’68: Jungle Jim #1 Review

by Rob Caprilozzi

Story by: Mark Kidwell
Art By: Jeff Zornow & Jay Fotos
Publisher: Image Comics

Synopsis: Vietnam, 1968: Behind enemy lines, Private Brian Curliss is alone. The enemy caged him, the dead want to devour him and the voices in his head are driving him to madness. A madness that emerges in the form of an unstoppable killing machine wrapped in burlap and bamboo…

Curliss is a one-man-army, sworn to wade through a wet red jungle gone straight to hell in search of a ghost named Jungle Jim. To the Viet Cong, he's a nightmare. To POWs trapped in enemy hands, he's salvation. To the legions of shambling, hungry dead…He's the Grim Reaper in a gas mask.

MeatGrinder Studios and Image Comics return to the grim world of '68 with an all-new, four-issue series continuing the story of Jungle Jim. The brutal sequel to the original one-shot, Jungle Jim #1 fleshes out the new dark star of the Vietnam/Zombie apocalypse. Scripted by Mark Kidwell with savage artwork by Jeff Zornow and Jay Fotos. Covers by Jeff Zornow, Nat Jones and Jay Fotos.

Our thoughts: One of the things I like about the first issue of this mini-series is that you don’t have to have any knowledge of the ’68 universe or the “Jungle Jim” character. The other thing I like is that the creative team is made up of not only some of the nicest guys in the industry, but they are also hardcore horror fans.

Mark Kidwell’s writing for issue one is spot-on. He clearly captures the hell of the Vietnam War along with the chaos of a zombie apocalypse. The title character, Jungle Jim creeps silently through bushes as he takes out victims. Think “Snake Eyes” in a zombie apocalypse!

The artwork is simply amazing. Jeff Zornow pulls no punches as we see Jungle Jim leave a trail of death and carnage in his wake. It’s clear that Zornow has complete fun with this issue. We get to see a bunch of zombies in addition to an elephant being blown to bits with a rocket! A few pages later we are treated to one of the coolest full page spreads I have seen in quite some time, Jungle Jim taking on a handful of blood-thirsty zombies.

As soon as you close the final page of issue one you will be anxiously awaiting the second issue. If issue one is any indication, we will be seeing this one at year’s end up for an official horror comic award.

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