Pandora: End of Days, Volume 1 by Peter J. Ang and Jin Song Kim
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on July 4, 2011 - 23:00
Pandora: End of Days is a digital comic from Real Interface Studio available for download to your computer and also for most mobile e-reader devices, tablets, and smart phones with the barnesandnoble.com's NOOK App or on Amazon.com’s Kindle. There's a short promotional website for the comic but unfortunately it plays music without asking (you can turn it off by clicking on "off" at the bottom of the page).
It's a zombie manga.
Oh you want a longer review? Okay it's a fast zombie manga opening up with scenes of mass chaos as the zombies munch on innocent bystanders. The zombies are not actually classic zombies -- in this case it's an ancient curse/virus taking over people and making them chase after other people.
Our heroine is a pretty blandly sketched teenage girl who is the daughter of the scientist who has been busy digging up the artifacts which have unleashed the ancient curse/virus. There's a bit of the King Kong plot thrown in as we get scenes of a publicity hungry CEO/Marketing drone ignoring the scientist's dire warnings about opening up the artifacts in front of a live audience. There's also the quite amusing (at least to me) scenes of soldiers rescuing Governor Christie from zombies --you see it takes place in New Jersey -- and later on President Barack ordering a quarantine of the entire state.
What? Fine, I can offer up an opinion or two. It's very manga -- so know ahead of time whether or not that style bugs you or not. The artwork is very solid. While the art really lacks any amazing moments that stuck with me, it's clear and conveys the action well.
The press release for the comic is pretty upfront about trying to cash in timing-wise on the interest in zombies created by The Walking Dead. And I think that's probably why I'm having a fairly meh reaction to it. It does the standard tropes of the opening act of a zombie flick pretty well, but it doesn't really deviate from expectations all that much and so didn't really do that much for me. It's just volume 1, however, so it's possible in future volumes the writer will take some risks and left turns and surprise the readers by playing hard against genre expectations.
I happen to like zombie flicks, so despite all of the above, I enjoyed reading the preview the publishers provided. It was a bit of zombie comfort food, if you know what I mean. Like I said, the art is more than adequate and the story does move briskly with a lot of zombies chasing after people and the heroine gathering up the backstory and macguffins in an efficient manner. That's what most people want from a zombie flick and it does deliver on that. Also as far as zombie flicks go, this has a fairly low gore score to it. So recommended if it's your cup of tea, but know what you're getting.
The publisher provided a free preview of the comic to ComixTALK for review purposes.