Comic Review – The Dead: Kingdom of Flies


The Dead : Kingdom of Flies

I feel before reviewing this trade I should admit something in the interests of full disclosure.

Back in the day… I loved Lobo : The Last Czarnian. I mean LOVED it. This was the DC comics mini series by Keith Giffen, Alan Grant and Simon Bisley that for me, made comics rock and roll. At the time I was really only reading Batman stuff and this books black humour and furious artwork made me venture outside of the normal, safe, run of the mill capes and tights stuff. So in summary, it was a special book for me and The Dead : Kingdom of Flies reunites two thirds of it’s creative team having been written by Alan Grant and drawn by Simon Bisley. Oh, and the covers are by Glenn Fabry, who did the Preacher covers… which I have collected in a hardback art book.

Its a no-brainer really isnt it?

Yeah, this book rocked! The story in brief centers around a team of firefighters, stranded in their station during a zombie outbreak. As you would expect with a story like this the internal tensions between the survivors are as much a part of the story as the “Oh shit, zombies!” moments, but in the hands of a writer as good as Alan Grant it doesn’t feel like stuff you’ve seen and read before even if the same human pressure cooker plot device is a bit of a zombie genre standard. Grant’s dark sense of humour really shows through which puts this a step above the usual zombie comics which for my tastes can be a little too slow and depressing and via the medium of the firefighter’s television we even get a few celebrity cameos thrown in for comedy effect.

This trade collects the first four issues and just rips along, ending in what feels like a decent chapter end while still obviously promising more to come and an injection of fresh characters to replace those who didnt make it alive through this volume. Bisley’s art totally suits the crazy, violent story and this is one of those cool books where you really feel the creative team were having fun putting it all together. Hell, Bisley has even drawn himself in as the books token untrustworthy bastard which is a nice little touch for those who have ever attended a comic con and seen the man in person.

You dont have to take my word for it though. Go check out the website at where you can see some of the gorgeous Fabry covers and also download the entire first issue for free.

I’d definately tag Berserker as a company to keep an eye on. Another of their titles which piqued my interest was Church of Hell, again written by Alan Grant but this time with full interior art by Glenn Fabry and covers by the awesome Clint Langley of 2000AD fame. The vibe I’m getting from them is that they are starting to do what Avatar Press have done so well in the States which is take creators from the big companies and say “Do us a book and we’ll put it out. No restrictions, no censorship. Just go nuts and enjoy yourselves”. Off the back of that Avatar have had such cool titles as Crossed from Garth Ennis and Gravel from Warren Ellis and I could well see Berserker continuing to do the same with talent this side of the Atlantic. Always good to see an indie publisher off to such a good start.

Stars out of five – Four

Dry Slaps – None, though someone less versed in the classic rules of video horror movies may be tempted give it one for the slightly gratuitous shower scene.

GS Reviewer: Richard McAuliffe

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One comment

  1. richard green /

    i got a copy of the graphic novel and i am amazed at the quality you wouldent think it was indie.
    role on issue 5

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