28 Days Later: Aftermath
Fox Atomic has some great ideas: 1-Make a sequel to 28 Days Later, 2-Make a comic book to cross promote said sequel, 3-get Steve Niles to write it.
And thus we get 28 Days Later: Aftermath, a graphic novel in four parts that begins before the first film and takes us all the way into the second. For those who aren't familiar with Mr. Niles' work, he wrote the comic book and part of the screenplay for the up coming vampire film 30 Days of Night, as well as The Lurkers and the Rob Zombie co-created Bigfoot. He's also written the comic adaptation of the original Dawn of the Dead (the one you get in the box set) and a variation on Frankenstein called Wake the Dead. His most zombie-centric work (that I've read) is a great and very original book called Remains. He's the hot-shit writer in horror comics right now, and he deserves it.
Niles starts Aftermath with the doctors beginning to research human anger who end up developing the rage virus. We also meet a London family who tries to flee at the beginning of the outbreak, and survivalist ruling over an empty London. Instead of only looking at the characters for one section though, he manages to weave all of their stories together giving the book a much stronger cohesiveness that you get in a book like Zombieworld: The Dregs of Winter.
In Aftermath Niles pinpoints moments from the original film and explores them more. Moments we all really wanted to see like the havoc the monkeys create when they leave the lab, the people who are stepping over each other as they try to evacuate, then the chaos as the virus travels through the crowd. We also get the beginning stages of the U.S. take over. Niles not only successfully makes you feel like you are back in the movie's world, he also does a good job of making you feel like you're in an authentic London.
The style of both films is very shaky and fast paced and you never get a long detailed look at the infected as they whip across the screen, so it's nice to see them frozen on the page for you to gander at as long as you please. Plus I always wondered what the infected did to people. Did they eat them or just tear them up? Niles suggests that there is some cannibalism going on.
The art is by alternating artists which helps each story feel individual, and all the art is fantastic.
So, if you're a comic fan or a 28 Days Later fanatic, you need this book. However, if you're neither, than let it slide on by.
5 out of 5 on the decomposition scale.
© D. L. Noah, 2007