A new potential zombie sensation recently launched in the comic book world, Night of the 80s Undead. Zombies? 1980s and a comparison to John Hughes? I’m there! Question is, can this Action Lab/ Danger-Zone title keep me there?
Jason Martin and Bill McKay let you know immediately what you are in for with cover art featuring the typical boobs a poppin’ female donning door knocker earrings and a shredded Frankie Says Relax tee plus a splattering of overly red comic book blood oozing behind the title.
Unfortunately, the first thing to catch my eye in this comic book was the misspelling of Ronald Reagan (as “Ronald Regan”). I just had to call that out guys, sorry.
The story, obviously, takes place in 1980s Hollywood. The Russian/USA Cold War, bad Tom Selleck-moustaches, and coke problems are in full effect. The KGB has poisoned a supply of drugs entering the USA with a virus that immediately infects the user so they become zombies with the speed and strength of coked up maniacs.
Almost immediately, the comparison to John Hughes I have been promised has me a little miffed. There is not heart or appreciation of the 80s to be found here, just a check list of what made up 1980s popular culture. Did the creators just binge watch Miami Vice? This doesn’t seem to be tongue-in-cheek or satire. The cameos of ’80s Charlie Sheen, Jon Cryer, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and OJ Simpson seem more self-gratifying than clever. Maybe having actually been a child of the 80s I’m a little too close to the decade to find this amusing. If your only familiarity with the 80s is music, movies, and TV than you may find Night of the 80’s Undead clever, but I just found it pandering to the current popular retro vibe. Time would be better spent watching any 80s zombie movies.
Mom always said if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all, so I will admit the inclusion of a goth/new wave/funk/rap list of songs for a suggested soundtrack by page number was a creative touch and the music selection has my music snob seal of approval. I also liked the horizontally layered panels which are easy to follow along with, and the recommended movies from the 80s for viewing. This is the first issue, so perhaps they are getting out the obvious jokes and the next issue will be more creative. Overall, however, I can’t recommend this first issue of Night of the 80’s Undead with a clean conscious. Unless you enjoy just seeing panel after panel of comic book boobs, drug snorting, and cartoon-like blood.