Apocalypse by Ryan McCoy

About two weeks ago Ryan McCoy, author of Apocalypse, reached out to share his work with me. And today, I’m reaching out to share it with others. There’s something to be said about Apocalypse.

With all the “zombie saturation” out there, I was worried that end-time, living dead stories had run their course. Overdone, maybe? Move a few degrees one way and you’re telling the story of Walking Dead. Another degree the other way, we’re looking at World War Z. Move another degree and great, it’s I Am Legend all over again. I just blew through Black Summer on Netflix. I play 7 Days to Die. I think my point here is obvious. But there’s a reason why content creators are still using this particular angle to tell stories; chaos, drama, adventure, clashing characters, emotional rollercoasters–everything you need to make a story break someone’s heart is always in them. And unsurprisingly, chaos, drama, adventure, clashing characters, emotional rollercoasters–all the great elements of a good living dead story–is in Apocalypse. Ryan breathes new life into the zombie narrative, thankfully.

Apocalypse focuses on a group of people–named mostly by profession–stuck defending a house; a sort of forgotten bastion in the middle of no where that seems to draw the attention of zombies in the area. Inner-group friction runs parallel with the need to fortify. Corrupt characters make themselves known. Flaws begin to appear. In the end, religious elements come into play as long-told prophecies, visions, and supernatural events take place. Apocalypse embraces the supernatural dynamic masterfully the way that Legion does.

Without giving anything away, the group dwindles down to a man and woman. The man mentions having visions and that it’s necessary for the woman to go on. “I need to make sure you live,” he says. I read into this as some kind of omen that the woman is special and that her journey has just begun. The story leaves the reader facing the pains of a cliffhanger in the end. (Augh, the familiar, strange agony that leaves us looking for a fix and needing more.) The last scene shows an army of angels descending but it’s hard to tell whether or not the woman is really saved.

Does this mean there’s going to be a second book? Well, I hope so! It’s quite possible that Ryan McCoy intentionally sets up the story in medias res to keep the audience interested; it’s an effective writing technique for post-apocalyptic stories afterall. If a second book does come, I hope it covers what happens to the woman, the “last” survivor, at the end and how the group ended up in that house in the first place. Where’s God in all of this? How did the outbreak even happen?

Aesthetically the graphics are great (just check out the trailer). Tirso Llaneta brings the story to life in classic-comic style. I’ll note that the graphics are black-and-white, though, for those who crave the added immersion full-color provides. Also, I admit wishing that the characters had more physically unique qualities about them while I read it because I’d get mixed up. I’d think, was that the Senator? No, the Rapist. Wrong again, it’s the Bodyguard! But this just might be me looking at it in black-and-white. Regardless, Apocalypse is something to check out and possibly a gem in the making!

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