The Rage manages to inject some much needed life (excuse the pun) into the often stale, overused concept of zombies.
You see, these zombies aren’t your run of the mill zombies. You know the type that slowly (or nowadays quickly) move towards you, bites you, and in a matter of hours turn you into one of them? Not those.
This virus is similar to the Rage virus found in the 28 days later movies. What makes it different though is that it only infects children, specifically children who have not yet gone through puberty. This isn’t the zombie apocalypse where everyone will either be turned or devoured by zombies. In The Rage, civilization faces a slow, drawn out extinction.
The story centres around Amina Riviera, a nurse who joins a group called the removals. The removals are teams who travel into the infected zones and rescue children who have reached puberty. When the infected children reach puberty, their bodies somehow are able to fend off the virus. Children, who are no longer infected, find themselves becoming prey to the infected children. The removal teams retrieve them, and take them back safely to the quarantine zones before this happens.
There are also interesting moral dilemmas found in the comic. For instance, do the adults kill all the children who are infected? Or do they (as in the case of the removal teams) leave them in the infected zones, and rescue them as when they are no longer infected?
The writing is good, although I did at first find Amina to be a very two dimensional character. This changes when you later learn more of her thought the use of flashbacks. At the end of the comic I found myself wanting to find out more about her and her motivations
The artwork is solid and there is a certain beauty to be found in its simplicity. The fact that the artwork isn’t overly cartoony roots it more in reality. I did however find a few facial expressions not to come across as successfully as I would have liked. The colour pallet is very subdued; this helps to emphasize the hopelessness felt by the characters.
You tend to find very little innovation in the zombie genre these days. The Rage manages to inject something new and fresh into it. It not only focuses on the immediate threat, and the moral dilemmas associated with it, but also on how it affects the people in both the past and present.
I enjoyed The Rage and found myself drawn in by the story it tells. I didn’t think I would find myself being interested in anything zombie related for a while. The Rage changed that, and I can’t wait to read the nest issue.