Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Zeroids #1 - Review

ZEROIDS #1four whiskers

If I know you as well as I think I do, you’ve recently bemoaned the lack of comics that revive old 1960s robot toys and combine them with sexy young co-eds, zombies and soldiers in Afghanistan – am I right?

Good, because Moonstone and Captain Action Enterprises have a new comic for you: ZEROIDS. But I warn you; its crazy-ass stuff.

One huge good thing right off the bat is that you don’t have to know anything about the Zeroids toys from the 1960s to read this. Which is good because barely anyone knows anything about the Zeroids toys from the 1960s. If you want to know, look ‘em up on Wikipedia – we’re talking about the comic book here. ZEROIDS #1 kicks right off with some backstory on the chunky-funky ‘roids and in a fairly interesting way, too. It’s all wrapped up with that old chestnut, the 1947 Roswell, New Mexico flying saucer crash, but the narrative manages to make it seem fresh and gets you up to speed. You’ll have to put up with a scientist named Zero – you can imagine what his school days were like – and a reference to the 1970s toy revival of the Zeroids – look it up – but overall it’s easy to follow.

Then the crazy-ass stuff happens. And happens. And happens.

Flash-forward to two separate yet somewhat concurrent stories of a houseful of cute girls in short-shorts and tank tops fending off a zombie plague and the misfortunes of two tough-as-nails soldiers in Afghanistan fending off a – yes – zombie plague. What the actual connection is between the two tales is held in abeyance for the nonce but as in the intro-backstory part, things move along nicely and then the alien ship arrives along with the robots.


I dug it all – its presented with some really nice, clean art by Roberto Castro and Craig Henderson that erred just this side of cartoony yet helps the crazy-ass proceedings gain a little traction in your brain matter. The downside is while the dialogue by Aaron Shaps is often smooth and engaging it also delves wayyy too many times into smug “hip” slang and awkward self-referencing – as in “Dude, if this was a horror movie, we’d be…” etc, etc. It’s kind of cute the first time but it gets old quick. For example, one of the soldiers is black and at one point he makes it known that in horror films the black guys always gets offed, no matter how nice they are. That sort of thing. Anyway, like I said, it’s not deal-killer but Shaps seems to be trying a bit too hard to appeal to one segment of the intended audience, i.e., “young people,” and this aging fanboy was taken out of the fiction one too many times.

I’m pretty sure that Moonstone and the Captain Action guys have a potential nut-job sleeper-winner on their hands here, if they can maintain the nuttiness and almost-camp that’s evident in ZEROIDS #1. Not sure if the sexy co-ed thing is anything more than just a bit of male-fantasy fluff but I guess time will tell if this first issue is a promise – or a threat. Regardless, this issue made me want to know what happens next, which is always a good thing for an ongoing comic.

Oh, and one more thing: not enough Zeroids. Just sayin’. I want to see how those old clunky toy designs will work in such a “hip” new world – you know, kind of like all of us aging fanboys.

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