Tag: Deluxe Edition, by Keith Giffen ISBN 9781608864492
Four out of five stars
This is a graphic novel that will appeal strongly to the fan of the zombie story, there is one main story and then a short trilogy, all involving the undead. In that context, most of the content is standard fare for the zombie story.
What is different is the mode of transmission of the “disease,” if you are “infected” all that you need to do is to touch your flesh to that of another in order to infect them. Hence the title “Tag,” for it is a lethal game of tag.
The story opens with Mitch and Izumi leaving a restaurant in what is the latter part of a break-up date. As they are walking to a cab, a sickly looking person walks up to Mitch, touches him and then says, “Tag! You’re it!” After a period of grogginess, Mitch passes out and wakes up in a hospital where he is now a member of the undead. He does not breath and has a body temperature roughly that of the temperature of the room. The doctors are baffled as he has been declared dead.
Once he is aware of his condition, Mitch searches online for any clues as to who infected him and for any person that he may want to get even with for past slights. One of the consequences of being undead is that the person decomposes, but very slowly. His personal relationship with Izumi changes into a different form as Mitch faces a very slow death.
The trilogy features a special forces soldier that has been turned into a zombie. He is a member of a unit that officially does not exist, so they are given the special search and destroy missions. As one would expect, the worldwide zombie apocalypse is due to a secret government biological program that went horribly wrong.
As a story, it is very engaging, for the zombies are not mindless, unemotional robots engaged in a simple-minded quest for human food. They retain high-level thinking processes, are capable of emotion and even remorse for what they do. That makes for a more complicated and entertaining story, one that I, someone that is generally not a fan of the zombie stories, can enjoy.