Baltimore Reviews… MOTHER RUSSIA #1 & #2

August 21, 2017
Chapman Reviews… DUNGEONS & DRAGONS: The Animated Series
August 25, 2017

Baltimore Reviews… MOTHER RUSSIA #1 & #2

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One Baby. One Rifle. Two Million Zombies.

For most of my comics, I usually veer to superheroics, with an occasional dab in a crime thriller. Not to mention that I don’t often get many indie series. So imagine my pleasant surprise when I got to review the issue 1 and 2 (of 3) of Mother Russia from Alterna Comics.

This series, written and illustrated by Jeff McComsey, sees a world overrun by the undead in Russia in 1943. There have been a lot of zombie stories in the last decade each to varying degrees of success.

The first issue plops us right into the thick of everything. A world that has been overrun by zombies that we presume must have ended WWII. We are introduced to a young girl and the lonely isolation she lives in is palpable. Jeff McComsey allows us to see her world through the high window in a Bell Tower in Stalingrad in which she utilizes her skills as a sniper shooting unsuspecting zombies. There is a sense that she has been doing this for quite a while by the notches she carves in the wall marking her kills along with her evident stock of supplies.

On what would be any other morning, she sees a scared child among the zombies, who she decides she must rescue. So she swings out of the window to the ground popping off zombies on the way. She picks up the boy, but is soon overwhelmed by the undead.

That’s when help arrives in the form of a one-eyed savior and his dog who help them escape to his hide out. The kicker comes at the end when they each discover that they know of each other as they are on opposite sides of the war. He’s a German officer and she’s Svetlana Gorshkov – Mother Russia.

The second issue picks right up as they form an uneasy alliance, at least for the moment as the German officer, Major Otto Steiner relates to her the details of the zombie apocalypse. This issue slows the pace down so they can understand just how this all happened.

McComsey’s art highlights the barren and despair reality they are living in and gives us a concrete understanding of the stakes. His dialogue is exactly how I would imagine a Nazi and Communist would react in such a circumstance. It’s realistic and without much fanfare, straight to the heart of the problem.

Since the rations in Steiner’s place are lacking, they decide to head back to the bell tower, but to do so they must go directly through the zombies and that’s where we leave them until next issue. I am along for the ride and am interested in seeing how these three, plus Brunhilde the dog, survive.

The zombie plot is really popular these days, but Jeff McComsey avoids the most cliché aspects as he dives into this period comic. I am really impressed and interested in the story and characters, with some mystery surrounding that whets my appetite for more. The third issue comes out in October and I can’t wait to see how this all unfolds. I will be looking into more work from the New York Times best seller!

Alterna Comics is a creator owned publishing company and they print their comics on newsprint which helps keep costs down and at $1 an issue, you can feel good about getting a solid read. Their titles are a great investment and worthy of your money. Look for their comics at your local comics store.

Released: June 14, 2017
Writer/Artist/Letterer: Jeff McComsey

Releases: Aug. 23, 2017
Writer/Artist/Letterer: Jeff McComsey

Releases: Oct. 25, 2017
Writer/Artist/Letterer: Jeff McComsey

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