Written by Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief
|Cover of Zombie Express #2|
Last month, publisher Bliss on Tap continued its high-speed zombie comic book series with the release of Train 8: The Zombie Express #2, picking up right where it left off on a rollercoaster ride of terror. As part of a three-issue series, the second installment maintained a palpable tension throughout, leaving readers worried as to when a flesh-eating walker might appear from around the next corner.For those who may have missed the first issue, Train 8 is a series written by David Stephan and Marysol Levant and with artwork by Alex Cormack. Following a virus outbreak on the well-known Train 8 (which travels the rail line from Seattle to Chicago), the passengers and crew have quickly dwindled in numbers due to those affected by the virus . . . and their subsequent hunger for flesh. To make matters worse, the train is speeding out of control with no one at its helm, putting the remaining survivors on board with little hope for salvation. With little-to-no information as to what is happening to their fellow passengers or whether help is on the way, the survivors band together in Issue #2 in an attempt to stop the train and escape the slaughter.
As with the first issue, writers Stephan and Levant maintained a commendable level of tension and suspense throughout the story which is no easy feat in the sequential art medium. In other visual mediums like film and TV, external effects like music cues and lighting changes can greatly benefit the storyteller in increasing the anxiety of viewers as to what may happen next. In the case of Train 8, I have been consistently in awe of the creators' ability to ratchet up the stakes in each subsequent panel, unsure of what may occur (to the benefit or detriment of the characters). Likewise, artist Cormack's portrayal of the beleaguered passengers, fraught with peril, shines through his dark and dreary palette that equally symbolizes their chances of survival.
If there is any minor quibble, it is simply this: With the full awareness that this property is being developed into a full-length motion picture, some of the captions listed within the text read more like stage directions from a screenplay rather than essential text that would assist the reader. While the text did not detract from the story nor the tension of the action, it was perhaps unnecessary in the grander scheme of things.
This reviewer is very much looking forward to the third and final issue of the Train 8: The Zombie Express saga! Be sure to pick up your copies of Issues #1 and #2 at your local comic book store.
Creative Team: David Stephan (writer), Marysol Levant (writer), Brian Phillipson (additional writing), Alex Cormack (artist/colorist), Ashley Cormack (colorist), Alex Murillo (letterer)
Publisher: Bliss on Tap Publishing
Click here to purchase.