Comic Book Review: Mall #1
Mall tells the story of the end of humanity. Well, almost the end. What is left of human civilisation (that we know of) lives within the confines of a city mall. Living in gangs created on a store-by-store basis, the last dregs of the human race subsist permanently on the precipice of civil war. The embers are fanned to flames when Delmon Gold, leader of one gang, is killed. Andre Walker must now prove he is innocent, despite what everyone says…
Get in loser, we’re going shopping
George A Romero would be so proud. Mall delivers a fresh, modern and even more chilling take on the violent, messy fall of humankind. Fewer zombies, too. Clean, fine lines and more than few deliberately haphazard ink blots paint a bleak and frantic portrait of the way life may turn. Put this on newsprint and that right there is an absolute dream.
It’s no surprise that anything Michael Moreci touches is a masterpiece, but Dauberman’s influence is clear, too. This partnership adds another layer to Mall that helps create something that is shaping up to be really, really special. Did somebody say instant cult classic? Hartong’s art is at once frenzied yet exquisitely refined for the end of the world. Along with Duke’s gorgeous command of colour and its subtle power, and Cambell’s (unerringly) dynamic and purposeful lettering? Well, that’s just the perfect storm.
We’re going to the Mall
The sense of desperation, lack of hope, and simmering panic are palpable throughout Mall. You feel on edge, and you feel like the mobs are baying for your blood, too. That sense of unease so emblematic of horror done well runs through each panel of Mall in a way I really didn’t expect when I started reading. You’ll be reading and turning the pages with increasing urgency as you go, I promise.
For a story so familiar, Mall does well to serve us plenty of twists and hooks that still feel new and unexpected. It was a bold move to set an apocalypse in a shopping mall and stand up to the comparisons to one of the greatest horror movies of all time, but holy Mall of America, I think they’ve gone and done it. This is one purchase I assure you that you won’t regret.