Sunday, August 3, 2014

Plants vs. Zombies: Lawnmageddon (Full Comic)

I have previously covered the comic Plants vs. Zombies: Lawnmageddon, based on the popular PopCap game, on this blog, although it was a print preview from SDCC of the digital comic that was coming out at the time. I am covering that same comic again, only this time it’s the full package after reading it from a hardcover collection. I have also mentioned a desire to play a couple of Plants vs. Zombies-related games that were then coming out, Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare and Plants vs. Zombies 2: It’s About Time; my interest on those games has since waned, with a complete disinterest in the former due to lack of an offline multiplayer function and being unsure about the latter (despite the fact that I now have a smartphone) due to it being a free-to-play game with micro-transactions (I was somehow lead to believe it would also come to PC, my preferred platform for using plants to kill zombies). I recently acquired the hardcover collection of Lawnmageddon at the last San Diego Comic-Con, even getting it signed by writer Paul Tobin (I wasn’t really aware of when he was signing stuff, I just happened by his signing on the same day I got the hardcover). After having waited to read the comic until it came to print (my preferred way to read about using plants to kill zombies), I would say the investment was totally worth it.

In the city of Neighborville, a large horde of zombies has risen from the sewers in search of brains to devour. Meanwhile, a boy named Nate Timely arrives home and goes up to his treehouse, unaware of the approaching zombies. In his treehouse, Nate hears a noise and, mistaking it for a threat, attacks. However, he receives a counterattack and it turns out to be a girl named Patrice Blazing. The two quickly become friends, but soon afterwards the zombies begin to invade the treehouse. As the two flee from the zombies, they are saved by attacks from sentient plants while Patrice leads Nate to the home of her uncle, known to everyone else as Crazy Dave.

Nate and Patrice's first encounter.

Paul Tobin’s writing definitely captures the spirit of Plants vs. Zombies, working in the various plants and zombies of the game while still managing to tell an interesting and humorous story. While the story can be somewhat serious, its setting allows it a sense of humor that lets it not take itself too seriously. This works in the comic’s favor, since the game itself never really took itself that seriously to begin with. What helps sell the tone of the comic is not only the personalities and interactions between the central characters, but also the occasional gag involving some of Neighborville’s residents, which are always good for a chuckle.

Ron Chan’s artwork does an amazing job replicating the general art style of Plants vs. Zombies, with any new characters drawn such that they seem to fit in with everything else from the game. While everything is represented from the games really well, there is a great range of emotion in many of the plants, allowing you to feel bad for them when something goes wrong while fending off waves of zombies. This is helped by the coloring by Matthew J. Rainwater, who gives the comic a suitably brighter color palette to match the look of the game and give the art more life than it already has.

Crazy Dave is crazy.

Plants vs. Zombies: Lawnmageddon is a comic I would highly recommend to any Plants vs. Zombies fan. The writing has a good amount of humor to it without detracting from the story and the art accurately represents the game while still being fun to look at on its own. If you are interested in reading this comic, I would suggest picking up the physical hardcover collection since you can have the entire comic in one spot. Those that read the comic when released digitally might also want to consider the hardcover if they desire having a physical copy. Though I would recommend this to fans of the series, the comic does a good job of holding up on its own, so those looking for a good laugh may also want to consider checking this one out.

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