REVIEW: The Few Parts 1&2
Review By- Silent-P.
A priest, a nurse, a reconciling couple, a soldier and a suburban family, a ragbag assortment of driven individuals leading the charge against the zombie apocalypse. Heard it all before, right? The Few follows the traditional zombie approach, but give it a chance, this could be the start of an exciting new direction for zombie horror.
Zombies are quite limited in what you can do with them. It’s the characters who are facing them that make or break a zombie story, proven in classic movies like Dawn of the Dead and with the continued success of both the comic and TV series The Walking Dead. Having read the first two issues of this seven part mini series, the characters are already starting to stack up as a good mix of people to root for and those you hope get eaten alive. You can see the potential for how the characters will interact and form allegiances and splinter off, and its deviously unclear at this point whether a lead protagonist will emerge. All these factors set The Few up to have many avenues of plot to explore.
The Few is certainly a refreshing take on the classic zombie format. I’ll admit, as we are introduced to Mica in the hospital I worried we were going to end up with the woefully overused ‘waking up from a coma’ mechanism. So I was pleasantly surprised to find that this approach wasn’t touched. We do have a revelation story line, but it is in the shape of, Matt Morris and his family, who have been out in the woods camping for a fortnight, and as a result, have missed the new of the zombie invasion.
The first issue was rather formulaic in setting up the story, but benefits from the reader being dropped into the middle of an established situation. The ground work is required to bring in the characters and present the conflict, but given the over saturation of zombie comics and movies, the cliff-hanger isn’t stark or original enough to guarantee returning readers. Which is a shame, as the second issue really moves into gear. Bringing in more characters and establishing the unique element of The Few, the story so far definitely feels more compelling all read in one sitting.
I was really impressed with the plot development in the second issue. Having seen plenty of variations on how to kill zombies, the so far unexplained reasons for immunity and the reaction zombies have when biting the immune are great ideas. Are the immune the saviours, or ultimately another threat? And without knowing how the outbreak started, all we can do is speculate about why the immune exist and how they have these attributes.
The art is clean and professional and would not be out of place in an IDW book. Dynamic panel layouts are prevalent and really add to the action and suspense. I read the digital version, but can see that the slick inks and considered colour palette would look great in print. The dialogue is a little stale in places, but much of it handles stressed people meeting for the first time, so is forgivable. The writing style is well paced so I imagine dialogue will organically improve as the characters interact and develop in future issues.
The Few is currently being funded on Kickstarter and is definitely worth backing. I suggest getting hold of at least the first two issues, as issue two is really going to make you want to pick up the rest. In all, The Few is an interesting zombie comic that will please zombie purists while giving sceptics something new to discover. Take a bite out it and see for yourself.