The Walking Dead: Alien (Panel Syndicate)


CREDIT: Robert Kirkman, LLC

Rating: 5/5 – The Early Days of the Outbreak…in Spain!
by ComicSpectrum EiC Bob Bretall

** SPOILER FREE REVIEW ** Robert Kirkman has given Brian K. Vaughan & Marcos Martin permission to play in his sandbox!  I believe this is the first non-Kirkman written comic story, though plenty of other writers have had a hand in writing episodes of the AMC TV series.  And what a story it is!  We meet a new character, Claudia, and also a character that had only been referenced by name in a very early issue of the Walking Dead comic series.

The story takes place in Barcelona, Spain, which also happens to be the hometown of artist Marcos Martin.  The first few pages are also something best read with Google Translate handy, unless you speak Somali & Catalan.  For the benefit of those who don’t want to do the translation, I’ll provide the details here (they don’t spoil anything about the story):
The young Somali boy is saying “fadlan i caawi” which translates to “please help me”.  When Claudia shows up she says (in Catalan) “Arise”, then (roughly) “He no longer moves, but you can.”  From there the dialogue switches to English.

If you want to read this story, it’s available as a “pay what you want” digital download.  You can give Vaughan & Martin anything from $0.00 on up to any amount you can afford or feel is reasonable.  It’s a very cool payment model that has been working for these 2 for their previous digital series “Private Eye“, their current series “Barrier”, as well as the series “Universe!” by creator Albert Monteys.  I’d love to see this “pay what you want” model become a standard.  While I don’t personally like paying $3.99 for a digital comic, I don’t mind paying a buck… and that all goes to the creators with no fees other than the credit card/paypal processing fee taken by any intermediaries like a digital platform provider, publisher, or distributor.

The title “Alien” refers to the American, Jeff, in Spain.  Not to space aliens or anything exotic like that.  It was interesting to get a view of Europe where things seem to be following a roughly similar trajectory to what we’ve seen in the United States, confirming what I had assumed all along, that this is a global pandemic.  Still no insights into the cause of the zombie outbreak, but I thoroughly enjoyed reading this story by Brian K. Vaughan, one of my favorite writers currently active in comics.  I consider this a must-read for any hard-core fan of the Walking Dead comics, buy your digital download today!

Reviewed by: Bob Bretall
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