After an ancient sarcophagus is opened in New York as part of a historical exhibit hosted by the OBARI Foundation, a plague is unleashed upon the New York populace, killing the infected and bringing them back to bite and further transmit the disease. Now, attempts are being made to quarantine infected areas, rescue politicians and other high-profile members of society, and escape this outbreak. All the while, one family has the pieces to what really came from the sarcophagus, and it’s up to them to put it all together and find a means to stop this plague before it takes over the world.
The story of Pandora is very fast paced, even with its jumping back and forth between two periods in time, the present day attempts to escape New York and the events that lead to the zombie outbreak. This split between exposition and action keeps the story on track with plenty of moments to breathe and questions answered right when the mind starts to wander. There’s not a whole lot of time for character development in this volume, but most of the cast have strong, immediately recognizable traits, which make it easy for you to pick your favorites to survive, get eaten by zombies, etc. I also really liked the explanation of the zombie apocalypse, which in this case isn’t just a vehicle to tell stories in, it is a significant part of the story. The mystical components in particular are intriguing and something I’m looking forward to the series covering more in depth in future volumes.
I really dug the art style in this book which is a blend of Japanese and American styles, using manga-like character designs and fashion but with fully detailed and, quite clearly, American set pieces. The book has a clean art style with a ton of attention paid to the details that looks gorgeous on the page. The “zombies” in this title are not your typical shambling dead, looking more demonic in many cases than walking corpses. This design makes the undead look creepier in a way and feel a world apart from the zombies of other comic series. Then, there are some other designs associated with the plague that are a whole other story. Action scenes are fast and brutal and completely entertaining. The series is in a black and white style shaded to make it look like a black and white movie rather than a comic. All the gray tones inserted go a long way to achieving this classic horror feel. There’s just something about a zombie apocalypse that makes it look better without color.
Coming in at a whopping 200 pages, this first arc is truly just the beginning. There’s a lot of room to move forward in the story, so chances are we’ll be seeing a lot more of this beautifully drawn series in the future. This title is a must read for fans of both zombies and manga and something to seriously consider for fans of only one of those things looking for something a little different.
Pandora: End of Days Parts 1 & 2 are available to read on the NOOK, Kindle, and other mobile devices such as the iPad/iPhone with the iBooks App and Android Phones and Tablets with the NOOK or Kindle App. Find out more about Pandora at pandora-eod.com.