“’68” #3 (Comic Review)

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Originally published at Fangoria.com on August 13th 2011

Set in the middle of the Vietnam War, ’68 #3 (Image Comics) is an unforgettable tale about the extremely hostile nature of combat and horror. Far away from home, a platoon of American soldiers finds themselves losing their humanity in the never-ending jungles. Is there anything to go back home to, especially when the zombie infestation has spread to the states? Well-deserving of much attention and high praise, each issue of ’68 continues to get better and better!

Carrying his injured sergeant, a young and naive soldier, Yam, travels deep into the heart of darkness. Trained to hate their enemy, Yam and his sergeant argue over what they’re really fighting about. After discovering a pile of dead children, all shot in the head, the sergeant truly believes it takes an animal to kill innocent infants. Sympathetic in his grief, Yam hopes the kids were at least shown mercy, as their enemy is running scared of the zombies.

At his campsite, a frightened soldier, Coop, nervously writes to his girlfriend, Sherry. In his letter, Coop tells her terrifying stories about the dead rising from their graves. After witnessing so much death, Coop believes he‘s on the edge of losing his mind. Even though he hasn’t heard from Sherry, Coop believes she is the only one who can save him. While Coop is on the verge of madness, anti-war protests are taking place in the States.

And at the campus of UC Berkeley, riot police officers have their guns pointed at the protesters, including Sherry. As the picketers raise their fists and chant that war is murder, a single shot is unexpectedly fired. One of the dead college students reawakens as a flesh-eating zombie, and as the zombie plague spreads, the police officers must protect themselves, firing at the undead protesters.

Page by page, author Mark Kidwell (Fango’s BUMP) keeps the gripping pace running at full speed. A different kind of war is erupting in the States. The youth of the nation is fighting against those in charge, the older generation. As the zombie riot escalates, the police find themselves side by side with the protesters. In the shocking conclusion, the enemy surrenders to the American military, but not because they want to end the war. The enemy is giving up because they desperately need help against the undead horde, which is right behind them.

Aided by the rough colors of Jay Fotos (30 DAYS OF NIGHT: NIGHT, AGAIN), the pencils and inks by artist Nat Jones (ROB ZOMBIE’S THE NAIL) vibrantly captures the ’60s hairstyles and clothing. The campus riot is reminiscent of the real-life images seen in history textbooks. Even though he has glasses on, Yam is clearly presented with genuine emotion. The zombies are absolutely nasty looking as they are drenched in blood and have flies buzzing around their heads!

A perfect combination of war and horror, ’68 #3 is definitely well worth buying. Each page is unbelievably intense because of the comic’s well-written story and incredible artwork. Comic book fans should not miss out on this epic horror mini-series!