Zombies done straight have probably passed the tipping point for most people, with the likes of The Walking Dead surely approaching the genre’s creative zenith. Zombo adds a very British twist to the mix though, and is a refreshing and hilarious take on the zombie menace.
Al Ewing and Henry Flint’s Zombo is a government sponsored half-zombie. Like a cross between an ultra-polite gentleman secret agent (think Roger Moore era James Bond) and a flesh-eating monster, Zombo will politely ask for permission (“Can I eat you, please?”) before chewing your face off. Sometimes he’ll even wait for an answer.
The book is set in the future, when humanity has conquered all but a few of the galaxy’s planets. The last few, called Deathworlds (planets so hostile to humanity that the planet itself fights man’s presence), are what Zombo’s been bred to tackle.
It makes for some fantastic scenes. The book doesn’t hold back on the gore, but tempers it with a strong foundation of humour. Originally published in 2000AD, it carries the kind of dark future comedy readers may be familiar with from some of Judge Dredd‘s more bizarre adventures. Perhaps most surprisingly though, is how well its episodic nature holds together as a book.
For a uniquely British, strangely original, and tongue-in-cheek but ultimately deeply respectful take on the sci-fi zombie, look no further. This is a gore fest with a high body count, so not to all tastes. But the quality of the humorous dialogue is up there with the best. Genre junkies will lap it up.