'28 Days Later: The Aftermath' cover28 Days Later: The Aftermath is a graphic novel by Fox Atomic Comics meant to serve as a companion novel to the film and to set us up for the sequel, 28 Weeks Later, out May 11.

I'm a purist when it comes to movie-based comics. If they are linked in any way to the silver screen, they must contain one or all of the following factors:

• Some or all of the characters that are still alive post-film
• A similar level of gore and/or action, if not better
• Plot development we simply don't have time for in a flick
• Some tie-in for future films -- lead me in, man!

28 Days Later: The Aftermath contains a few of my criteria. As a result, I can only say it's worth a look-see. What it's got: characters, gore, and setup for the next film. Plot development -- eh. I mean there are explanations for things, but seriously I don't need them for this particular film. Left out, this graphic novel would be a short story, however, so I'll let that go for now.

The art by Dennis Calero, Diego Olmos and Nat Jones is fantastic, especially whenZombies attacking in '28 Days Later: The Aftermath' dealing with the bloodiest points. I enjoyed the striking difference in visuals between scenes of blood and gore, scenes of suspense and scenes involving the living.
That being said, my only real objection to the novel is the same one I had to the movie -- plot is presented in a disjointed fashion. Just when I'm jumping on the bandwagon of some approach to the situation, my perception is changed by someone else. Taken as a unit, the stories form a cohesive plot. Separately, however, they appear to set us up only to let us down.

What's the best thing about The Aftermath? The ending -- and I do not mean that in a derogatory fashion. I enjoy clean, less-than-subtle endings. This one fulfilled its purpose and left me interested in seeing the next one, which is all one can really hope for, right?

I'd like to stop here and let the horror buff in me come out. There are those who would say that it does no good to create a zombie comic, 'cause the poor buggers can't talk. Zombie speaking.To them I say check out this one! Ghaaaagh is a perfectly acceptable zombie phrase, and in this piece it is used with real panache! Kudos to Steve Niles and Co. for appropriate use of zombies in everyday conversation ;)

This graphic novel works well as a companion to the first film and setup for the next one, due out May 11. Without introducing spoilers, I'll say that it's a solid horror in that it's got blood, guts and a high body count. Horror buffs -- give it a once-over. It'll whet your appetite for the film!

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