Deadworld is a comic like no other. It took the concept of zombie survival, added in some Hellish elements, put it into a shaker, and poured it out as one amazing horror masterpiece. With almost 30 years under its belt, this title still shines bright with every new arc/mini-series.
So how accessible is Restoration? Can a person new to the world of King Zombie just pick it up and read it? Gary Reed always tries to put that extra effort into any new DW mini so it can be accessible to someone new. Now being 100% honest, I am probably the worst person to ask this question because I know about everything that came before. However, I do think that someone new can pick this up, and with the ability to read in-between the lines, figure things out. Now I’m not saying that is what you should do, in all honesty you need to read the Deadworld Omnibus (which collects where the series was rebooted), and then check out the last arc “War of the Dead.” Of course that is just me telling you that you NEED to read Deadworld. Going back to what I was trying to say before ranting there, Reed does an amazing job of recapping as the story progresses. Now there is no recap page, instead they present the flashbacks within the story when talking about what has come before. I think that this is a GENIUS move. Because as things move forward, you can instantly look back and remember. Reed also delivers in the dialogue because he recalls things that took place before, saving me the time of going back and looking at War of the Dead or Slaughterhouse again.
What I love about this mini’s title, Restoration, is that I feel it perfectly describes everything that takes place in these 5 issues. It restores the Deadworld universe to what I remember happening around Vol. 1 issues 7-16, and it also takes a step in a new direction which adds even more fun. The cast is big, there is no doubting that, but Reed handles them perfectly. For any Game of Thrones TV fans, you know what it means to have a large cast, but still have them handled in the right way, and that is what we have here. Every character overlaps, and then separates in some way, shape, or form. It’s like a chess board, and the pieces are slowly moving into place. The usual cast is still here (Dan, Donna/Vamp, Deake, Bowker, Dead Killer), but we also get reintroduced to some other classic greats (Joey, Moloch, Wolverine, and of course the Grakken).
The overall story line moves the cast into a great cliffhanger, and I am just dying to see what will come next. What I love about Reed’s idea here is how he is able to handle the two opposing sides. What sets Deadworld apart from other zombie themed comics, is that you have a handful of people just trying to survive, then you have a handful of people who just want to rule over everyone, then you have the scientific people looking for this magical cure to end zombies, but then you also have these intelligent zombies who are, in my opinion, overpowering everyone as they try to bring their world to ours. It’s layers and layers of story, that are perfectly constructed on these pages.
The artwork by Sami Makkonen is GORE-Geous. I know I’ve said it before when talking about his work on past Deadworld arcs, but Sami is perfect for this title. His gritty style really lends itself to this undead world. I was beyond ecstatic to see him get to recreate on of the best Deadworld scenes ever (originally done in To Kill a King). But it’s not just the way he draws the cast, it’s the overall presentation that we get. The flashback pages are identified by a specific border. He will reference items in the story, and work them into the artwork itself. A good example can be seen right away, as characters are discussing getting someone medical help, and he imposes the words of a first aid kit over the page. It’s just all visually stunning.
There will always be a soft spot in my heart for Deadworld. I hate having to wait for new issues, but I know it’s necessary to make sure this book stays perfect. I think if you take a chance and read this mini, you won’t be let down, instead you will just end up kicking yourself in the ass for missing out on what came before. So for now I will sit here and wait patiently for the next arc, but damn it…I wish it was coming out tomorrow.
Dying Breath 5.0 out of 5.0