COMIC BOOK REVIEW: THE RAGE VOL. 2: KILL OR CURE / AUTHOR: PIERRE BOISERRIE / ARTIST: MALO KERFRIDEN / PUBLISHER: TITAN COMICS / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW
Pop culture is hungry for human flesh and it’s getting harder to find any zombie narratives worth more than a passing glance. Translated from the French by Titan Comics, The Rage Vol. 1: Zombie Generation proved to be a smart and savage take on the walking dead formula. With the second volume, Kill or Cure, writer Pierre Boisserie gets past the set-up and delivers one of the most intriguing spins on the subgenre you’ll read all year.
The Rage is the name of a disease given to all children transformed into zombie-like cannibals. The adults may be immune, but they’re also the kids’ only food stuffs. Kill or Cure is set two years later, with Boisserie taking The Waking Dead approach, exploring character relationships and personal consequence in the backdrop of a militarised France. Amino is a great main character, a former nurse desperate to find her infected son. Having organised a mission to the quarantined centre where he’s being kept, she discovers Irina, a little girl who seems to be immune. Given that she’s soon coveted for medical experiences, you can’t help but think of The Last of Us.
There seems little was lost in translation, with character interaction reading naturally, the dialogue sharp and realistic. The Rage is exceedingly dark and violent but never gets taken to farcical extremes. And while there’s a thin thread of twisted humour, it never loses site of its horror intentions. Milo Kerfriden’s relief print art style is wonderfully at odds with the savagery, but strangely it works.
The emphasis is on the fear of children, which is hardly new territory (they are called Chuckies, after all), but it’s slyly subversive, exploring adolescent dissonance and generation gaps. The kids might be chewing faces off, but the real bad guys are perfectly human. Channelling corporate greed, big pharmaceuticals and the place of religion in modern France, The Rage is the horror comic you have been waiting for.
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