Book Description: Gaslighters is a zombie story with it's own unique spin on the usual formula. It goes with the typical outbreak caused by a virus but this virus creates two types of undead. The first kind are called the Dying Breed and are like regular zombies except they can talk and reason. They must eat living flesh to slow their bodies from decaying. The second kind of undead are called the Everlasting. The Everlasting do not feel pain and don't waste away. They can also control their urge to feed on living flesh. You could say they retain their humanity and are accepted by humans. The book tells of a conflict called the Dying War that took place when the outbreak first occurred. After a few years of fighting, the Dying Breed were banished to the Deadlands. The current story follows an Everlasting woman named Zoey Chase AKA Nightmare. She had two toned hair and makeup that evokes images of Batman's Harley Quinn. She is a bounty hunter and in this issue she travels into the deadlands after a bounty by the name of Billy Killinger AKA Killy, who appears to be a part of some gang activity in the deadlands.
Book Author: John Stewart
Book Format: Paperback
Publisher - Orgnization: Violent Studios
Illustrator: William Allan Reyes
Gaslighters is pretty cool. In a sea of zombie stories it takes it’s own spin on things and runs with it. I like the idea of the zombies being able to think and communicate with eachother. It is also interesting that some people get turned into these kind of immortal superhero zombies. It is unique enough to be interesting while still being somewhat familiar if you’re into zombies.
The main character Nightmare is your typical badass female protagonist. Exaggerated physical features (not that I’m complaining) and a brash and headstrong attitude, complete with throwing out quips in the heat of battle. Her character doesn’t seem very deep but this is the first issue. The dialogue isn’t very impressive either, although it is straightforward.
The Art is truly where this book shines. The colors and level of detail in both the characters and backgrounds is splendid. The zombies in particular look really cool with sunken eyes, mottled skin and jagged teeth. There is plenty of action to showcase the art with Nightmare taking out a whole room of guys easily and flashbacks of the war itself.
One thing that threw me off was the opening panel. It uses a framing device of a young boy asking his Nana about the zombie war, which leads to a few pages of exposition about the backstory and setting. It is just the one panel and easily forgotten as it doesn’t frame the end of the issue. It also seems like an easy way to just jump right into the info dump that the issue starts with. I like backstory and lore but I think it’s better to give it piece by piece when it’s poignant in the story, as opposed to explaining everything in the beginning.
Overall the story isn’t groundbreaking but it is a unique take on the zombie genre. The art is great and there is action to show it off. The setting and backstory are interesting if not delivered perfectly. There is a bit of info toward the end that the audience learns that the protagonist doesn’t know and could lead to a deeper story for the character in future issues. I would be interested to read the next issue and see how the story develops from here.
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