Sunday, September 18, 2016

Resident Evil: The Marhawa Desire - Volume 03

The Resident Evil saga continues in Volume 3 of this series of graphic novels that totes itself to be the prequel to Resident Evil 6.  Writer and artist Naoki Serizawa has created a unique take on the zombie outbreak genre, this time involving an isolated school, along with a teacher and a student, both of whom harbor some very deadly secrets.

The action is definitely escalated higher than it would seem possible in this volume, as the story picks up directly from the "surprise" ending of Volume 2, which revealed that the thought-dead student Nanan Yoshihara is actually alive and transformed into a hideous T-virus monster!  The three-page color prologue only whets the readers appetite for what is to come in the pages ahead.  And while I like the color art, I must admit, the story definitely lends itself better to the black-and-white pages, which truly keeps the mood with Serizawa's art.  The blood, gore, and violence that is rampant throughout this story becomes somehow more horrific in B&W, almost like watching a horror film from the '50s.

Little Ricky (yeah, not that one!) finds himself facing danger at every turn, from the first page to the very last.  From his fight with Nanan in the opening scene, to his battle with the last person he would ever think started the whole virus at the school, to watching a friend be eaten by a group of students-turned-zombies, to an all out last ditch effort to fend off a horde of attacking zombies - and just when Ricky thinks the end has come, and he holds a gun to his own head so he doesn't face the fate of being eaten alive, the cavalry shows up in the form of Chris Redfield and his team!

Yes, as indicated above, readers finally learn exactly who started the spread of this new strain of the T-virus at Marhawa Academy and why.  What started out as an attempt to save a friend's life turned into an unexpected and uncontrollable hunger and disease that has destroyed the school and nearly everyone in it.  It's a sad twist that shows just how far some people will go to save a friend - at any cost!

No matter how much violence and gore rips through the pages, Serizawa manages to maintain the human side to the story.  This keeps you not only interested in the characters themselves, but gives you a vested interest in their survival against the virus-infected monsters that are roaming the school.

My Resident Evil habit satiated for a moment, I can't wait to get to the next two volumes in the series - to keep my hunger satisfied until the new movie comes out in January!

RATING:  9 shady outsiders out of 10 for keeping humanity alive, even amidst the disease-infected world of Resident Evil.

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