As the 5th, and subsequently, final issue of the first act of BOOM’s ’28 DAYS LATER’ came to a close I found myself wondering: how dumb would you have to be to take a flight into zombie infested England with nothing but a camera and your shell-shocked buddy in tow? Alas, this is where we find ourselves as the arc draws to a close. Thus far the series from BOOM Studios has been pretty stellar, with the tie in to the first films characters the soul driving force behind my interest. But with this issue we are transplanted from the regular characters to the 2 journalists Clint and his buddy Derrek. Clint is trying to enjoy his vacation away from deadlines (oh yea, thought of that all on my own) and decidedly using the 2 weeks to drink himself into a comatose state. Sounds fair. Unfortunately the zombie apocalypse is ringing, and Clint decides to answer. (I’m on a roll here people) But first he has to stop by the bar and pay his alcoholic buddies tab, because after all what’s a journalist without his photographer buddy at his side? But it gets better. Derrek is not only an alcoholic (ordering 2 of everything he can get on the flight that has blood thinner in it.) But he also has post traumatic stress disorder from being a prisoner of terrorists who forced him to watch as his buddies were beheaded. Truthfully I can’t fault Derrek for drinking heavily. If my buddy pulled me out of the bar half drunk and told me we were hopping the next plane ride to Danny Boyle England then I’d be inclined to take a liquid wrecking ball to my liver too.
And this my friends is where we end up in issue 5. With two of the most inept leads I’ve ever read. I can understand coming out of a 2 week vacation for the biggest story ever, but to drop yourself in the middle of hell with an alcoholic as your sidekick? I don’t see an upside, especially when the military tells you you are almost guaranteed to die. Oh which reminds me, the military plays a pivotal role in this issue, too. It is revealed that they are pulling something even the guys at Guantanamo would frown upon using the virus, but not only that but they are using it on one of the men who decapitated Derrek’s buddies. This is an almost nonissue to the story as it is mentioned in one bubble and then forgotten. Almost as if it were just an attempt to draw a connection between the characters and the situation. Sadly it feels like a desperate one.
The entire issue kind of rolls to a dead stop in the end, as we are shown a glimpse of how these two and our regular characters will come together. The main issue I have with this story is that this was saved for the final issue of the arc. It almost feels as if issue #4 was the real ending, and that this is the start of the next arc. Had that been the case I’d have possibly enjoyed myself a bit more. But as it sits the issue did nothing more than make me laugh at the ridiculousness of the ‘heroes’ choices throughout. Giving us a back-story to Derrek was necessary, but I think it would have made more sense a few issues ago to do this.
To be fair the art is still great, with an amazing spread of a money shot from the streets of London that makes you stare at it for a good couple of minutes. I also appreciate the fact that we are finally seeing how other countries (IE-America) reacted to the infection for the first time, and I look forward to seeing that expanded on in the future. But as it sits this “origin” story just didn’t work for a ‘wrap-up’ to the first arc of an otherwise great series.
Rating: 3 Out of 5 Skulls