Year Zero #3 Review

by Nick Devonald on July 14, 2020

Writer: Benjamin Percy
Artist: Ramon Rosanas
Colours: Lee Loughridge
Letters: Sal Cipriano

Three issues into Year Zero and this review needs to open with a complaint about the series. It’s something that’s been present throughout the series, but it’s taken three issues to bring it to light. Having four distinct characters telling their stories in different locales across the world is fantastic storytelling. But because of this divided nature of the story, each character only gets two short segments to themselves. And as their stories are beginning to get exciting these short segments aren’t enough. As the reader finds themselves getting drawn into each characters story, desperate to turn the page and find out what happens next, the issue is abruptly over. Twenty-two pages? It doesn’t feel it. It’s over in a flash and then the reader has another month to wait. What a cruel form of torture.

Of course that isn’t a genuine criticism, rather it demonstrates the incredible storytelling that Benjamin Percy is putting into this series. At this point the readers are familiar with each of the characters and invested in each of their stories. And unlike other stories with a number of lead characters, here each characters is so well realised and unique, and there isn’t a dud one amongst them. Of course readers will have their favourites, but they each work so well on their own and are telling very different tales from each other that no the reader won’t find themselves rushing through a segment to get onto the next one.

One of the reasons that all these characters work so well is that Daniel and Saga are already in the middle of their own unique and interesting stories, the recent zombie apocalypse is merely an inconvenience, and their stories simultaneously parallel each other while being vastly different from one another. Then we move onto Fatemah who has assembled a group of women survivors determined to protect Afghanistan in their own unique way. Then last but not least is B.J., a conspiracy nut who had been preparing for this for years.

Each of the four lead characters are so well fleshed out they could hold the story by themselves, but one of the strengths of Percy’s writing is that they don’t. By telling us these disparate tales, each character experiencing incredibly different versions of the Zombie apocalypse, and dealing with the threat in incredibly different ways, it helps this comic stand out from the oversaturated genre of Zombie apocalypses.

Ramon Rosanas’ art is out of this world. He can switch seamlessly between each of the different characters without missing a beat. The uniqueness of each individuals setting means the reader never has to pause to work out which story is being told, it’s immediately obvious. He brings each of the characters and their settings to life in extraordinary and vivid detail. The action and violence, when it comes, is different for each character and really captures their unique personalities in the way they go about it.

And that brings us onto Lee Loughridge’s colours. Thanks to subtle shifts in colour as we change characters it helps the reader subconsciously switch between the different characters. It’s a clever storytelling technique, one which most readers won’t even be aware of on any conscious level but is a great aid in switching perspectives. A moment needs to be taken to note the incredible skill behind Loughridges colouring. Take a look at the colours in this comic, then compare it to Old Haunts (another fantastic read from AWA). You would be forgiven for thinking these were two different colour artists, so different is the finished product. Yet they’re both done by Loughridge. An incredible talent which is far too often overlooked.

Year Zero is shaping up to be one of the best Zombie apocalypse comics out there, by focusing on the characters and their tales, it makes the zombie hordes feel like a backdrop to their individual tales rather than the focus. Fantastic art and excellent colours, along with a host of clever story telling techniques, make our four protagonists stand out from each other and each tale exciting and clever. Another must read from AWA.

Our Score:


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