‘Monster Matador: Afripocalypse #1’ - Advance Comic Book Review

Steven Prince teased that the titular Monster Matador would be facing a fierce, new threat in Africa in the final pages of Tango of the Matadors, and Ramon is finally back to prove he is not just a protector of the New World. He joins an elite team of monster hunters to take down the xidachane, a variation of zombie native to several South African cultures.  This danger isn’t always visible to the naked eye, and it might even be an airborne virus. How can the team face off against a menace they can’t easily see, especially while they’re still struggling to work together?

During the final panels of Tango of the Matador, Prince reveals a group in Africa who have decided to reach out to the Monster Matador for help with their problem, but he carefully hides the details of this new antagonist.  Afripocalypse explodes with sequences out of a horror film of an armed man radioing to be pulled out, as his former companion transforms into something frighteningly inhuman.  After a judicious black panel with only red text, Ramon exits a helicopter in Africa to join a mission to take down this newly revealed evil.  The group doesn’t work like a well-oiled machine, since monster hunters tend to be a solitary lot.  Will Kalisha succeed in creating a functional team, or will the xidachane manage to pick them off one by one?

Afripocalypse starts a new Monster Matador story which presents a twist on the typical zombie mythos.  Ramon heads to somewhere in Africa where animals and humans have been transforming into flesh-eating creatures and attacking the local populations.  Kalisha’s last group started to set a bomb net to eradicate the source, but they didn’t complete the mission.  The current batch of hunters must head out in the forest, lure in the beast, and blow it sky high.  They just need to avoid killing each other first.

Fabio Alves clearly loves having the opportunity to expand his repertoire from the previous Monster Matador works with numerous new human characters, plus a variety of zombie-like undead throughout the thirty-two pages.  The helicopter sequences remind me of classic Vietnam war movies with red-tinted long shots reminiscent of films like Apocalypse Now.

I have been intrigued by the hint of this Monster Matador story since the end of Tango of the Matadors and jumped on the opportunity to read and review it.  While the zombie angle wasn’t what I expected, the dynamic storyline, interesting cast, and opportunity to learn about a new cultural interpretation of the walking dead (Xidachane is based on a real belief about undead.) entertained and elated me.  I’m hooked and need to know where this story is going, and this issue ends on a cliffhanger…

4.5 Clouds of Mysterious Nothingness out of 5


Creative Team:  Steven Prince (Story), Fabio Alves (Art, Alex Zief (Colors)
Publisher: 2510 Press
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