With the insane success of The Walking Dead TV series, and novels like World War Z, zombies have now infiltrating mainstream culture on every possible level. The last thing that the comics’ world needs is another zombie plague book, right? Well, not according to Riley Rossmo. Riley Rossmo (Green Wake) and writer Alex Link have breathed life into the zombie genre once again with their new book Rebel Blood.
There are definitely similarities to The Walking Dead in the pages of Rebel Blood, but Rossmo’s artwork is what really helps set it apart from the pack. The design work that he put into making the infected zombie animals grotesque is stunning and is some of the best work of his career. The double page spread that kicks off the issue of a wolf getting blown to pieces is jaw dropping.
The book begins with a shotgun blast and that sets the tone for the entire book. The main character, Chuck Neville, is a former firefighter who struggles to pay his bills and keep his marriage together after an accident on the job puts him on the sidelines. Now working as the dispatcher at Fire Tower 6, Neville is sprung into action when he receives a call that an infection is spreading rabies like disease across the area. After defending himself from a pack infected wolves, Neville sets out to protect the locals in the area and quickly comes face to face with the horror of the plague.
Alex Link & Riley Rossmo do a fantastic job of conveying the psychological aspect of the book, as Neville runs through the various grim scenarios of what could happen to his young son and ex-wife. It adds some much needed depth to the story and gives the characters some real motivation.
It seems Riley Rossmo didn’t get the memo that there are already a billion zombie/plague comics infecting store shelves, nor did he seem to give a sh*t. Rossmo just wanted to make a thrilling horror comic and he succeeded on every level. His passion bleeds out into the pages of Rebel Blood to create something special, even for the most dedicated zombie fans. Rebel Blood #1 is a very impressive first issue that has me locked in for the entire run of this 4-issue mini-series.