Thanatos (“Than”) is a man who prepares. He lives in a small compound surrounded by fence and barbed wire, guarded by his dog, Zeus. He’s a hunter, and has some experience crafting his own weapons inspired by his love of George Romero films. His work-life is a little less than satisfying (his boss seems hell-bent on making Than miserable), and his love-life seems to have a few bumps as well, namely his girlfriend’s daughter, Dinah (whom he dislikes for reasons that are still a little unclear in this issue, although he refers to her as “mutant”). Still, if a zombie apocalypse were to go down, Than would be the guy you’d want on your team. And by the middle of the issue, a zombie apocalypse does in fact start. When the initial dust settles, Than and Dinah are stuck with each other.
We’ve all seen enough zombie shows/movies/comics to know how these things start, and Arise is no exception. There’s gore a-plenty, and the warrior-type getting saddled with a kid isn’t exactly new. Still, the book has promise. How did the zombie outbreak occur, and was Than’s preparation for it born out of paranoia or some foreknowledge? The character of Thanatos is very interesting (starting with his name, which in Greek mythology is the daemon Death—is Than a human who named himself this, or an actual daemon?), and there’s a lot of room for his story with Dinah to be expanded on. Why doesn’t he like her? Is “mutant” just a general slur, or is there something literal about this name? All of these questions have me wanting more, and the artwork plays into it: while Dinah looks like a little doll, Than resembles Lyle Lovett with a mohawk, further cementing the odd-couple nature of their relationship. I’m looking forward to the next issue to see where their story takes them. I give it 4 out of 5 Lightning Bolts.
Writer: Jay Reiter
Artists: Vince Locke, Lauren Affe
Publisher: Satyrn Studios
Release Date: 6/18/14