Issue by Issue – Tales of the Zombie #6

Writer – Steve Gerber, Gerry Boudreau, Jim Harmond, Chris Claremont, Doug Moench, Len Wein, Carla Joseph
Artist – Pablo Marcos, Gene Colan
Inker – Pablo Marcos, Frank Chiaramonte

In the lead tale of the book by none other than Steve Gerber and Pablo Marcos who have opened up every issue thus far, they do so once again with a tale of Simon Garth, now wandering the swamps of New Orleans and free from all control, at least for now. He soon comes across those from the very first book of the series who turned him into what he is now and while he feels essentially nothing what with being a zombie, something inside him stirs and makes him want to destroy those practitioners of voodoo, utterly and completely. It is only when it comes to Layla, the woman who woke him from the dead that he stops, as she makes him remember that it was she who tried to save him and it was she who loved him when he was alive. Gerber and Marcos pack the beginning of the story with incredible violence and when it all seems to be finished, readers will find that it is only starting as Layla and Garth get lost in the swamp and after coming across a lonely house, discover that only cruelty and destructiveness reside within. The sixth issue of this magazine also makes a small format change as there are more articles to be found, no less interesting than those previously seen in the book, but less comic stories, there instead being only two to bookend it all. Said articles comprise The Plague of the Zombies by Gerry Boudreau who looks at the 1966 feature film by Hammer Studios while Jim Harmon looks at the zombie movie called Sugar Hill. Chris Claremont contributes once again with The Compleat Voodoo Man and Carla Joseph who reports on various media properties involving voodoo and the undead. As for the second feature in the book, End of a Legend which stars Brother Voodoo, it continues from Strange Tales #173 though with Len Wein and Doug Moench at the helm, reading that particular issue is not needed as they recap what has happened before. Said events see Brother Voodoo rescuing a young woman who is marked for death and then promptly falling into a trap and the two of them getting captured. What follows is a battle between good and evil as Brother Voodoo must somehow get himself free to not only save his own life, but the girl and at the same time defeat the group of men holding them hostage and proving that their faith is misplaced. Moench writes a compelling tale taken from Wein’s plot and Gene Colan does an incredible job at translating that to the page, the man’s pencils always being quite haunting. Out of the two stories though, it is that of Simon Garth and the innate tragedy that is packaged into every tale that wins the day as the best of the book, Gerber and Marcos utterly outdoing themselves time and again. Though it has been said before, Tales of the Zombie is a fantastic magazine through and through and worth seeking out for those that like their horror well done.

5 out of 5

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