Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Plants vs. Zombies: Lawnmageddon (SDCC Comic) - The Seeds Have Been Planted

If you've ever been to San Diego Comic-Con or read our post on it, you know that the convention can be like hell if you let it. One of the good things about it, though, is getting exclusives that you couldn't get anywhere else, be it a special edition of a toy or a comic book among many, many other things. Today, I am going to cover something from the latter, a comic called Plants vs. Zombies: Lawnmageddon. For those unaware, Plants vs. Zombies is a game series developed by PopCap, the same company responsible for the popular and successful Bejeweled puzzle franchise. The gameplay involves planting plants in a garden as you try to protect your house (and your brains) from waves of zombies. I've played some of the game before and I enjoyed what I've played of it, and I plan to play the upcoming sequel titles, Plants vs. Zombies 2: It's About Time and Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare (the latter when it comes to Xbox 360, since I have absolutely zero interest in owning an Xbox One). Getting back on track, Lawnmageddon was an exclusive $2 comic at Comic-Con, via the Dark Horse booth, and with the help of my parents, my brother and I managed to secure a couple of autographed copies right when they were running out for the convention (on Preview Night no less) and I thank them for their effort. I actually got to reading the comic last night, and I can say that I liked what I read...so far.

The story of Lawnmageddon, written by Paul Tobin, follows two kids, a boy named Nate Timely and a girl named Patrice Blazing, as they deal with an invasion of zombies that emerge from the depths of the sewers. The comic itself is only 12 pages long, so I don't think I can say much about the story, but I do think it's an interesting set-up. The introduction of these kids to the world of Plants vs. Zombies may seem odd since there was maybe only one important character in the original game, Crazy Dave, but I do think they're good at their purpose of moving the plot along, since I'm not sure how else you can create a coherent comic out of a game like that (plus, there is actually an interesting way Crazy Dave is worked into the story). Either way, I think Paul Tobin did a good job with the writing from what I have seen.

Then there's the art by Ron Chan, with colors by Matthew J. Rainwater. I think Ron Chan does an amazing job capturing the art style of the game, particularly with the designs of the titular plants and zombies, enhanced further by Rainwater's colors. The new child characters, along with the other humans you see in the comic, also look like they fit right in with whatever shows up from the game. There is no doubt here that Chan and Rainwater did an amazing job in the art department.

Quick, buy it before they run out!
Now the reason I said "so far" and "from what I have seen" is because, when I finished reading the comic, I found out exactly why it was an exclusive: at the back of the comic, on the inside cover, there is an advertisement for Lawnmageddon being a digital comic, which from the ad appears to be a six-issue deal. I decided to review this comic anyway because of the way it was packaged as a one-shot book, but I do plan to revisit this comic later once it finishes its run.

The Comic-Con version of Plants vs. Zombies: Lawnmageddon serves as a good first look at the digital series and gives those that bought the exclusive a good taste of what's to come. For those interested in checking it out, especially if you are already a Plants vs. Zombies fan, I would suggest doing so, either as it is released or, for those who prefer print material (like me), by holding out for the eventual hardcover collection, which can be pre-ordered on the Dark Horse website. I think the print comic that I read is enjoyable so far, but as for the overall quality of the finished product, we shall have to wait and see.

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