Defoe: Queen of the Zombies
Written by Pat Mills
Illustrated by Leigh Gallagher
Published by Rebellion
The last time we saw Defoe, he was on the trail of the Queen of the Zombies, who managed to escape his clutches. In this volume we go deeper into the zombie conspiracy. We discover some startling revelations about both foe and ally.
For me this collection was far more superior storywise (and even art wise) than the first collection (1666). Pat Mills has crafted a story bursting with ideas, non stop thrills and twists aplenty, not to mention backstabbing and betrayal. It’s Shakespeare crossed with Steampunk and zombies!
This time round Defoe and his ‘Dirty Dozenne’ not only have to stop La Voisin (Queen of the Zombies), but also defend the Tower of London from the invading hordes of the undead, and also a hungry crocodile in the Tower’s moat and a Seraph (fallen angel), not to mention the un-masking of Mene Tekel, the main mastermind behind much of the chaos in which London finds herself engulfed within.
And Leigh Gallagher renders all the above in his magnificent black and white art. His style is very suited to the steam-punk/ horror trappings of the story, in fact it elevates the story to another level. There are some awesome double page spreads and one page reveals in this collection, the most notable of these being the unmasking of Mene Tekel (that page just left me gasping with disbelief!), and the two page spread near the beginning of the ‘Super Zombie’s’ lair (one of them even looks like a zombiefied Captain America – Pat Mills clearly couldn’t resist!). Not to mention the zombie hordes themselves who are just some of the most ghastly and stomach churning ever to be realised in comics – and what makes them stand out is the fact they have other ‘demonic’ powers such as walking under water and even flying (the panel where we first see this amazing feat is very eeriely done). To sum it up, Gallagher’s artwork is just sublime, no other way to describe it. The guy is something else entirely, you can see he pours his heart and soul into each panel, and he clearly relishes the challenge of bringing this world to life via his artwork.
This collection is great, great fun and a big thank you to the awesome Leigh Gallagher for recommending it to me in his blog. I can understand now why this is his favourite collected work. Magnificent stuff!