Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The New Deadwardians #1

Written by Dan Abnett
Art by INJ Culbard

The store where I buy comics was shorted of all of their copies of The New Deadwardians last week, so this was the first I was able to get my hands on an issue of this new mini-series by Dan Abnett (without Andy Lanning) and INJ Culbard.

The New Deadwardians is a very cool comic.  It's set in London in 1910, but this is an alternate history, where zombies, called Restless, roam many areas of the city (designated Zone-B), and where many members of the upper class have been turned into The Young, which we would call vampires.  This information is not thrust at us, but is instead parceled out over the course of the issue.

When the comic opens, our hero, Detective Inspector Suttle is laying awake in bed.  He is disturbed by noises coming from 'below stairs', and descends to find one of his maids being devoured by a Restless.  He quickly dispatches the creature, and soon after learns that another of his maids has been bitten.  The next morning, he takes her to receive 'the cure', which turns her into a Young.

Later, Suttle goes to work, and catches his first murder case in ages (since most people in London are dead already, there's not a lot of call for a working Homicide department).  This case is used to underscore the state of class warfare in 'Deadwardian' England, and also sets up what looks to be an interesting twist on the standard murder mystery.

Abnett is one-half of one of my favourite superhero comics writing teams (Legion of Super-Heroes, Nova, Guardians of the Galaxy, New Mutants, and many more), but it's nice to see him working on his own, and on a project that is in such a different vein.  His approach to this alternate history is very well thought-out, and pretty interesting. Artist INJ Culbard is new to me, and I really like what I'm seeing.  His art looks like a cross between Guy Davis and the Luna Brothers.  He uses an expansive panel lay-out that works well on this type of comic, even though it doesn't look particularly Vertigo-ish.

I somehow missed the information that this was a mini-series, and I was previously skeptical about jumping on this as an on-going series.  For eight issues though, I'm definitely on board.

No comments: