It is my belief that zombies make everything better, probably more so in fiction stories than in real life. Do you enjoy a good, rough ridin’, old west cowboy tale? Add zombies to that backdrop and you’ve got Dead or Alive. This is the debut issue, written by Scott Chitwood (Co-Publisher of Red 5 Comics, co-founder of TheForce.Net) and art by Alfonso Ruiz (Abyss: Family Issues, Ezra), and is on shelves right now and also available digitally at Comixology

The stage is set with a back story about an ancient Pueblo city discovered by a prospector in 1873. Impressive in it’s architecture and complexity, haunting in it’s apparently sudden abandonment by the Indian tribe who called it home. And this is where the fun starts.

Black Knife was a very bad Indian; a guy the others feared and   hated. He practiced dark magic and sacrificed his place in the  tribe for it. Black Knife also chose to go out in a hail of magic  puff powder, cursing the entire Pueblo city. Sure, we’ve seen this story before. The good people of the town banish the creepy guy/girl for being a witch/warlock/tomb raider, etc. Banished person says goodbye with a nasty curse that ensures all those good people suffer for being jerks. Except, this one is articularly fun and gory. You know why? Yep! Zombies!

I thought the idea of a zombie curse wiping out an entire Pueblo  city was pretty cool to begin with, but when the story then moves to the wild west and we meet cowboys Jed and Sam, the possibility of this walking dead curse standing the test of time only ups the creep factor. I mean, we all hope when the zombie apocalypse happens the flesh eating bums will just die off naturally at some point, right? What if the zombies die, but the whole thing can just happen again and again, regardless of time or location? 

Jed and Sam discover the gruesome murder of a town full of nice folks and learn that an evil, bad criminal named El Muerto is to blame. El Muerto also has a hefty price on his head. Thus begins the classic battle of good guy vigilante versus infamous outlaw.

This story is a fun, easy read. It’s familiar territory, but told in a silly, old west voice that I couldn’t help but enjoy. The artwork is colorful and fits perfectly here, just like it did for Abyss. Red 5 Comics always provides something different than the same old super hero and Dead or Alive is no exception. I see this story having the potential to continue being so entertaining, and I really like the approach of zombies created by a black magic curse which is an homage to the original “zombie” of voodoo legends.

I recommend you check it out. Read it digitally first and if you like it, please buy the print. Great, unique stories like this one often come to us via the small guys, independent publishers and creator owned work.