Cassie’s BOOM! Studios Comic Review: KEY OF Z #2
When the zombie outbreak occurred on Christmas Eve 2011, New York City was split into three factions. Survivors took refuge across the city, in Madison Square Garden, Citi Field, and Yankee Stadium to stay away from the zombie hoards. In the middle of this is Nick Ewing, who with the help of his trusty harmonica holds sway over the undead.
“Not another zombie series”, you’re probably groaning to yourself. Zombies have been big for a while now, and everyone is most likely tired of rotting corpses pervading the media. However, Key of Z takes an approach unlike any zombie comic I have read.
Rather than having New York shatter into an “every man for himself” mentality, Sanchez and Echert create a new society, as New Yorkers struggle to hold onto a stable hierarchy where they feel most safe. From 2011 to the present day (sometime after 2014), New York has three safe zones. The first, Madison Square Garden is run by sympathetic and all around nice guy Charles Atwater, Citi Field the home of the Mets is held in sway by the less than scrupulous Jackson Met and Yankee stadium is ruled over by dictator and jerk, Lavoe Yankee.
As expected, Lavoe and Jackson dislike Atwater, especially when he calls them out on breaking the Treaty of the Three Houses that they all signed to protect humanity. I.e. no taxing people who cross into various parts of the city. The only lone survivor in the wilderness we meet is Nick Ewing, who has a painful past and a vendetta against Lavoe and Jackson. We learn that Ewing spends his nights in a library stronghold and has the power of music, which he uses to control zombies.
I just can’t seem to stay away from reviewing comics by musicians. Last week I reviewed Orchid #2 by prior Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello, and now I find myself reading another debut series, this time from Coheed and Cambria front man Claudio Sanchez and his wife Chondra Echert. I’m a sucker for husband and wife writing teams. If the relationship is strong it comes out in the creative process, and these two work extremely well together.
In addition to its wonderful storyline, Key of Z #2 has some great artwork from Aaron Kuder. The zombies peppered throughout are each given their own individual personalities, and are treated as equally important to the storyline as the human characters Kuder created. He deserves a shout out for his zombie Librarian alone. Each new scene, especially those occurring outside the three safe zones is a body filled scavenger hunt.
Even if you’re bored of the zombie fad, pick up this atypical new series. It’s a refreshing new addition to the genre, and well deserving of all five stars.
Story: Claudio Sanchez and Chondra Echert
Art: Aaron Kuder
Cover: Nathan Fox
On Sale November 16, 2011!