This issue opens with zombie cows. A little later, we also get zombie sheep as well as an ever-increasing army of zombie humans. All of this chaos has emerged in only two days, beginning with the single re-animated corpse we saw in the previous issue. Meanwhile, there are two groups trying to figure out what to do about it. The first is the aliens, who seem darned sorry about unleashing a plague of the undead on the town. They’re aided by Carbon Falls’ de facto leader, Huxley Robertson, whose main goal is to keep the town off the U.S. government’s radar and out of their control. Stopping the zombie invasion is pretty much secondary to that.
The second group is the town’s “old guard,” led by the “shoot first and ask questions later” Randy Roy, whose goal is to wipe out all the zombies AND the aliens immediately. In addition, there’s a rogue ATF agent who infiltrated the town looking for guns and now threatens to expose the aliens’ landing to the world.
The story by Chris Ryall is compelling, and the artwork by Drew Moss is clever, detailed, and interesting. But, it’s missing much of the undercurrent of humor that was present in the first issue. And, the characters are, for the most part, fairly two-dimensional—more archetypes than actual people. Huxley expresses his view to the aliens that all governments are just greedy and self-serving, with no one’s interests in mind but their own. Then, we’re immediately introduced to the ATF agent who embodies all of those qualities to a T: a power-hungry, self-serving scumbag. Meanwhile, Randy Roy is a mean, obstinate, violent, ignorant hick who embodies the worst of humanity and is reminiscent of some of the more extreme characters in James Cameron’s Avatar.
The story has a definite social agenda, as well, from the constant assertions that all government is terrible and untrustworthy, to “good guy” Huxley’s mission to eliminate the town’s carbon footprint amid opposition from the old guard, to the aliens’ comment that the equipment malfunction that caused them to raise the dead was due to their ship reacting poorly in Earth’s polluted atmosphere. Not that there’s anything at all wrong with expressing a social viewpoint in a comic, but here it comes off rather clunkily, as the audience is hammered over the head with these views and the character archetypes that reinforce them.
Still, it’s an interesting story with a cool premise, some good action scenes, and a plotline that makes you want to find out what happens next. Plus, you know . . . zombie cows. It’s hard to go wrong with zombie cows.