I caught the first issue of Baden James Mellonie & Paul Peart-Smith’s Edge of Extinction way back in 2015 and while it’s taken a while for the next issue to come out I was still keen to see where this one was going to go.
While that opener introduced us to a world where an early case of the recently dead coming back to hunt the living it’s this second issue that starts to fill in some of the gaps about just how a serious the situation is. There are more infected wandering the streets and while the small groups of survivors are trying to weigh up what their next steps are, the time they have to make those decisions is getting shorter & shorter.
True to form the authorities are starting to mobilise at a time when the stories are hitting the media who are aiming to try to make sense of the madness around them. Your typical survival instincts are on show and the comparisons with the likes of The Walking Dead are pretty unavoidable but that’s no reason why something new can be found in the pages of Edge of Extinction.
Writer Baden is throwing a ton of the zombie tropes at us across this second issue and while the time between issues has seen a flood of zombie-themed books into the mainstream & indie comic world it still felt like there was something to challenge those well-used themes. Rather than having things unfold at the speed of a sloth-paced zombie he’s opted to keep things on the cusp of all-out chaos which gives the series a crackling energy. Couple that with Paul’s varied layouts and gritty art closing in around the few survivors and it does feel like this offers at least the potential to be something different. A nod to Paul on the lettering side too as he keeps some of the wordier panels of dialogue under control.
The time between issues hasn’t hindered the interest I’ve got in Edge of Extinction but the worry I would have is just how much of the wider comic audience will give this series a chance given the sheer number of titles that have tried to get out of The Walking Dead’s shadow. The third issue is being released in about a week so there’s definite progress towards keeping the releases flowing for this…..although when you realise the tough times Badens’s gone through it’s no wonder that comic creating took a hit.
Edge of Extinction has a great creative team on-board and with a bit of luck (which they are more than due) I’d hope that we’ll start to see this become a regular read that will get a growing audience.