Written by Justin Jordan
Art by Kyle Strahm
Okay, so on paper, yes…we’ve seen a lot of the elements in Spread before (zombies and tentacles and guys who look a lot like Wolverine, oh my!). One only has to get two or three pages in to discover that while the pieces are familiar, this particular series may be ready to offer up something a little different than what you’re accustomed to.
Jordan and Strahm are serving us up some post-apocalyptic monster/zombie realness in this first issue, and both the premise and artwork are crisp and refreshing. Our protagonist No is immune to the Spread, but not in any way immune to death or dismemberment at the hands of either the zombies the Spread leaves in its wake or the cruel and vicious Raiders, humans who have survived due to tactical cunning and a complete lack of hesitation to steal, kill, and destroy. While No is a man of few words, Strahm is able to give us glimpses into his emotional state in a few key panels, including during the climax of the issue when No finds a tiny infant who may just be the key to stopping the Spread altogether.
The burden of any First Issue of a new series lies in setting up an interesting story and enticing the reader to become emotionally invested in the characters. I’d call it partially successful in roping me in enough to genuinely care about No or baby Hope, which I only slightly do. I’m here for the plot at this point, and for Strahm’s deliciously creepy creature designs. Set almost entirely in a white/snowy environment, the bright red coloring of the Spread itself as well as all of the friggin’ blood spilled makes for starkly beautiful (and sometimes gruesome) panels. Despite that however, there is a cerebral quality to the narrative that will tempt you to read it over from the beginning as soon as you turn the last page, which I certainly did. If horror or even science fiction is your thing, Spread is a worthwhile investment. I suggest checking it out.