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Review: ’68: Scars’ #4

With nonstop zombie thrills, ’68: Scars #4 delivers on all the bloody goods for an epic finale. With an alternative take on history, the undead are everywhere in the vast shadows of the jungle. The horrors of the Vietnam War strike at you harder than ever in these blood-soaked pages.

WRITTEN BY: Mark Kidwell
ART BY: Nat Jones
PUBLISHER: Image Comics
PRICE: $3.99
RELEASE: February 6th, 2013

As the rising dead continue to multiply to incredibly huge numbers, American soldiers travel deep into the heart of darkness. With the war escalating and the number of fatalities rising, Vietnam has become an open doorway to Hell itself. In the never-ending jungle, soldiers are fighting for their survival against an unknown enemy. As the war against the undead continues, another battle is brewing back home. The zombie infestation is spreading wildly as government officials are cowardly leaving their posts. Soon there won’t be any home to come back to, as the zombie plague consumes the major populations.

In his narrative, Mark Kidwell explores what his damaged characters will do because of their mental and physical scars. Before he started the uprising, Dawes discovered a horrible truth that shattered his reality. Dawes discovered that while his men were sacrificing their lives, blue bloods were given a chance to escape. Anyone with a high-profile name and a rich bank account were escorted off Vietnam on a freedom plane. While everyone else is running away, Dawes and his crew are making their own plans to watch the world die.

One of the most surprising characters in the narrative is Kierney, who has a sick infatuation with violence. Because of his slim and weak figure, you wouldn’t expect Kierney to take down two large and muscular soldiers. But, Kierney is able to distract the two and whip out his pistol before they do. After he pulls the trigger, Kierney kicks the wounded soldiers straight into the flesh-eating zombie pit.

Nate Jones’ gritty artwork visually captures the scorching heat of the enormous Vietnam jungle. Readers can see the sweat running down the foreheads of the exhausted soldiers. What I really find interesting is when one of the soldiers mentions he was just sleeping. You can’t tell if nighttime has already passed because colorist Jay Fotos mixes brownish and yellowish tones in the background; it appears as if the sun never sets and the moon never rises.

Jones puts a lot of attention into the nasty design of the zombies. These zombies look like they just came out of the ground and are still deteriorating. Like the treatment of the soldiers, the jungle doesn’t take too kindly on the undead. Flies are buzzing around their sweaty foreheads, because their rotten flesh is being heated up by the sun’s rays.

A must-read, “’68: Scars” #4 concludes the story arc on a spectacular and explosive note. With such grim artwork, “’68: Scars” vividly depicts the unforgiving nature of war. Longtime fans will be anxiously awaiting for the next arc in the “’68” series, “Jungle Jim.”

4/5 Skulls

Reviewed by – Jorge Solis




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