What Is It?: Everybody's Dead #1 (Written by Brian Lynch, part one of a five issue mini-series)
Timing: It's the first installment.
REVIEW: You might ask why I'm reviewing this at all. It's not Buffyverse-related, and the whole "Non-Buffyverse Week" event is over. Well, it's by Brian Lynch. If that wasn't enough, it's by Brian Lynch and it's good. If that ain't enough, you... you... you!
But yeah, this comic is definitely one I'm going to be picking up every time it comes out. The basic premise is that a B-team frat called Beta Eta Delta live in a really bad ass frat house--that a more "real" frat named the Omegas want back--and throw a party. Zombies eventually take over the world and all that, but this issue pretty much deals with the nautral and leaves the super- for the last two pages. What makes up this issue is a lot of college-comedy (which me, being a college student and all, loved), many introductions, a romance subplot, and a pretty basic frat vs. frat fight with a little funny/nerdy twist in the end. It's a lot of build-up, and it's really, really promising.
Gotta say, though, when I first opened up the issue and saw the flipside of the cover--a list of the cast--I pretty much said, "Shit." Last time I read a comic that had so many characters it needed a cast list was Umbrella Academy, which sucksuckSUCKED. So my weariness was less due to Brian and IDW and more due to friggin' Gerard Way. But eff "Umbrella," we're talking about "Everybody's Dead," and my reservations for a huge cast were pretty much wrong. I've only read the issue once through, and I already remember most of the character's names. Each personality is distinctive, and the main character--Westerburg--is very relatable, while being both a funny, interesting, and unique character.
All in all, I can't give this comic an amazing score, because it's pretty much just good for what it does, and for that I know I'll be rating it with a very good score. It introduces the situation and the characters, intigues the reader with the romantic subplot and the zombieriffic events of the final pages, and makes us laugh a lot. Also, puts me in the mood for a party. Spring break, anyone?
Overall, I can't wait for Issue #2. Which, by the way, comes out April 2nd. Along with Buffy #13. And Angel #6. Talk about an amazing week.
Art: I'm on the fence. I didn't at all expect realistic art, and I like most of the character designs. From page 10 and on, I noticed, there was an increase in quality. Thing is, sometimes--in the earlier pages--I pretty much had no idea what was going on in some of the panels. I had to do about five double-takes before I realized that the vomit-green puffy-meatloaf lookin' thing over Nuk's head was a cloud of smoke, and I only put 2+2 together for that one because the dialogue referenced him being a pothead. A lot of the earlier pages seemed sloppy and took a considerable amount of work to 'figure out' at times. As I said before, it really improved as it went on, so I hope #2 will be more consistent. As for the style, I don't love it but I'm liking it more than I thought it would. It's more Ren and Stimpy (the newer version, from SPIKE!TV) than realistic, which--coming from someone who tuned into Ren and Stimpy--isn't bad at all. The paneling just takes a little getting used to.
Characters We Know: Well, seeing as it's the first issue, we're just getting introduced to everyone. Everyone will surely return for the next installment.