutz don’t have the same chemistry that made them a dynamic duo that we all enjoyed from the past book. Not much else to say about this second book besides the cover is really cool, the art and humor stories by Don Martin is good and this was a great blast from the past and was very cool to relive reading it even if it did coast me over $30.00 to do so and it was not as great as book 1! So below I think this one piece of art form these books captures the art style of Don Martin and the spirit of Captain Klutz.

While Captain Klutz might not be a household superhero name that the young and young at heart talk about, he is one that for those who remember him entertained with his goofy adventures and cheesy humor. It was lots of fun going back to the days of sitting in my brothers room in Waynesville and reading MAD paperback books and chatting about the one and only Captain Klutz! If memory serves me right, at one point my brother when he was a youngster wanted to or did make a Captain Klutz fan made comic book! I’ll have to ask him about that and see what he says and if he did we will have to cover it on a future update. So for our next update we are leaving the world of MAD behind us and will be going to Tennessee to visit vampire Horror Host Icon Sivad! So until next time read a comic of three, read a classic MAD Magazine or two and as always support your local Horror Host. See you next update for a shocking good time.