Art by: Menton3 Lettered by: Tom B. Long Published by: IDW Publishing
Take a classic horror like The Fly, try and give it a bit of a more recent feel and maybe, just maybe, hop onto the coat tails of the ZOMBIE concept. Then bang: there you have a new offering from IDW. The Fly worked on the screen due to a number of factors, you have the tight setting, the excellent central character and a solid story. However, that was then, in the past, and The Fly: Outbreak is not that story. To be perfectly honest, it’s hard to place the story at all. The setting in this issue is fine, it lends itself to the over saturated horror genre – it could be out of Silent Hill, or Resident Evil – but no, that pretension leads to very unfavorable comparisons. You lack the necessary atmosphere to imbue the book with real bite. That, in part is due to the flat art, as well as a weak story.
There are times when the artist can elevate the impact of a story beyond the source material but delivering something spectacular. However, there are times when a really great story is hamstrung by mediocre art. What we have here is a flat, pedestrian story with unworthy art. The color work is lamentable and distracts from the story, the set up of the pages is poor. Considering the size of IDW it is a surprise that this passed their editors – I’ve seen much stronger efforts in terms of creativity from the indie scene than on The Fly. If this book were aimed at a younger audience, it would possibly allow for some of the shortcomings, as it is (given some of the more risqué material) the reader is under no illusion as to the intended target of this book. It is quite rare for a mainstream publisher to present us with such a turkey of a book – where there is such a mismatch of skills from the poor story (weak characterization and dull dialogue) to the ineffectual art. This is a woeful entry into the pantheon of horror comics. One to avoid.