Stalingrad. 1943. One baby. One rifle. Two million zombies.
A soviet sniper risks her life to protect something she hasn’t seen in a long time: A perfectly healthy two year old boy who has just stumbled right into the middle of the zombie apocalypse.
It’s The Walking Dead meets Enemy at the gates, Svetlana Gorshkov is one of the last living Russian soldiers after living dead zombies have overrun Stalingrad at the tail end of World War II. They call her Mother Russia, and with good reason. Her aim is deadly accurate. Despite the fact that the city has been overrun by the living dead, she continues to pelt away at them, day in and day out from afar. Is she still alive? Or is she just another kind of walking dead? It looks like she doesn’t even know until she spots a child milling among the dead, through her scope.
Mother Russia then risks what’s left of her life to bring the child of safety, all looks bleak as the mass of shambling dead, overwhelm her, until she gets help from a very unlikely source. At the end of issue one, Svetlana is forced to make a choice. Who is her real enemy in Stalingrad, the dead, or the living enemy she was to protect the city from.
This is a story for true comic fans everywhere. It’s fast moving. It’s gut-wrenching. It features a flawed heroine, who is more dead than living at the beginning of the tale. Finally, the enemy that she faces is overwhelming, there aren’t enough bullets in the world to kill them all. Mother Russia is the kind of book that asks: would you go on, when there seems to be no reason to go on. This story is cleverly plotted, with a pace that will leave you turning pages as fast as your eye can digest the words and art. The visuals are crisp and snappy, making use of the black and white medium to its full extent.
The art of the book is another win. Although a bit sparse on detail Jeff McComsey captures the tone with a bullet to the head, or rather lots of bullets to the head. On the panels that are left unscripted, he lets his art do the talking, and it speaks volumes. Harsh lines and explosions of action set a tone that no zombie movie could match. The covers are heroic and stirring. Don’t miss this book. You will regret. It shows all the promise of being a breakaway hit. This title has limited distribution through Alterna Comics so your best bet is to order it from the site, or visit your favorite shop and demand they carry it, in fact visit all of your shops, and let them know what an amazing book this will be. Mother Russia is an example of the kind of great stories that are coming from independent, self published creators. Less than two thousand backers pledged $95.000 on kickstarter to bring this to life. That should speak volumes.