“Remote, Issue 4” of Genesis IV by Double Take

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The drastic transformation of a series within 4 short issues is impressive to watch. What started as absurd fan fiction in the world of Night of the Living Dead [See: Double Take Takes on Night of the Living Dead] veered toward its inclusion of Moth-style stories [See: Double Take incorporates Moth Storytellers] adding quirky fun into the apocalypse-in-progress world. Now it has already moved beyond mere lumbering zombies and into full blown multi-genre social commentary.

“Remote” provides a great example of contemporary social commentary in progress, no doubt aided by political debates and headlines from recent months. As states still argue over gay marriage and now debate who gets to use which bathroom, and all of America slides from being declared post-racial 8 years ago to wondering “which lives matter” today, gender, queer and racial themes and the ensuing tension emerges across the ten storylines of Genesis. “Remote” follows Samantha Stanton trapped on-air for over 24 hrs as the sole survivor of the 1st wave of zombies. She’s as mousy and unassuming as the early art and writing in the series. By Genesis III, the writing and art was solidifying nicely–here, it’s jumped forward again significantly. [One almost wishes the 1st and 2nd issues could be updated and re-issued.] Samantha strips her innocence in Issue 3 challenging the FCC itself as she publicly declares her lesbianism to pre-Stonewall America. FCC can hide behind Sam’s use of the word “pussy” in doing so. But DJs at other stations start the social war without the bureaucracy. Radio preacher, Virgil Rose, and redneck, rockjock, Rockin’ Ricky both go for blood against the threat of a lesbian on the air.

Significantly, all 3 stations are controlled by the same guy, Ed Grubler, who has every intention of making the radio war go national. It’s good for ratings. Nevermind his transvestite man-servant, Crispin, lurking in the background. Ed doesn’t care about the issues, nor contemplate his position of privilege above the fray.

Within the larger Double Take World, zombies have already proven to not fit one model of behavior. Some are sentient. Some are leading rebellions against authority. In Genesis III, it also became clear that aliens were among us and potentially had a hand in some of the arising actions and tensions. “Remote” ups the genre diversity yet again with the emergence of a mutant superpower. Only the past couple covers have hinted at this change coming to the story, but most readers would have considered the covers “artistic license” rather than foreshadowing.

Expect superheroes to emerge. What could be better for ratings than that?

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