Writers: Brian Buccellato & J. Young
Art: Matias Bergara
Colors: B. Buccellato
Letters: Troy Peteri
Reviewed By: Gregory Brothers
One of the things that many people fear more than anything is a disease that appears and spreads quickly throughout the community with no known cause or known cure. In these apocalyptic scenarios, the disease starts in many different ways including natural disasters that somehow disrupt the natural order of things. Enter Brian Buccellato and J. Young as they bring us the story of a rare disease that is unearthed after a hurricane hits the Southwest part of the United States. What makes this disease so unique? Just the facts that it makes the infected person crave the taste of human flash.
Cannibal #1 picks up after the disease has been declared a national epidemic and it spreads throughout the country. We are thrust into a small town somewhere in the swamps of Florida, town that up until this point has not seen any of these new version cannibals. Obviously rather quickly that changes or this could have been the most boring comic ever made. As the townsfolk start to head out to find out what happen we start meeting and getting to know more about some of the characters that we are going to be following throughout the series, and of course some of them have a story that on the surface is more mysterious then disease that has put the world on edge.
Personally, I love the concept behind Cannibal #1. Buccellato and Young could have just as easily used the flesh eating people concept and gone with Zombies instead, but they decided to go an original route and go with Cannibals. The story allows for a great deal of mystery, the first of which is what exactly is this disease and how did it come to exist and how had it been buried long ago. Once you are infected, does it take days, weeks, months, and years in incubate and become active? Once you get your fill of flesh for a day do you go back to normal until the void needs filled again, or is it an insatiable craving? If the disease has been declared a National Health epidemic, how is that this small town is just now having its first case? All of these are questions that will most likely be answered over the series and give Buccellato and Young quite a few paths that they will be able to head down and explore. Of course just as issue one comes to an end you are hooked with a new cliffhanger to get you coming back for more.
The art throughout really fits feel of that particular scene. Inside the bar and the morning after the perceived threat seems to have passed for now is right and jovial. While outside the use of darker, grittier, colors and shadows adds to the mystery and dread that we know is coming. The splash title page is brilliant use both colors and facial expressions as you get the sense of the pain that the fills this person. In more than one panel the facial expressions combined with the use of shadows and the traditional “horror film tropes” are used to give you an idea of what is coming next, only to be given a swerve by the writers at the last minute. To me this is a brilliant way to keep the readers guessing as to what is coming next.
Buy! Cannibal #1 takes the two different fears and combines them into a unique and entertaining story. In addition to the premise, the characters that we meet here are mysterious enough to let the reader know that the secrets and unknowns about the disease are not the only stories that will be unwrapped before us. If done right this series could become the next great comic book series that ends up on the small screen.