The Rage 1

With the amount of zombie-related media
swarming around us, you’d think that society is already infected with some sort
of addiction. Movies, TV shows, and video games (and so on and so on) all have
within examples of very successful (and not-so-successful) apocalyptic settings
and undead threats at the heart of their narratives. The Rage faces the daunting task of distinguishing itself among the
massive library of zombie stories lest it becomes a part of the vast, faceless
mob.
Pierre Boisserie attempts to provide to readers a different
kind of zombie apocalypse: in this world, only children are infected with a
feral-state inducing sickness. We see the world through the eyes of a slowly
recuperating France a couple years after initial contact with the “virus.” All
children are quarantined and isolated, cities undergo frequent security checks
and heavily-enforced curfews, and, naturally, resources are scarce and hope is
low. Though essentially par for the undead course, the added detail of having
adults being immune turns The Rage
into less of a struggle for individual survival (like The Walking Dead) and more of a struggle for an entire nation to
deal with an epidemic (think 28 Weeks
Later
). A government – though more strained than ever before – still exists
and manages to operate to the best of its ability. Seeing this well-realized
setting breaks the mold of traditional every-single-human-is-dead-and-we-are-all-that’s-left
zombie stories, and as a result, is exciting, if nothing more than just to see
how a broken nation of people can come back from the brink of total
annihilation.
Still, despite its novel concept, the conflicts and
relationships between the characters leave something to be desired. Within the
world of The Rage, despite all military
efforts to quarantine and control the situation, a violent independent group
called The Militia seeks to solve the
virus problem through their own means (which pretty much boils down to killing
all of the children). Though I understand a situation like “the end of the
world as we know it” would create an unavoidable sense of fear and
self-preservation, their efforts seem a little heavy-handed, especially given
the context that the government is actively trying to cure the disease ruining
the modern world. Is the Militia unaware? Does the Militia not care? These
questions lingered in my mind as I read, and I could come to only one conclusion:
the Militia are just jerks. I couldn’t pull any motivation from the Militia
beyond just not liking the idea of having a cure for the disease, and when a
comic tries to rise above the rest of the zombie-mania that has been taking our
media in waves, not having compelling conflicts only weighs it down.
This predicament also unfortunately pops up in other
character relationships. A glimpse into the past of the main character, Amina,
shows her in the early stages of the outbreak, and it left me wondering how she
and her husband ever functioned as a couple. I’ll try to keep it light on the
spoilers, but I will just say that I honestly have no idea how she managed to
be married a man who seems so caustic and unsympathetic. The relationship
between them feel contrived and forced, only to serve as potential conflict in
the future.
When trying to create a new vision of a world plagued by
the undead/incurable, the content of the story – the meat – must be sufficient
to carry the setting of world throughout the issue. Without the meat of a story
for readers to chew on, the body that holds the story – the setting – might as
well be left to rot. The Rage has the
virtue of giving readers an interesting take on the overdone zombie setting,
but without much compelling content to satisfy readers’ hunger, they may as
well shamble to the next inevitable zombie comic (or TV show or movie or etc.).
To find out more about Titan Comics and their publications, shamble on over to Titan-Comics.com, where you can purchase The Rage among other titles.


Photo Credit to Titan-Comics.com
.


Geek-o-Rama received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review. All thoughts, comments and opinions are those of the individual reviewer.

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