The Image Comics series 68 created by Mark Kidwell is a very unique and ambitious work of zombie literature as it does an excellent job of combining fiction with a real historical event. The first story arc of 68: Better Run Through The Jungle collects the original one-shot, as well as the four-issue mini series.
The story in 68 Volume 1: Better Run Through The Jungle starts at the end of the Vietnam War, February 13th 1968. Just when it seems that things are going to be good, zombies appear in Vietnam, and to make the situation even worse, the zombie plague has also stricken the USA (and probably the entire world). This story focuses on a group of US soldiers stationed in Vietnam doing their best to survive from zombie attacks, as well as enemy Vietnam soldiers.
Before I being to talk about how I felt about the story and artwork, the thing that’s important to know about this collected edition is that the one-shot is before the main story, and even though both them feature some of the same main characters and both drawn by the same artist, they stand alone from each other.
Better Run Through The Jungle is a good start to the entire 68 series as it brilliantly sets up the idea that zombies aren’t the only thing trying to kill soldiers in Vietnam. Mark Kidwell decided to have the series take place after the end of the Vietnam War, and have Vietnam Soldiers included to be another threat for those trying to survive the zombie apocalypse that’s happening in the story.
The interior art for this collected edition of 68 by Nat Jones is outstanding and it perfectly fits the story’s violent, dark, and gloomy tone.
I recommend reading the bonus content at the end of this collected edition because it includes notes from Mark Kidwell in which he shows the facts that he used from the actual Vietnam War in creating 68. These are great because it shows that Mark Kidwell did very good research before creating this series.
More bonus content includes two short stories called Mouth of the Babe, and Sissy which while written by Mark Kidwell, feature artwork by Tim Vigil (the artist and co-creator of the independent comic book series Faust).
Another important thing to know before reading 68 Volume 1: Better Run Through The Jungle (as well as the entire 68 series in general) is that it contains high amounts of gore, headshots, dismemberment, zombies eating people, people being set on fire, and people being blown up. Which is the reason why I can only recommend it to anyone who’s 18 years and older of age.
Mark Kidwell’s 68 has done a spectacular job at introducing something new to the zombie genre by blending it with a real life event, and Better Run Through The Jungle is an awesome beginning to the series.
Please read 68 if you are a fan of Zombies, Comics, and the Horror Genre.
I give 68 Volume 1: Better Run Through The Jungle 5/5 Stars, and Two Thumbs Up.