Hello, my friends! We’ve begun to taste the true meat of the Halloween season. As such, it’s time to continue our Fried Gold-sized look into a particular movie-to-comic adaptation series known as…
Last time, we were introduced to Shaun, a slacker who works at a mundane electronics store and hasn’t been motivated to do much with his life, especially since his relationship with Liz has recently fallen apart. However, he and his fellow slacker friend Ed get a huge awakening when a zombie outbreak has fallen upon the greater London area. Now that things are starting to get serious for our main duo, let’s get right back into the proceeding events.
Published in August 2005, the second issue would go on to sell 8,770 copies during its initial run. Not much other else to give in terms of contextual backstory, so let’s rejoin our lovable gits and see how they handle themselves within this ever-growing apocalypse.
Issue 2 opens with Shaun and Ed safe inside their home as they learn from the newscaster on how the zombies can be taken out. Just then, the two backyard ghouls smash the backdoor window as they threaten to get in. As such, Shaun and Ed grab several items from the kitchen and head out back to deal with their problem. Despite numerous hits to the head, the various components from their cooking gallery are ineffective. Just then, Ed finds the record that Pete threw out last night and throws it at the zombies. As it shatters upon the obese ghoul’s face, they decide to use Shaun’s DJ records against their undead invaders. Despite a few more hits to their heads, it doesn’t slow them down.
As such, Shaun decides to go the shed. Despite its locked door, he easily rams through it and gets a shovel for Ed while he grabs his cricket bat. From there, they finally manage to take out the backyard zombies as they smash their undead heads into a bloodied pulp.
Two minutes later, they’re back inside the house as they hear from the newscaster that those who’ve been bitten by a zombie will start to act like them and that they need to be immediately isolated. They suddenly remember that Pete was bitten yesterday as Shaun cautiously calls up to him from downstairs. After Ed yells “Oy, Prick!”, they don’t hear a word from their fellow housemate and assume that he’s not here. Ed then offers a cigarette (or “fag” as it’s called in British slang, I’m not kidding), but Shaun says that he’s given those up. Suddenly, those smokes remind him of Liz as he gets an additional mention from the whiteboard in which he wrote upon last night, specifically “Get Liz Back”. He tries to call her up, but the phone lines are busy. Just then, he gets a call from his mother named Barbara. She then informs him that some men attempted to break into her house. Not only that, but they were “a bit bitey”. While she wasn’t bitten, Philip has. After Barbara mentions that her husband is feeling ill, Shaun and Ed tell her that they’re coming over to get her.
From there, Shaun comes up with a plan: They’ll take Pete’s car and drive over to Barbara’s house. From there, they’ll take out Philip, pick her up, head over to Liz’s apartment and wait out the zombie outbreak. Ed then asks why they should go hide out with Liz, especially since she just ended her relationship. Shaun admits that he still loves her, but Ed refuses to hang out at her place since he wants to be in a familiar setting with easy-to-reach exits. As such, Shaun revises his plan: They’ll drive to his mom’s house, kill Philip, pick up Barbara, head out to also get Liz and then hold up at their home until the zombie outbreak dies down. Ed likes the plan, but then Shaun realizes that their abode has already been easily broken into by previous ghouls. From there, they try to think of a better building to hide out in. Shortly upon realization, Shaun delivers his final plan: Drive to Barbara’s house, bash Philip’s head in, pick her up, go get Liz and then head out to the Winchester Tavern in order to have a beer “and wait for all of this to blow over”. With our heroes agreed on their strategy, Shaun peaks through the mail slot and sees Pete’s car. However, he then notices a small group of nearby zombies. Before he and Ed are about to head out, Shaun goes to use the bathroom first. After discarding his employee name tag, he then notices a figure standing in the shower. To his surprise, it turns out to be a fully-zombified Pete. Shaun worriedly tells him that he & Ed are going to take his car and that he can meet up with them at the pub before he rejoins his friend and heads out.
With the zombies quickly noticing them, they hop into the car and drive off. As the radio broadcasts about the ever-growing zombie epidemic, Ed decides to pop in a cassette tape involving his favorite music. Just then, they accidentally ram into a pedestrian as they head back to check on him. Upon noticing that it’s a still-living zombie, they drive off before eventually arriving at Barbara’s house. Ed then notices the Jaguar that’s parked there, to which Shaun explains that it belongs to Philip and that he doesn’t let anyone near it. Just then, Ed decides to stay put in order to keep watch. As such, Shaun proceeds to head in.
Once inside, he learns from Barbara that his stepfather is resting up in the lounge. Shaun wants to get her outside, but she’s currently waiting for a doctor to come by and help her husband. As such, he lets his mother prepare the tea while he goes to “take care of Philip”. Just as Shaun is about to bludgeon him over the head, Philip notices this and reveals that he’s still human. Barbara informs her husband that Shaun is taking them somewhere, but Philip isn’t willing to go since he doesn’t see his injury as gravely severe. With his mother not willing to leave without her husband, Shaun decides to talk with her in the kitchen. From there, they discuss about him not exactly having the smoothest of relationships with Philip. Afterwards, Shaun mentions that there were times when his stepdad “touched’ him. Having noticed that he made his mother upset, he quickly mentions that it was actually false. She then scolds her boy by stating that she’s been married to Philip for 17 years and that even though the two of them haven’t been on the best of terms with each other, she wants her son to respect her feelings and act more mature about it, right before her husband joins them.
In the end, Shaun takes both Barbara and Philip with him. Just as he wonders what happened to Pete’s car, it turns out that Ed purposely wreaked it so that they could ride in the Jaguar. Just then, a random zombie walks up and takes a lethal bite into Philip’s neck. Shaun comes in and kicks the ghoul away before convincing his stepfather to give him the car keys. After handing them over to Ed, they all pile into the vehicle and drive off.
Later, they arrive at Liz’s flat. After noticing that Philip has left the child locks on in his car, Shaun ultimately gets out and tries to enter. After he doesn’t get a response, he’s then forced to fend off a few more zombies before he climbs up the drain pipe and reaches her apartment. Upon being let in, he tells her that he intends to take her to a safe place. He then explains that it’ll only be a matter of time before the zombies discover them. Shaun even tells Liz that this isn’t about their defunct relationship, but it’s about their own survival and that they need to be in a place that’s far more secure. To the surprise of Shaun, Liz and David, Dianne concurs as she exclaims that they’re with him. In the end, the three roommates agree as Liz asks what he has in mind. Shaun explains that he has a car, but it’ll be cramped. As such, they’ll need to bring their own blunt objects in order to defend themselves. When she then asks what their plan will be, Issue 2 ends with him saying that they’re “going to the Winchester”.
As far as how this issue handles itself in terms of adapting its own slice of its cinematic counterpart, it mainly carries those particular events from the movie over to here. There were a few details from the film that didn’t come over within the inaugural issue, like Shaun (while in a tired and drunken state) writing his three important reminders on his refrigerator whiteboard prior to the massive zombie outbreak. However, there was a small moment over in Liz’s flat when she berates him for failing to live up to various promises. One of them being his broken obligation into giving up smoking, to which he simply tosses his cigarettes out at her apartment. As such, when Ed asks his friend if he wants a smoke, that detail comes back into play here since it reminds Shaun of her, thus making him concerned about her safety. However, those who only read this won’t get that callback. Despite that, it’s more of a realization with this issue and a detail flub with the inaugural part. Other than that, it effectively manages to display Shaun teaming up with his friend in order to gather his loved ones in this time of crisis. The art work continues to show off the story’s manic action and allows the characters to serve their cinematic roles in proper detail. There is some roughness, but it never gets too under-detailed as backgrounds are mainly present throughout the majority of the panels and the individuals get their general likenesses down. It sets itself up for the unique blend of comedy & horror to come while providing a few moments for our main characters to do within a steady pace. It’s still a nice read that mainly stays faithful to its cinematic source material and provides some good entertainment quality towards its readers. Now that the gang is all together, will they make it to the familiar tavern in one piece or will the massive outbreak hide some hidden terrors and unleash them when the proper time comes? Check back in next time to find out and make sure you keep your blunt weapons with you while you’re at it.
Shaun Of The Dead (created by Edgar Wright & Simon Pegg) is owned by Universal Pictures.