Mall #1 // Review
In George Romero’s Dawn of the Dead and the eventual remake, survivors of the zombie apocalypse held up in a local shopping mall. Romero was saying so many things about consumerism as well as American culture at that time. Many argue that the central themes of the Romero’s cult sequel still holds true today. Michael Moreci and Gary Dauberman probably feel the same way. Moreci is no stranger to dystopian futures. He has written several indie publications about the end of the world and the future. Moreci also penned several DC comics such as Suicide Squad and The Flash. Dauberman is a screenwriter who has penned the screenplay for the Conjuring universe and Swamp Thing. It is an odd pairing.
Moreci and Dauberman introduce the reader into another post-apocalyptic world. Humanity is held up in malls just like in Romero’s zombie classic. This particular mall is broken up into factions or gangs. As usual, some civilians are caught up in these turf wars. Andre Reed, the son of a gang leader, is framed in the murder of another gang leader. He is left to fend for himself when he is captured by another rival gang. He barely escapes his death sentence into the “beyond.”
The reader is introduced to so many characters very quickly. The dialogue and the action are both fast. There are some moments where the action is choppy, and the reader may be forced to go back a few pages to make sure they did not skip a page. If anything, it might take a few reads to get a grasp of what is happening. The protagonist and his allies take lumps, and this adds a touch of realism to the story.
The inks and the pencils are put together by Zak Hartong. The colors are by Addison Duke. Hartong has done several covers over the years, and most of his work has been for indie publications. Hartong does a great job of showing the chaos of battle. His panels are not seamless, this is probably not the fault of Hartong; however, since the writer is supposed to map out the scenes. Duke’s colors fit Hartong well. While dystopias are supposed to be dark, this story takes place in the mall. Duke does not take away from this. The reader will find that all the visuals are taking place in sections of malls they might find familiar. He does a great job demonstrating that.
As stated, it might take the reader a few more turns to get the overall story. Both Moreci and Dauberman don’t do a great job with the world-building. Maybe the writers intend on revealing more as the first arc continues.