Science fiction and fantasy                                            

iZombie: Six Feet Under And Rising

by Chris Roberson and Michael Allred


The third volume of the iZombie series marks a turning point for the zombie Gwen and her friends. Up until now the town of Eugene has seen some weird happenings, but these have always been on a small scale. They have gone round like a supernatural Scooby gang, solving fairly tame mysteries. But a zombie invasion has broken out in the tunnels beneath the town, and these aren't the sophisticated, intelligent kind of zombies that Gwen is. They're the rotting sort, hungry for brains.

The outbreak attracts a group of government secret agents known as the Dead Presidents. These kick-ass operatives have formidable supernatural powers and sharp dress sense, and they specialise in secret missions that will protect America against otherworldly threats. They're major league, and they're not the only monster hunters in town: the Fossor organisation of white-clad monster slayers are making it a dangerous place to be undead, and they're not too discriminating about whether zombies are sentient and ethical or not.

Meanwhile Galatea is up to no good. She is busy with a secret project involving arcane surgery, yet she's not the only self-centred monster inclined to behave like a mad scientist. The mummy, Amon, is afraid something apocalyptic is about to occur that they're not ready for, and he's sure Eugene will be the ground zero. So the tension is ramping up.

There are quite a lot of revelations in Six Feet Under And Rising. I have criticised the first two volumes of this series for not moving the plot forward fast enough, but in this volume that doesn't apply. Pieces of the mystery start to come together, and at the same time we get to find out much more about what the main characters are made of. This graphic novel has quite a few assertive women who refuse to cower in the corner while the men take care of business. And whilst Gwen is one of them she certainly isn't the only one, and she sometimes has to give the impression of being less able than she is in order to keep up the pretence that she's normal. The story is also pretty inclusive in its portrayal of gay people and people of colour. In one sense many of the undead characters represent minorities as well, although that's not a metaphor that the creators seem to be emphasising.

The artwork is bright, appealing, and clear. There's a short episode drawn from the past of the monster hunter, Diogenes, drawn by guest artist Jay Stephens. The style of Vampire Queen of the Amazon is similar to Michael Allred's clean lines, except it's a little more basic.

Because more things happen, and they start to get serious, the humour is less apparent. But the tone is still quite light. If you want a fix of pop culture, zombie mayhem and romance, this graphic novel definitely has the goods.

26th February 2013

Book Details

Year: 2012

Categories: Books

  Female Protagonist  

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