5 out of 5
I know – we’re all tired of zombies. Even in comics, where Marvel’s Zombies seemed initially novel, and then it became a series, and now every publisher has had a zombie event at one point, and yayyy it’s fun to see Batman as an undead creature I guess.
But a couple things: firstly that this setup isn’t new to 2000 AD, as they’ve previously had an undead Dredd walking around – not to mention Deadworld having been doing a similar shtick for several years already – and secondly, that the multiverse bit that often plays into zombie comics (and same here) has also popped up several times over in 2000 AD. So there’s precendent.
Furthermore, Kenneth Niemand’s wraparound story that sets this up and then leads into the connecting Meg finds a damn use for Sabbatt and Judgement Day, which is… hilarious. And perfect. And also not mindless, but totally fitting with the social commentary of 2000 AD: that in some alterna-timestream, the way Dredd decided to solve Judgement Day was to essentially send the virus off to other dimensions – out of sight, out of mind. This gives us an easy excuse for one-shot tales that hop through 2000 strips of yore (with fantastic creative teams lined up on each) and do the ol’ zombie bit.
And to every writer’s / artist’s credit – no one took the easy out of just thinking it would be funny if, say, Stogie showed up as a zombie. Instead, the guidance here seemed to be to assume that the virus had already taken over whichever dimension you’re in: how does it change things? So Abnett gets to do a freewheeling and hilarious SinDex bit where they’re no longer guns for hire, but zombie savin’ for hires; and Rogue Trooper – Gary Erskine on art! – is now zombified, but being controlled by his chips; and Emma Beeby goes solo on Survival Geeks with Neal Googe for some kookily self-aware hijinx…
It all just works too well, as much fun as those initial zombie comics were however many years ago, while also fully fitting within the 2000 AD world.