“You know what the most dangerous weapon on Earth is, Aston? A broken man.” This depressing quote from the first issue of George C. Romero’s The Rise wonderfully illustrates the metaphor of the zombie scourge created by his father, horror legend George A. Romero. Zombies are mindless creatures, driven only by the need to consume. They slaughter without mercy or conscience, and they serve nothing but their violent greed.
THE RISE IS A PREQUEL TO NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD
Zombies represent man at his lowest state. They are a metaphor for what happens to the human soul when greed, lust, and selfishness take over. The dark impulses of mankind are the virus, and the zombies are those who serve only themselves. Considering this, it should come as no surprise to readers of The Rise #3 that the zombie plague was engineered by men without souls.
Corrupt politicians and military officers were responsible for the weaponization of the plague, seeking to use it as a secret weapon during the Vietnam war. Unfortunately for the people living in the world of The Rise and Night Of The Living Dead, these corrupt people in power would never be able to control the “weapon” which they had engineered.
The Rise #3 features some of the most visually magnificent zombie gore ever seen in the comic book medium. Artist Diego Yapur and colorist DC Alonso unleash their macabre talents throughout the issue. The visceral beauty of their talents takes full form in a deadly prison fight between zombies and soldiers goes down in spectacularly grotesque fashion.
THE RISE IS GEORGE C. ROMERO’S STORY
Flamethrowers turned the living dead into even uglier, angrier creatures as bits of human meat flew through the air. Fans of The Walking Dead, particularly the prison arc will find this to be a surprisingly nostalgic treat. This comic book only uses blacks, whites and reds for the color scheme, creating a nightmare that is visually reminiscent of The Walking Dead and Night Of The Living Dead, while still standing on it’s own bloody feet.
George C. Romero had some impossibly big shoes to fill when he decided to continue the legacy of Night Of The Living Dead. Others have tried to expand the universe created by the revolutionary George A. Romero, but few have been able to recapture the disturbing magic of the original story. The Rise could be the first installment in the franchise to live up to the legend of the first major zombie movie.
THE RISE BRINGS ORIGINAL ZOMBIE HORROR TO THE MODERN ERA
The Rise #4 should continue to build the dizzyingly dark and depressing political element while serving up fantastic zombie killings, and I cannot wait for the next installment to release.
In addition to the main story featured in The Rise #3, there is a bonus story at the end by Joseph Illidge titled A Touch Of Red: How George C. Romero’s “The Rise” Got Its Look. This wonderful bonus tells the story of how the uniquely horrifying look came to be. Comic book aficionados will appreciate the textless artwork featured alongside the rose in Illidge’s story.
Illidge gloriously sets the stage for the rest of series on the last page of the issue.
“We’re now at the halfway mark with THE RISE, and the blood is spilling all over our characters and the world at large. THE RISE is as much a celebration of the power of sequential art storytelling as it is of enduring legacy, and everything up until now was a warmup for the crimson carnage ahead”.
If that doesn’t get the blood pumping in the veins of horror fans, I don’t know what will. Heavy Metal, George C. Romero, Diego Yapur and DC Alonso have crafted a thrilling horror comic that should not be missed, and this issue continues that story with style and tension.
The Rise features an incredibly intense story that moves fluidly thanks to the precise paneling and visual design. DC Alonso may only have access to whites, blacks and reds, but he makes those colors sing, exploring every shade and hue imaginable while the zombie apocalypse begins to unfold. The story gets a tad convoluted at times, partially due to the mysterious nature of The Rise, but in general, the plot moves along as smooth as butter. I would give The Rise #3 8.5/10, but the overall run could certainly score higher by its conclusion.
What did you think of this issue? Have you read the first two? Are you a zombie fan at all? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below or on our social media!