Mother Russia #1 Review: A Fresh Premise With Not-So-Fresh Elements

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Mother Russia #1

It's Stalingrad in 1943, and instead of the waning days of World War II, it's the apocalypse itself. The dead have risen and are swarming the streets of the city. A woman, an infamous sniper known as Mother Russia, picks the innumerable horde off one by one until she spots a small child wandering through the mass of the dead. Mother Russia knows she must save the child, and she braves the hellish streets to do so.

The problem with a subgenre like the zombie story being as overwhelmingly saturated as it is at this point. It's really hard for anyone to come to the table with a unique take on this subgenre. The fact that the zombie apocalypse story is already a subgenre, meaning it's already a fairly specific type of story, doesn't exactly help.

Even the idea of the alternative zombie apocalypse story has been done to (un)death, with stories like Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and Marvel Zombies already taking the piss out of zombie stories by juxtaposing them with things you wouldn't think of.

The craze has died down some, but I don't think it'll ever return to its pre-Zack Snyder's Dawn of the Dead levels again. Even criticizing the overabundance of zombie stories is pretty old hat by this point. I can't even can't come up with a fresh criticism of the whole thing.

That being said, I don't want to say that people should stop working with this genre, because what if someone does have a fresh take on zombies?

It is this overabundance that makes it hard to talk about Mother Russia itself. I hate that. Shouldn't a comic criticism be about the comic itself? Yes, it should. But it can't really be done here, because almost everything this comic has to offer has been done.

Zombies in World War II? Call of Duty: World at War, of course. Lone survivor taking on the hoard? Well, take your pick of first acts of almost any zombie movie. Black-and-white zombie comic? Walking Dead. Two people who want to kill each other having to come to terms in order to fight the hordes? Walking Dead again, as well as Fear the Walking Dead, but Snyder's Dawn of the Dead and Call of Duty have this element too.

On that last plot point, a German soldier takes the scene and comes face-to-face with Mother Russia. You can kind of call it from a mile away, not helped when the guy yells "Schnell" at one point.

The art is good, and I have respect for anyone who solos an entire comic, taking on both writing and art. It does a lot of showing instead of telling to convey facts about the character of Mother Russia.

The problem is that the comic just has nothing new of substance to bring to the table. Unfortunately, this one has to get a pass.

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About Joshua Davison

Josh is a longtime super hero comic fan and an aspiring comic book and fiction writer himself. He also trades in videogames, Star Wars, and Magic: The Gathering, and he is also a budding film buff. He's always been a huge nerd, and he hopes to contribute something of worth to the wider geek culture conversation. He is also happy to announce that he is the new Reviews Editor for Bleeding Cool. Follow on Twitter @joshdavisonbolt.
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