The story opens with five human survivors (Eliot, Preacher, Frost, The Tank/Tank, and Deuce) fighting off zombie hordes during a supply run. Each of them knows how deadly the situation can turn, and they work effectively as a team, supporting each other both emotionally and with fire power; however, Chosen and Forsaken isn’t just about violent zombie shoot outs, although there are plenty if you need action to stay riveted. It also looks at how the five men have built new lives in their colony of human survivors. Only Eliot seems isolated despite being a key part of the community, but an unsettling dream about a beautiful woman being carried by a creature with flaming wings turns prophetic and forces him to face a destiny as the chosen warrior who can help save mankind from the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.
I became interested in zombie stories quite recently, and I have read and viewed many in the past few years. In my opinion, the great strength of Chosen and Forsaken is that is doesn’t abandon characterization in favor of presenting as much action and zombie head shots as possible. It can be difficult to effectively balance action with character, and I think this comic does it extremely well. I had an understanding of each major cast member by the end of the volume, and their motivations made sense even when I would personally have made different choices.
The inclusion of the voodoo loa Dembala in the form of Pestilence intrigued me, as well. The concept wasn’t fully explored in issues 0-4, but I am hopeful that the story will continue and reveal more of its secrets. Dembala seems to be paired with a mysterious, white-haired figure who reminded me a little of Doc Brown from Back to the Future mixed with Lucius Malfoy, at least in character design. The unnamed man appears to be a time keeper, and his clocks and watches mark the hours, minutes, and seconds to predestined events. He also charges Eliot with accepting the destiny as The Chosen, although our protagonist has not made his choice by the end of this volume.
Chosen and Forsaken employs different artists from chapter to chapter, which I both appreciate (more artists getting the opportunity to work!) and find distracting (Why is the art style completely different now? Which character is that?!?). Personally, I prefer the sharper visual style of chapters 1 and 2 to the almost watercolor influence in chapters 3 and 4, but neither one detracts from the story. Chapter 0 takes another different visual approach by switching from full color to black and white, but the art style doesn’t seem to change as drastically, even though a third artist penned this chapter. I also appreciate the simple font selected for the text and having it set apart from the background by being on white or off-white text boxes and bubbles. It helped me decipher the plot while enjoying the vibrant visuals instead of having to decipher the dialogue and text like a puzzle.
Overall, Chosen and Forsaken is a great addition to the zombie comic genre. It has plenty of heart and has just begun to explore a twist to the zombie mythos that helps it stand out. I look forward to later installments of this title to learn more about why the Four Horseman have come to Earth and how the zombies are part of their plan.
4.5 Creepy Timepieces out of 5