For those who don’t know, Free Comic Book Day is an annual event where, on the first Saturday of each May, participating comic shops are given special comics by participating publishers to give away for free (this can also extend to figures for the popular Heroclix tabletop game); these comics are mostly reprints of a company’s older comic, but can also feature original material (IDW has used the event twice recently to kickstart a Transformers-related series). Each year, there is also a (lesser-known) follow-up event on the last Saturday in October called Halloween ComicFest, which is essentially Free Comic Book Day Part 2, but usually features different free comics for distribution, often featuring Halloween-themed books in the line-up (this is also a mixture of reprints and original material). Today was one such Halloween ComicFest, and one of the comics up for grabs was a mini-comic from publisher Dark Horse, a print preview of a digital series called Plants vs. Zombies: Timepocalypse (in a similar fashion to the SDCC version of Plants vs. Zombies: Lawnmageddon). Aside from having a funny subtitle, this series is meant to tie in with the mobile game Plants vs. Zombies 2: It’s About Time. Though this is only the beginning of a larger story, I decided to review it anyway to see how well this comic does with interesting the reader in wanting to read more. Having read it, I can say wholeheartedly that this does the job well.
Following the events of Plants vs. Zombies: Lawnmageddon, Dr. Edgar Zomboss builds a Sun Vaccum that will, as the name implies, absorb all sunlight so that zombies can feast on brains unimpeded. However, when he tells a zombie to make some Pop Smarts (Strawberry flavor), the zombie puts them in the Sun Vaccum instead of the toaster, causing it to explode and open a portal, scattering the Sun Vaccum’s pieces throughout time. Zomboss then orders the zombies to go through and retrieve the scattered parts.
Paul Tobin returns as the writer for this comic, which he revealed to me when I got Lawnmageddon signed at Comic-Con, and he does as amazing a job as ever. There’s plenty of humor abound in this snippet of Timepocalypse, and I enjoyed every moment of it, since it’s the kind that fits within the Plants vs. Zombies universe. We also get to see how Nate, Patrice, and Crazy Dave are doing in this, as they are the main human characters, and so far the story does well with fleshing them out from the previous story. Ron Chan also returns as artist (and presumably Matthew J. Rainwater as colorist; the credits are listed in an ad for the digital release), and they again prove to be a great compliment to Tobin’s style of writing and add greatly to the humor value of the story, in addition to making the characters very lively and accurate to the source.
The Halloween ComicFest version of Plants vs. Zombies: Timepocalypse is a great way to get fans of the Plants vs. Zombies comic a reason to come back and make them want to see what happens next. The creative team from Lawnmageddon returns for this series, which is good as I think they did a wonderful job with the previous story and it seems the two will share a similar tonality and enjoyment level as a result. As a preview, I think it managed to hook me once again and I would recommend Plants vs. Zombies fans check this out via its digital release or the inevitable physical hardback; I personally am going to wait for the latter before I review the full comic in the future, mainly because I prefer physical releases. In any case, if you haven’t already and are interested (especially as a fan of the games), I would also recommend checking out the Lawnmageddon comic, as it, while not entirely required, provides some background on the events of Timepocalypse.