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Remains Paperback – December 14, 2004

2.8 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Steve Niles is one of the writers responsible for bringing horror comics back into prominence, and he currently works for the six top American comic publishers--Marvel, DC, Image, Dark Horse, IDW Publishing, and Radical Comics. He is the creator of "30 Days of Night "and its six sequels, "Criminal Macabre", "Wake the Dead", "Alistair Arcane", "Freaks of the Heartland", and "The Lurkers "(all adapted or in development as feature films), and the writer of "Batman: Gotham After Midnight "and "Simon Dark". He lives in Los Angeles.

With AVENGERS: KANG DYNASTY, Dwyer returns to his super-hero roots after garnering recognition in the comic-book "underground" for his cult hits LCD and Black Heart Billy.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 116 pages
  • Publisher: IDW PUBLISHING (December 14, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1932382380
  • ISBN-13: 978-1932382389
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 6.5 x 10.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #883,552 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Of all the type of monster-based stories I like to read it's the one about zombies and them taking over the world that catches my eye all the time. Zombie movies, novels, games and comic books are like gold to me. I was surprised and excited when I heard that Steven Niles was going to do a zombie comic book mini-series. I thoroughly enjoyed his 30 Days of Night comics. I even remember the good work he did in tandem with Clive Barker for the mid-90's Night of the Living Dead: London comic book. I really was interested in seeing Niles take another crack at writing a zombie story. He finally did and its called Remains.

The time finally came to reading the collected volume of the miniseries and I have to say that it didn't blow me away. It's not as bad as Toe Tags by Romero (he should stick to making zombie movies) but also not as great as Kirkman's The Walking Dead. Steve Niles' Remains falls right down the middle. The horrofic nature that makes zombies such great monsters is shown in full-color courtesy of Kieron Dwyer's artwork. All the gory and bloodspatter zombie movies and stories have is here as well and it's one of the pros in the overall finished product. I also thought the cause of the zombie apocalypse was a darkly comic and interesting twist on the zombie origin. Who would've thought that a booger-pickin' brat would mean the end of the world.

Where Remains doesn't get as right as it did with the zombies and the basic premise of the story is in the characters. None of the characters in the book seem well-thought out. They're all cliched and almost caricatures of your typical survivor template. There's really no sense of sympathy I could garner to want these people to survive.
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I have started to pick up as many zombie comics as I can find on Amazon, most of which pale in comparison to "The Walking Dead" by Robert Kirkman, who just about everyone who has reviewed this work has referred to already. Its kind of tough to compare something that comes off as a casual whim of a story to the epic feel of TWD though. I would instead compare this to the likes of Zombies!: Feast and Zombies!: Eclipse of the Undead, which are more in line with this.
Kirkman has chosen to make something substantial and ongoing, and after six volumes, with the seventh coming out, none of the others I have read so far even hold a candle to it. His characters have a real feel to them, they are vivid and raw. In other, shorter works, we are usually subjected to stereotypes and uninspired, angry people willing to turn on each other with little to no explanation.
This was a twenty minute read that I picked up used from Amazon and like the others I have mentioned above, it wasn't all that memorable. Much like in Zombies!: Feast, the characters, for the most part, are purposefully loathesome and the small amount of background you get doesn't make you have any sympathy for them. The cause in this story, is nuclear radiation, with some of the zombies getting extra dosage, which makes them into...superzombies?
Despite the routine here, I just enjoy zombie books and graphic novels so take that into account with the 3 star rating. That plus the fact that we get a point/counterpoint between Scott Ian and Patton Oswald in the front on the pros and cons of fast zombies vs. slow zombies. That was the best part of the entire book.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
We all know that there have been a million zombie graphic novels of late, and it's getting harder and harder to stand apart from the pack, and Remains barely pulls it off. It's a classic case of being worth a look, but won't blow you away. It's good, but not great. There's much better stuff out there, but you could certainly do worse.

The basics are this: two casino employees, predictably a man and a woman, are the only survivors, and end up fighting each other with words far more often than they fight the undead with bullets. It explores a concept not often seen in zombie media: what happens if two people survive together but hate each other? Well, the story answers that question well enough, but it's easy to see that they could have done better. The artwork is rather crude, the storyline is rather basic, and it's hard to be sympathetic towards the characters. Simply, there really isn't anyone to root for. Too much time was spent showing the characters getting on each others' nerves rather than exploring why they hate each other. It's as though they hate each other just because they can, leading to rather one-dimensional characters who aren't riveting enough to make this a really good story, just good enough if it can be found at a good price.

Again, it's good enough. I'm glad I got it, you probably will be as well, but it won't be your favorite. It's worth the time to read it, but when the day is over, it hovers barely above average.
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Format: Paperback
I hadn't read Steve Niles' work before "Remains", but I'd hate to think that this dreck is representative of it. No quarrel with Kieron Dwyer's artwork--could've been cleaner, and there is a sketchbook-y quality to it, but I don't mind that--but the story was weak, the characters uncompelling, the dialogue unconvincing, and the plot derivative--and derived from the most hackneyed cliches ever--at best.

The worst part, though, is that it's DEEPLY offensive--a nuclear holocaust/zombie-filled post-apocalyptic world (that alone ought to tell you how worn out the story is) brought on by a SPECIAL PERSON? And a crass, vulgar stereotype of a special person at that? Niles' retarded character makes the portrayal of one in "There's Something About Mary" look sensitive and sympathetic by comparison.

I get that this is a zombie story with all the requisite gut-munching, rotten corpses, and survivors planking each other madly that goes along with it, so I wasn't expecting anything politically correct. And I am, as Robert Benchley described himself, "an old public schoolboy with a strong stomach," and pretty difficult to offend, but Niles' retarded character was just uncalled for and revolting.

I read all five issues in half an hour, and I'm ticked that it took that long. If you enjoy the zombie genre, read Robert Kirkman's "The Walking Dead" from Image--not only the best of the zombooks, but one of the best comics ever. Kirkman genuinely loves his subject, and it shows. "Remains" reads like a cheap attempt to cash in on the current zom craze, and therein lies a cautionary tale.

Comics creators, be careful what you put your name on. Your reputation rides on every book you put out. I was planning on getting into Niles' "30 Days of Night", but after "Remains", I probably won't.
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