Wednesday, June 26, 2013

1st Impressions: The Final Plague # 2 Review

Written by Johnnie “JD” Arnold
Art by Tony Guaraldi-Brown
Action Lab Entertainment


                We continue off where we left last issue … the exterminator being eaten alive by flesh eating, zombie rats. Yes. I want you to read that sentence again. Read it. Done? Okay. Flesh eating zombie rats. Dozens of them.  As the exterminator yells at Bob to get them off, Bob gets bitten by the zombie rats. . . multiple rats And that is not all. Bob’s family is stalked with the family cat becoming a casualty to the zombie rats.

                We hit California where we get two police officers who check on one of their normal callers only to find an unwanted surprise await them.

                And finally, in Jersey, we find out doctors (Dr. Friedman & Dr. Stohr) experiment some more on some of the rats only to find that the Captain has called in the CDC and that they will be under arrest. As an argument ensues, the two doctors find out how bad things are becoming.


                Guaraldi-Brown gives us some truly chilling, graphic and powerful images and panel work this issue. From Frank dying a horrible death from being eaten alive (By the Matrix, that was Gross) to the experimentation of the rats to the dogs that appear. The book is dark. There is very little light and hopeful about the book yet it fits the story perfectly. The art in this book gives you truly gripping and horrific pages. The people look distinct. The animals look down right terrifying. The panel work mesmerize you and makes you hauntingly sick at the same time.

                Guaraldi-Brown tempers the darkness with just enough light to make things feel authentic while still adding to the mood. The emotions on the characters was rendered well. And once again, this books visuals are both haunting and disgusting. Only adding to the brilliance of the book.


                Arnold continues to up the ante on a chilling and gripping tale. The touch of watching Bob and his family deal with the infestation of rats added personal stakes … not only for Bob but for the reader. Arnold allows us to feel and go through the terror with Bob, Helen and their family, which only heightens the experience alongside the visuals.

                Arnold adds that the plague is spreading with a quick yet very efficient stop in California while we get some chilling details about the virus from the lab in New Jersey. The issue’s pacing was excellent. Arnold balances the two main plots perfectly this issue. Friedman and Stohr’s actions felt very authentic when faced with the mutiny and the threat of arrest. Bob really shined this issue with being very multifaceted … a protector to his family while still be scared; mourning his friend who died in front of him while trying to make sense of it all.  Interesting characters that definitely feel relatable.

                The overall story made me feel dirty and disgusted and horrified … which I am sure that is what Arnold had planned. Truly a well written, well paced and wonderful horror story.


                I can honestly say that this book makes me feel terrified and dirty. I want to wash myself every time I read this issue. I am scared of animals at the moment. And that is the power of Guaraldi-Brown and Arnold. Really exquisite work from both.


                This is bar none, one of the greatest horror/suspense comics in history. Order & Buy this today. I give The Final Plague # 2 a 10 … out of 10. Now excuse me while I wash myself and set up traps for animals. 

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