Issue by Issue – Tales of the Zombie #3

Writer – Steve Gerber, Chris Claremont, Tony Isabella, Don McGregor, Doug Moench
Artist – Pablo Marcos, Tony Deprita, Vicente Alcazar, Bill Walton, Enrique Badia
Inker – Pablo Marcos, Vicente Alcazar, Enrique Badia

Written in second person, the lead tale – When the Gods Crave Flesh, finds Simon Garth still in Haiti as a filmmaker and his wife look to make a documentary on voodoo. Written by Steve Gerber and indelibly drawn by Pablo Marcos once again, it is a story that finds said filmmaker looking to make his big score with his latest picture, but when he finds out that the local practitioners refuse to allow themselves to be filmed for fear that it will upset the loa, he reluctantly agrees, though his wife does not. When the ceremony goes wrong thanks to the machinations of the man’s gold-digging wife who decides to film it all anyway, the loa leave the native islanders and they immediately realise who is to blame and they mean to make an example of her. As for Garth the once-man, he realises that his body is starting to run down and discovers that he needs flesh to live, not that he really wants to. It is not long before Garth and the rest of the cast meet up, including his daughter Donna who still looks to find out the fate of her father. She does just that towards the end of the tale when Simon decides to take a sort of pity on the wife of filmmaker Bruce who has been stricken with an ugliness to match that within her by the voodoo cultists. That pity takes the form of death, one from which there is no coming back from. Even more intriguing out of everything that takes place amongst the horror of this tale is the fact that Garth’s autonomy is even stronger this issue, the former man essentially showing that he has some sort of mental faculties left inside the once living husk. Readers will know that it will not last for long as someone has found the amulet which controls Garth, but that is to be a story for another time and another issue. With additional horror by Chris Claremont who provides a bit of prose for the issue, an in-depth article on Night of the Living Dead by Don McGregor and a story of an eternal warrior who is cursed to live and die multiple times over, the issue does not lack for entertainment. One of the livelier stories to be found involves a butterfly collector, who meets karma head on as the butterflies he hunts down decide to collect him while another entitled I Won’t Stay Dead, is a disturbing tryst of a man who should have passed on but did not. It sees him fighting for his life, a life he believes he still has but with no pulse, the courts rule against him because he must be among the un-living. A final tale called Jilimbi’s World by Doug Moench and Enrique Badia round out the book with some warranted vengeance by voodoo. It is a tragic tale, one perhaps whose ending was well-deserved, yet one to be judged by the reader when all is said and done. By far, the best of the bunch was the lead shocker starring the one and only Simon Garth, a character that might not have too much to say, but who makes for an incredibly interesting protagonist.

4.5 out of 5

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