Writer: George Lennox
Art: James Devlin
Lettering: Colin Bell
Publisher: Cult Empire
The Book:After the US Government creates and releases zombie soldiers into the jungles of Vietnam in an attempt to bring the war to an end, things quickly get out of control as they infect anything living with their ‘disease’. Pitted against them are a stranded group of soldiers, still reeling from facing a zombie donkey and civilians, now facing further horror in the jungle…
The Review: As we previously reported, Airdrie-based comic retailer Cult Empire recently launched their own comic line last year and the first issue of Vietnam Zombie Holocaust went down at various comics events where it was on sale. The same creative team are back with a second issue of this smash British indie title.
In this issue, the up against it troopers face not only zombies but intervention from a ” one man army” character, the Wolf, dispatched to deal with a Vietnamese “Death Squad” and who seems to take a growing army of undead in his stride. Meanwhile, back at Bien Hoa Air Base, the scientist who created the zombie soldiers in the first place seems to have his own agenda – and the General overseeing the project is getting a little suspicious…
Obviously not for the faint hearted, this superbly illustrated horror tale has plenty of twists and turns in the tale to keep readers entertained, plundering the set up of films like Predator and running with them in its own unique way. It’s packed with moments of dark humour and brutal action, as the core team get increasingly caught up in a situation that’s rapidly spiralling out of control…
If there’s a fault to the book, I’d argue that dialogue wise it gets a little clunky at times and could have done with a bit of editing, but this doesn’t detract from the project continuing to deliver exactly what it says on the tin. James Devlin’s art is terrific, growing in confidence in terms of storytelling this issue. The concept is great fun and there’s plenty of scope to broaden the horror, offering as it does a savage parody of the actual Vietnam War it’s set in.
Oh, and if you’re balking at the cover price of £4.99 – Cult Empire are paying the creators on this book a proper page rate, which few independent publishers can afford to do, and should be applauded for that. (I wish I could!).
“A stunning follow-up issue that not only matches the success of that first issue but adds further momentum to this Cult Empire Comics release. One where every element seems to work as the creative team pull together an intriguing yet disturbing tale that leaves us wanting more…”
“VZH is such a formulaic thing, but it’s a comic that really embraces all that formula, mashing up a couple of genres and this time adding in a classic bit of almost Western elements with the lone US serviceman rolling into town and a hefty chunk of Trash cinema with Death Squad X. It’s all deliberately overblown, turning everything up to 11 really quickly…”
“One thing that helps give VZH its edge however is the absolutely stunning artwork of James Devlin. Slick, polished and filled with dynamic layouts and jaw-dropping set pieces, two-time SICBA “Best Artist” winner Devlin is churning out career-best work here, seemingly inspired by the wanton carnage he’s getting to bring to life.”