Year Zero #6 Review

by Nick Devonald on November 03, 2020

Writer: Benjamin Percy
Artist: Juan Jose Ryp
Colours: Frank Martin Jr.

The first volume of Year Zero was absolutely brilliant, a post apocalyptic zombie infested nightmare world, the real strength of the storytelling was by focusing on the characterisation of its four main characters and their own unique stories. So how does the second volume of Year Zero compare? It takes the original concept and formula, gives us four brand new sets of characters, each with wildly different stories, and repeats what we got with the first volume. Using the same formula isn’t lazy storytelling, it’s the perfect example of ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it’, and it’s such a unique and clever method of storytelling it continues to feel fresh and exciting. And this latest set of characters feels even more exciting than the first lot.

We have a fishing family in Norway, looking for fish amongst the dead infested waters. We have a Colombian drug lord, and it’s made abundantly clear that he is not a good guy. Then we have a young woman in Arizona, completely isolated in a superstore surrounded by zombies. And to round it off we’ve got a Rwandan doctor consumed by his guilt at abandoning his zombie infected patients. That alone should be enough to tell you what a unique and exciting set up we have for this second volume. One of the real strengths of Benjamin Percy’s writing is the way the characters are the focus of the story. There was real growth and change amongst the cast in the first volume and it’s abundantly clear that’s happening again here. His characterisation is so spot on it only takes a couple of pages for the reader to get a great grasp of exactly who each person is, and to become heavily invested in the story and their future.

With any series there is often a bit of disconcertion amongst fans when the artist changes. Ramon Rosanas’ did a fantastic job with the first series it was hard to imagine an artist who could step in and pull it off as well as he did. Thankfully Juan Jose Ryp is such an artist. It helps that the first volume felt like a complete story, and while the world and format remain the same here we have brand new characters and settings. Ryp’s zombies are absolutely horrific, all of his characters feel unique and real, and there is real emotion on their faces. Each of our protagonists have been through a lot and it shows on their faces, and really helps to pull readers into this zombie infested world.

Frank Martin Jr. is also new to the series as colourist, but works really well with Ryp to produce some incredible art. Just like with the first volume there are subtle colour differences between each of the characters which helps with the transition as the story flits around the globe. It’s a clever, almost subconscious storytelling trick, but makes it easier for the reader to follow along with the stories.

By making the characters the focus of the story, the zombie infested world merely the backdrop to the comic, the first volume of Year Zero was a rip roaring success. With this second volume Benjamin Percy continues to do everything which worked well in the first volume but with brand new, and if anything more interesting, characters. Fans of the first volume will lap this up, as will fans of the walking dead. It’s a great jumping on point as well if you haven’t read the comic yet. The art is incredible and the icing on the cake.

Our Score:


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