For my first review on Zombie Apocalypse Defense Force I decided to scour Amazon for relatively recent releases. I especially wanted to check out things that have Kindle/ebook editions that are available for free via Kindle Unlimited. One reason is that I’m always looking for more ways to use my subscription, the other is that I really enjoy being able to recommend things that people are able to get for free or low cost. The title I chose was Them by Alan Gandy and Bella Borden.
The comic is unique in several ways. The first, immediately noticeable way for me was the art style. The comic is drawn using silhouettes for the most part, and using very few colors. The majority of the work is done in black, red, white, and gray. The art is done in a very minimalist style, with figures in the foreground appearing as filled in outlines, almost like shadows of themselves. The backgrounds are predominantly a different, solid color. The color selections, though fairly limited, effectively convey the mood of the panels. Another way that the story is unique is the premise itself. The main characters are all women from a military branch.
(Presumably army, but don’t quote me on that.) Private Hunter is the narrator, and through her eyes we are introduced to Private Glitch, Sergeant Chase, and Corporal Lee. The four of them are the last of Fox company based out of Houston, Texas. There aren’t many action based comics whose entire central cast is made up entirely of women, so initially that made me more interested in the title. This interest was compounded when I learned that the reason why the main cast was composed of women was the fact that the zombie virus could only infect males. Despite the interesting premise and curious cast set, I would not suggest downloading or buying the book. Kindle Unlimited is basically the only scenario in which I could justify getting the comic. It is not a bad read by any means, but it’s incredibly lack-luster. It’s entirely too short and doesn’t accomplish all the things that it should be setting out to do when establishing a new, dystopian world. The comic just doesn’t deliver on all of the promises that it makes. We don’t get to see enough action, we don’t have the opportunity to get to know or care about the characters. Yes, we see people die, but without the chance to get to know them and build some form of attachment, who really cares? The deaths don’t have any real significance and don’t have the right level of impact that killing a character should have, particularly when your starting cast is so small. The comic also unfortunately ends on a very weak note. Good comics leave the reader wanting more, but can stand on their own. If the comic is locking as much as ‘Them’ does, in basically every area but art, I can’t justify suggesting that anyone pick it up who can’t take a look for free. (And even then, I really only suggest it in the event that you need to waste a bit of time.)