The first & second issues of Edge of Extinction by Baden James Mellonie & Paul Peart-Smith managed to finely balance some of the typical zombie apocalypse elements while building a slick cast of characters so I was keen to see how things would progress in the newest issue.
The group of civilians, EMT & police are only just beginning to take in what they’ve seen in those opening issues but here they’re forced into getting themselves to a safe place and absorb the insanity that’s kicking off around them. As the moral questions drift in and out when facing a relentless contagion the will to survive is clear but there’s an instant connection between the core characters that helps drive things forward.
It first seems like an isolated incident for the small group but as they’re journey towards the sanctity of the nearest Hospital sees them pack up and get moving – it’s clear that things are escalating quicker than they even realised. Reaching their goal gets them a brief chance to breathe but even that’s short-lived as the next set of difficulties come at them like a wave. Cruel and emotionally charged in places the group dynamix itself is tested but it feels like Baden knows where he is taking the entire team.
The world of zombies has ebbed and flowed in a sea of titles and while those elements are things we’ve seen before in this release too, it’s the quality of the human interactions & character growth that keeps us hooked in. Similarly, the artwork from Paul has kept that jagged, frantic vibe to it that keeps things on edge as the story evolves before ramping up the chaos when each attack & subsequent loss hits the group in the guts. Paul’s lettering is on point too to keep things flowing and this all begins to feel like a book that should be getting more attention.
The zombie fatigue of things like The Walking Dead and it’s comic book clones will no doubt influence people’s approach to Edge of Extinction but for me the success of it’s characterisation is where it holds its own better than most. There’s a great momentum to things over the course of these first three issues and I’m hoping that will continue into the next and whatever else is planned after that.
As well as that standard cover by Stephen Samson there are also some fine variants for this issue as well: