What would you do if you were at the epicentre of the zombie apocalypse? Would you stock up on supplies and try to leave town? Would you barricade your door and hide in the basement? Would you try to solve the undead problem and cure the zombies? Or would you up your prices and buy as much property as you could? While some people would see this as the end of the world, George Reynolds, manager and owner of George’s Market, the biggest food store in Evans County, sees something different. He sees opportunity.

READ: Catch up with DEDICATION with our review of issue 3!

After the end of DEDICATION #3, following the aftermath of a zombie siege, George’s Market is back up and running, though Evans County is now in quarantine. George is marking up all stock, offering vouchers that will expire sooner than most of the produce on show and buying up property throughout the town. While society starts to collapse around him, he is making a quick buck. The first half of this issue deals with George’s wheeling and dealing, exploiting customers and other businesses for his own personal gain. While the rest of the series was more of a commentary on consumerism (could you really tell the difference between the zombies and the customers?), this is a criticism of capitalism at its finest. Even a zombie outbreak can offer business opportunities if you’re savvy enough, and George is on the ball.  While the issue could be seen as steeped in cynicism, the script makes light of George’s actions, making for a dark comedy whose humour really does land well.

Dedication

However, the issue starts to lose its way towards the end. This may not necessarily be due to the writing, and might be an editorial decision. Regardless, the issue makes a massive leap in explaining what happens if you get bitten by a zombie. Some people have telepathic powers, one person can shape shift, another has fire shoot out of their eyes… did I miss something? There’s talk of alpha zombies and passing on the zombie virus but there is no introduction of these ideas. They are just there. I went back over the previous three issues to make sure I didn’t miss anything, but everything seemed normal. I can only assume that this is explained in another Double Take series. It would make sense that there would be some crossover between the comics but it left me slightly confused by what was going on. I can see that Double Take has improved their ‘previously’ pages to explain what has been going on. In my view, however, if there is a sudden change in character circumstance (i.e. having telepathic powers or the ability to shape shift), this needs to be addressed in some form.

READ: Double Take launches their fourth line of titles. Find out more here!

There is some really good experimentation going on with the layouts within this series. The panelling is a bit more dynamic in parts, with some executed well and others…not so much. George’s phone conversations with various business owners as he cons them out of their companies flow really well. The gutters between each panel are black, making me feel like he’s connected with his victims via a thick phone cord. His knocking out a violent customer works less well. The action takes place in three panels down the left of the page, the customer slumping in two panels on the right. But the eye is naturally drawn from left to right, and despite dialogue balloons breaking up the action, you need to read those pages more than once to realise what is going on. The art is strong and energetic, with thick flowing inks. However, there is a moment mid issue where the art style changes for two pages, with thinner, more dynamic inks. It suits the story and is brimming with more nastiness that the regular art, but it does not fit within the overall style of the issue.

Dedication

READ: We talk to one of DEDICATION‘s writers, Matt Summo!

I had concerns about where the series could go when it felt it had reached a natural conclusion after issue 3. Watching George making deals to own as much of Evans County as possible does, however, create potential for a larger story. While the zombie side of things is starting to become confusing, there’s still enough in the DEDICATION series to enjoy.

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