At first, I wasn’t sure how to review this book, because frankly I had a lot of conflicting feelings about it. Some parts I loved, some parts I hated, some parts I wonder if I just misunderstood. But it’s okay, because that just means I was given an opportunity to write a review in what is, personally, my favorite reviewing style, which is:
THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY.
Aw yeah. Better use the bathroom and grab a snack, guys, we’re gonna be here a while.
I really, really love zombie movies, and anything that involves zombies. (Yes, even Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. If you can’t like that idea at least a little bit, then I can’t like you.) But pretty quickly after my zombie obsession started, I realized that what interests me about these stories isn’t the zombie-killing aspect at all. What really fascinates me about zombie apocalypse movies is how they portray the breakdown of society, and how people deal with this. Blowing zombie heads off with shotguns and slicing them up with machetes is fun to watch (because zombies, like Nazis and orcs, can be slaughtered in the thousands and you don’t feel even a little bit sorry for them) but what always interests me more in these stories is what happens when the normal rules of society no longer apply. If the world collapsed tomorrow and all that mattered was survival – not morality, not family, not religion – what would you do? When the zombie apocalypse happens, all bets are off and society crumbles. Once this happens, once we pretty much do whatever we want because everything has been destroyed, how do we react? Who do we become when we lose everything?
Two realizations occurred to me while reading this book:
1. The movie version, while long as hell, is actually really well done and accurate. And by “accurate” I of course mean “basically a frame-by-frame reproduction of the graphic novel.” Not necessarily a bad thing, although they do change some details of the ending a little. I was okay with both versions, though. I think I still prefer the graphic novel, mostly because when I read it I don’t have to deal with the horribly miscast Malin Ackerman. I knew she was ruining Silk Spectre II before I even read the original story. Every other character is perfectly cast, though, so it’s mostly okay.