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’68 Last Rites #1

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By Mark Kidwell, Jeff Zornow, Jay Fotos

“God… he’s so young.”

“Yeah… but he’s so damned good at it.”

“That just tells me he’s been through hell. And that religious fixation…”

“Yeah, Peter, Matthew, Mark… and ol’ Judas. All of em… scratched there in the stock of that old shotgun.”

The world is ending, Nixon is president,  it’s 1970, and there’s no internet! The world is a dark and cruel place…plus a bunch of zombies and cannibals are running around NYC and the entire country has shut down.

Writer Mark Kidwell starts off issue #1 of ’68 Last Rites right in the action as we’re following a man on the run, holding important government intel, as he’s being chased by a cannibal! This brings the pace up once you open the comic, and soon enough it’s right back up there again as we’re shown an apocalyptic version of NYC.

Kidwell introduces a wide range of characters as he tells a story that kicks off in 1970, but takes a trip back to 1969 for a scene that features Nixon and his Vice President Easy Rider. Nixon doesn’t seem to be agreeing with Rider’s ideas though as he gets back into his car to take advice from another advisor… a zombie?! A zombie that talks in grunts and growls, meaning Nixon would probably have an easy time understanding Scooby-Doo if given the chance (has that crossover happened yet?).

Penciller and inker Jeff Zornow is accompanied by colorist Jay Fotos as they present the gruesome action. The scene that kicks off the issue also lets you know what you’re in for as a sniper helps out the running government worker by shooting a cannibal wielding a butcher knife in the head from his high perch. It’s a direct hit as the sound/word “SPATCH” ejects from the side of his head. Hearing “SPATCH” can never be a good sign. The government worker falls to the snow-covered ground in this scene and we see frost covered skulls lying all around him.

The action in this issue is often pretty graphic (the 17+ rating could tell you that though) as guns go off in the big city and molotov cocktails ignite the streets. Kidwell, along with Zornow and Fotos have created a rebellion against the mess as a group of heroes (including the sniper mentioned above) sets out to fix up the city as best they can, but it’s going to be a hell of a task.

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