Even if you live in a third world country, you know about Robert Kirkman’s ‘The Walking Dead’.
During its thirteen-year run, the little zombie book that could has picked up more accolades and fans than any other independently published comic book to date. With 153 issues under the belt, you would think that there isn’t much left to the story or that Kirkman’s storytelling capabilities have gotten stale as his survivors continue to forge their way through the post-apocalyptic world. Fortunately for us, The Walking Dead is stronger than ever with a brand new installment written and drawn by two of the industry’s top talent.
It was at Image Expo 2015 when Image and Brian K. Vaughn’s digital publisher, Panel Syndicate, went public with “The Last Crossover You Ever Expected”. At the time, the image used to depict this merger was a simple line up of zombies with our favorite Private Investigator walking into the fray at the far end of the panel. I, like every other BKV junkie out there, immediately thought “The Private Eye within the world of The Walking Dead?? Fuck yeah!!” It took ten long months for this issue to see the light of day and while P.I. is nowhere to be found, what you are left with is an interesting interlude set in the continuity of The Walking Dead.
The best thing about this one-shot entitled ‘The Walking Dead: The Alien’ is that it finally answers the question: Did the zombie outbreak happen all over the world? Our story takes place in Barcelona, Spain two weeks into the zombie epidemic. Our main character, Jeff, is waking up on a scaffolding as the city continues to burn around him. He is quickly joined by our only other protagonist, Claudia, sporting a suit of armor circa the Knights of the Roundtable. The two escape to her posh uptown apartment where Jeff quickly learns Claudia is working out a plan to escape Spain all together. Using the sewer system as their route, Jeff and Claudia find a boat and escape but not before tragedy ensues. All and all a fun read if you are a TWD super fan, however, this comic geek has a few qualms.
Ultimately, this story felt too short. It follows a very tight plotline of boy meets girl, girl plans an escape, boy and girl escape. The only real character development/surprise twist involves the realization that Jeff is Rick Grime’s younger brother. Other than that, it’s a simple, short jaunt about a boy and a girl easily (too easy if you ask me) making their way through the thrashing hordes. Marco’s depiction of his hometown is stunning in black and white while Vaughn does a great job getting us from point A to point C… but with no character development outside of “My name is Jeff/my name is Claudia” and a complete lack of zombie confrontation, this “one-shot” fails to hold in your memory. I’m happy to have read it but I’m even happier that I didn’t pay to read it.
– Dann D.