Zakudoh #1
Written by: Justin Phillips
Art by: Marcelo Salaza and DC Alonso
Published by: Insane Comics

I’m not quite sure how to review Zakudoh #1. It feels like just trying to describe the comic will then end up being a gigantic spoiler. And who wants that? Especially for an indie comic…you don’t want some jerkweed reviewer giving away your whole plot. So – I’m going to do a very light review. I’m going to grade the book. I’m really not sure how I’m going to review this without telling the plot and not ruining anything should you want to pick this issue up (and I’ll tell you right now that you should).

Zakudoh follows a young kid named Zachary. Zack is your average poor kid growing up in your average poor town in Florida. He lives with his grandmother and dreams of being a martial artist. But Grandma don’t have time for that. She wants Zack to have his head out of the clouds.

Zack goes to his last day of school and then boards the bus. He ends up standing up to a bully named Meech. They don’t get in a brawl. Actually Zack is match for Meech. But after they get kicked off the bus Meech actually makes friends with Zack. He’s impressed that this kid stood up to him. He’s lucky…most bullies would probably just kick his ass and laugh.

And then…

This is the point where I’m conflicted on how to go ahead with the review. I’ll go with the bully. As I’m reading this book I had no clue what to expect. You have this poor kid who has to go to his last day of school and then the whole thing turns into a bullying situation. It really bummed me out. Who wants to see some kid getting the crap beat out of him? But Zakudoh isn’t about that. Not at all. The book takes a HUGE right turn and suddenly my eyes widen. My jaw dropped. I was like, “Holy crap…I did not see all of this coming.”

The cover should have been my first clue that there’s something sinister involved. I only glanced at the cover as I went to read the book. The cover has a kid in a ring of fire (and, as I say that, Johnny Cash comes right into my mind) with this looming entity watching him. There are no facial features. Just a hooded “person(?)” with glowing red eyes. What does the kid (Zachary) have to do with red eyed grim reaper guy?

I’m leaving something out and it isn’t most of the plot of the book. The book actually starts out with Zack hurt. And I mean really hurt. So is it the bully? Is it red eyed grim reaper guy? Is he a ghost? A demon? Is he Zakudoh? Who the hell would want to beat the crap out of some young kid? I mean you can see some punkass bully doing it…but a supernatural creature? What’s the motivation?

The book hadn’t really hooked me up until the right turn and then it was like hitting a brick wall going 120 miles per hour. Suddenly the book became so good. It instantly hooked me. Suddenly I was speeding from page to page. What does the cover have to do with the plot? How does hood guy play into Zachary’s storyline? How does getting hurt in the beginning of the book have to do with a bully? Does it at all? Is it all super creepy guy?

I’m asking a bunch of questions that I personally know the answer to but I don’t know if asking readers of this review those questions is enticing enough to make you go, “Yeah. That’s a book I want to read.”

So here it is: This book is a kickass supernatural thriller that will stop at nothing to tell its story. Having a child protagonist in a story like this is truly a bold move. I’m not a big fan of bullies or bullying. The story actually made me uncomfortable in several spots. But there is truly a method to the madness here. There’s a reason behind the bully. It plays into what Zachary wants most in the world. You can’t guess where the book is going. You can’t guess the end of the issue. After reading this book you’ll be just like me…asking, “WHERE THE HELL IS THE NEXT ISSUE!??!?!”

I feel that this is probably one of the most cryptic reviews I’ve ever done. It is what it is I guess. Just know this – if you are looking for a great supernatural thriller you’ll find it with Zakudoh #1. My only wonder is as the first issue doesn’t nearly give enough away are the next issues close or far behind. I hope they are close. Because ending an issue like this as they did really makes you want to learn just what the hell is going on. This is the first act and it really didn’t follow the rules of a first act. There’s not much exposition. You just need to sit back and read. Hopefully you’ll enjoy it as much as I dug it.


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