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Fred Van Lente Day Review: The Mocking Dead #1-4

We continue our late night Fred Van Lente Day celebration with our latest FVL Day review of the nearly-completed The Mocking Dead mini-series by Fred Van Lente and Max Dunbar.

There really is not a whole lot of room left for zombie parodies, especially since Fred Van Lente himself already did a great job on the subject with his work on Marvel Zombies. But damned if he didn’t manage to find a unique approach to the concept with Mocking Dead.

The idea behind the series is that there is a zombie outbreak in Pittsburgh. As it turns out, years ago the government formed a special initiative based on studying popular culture in case any fictional problems arose in real life. After a while, the project was de-funded. Well, now that zombies are popping up, the project’s former expert on zombies is called out of “retirement” to help guide the government response to the zombie outbreak.

The introduction of our hero, Aaron Bunch, is hilarious (1:100! Awesome!)…

The zombies appear to strangely be connected to an old independent zombie film from decades ago that Bunch watched when he was a kid called “The Mocking Dead”…

The rest of the series involves Bunch and his former friend (the previously shown female agent – the only member of the fictional studies project who actually transitioned into another job with the government) trying to find a way to stop the zombie plague, even if it involves tracking down the only living actor from the film.

Throughout the series, Van Lente throws in a number of excellent one-off gags, from commentary on how society responds to stuff like this…

To a recurring gag where Aaron keeps on hitting on people while he tries to track down a copy of “The Mocking Dead”…

to just outright silliness (but clever silliness)…

Max Dunbar does a nice job on the artwork for the series, never failing to deliver on the gags that Van Lente sets up for him.

Bunch and Malik’s past has some surprising complexity to it and really, Bunch’s characterization as a whole is surprisingly deep. There is real heart behind all of these wacky gags. It really gives the series a nice backbone to go along with the hilarity.

The fifth and final issue is due out soon (well, #4 just came out this week, so I really dunno when #5 is out).

2 Comments

The second page appears twice.

The trade of this, too is in the new Previews, and I may be adding it to my list.

Damn you Fred Van Lente Day!

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