The Undisputed King of Nothing is a fascinating new post-apocalyptic comic series by Paul Stapleton. The comic follows a man as he grapples with being the last known survivor of a pandemic that wipes out the world’s human population. Due to his unique immunity to the virus, the protagonist becomes “The Undisputed King of Nothing”. Being the King of Nothing is not easy. The struggle to survive on a practical level is hard work. The loneliness is almost unbearable. Left alone with his endless thoughts, he struggles with his sanity. The Undisputed King of Nothing is survival from a British perspective. You could almost hear Pink Floyd playing in the background, “Hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way”. The dire nature of the situation is tempered with a dry, witty humor that is quite enjoyable. The Undisputed King of Nothing is a thinking man’s apocalypse. In terms of enemies, zombies and violent raiders pale in comparison to a ruminating mind left alone in an empty world.
Apocalypse Law 2 by John Grit is the second book in the series following the Ex-Army Ranger, Nate, as he struggles to keep his family safe in a post-apocalyptic world. This is a very fast paced and enjoyable read. Nate is a humble, reluctant hero that in many ways is the post-apocalyptic version of John Rambo. With Apocalypse Law, John Grit brings me back to the action movies of my younger years that I remember so fondly. Being vastly outnumbered and overpowered by an unrelenting, extremely violent group of ex-military raiders, Nate is forced to pull out all of the stops and resorts to using some “unconventional” weapons in defense of his farm. Nate and his female fighting companion, Deni, are truly stretched beyond their limits as they take on this gang of marauders. While you might be tempted to see this story line as cliché, Apocalypse Law 2 is full of surprises and will hold your interest until the end. If there is a post-apocalyptic action sub-genre (which there may very well be, excuse my ignorance), the Apocalypse Law series would certainly rate at the top of the list!
I really wanted to like Contagion. A movie about a worldwide pandemic must be good, right? Apparently not. Somehow they took a great subject with decent actors and made a terribly boring movie. The characters lack depth. Even Kate Winslet is mundane in this movie. Contagion was like reading about the Spanish Flu of 1918 in a microbiology textbook. It merely presents information. The plot twists, if you could call them that, were lame. Since I have only watched this movie once, I might have missed something that made it more entertaining. If that is the case, I sincerely apologize.
Apocalypse Law by John Grit is a very entertaining story about a man and his son struggling to survive on a small farm after an influenza strain kills a large part of the human population. After the last few books that I have read, it was truly fun that the main character in Apocalypse Law, Nate, is a retired Army Ranger that can kick some major ass! (what can I say, sometimes I get tired of the bad guys running the show!:) Naturally, some unsavory types make their way past the farm in the period following the outbreak and Nate is willing and able to defend himself and his son. Apocalypse Law reads more like an action movie. It is fast paced and full of suspense. This is a good book to read after you finish The Road by Cormac McCarthy. You could argue that The Road may be more realistic but Apocalypse Law sure is a lot more fun!
The Walking Dead: Season 2, Save the Last One gets at the heart of the matter: is it better to be dead in the post apocalyptic world? While Carl struggles for his life, Rick and Lori contemplate whether he might be better off dead. In their own way each of the characters, at least temporarily, decides that it is better to be alive than dead. This episode has some good old zombie killing action but it did seem a little dark – I mean I sometimes had difficulty seeing what was happening…maybe it was just my TV, or my eyes, or maybe it was a bad recording. Anyway, as always, it was a great show.
The Passage is an ambitious apocalyptic novel written by Justin Cronin that begins in the near future and spans almost one hundred years into the future. It is similar to Stephen King’s The Stand in that a virus that is being engineered in a secret government lab is released into the world. The government is working with a newly discovered virus trying to create “super soldiers”. This virus is unique in a number of different ways and takes on a life of its own through the death row inmates that are used as “guinea pigs” in the experiments. Obviously, the plan to create these “super soldiers” goes awry and the virus actually turns the victims into powerful, vampire like creatures that feed on the blood of other humans and animals. These vampire like creatures are responsible for both the spread of the virus and the destruction of the human population. The Passage is a haunting story that definitely left an impression in my mind. It is difficult to forget the armored steel passenger trains that are built during the crisis to transport survivors to safety. The Passage is a long story that is well worth the time. While some of the creations in The Passage are not new, Justin Cronin’s depiction of vampires versus survivors in a post apocalyptic world is entirely unique and satisfying.
Rick Grimes loses loses some blood in this episode called “Bloodletting” as some new characters are introduced and previous characters are developed. “Bloodletting” has a little less action than normal but I guess the more that you “know” the characters, it’s more exciting when they are getting chased by man eating zombies!
I am Legend is a novel written by Richard Matheson released in 1954 and has been adapted to the big screen several times, the latest being directed by Francis Lawrence in 2007. I am going to discuss the 2007 film as I just saw it again and thoroughly enjoyed it.
I am Legend tells a story of a man that survives a pandemic that kills most of the human population. Most of the people that aren’t killed by the pandemic are transformed into zombie / vampire type of creatures. These creatures feed off of other living creatures such as animals and of course, the remaining human survivors. Robert Neville, played by Will Smith, is a virologist working to find a cure for the virus. He also is the last human alive in New York City.
The pandemic is described through a series of flashbacks in which Robert Neville recalls, among other things, the horror of losing his family. I would recommend the movie just to see the scenes of a post-virus New York City which are amazing! I Am Legend is one of my favorite movies and I would highly recommend it.
The Jakarta Pandemic, written by Steven Konkoly, tells a story about a family in a small New England town through the onset and spread of a highly deadly influenza virus. The main character, Alex Fletcher, works for a pharmaceutical company and markets a new anti-viral medication. Alex is one of the few people in his neighborhood that has prepared for such a disaster which makes him a target in the community. The Jakarta Pandemic explores some important ideas such as self-isolation to prevent the spread of disease. While I wouldn’t describe this book as a literary masterpiece, I would recommend it as solid entertainment.
Earth Abides was written by George Stewart and released in 1949. The story follows the main character Ish, short for Isherwood, as he is one of the few people to survive a pandemic that kills the majority of the human population. Ish has an interesting perspective on the incident as he has an academic background andtends to view events through in a very historical, geographical way. Ecology and population dynamics are frequently discussed throughout the story. Stewart explores population fluctuations in nature in comparison to the die off of humans. Much of the story takes place in California, near San Francisco and follows online gaming Ish through most of his life following the outbreak. On a practical
level, this book contains more generalized preparation information such as the durability of canned food, hunting and gathering methods and the continuation of life without public water and electricity and the use of healthy supplements for this, which you can get from sites as https://tophealthjournal.com. While Earth Abides is certainly entertaining, it also provides a very unique perspective on the end of civilization and it will leave you with some very interesting ideas for your consideration.
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