DC Comics hits the zeitgeist of hip current trends with Victorian Undead, as the series pits Sherlock Holmes against zombies. After the zombies became a huge hit on the indie circuit (led in large part by Robert Kirkman's ongoing zombie saga The Walking Dead), major publishers began incorporating the undead in their titles- most notably Marvel Zombies. Here we've got the world's greatest detective (sorry, Batman) pitted against the living-impaired. Is this mash-up possible without it simply being...well, a ridiculous cash-in?
Surprisingly, yes. In the hands of writer Ian Edginton, (no stranger to Holmes and other classic lit comic book adaptations), Victorian Undead is a bit closer to Doyle's vision than the forthcoming Guy Ritchie film looks to be.
A meteor plummets into the heart of London in 1854 causing widespread panic and death...and undeath.
Somehow, the zombie plague subsides until corpses are unearthed 40-odd years later as the London Underground is constructed. Dead bodies soon spring back to life looking to get their bite on, and authorities are baffled. There's clearly a mystery afoot, so naturally Scotland Yard calls on Sherlock Holmes and his ol' pal Watson.
If you can't get enough zombie action, you'll definitely dig this book as there's plenty of rotting action with the promise of more to come. The premise is familiar to anyone who's ever seen...well, anything to do with the undead, although who knows? There may be plenty of twists and turns down the road. As it stands, the Victorian setting is a welcome change from the modern band of misfits vs zombies formula.
Issue #1 (on sale now) boasts a delightfully fly-infested cover by the King of Zombie Comic Book Art, Tony Moore (he of The Walking Dead 1-6). The interiors, by Davide Fabbri, are a fantastic take on cartoonish realism...but dammit, it needs an inker.
All in all, it's a fun, pretty zombie comic with blood, mystery, and names like Jacques de Vaucanson dropped so you'll end up learning something new (he was totally inventing automatons in the 18th century). Thumbs up!
A copy of the comic was given to me by the publisher for reviewing purposes.