Marc Guggenheim will be known to comics fans for many roles, though few will know him for his creator-owned series, "Resurrection," which deals with the aftermath of an alien occupation, now that the extra-terrestrials have mysteriously disappeared and left their ships behind. Book One was released last year, and Book Two begins this week.
The series might be called "Book Two" but this issue is undoubtedly effective as a jumping on point -- Guggenheim writes it in a way that's friendly to new readers. Although I never managed to pick up the first series when it was on shelves, this series brings me quickly up to speed on the premise, with what appears to be an all-new bunch of characters. It's likely there are references that readers of the first series might pick up, but nothing glaring jumps out at me if so.
The tone of the issue is fairly reminiscent of survivalist action movies -- George Romero's "Dawn of the Dead" is an obvious reference point -- and in the tradition of such movies, the focus isn't on the fantastical elements, but on the human dramas they inspire. Guggenheim goes so far as to jettison the fantastical elements almost entirely, leaving them as no more than background dressing.
The story doesn't make light of its protagonists' desperate situation. Guggenheim takes time to craft every character equally, so that you genuinely feel as though none of them are safe, but at the same time, do have some connection even with those who die almost immediately. Indeed, the series recalls the bloody air of "The Walking Dead" at times, as character after character is dispatched with an air of businesslike brutality. Don't get attached to anyone, especially at this early stage -- you'll only end up disappointed.
Guggenheim is clearly comfortable writing dialogue, and although there's little time for anything that isn't plot-related, it makes an enjoyable read. The plotting works fine overall, but the pacing of the book is obstinately choppy -- sometimes weeks pass between panels, and other times we witness a single conversation stretched out for pages, and it can be disorienting. The artwork is functional and the storytelling clear, but there's a rather recurrent lack of proper backgrounds that leaves individual panels looking indistinct, and virtually every page has bleed art, with 3-5 floating panels placed on top of single larger image. It harms the flow of the page, and a little space would go a long way towards improving the look.
Ending with a cliffhanger that will leave you intrigued as to where the story is going, "Resurrection: Book Two" #1 isn't perfect, but it is an enjoyable start to a series with a unique central concept, and worth a look for anyone who's into post-apocalyptic stories -- particularly if you don't want to read yet another zombie book!