The Last Zombie: Dead New World TPB (January – 2011 – Antarctic Press)

The Last Zombie: Dead New World TPB

Collecting The Last Zombie 1-5

What if after the zombie apocalypse/war the problems were just starting? What if the world was just spinning into a death spiral? What if even after the zombies were all gone, the world was basically gone too? This is the world that Brian Keene’s The Last Zombie imagines. A desolate place with little or no structure left to society, a place where humans live in scattered and frightened pockets of survival, a place where bands of raiders attacked the frightened and weak,  a place ravaged by horror and war.

The plot revolves around two of the last bastions of the now dead world.  One post in the mountains of Colorado and one in Virginia.  The ocean of the fly over states separating them.  When communication from the Virginia base goes silent a delegation of soldiers and scientists is sent across the country with one very important scientist on board.  Dr. Ian Scott has a vested interest in finding out what happened in Virginia, his wife is there.

So two teams head out on a nightmarish road trip across the vast wasteland of America in two high tech armored personnel carriers.  Moving across the country they stumble on a group that they mistake for zombies (which everyone thought had been eradicated), the soldiers do what they do best and start killing.  Simultaneously a few things happen.  The leader of the “zombies” comes out of a building, and screams for the soldiers to stop, because they aren’t zombies at all, they are lepers; and Dr. Scott flees the fire fight and falls into a pit with the corpses of the leper colony in it.  When he falls in he cuts himself on something making way for the inevitable zombie infection.

There is more going on than just a colony of lepers though.  It would seem that the whole country is chock full of raiders and little pockets of survivors that are looking to take advantage of people that are weaker than they are.  Soon a group of those raiders is descending on the leper colony looking to score quick by getting the troops’ equipment (and the lady doctors).  Another fire fight descends on the town and this time there are casualties on both sides of the gun.  Meanwhile Dr. Scott is getting his blood test back, proving that he does in fact have the zombie infection coursing through his veins, he is the last zombie.  Fortunately he has a vaccine that will slow the infection, and he takes it, because all he wants to do is get across the country to make sure that his wife is still alive.

Keene is a master at weaving two plot lines together, while battle is happening in one part of the book, science is going on in the other.  You also know that things are going to go really poorly with Dr. Scott and his new found zombie infection, but you feel for the guy.  He just wants to see his wife one last time.  All of this is punctuated by artist Joseph Wight’s grotesque looking black and white style.  This is dark looking and perfect for the title, and while the comparisons to The Walking Dead are inevitable this is something different and just as good (frankly it would make just as amazing of a TV show it just doesn’t have as big of a following).

Antarctic Press puts out some amazing stuff, and the best part is that they have sales fairly regularly so you can typically pick up these trades of The Last Zombie for around $12, which for a book this good is a steal

Next Time: Constantine #1

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