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The bizarre beginning to this two-partner has some fun moments and a different take on the zombie apocalypse. Plus, it has the most awesome name ever. But does adding Justin Bieber, Tom Cruise and Michael Bay into a zombie-infested comic really make it a good take? Unfortunately, not even the cast of The Walking Dead could save this comic.
The most popular comic book in the world (besides Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman…) is being turned into a movie. An unknown actor, Michael May, is cast as their lead. He attends a script reading party with the rest of the A-list cast and director Michael Bay, bringing his friend along. However, the zombie apocalypse breaks out and the cast is attacked by some undead celebrities. Can the gang survive?
Ralph Tedesco and Joe Brusha (Grimm Fairy Tales: Myths & Legends) aren’t the first to do a zombie parody but their use of celebrities does make this comic unique. However, his zombie parody has a lot of cheap jokes. Some people may enjoy them. Justin Bieber and Michael Bay are easy targets and two of the many celebrities that appear in this comic. What happens to Justin Bieber may be cathartic to some readers and he is written as a very unlikeable character. Plus, the entire cast of The Walking Dead make an appearance but are underutilized. Tom Cruise is a somewhat funny actor cast in the superhero movie who is constantly in character, but otherwise there no memorable celebrity moments. Michael Bay does absolutely nothing, and I felt like it would have been pretty easy (and funny) to have him be involved in some kind of explosion. Like The Walking Dead cast, his presence felt like a missed opportunity.
Michael feels like your standard hero-type and really doesn’t come off as anything special. His interactions with his friend Chris at the beginning of the issue are very long and feel like they could be cut-down. During my first read-through I actually thought the two were romantically involved. There’s also a plot hole I couldn’t overlook. Is it normal to bring your very, very high friend to a private script reading session? Maybe an A-list celebrity could get away with it but I doubt they’d be so lax with a newbie. It was clearly just a way to get Mike’s friend in the story. I wonder if the story would have improved if his friend was cut out, leaving the beginning open for establishing more of the A-list actors and the zombie apocalypse.
The humor this comic does use may not always hit, but there are some funny lines now and again. I also like when the parody feels close to real-life, like the ultra-revealing outfit the female superhero has to wear. Or when the security guard finds out a no-name is playing the lead in the superhero movie, immediately assumes it will bomb and tweets about it. That reminds me of a lot of people I know. The humor around celebrities is inherently flawed because it will only really work if you know that celebrity and their quirks, which will limit the audience for this comic. However, they pick many popular celebrities who I’m sure every reader will know. Unless they were lucky enough to not know who Justin Bieber and Michael Bay are.
The artwork is done by David Lorenzo Riveiro. It is solid work. The celebrities are all recognizable. When the backgrounds are there, they are decent. However, the backgrounds awkwardly shift between having surroundings behind the characters to just a color. There is also an off-putting color quirk which makes it look like there is a glare on some pages, usually on character’s foreheads.
I doubt the creative team were trying to be groundbreaking, but I feel like this comic could have been. I would’ve liked it to have more self-aware moments and acted more as a commentary about celebrities, comic book movies and the zombie genre. Instead, it’s just a fun romp that could be more fun. If you find yourself chuckling at the concept, give it a read. I didn’t hate it, and I even cracked a smile once or twice while reading it. I just feel like it could’ve been so much more… and yes, I know I’m saying that about a comic called Hollywood Zombie Apocalypse. But when you could be reading one of the many other zombie-related comics out there, you can easily give this one a pass because of it.