The Horror Honeys: Sit! Stay! Headshot! - GOOD BOY!

Sit! Stay! Headshot! - GOOD BOY!

Title: Rex the Zombie Killer #1
Author: Rob Anderson
Artist: Dafu Yu (illustrator), Kevin Volo (colourist) E.T. Dollman (letters)
Publisher: Big Dog Ink
Released: April 2012

Artwork: 3/5
Layout: 5/5
Writing: 4/5
Characters: 4/5
Entertainment: 4/5
Total: 4 Bloody Furballs out of 5!

In the wake of a zombie apocalypse, a small band of animals, led by a hyper-intelligent Golden Retriever named Rex, and accompanied by a baseball bat-wielding gorilla, begin their cross-country journey in the hope of finding safety...and a home.

Have you ever watched a zombie apocalypse film and wondered what happened to other creatures in the midst? Whatever happened to the pets of the people who turn into zombies, and how would they survive the new world? Well, Rex the Zombie Killer attempts to make the vagabond troupe of zombie hunters just a little bit cuter.


Artwork & Layout
The artwork in Rex the Zombie Killer is illustrated by DaFu Yu, with some great backgrounds and bold ink lines and hatching. My only gripe with his pages is that the main characters do feel a little oddly to drawn if they are meant to be considered real animals – however, I chalk this up to the fact that this was early work, as in later issues of this series, the character art improves. You can definitely can see the difference between going by memory of what a dog looks like and using actual references.

The colours are done by Kevin Volo and they work well for the story, bleakly grey and blue with some of the brightest tones coming courtesy of the furry cast. The art is accompanied by E.T. Dollman's letters in which everything reads and flows well. The layout in Rex works great, with featured simple panels and white gutters with a few dynamic panels- if it ain't broke, don't fix it!

Writing
Rex the Zombie Killer feels a lot like if Homeward Bound took place in the middle of The Walking Dead. The author, Rob Anderson, created a rag-tag bunch of pets who are out traveling to Nevada to seek a safe haven from the zombies, and for Rex to reunite with his long-lost owner.

Now of course, in horror movies, we always feel sad for the animals in danger, so having them as the main characters is even more heartbreaking! One of the characters is wrangled by a group of bikers in to their hideout, where they have been keeping dogs to use as bait for Zombie hunting, so Rex and the rest of the team have to go in and rescue him.

(And yes, in case you are wondering: the animals revolt, take revenge, and its fantastic!)

Despite taking place in the zombie apocalypse, Rex is not really a horror comic. It's more like an adventure comic, taking place in a horrible world. There isn't a lot of blood, or any gore in this book- so while it may not be something for your little bumblebees, your older children might be more into title.


Characters
The main cast is comprised of Rex, Brutus, Buttercup, Snowball and Kenji, three dogs, a cat and a gorilla, traveling as a group to survive the zombies. The comic does show to how the characters work as a team, to compensate for lack of size or opposable thumbs- Kenji the Gorilla as the exception (and given a clear advantage).

The titular character, Rex, is a golden lab retriever who is setting out to find his caretaker, a scientist who was taken by the government when the undead started rising. Along with Rex, we're given a small peek into the previous lives of the cast, from a pampered feline, a pup born in puppy mill, a guard dog owned by drug dealers, and a primate who has lived his entire life in captivity. 

If anything, these animals have more character than the humans in a lot of zombie films. In fact, in this series, the main antagonists ARE the humans, either the zombies trying to eat them or the living humans making their lives miserable.

Conclusion
Rex the Zombie Killer is a sad and yet heartwarming comic set in the zombie apocalypse, which is often anything but sweet. The comic is created with a solid cast of characters and a plot that will get you interested in the mini-series.

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