This is one of those books that is fated with poor timing on the publisher’s behalf. Up against some stiff competition for your comic entertainment dollars this week, “The Last Resort” from IDW features a zombie outbreak on a tropical island. Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray start the story off with a peek into the horror that awaits the main cast of characters we are later introduced to.
Like most of the books from this writing duo, this book has bits of humor, action, suspense, and horror. The story comes off like a paper film — no coincidence this duo has a collective website under the same moniker. This issue is a massive piece of introduction and table-setting. We meet a veritable boatload of characters, much in the same way you would meet any collection of victims in a horror film. Most of the characters are memorable by personality or situation moreso than name: there’s the nympho chick traveling with the dude who’s trying to live up to her expectations; the guy taking his mom on the (last) vacation of her lifetime; a pair of lesbians; a rotund lady with a purse dog; a couple of pilots; the movie star; the reconciling couple; and so on. The Amanda Conner cover gives you a great group shot of all the players, which is why I selected that one to accompany this review (that’s not to say Darwyn Cooke’s cover is not worthy of being seen). Truly, through no fault of the writing duo are these characters reduced to situation or lifestyle, there’s simply a LOT going on in this book.
Caracuzzo makes that lot look great. His style reminds me of Phil Hester’s, but with watercolors. The characters carry the same weight and density as Hester’s work, but Caracuzzo’s color choices and methods make this book a little more peppy and kinetic than a zombie thriller would traditionally be. Gray and Palmiotti give Caracuzzo everything to draw, from airports and airsickness in action to topless volleyball on a sun-splashed beach. Caracuzzo delivers and then some. From the lifeboat, the resort looks like a postcard photo. The zombie attack is downright gruesome and terrifying. I’m not familiar with Caracuzzo’s work before this, but I’ll certainly be looking for more from him in the future.
Undoubtedly, someone is going to not pick this book up this week and live to regret missing it. Don’t be that person. Skip taking yourself out to lunch one day this week. Maybe get a cheaper coffee a couple mornings. There’s no reason you can’t get that big summer title AND this one. Unless, of course, you’re a younger reader. Clear this one with the folks first if you’re not old enough to vote or drive. If you’re a driver or voter, give this a go. Enjoy some horror and be glad you didn’t take that tropical vacation to that paradise-like island. Let someone else get attacked by the zombies. You just keep working and reading some great summer comics.