Review: As the curtain fell and the story came to an end, the following words of “Happy Valentine’s Day. Assholes.” felt very apt and hit my heart like a flying bullet. The month of love is already away from us, and one of the biggest commercial holiday events that inspires happiness and fertility between two people could have only been celebrated with the very anti-thesis of just that.
I am sorry I wasn’t able to get to this review back when the issue first came out, but life keeps me busier than I would wish it. Better late than never, right?
In true Zombie Tramp fashion the girl who is made to suffer comes inches from true happiness only to get it taken brutally away from her at the last minute. In this issue Janey meets up with Jared, the nerd that she was friends with back in high school and got heavily picked on by all of her jock boyfriends.
It’s a sweet affair getting to see these two interact and be happy in one another’s company after so long. Janey reveals to us that Jared was her secret crush and the true man she wishes she had spent the rest of her life with. In a few short pages Mendoza does a great job at making Jared likeable and proves how easy of chemistry he has with Janey. You can see a future with the two of them together, or at the very least one night of happiness before she leaves him for the open road again.
But alas, as I mentioned, Janey is made to suffer and suffer she most surely does. Two gangsters who hit on her and were turned down don’t feel too kindly to being left in the dark while Janey goes off to get with another guy. And unfortunately things like this happen in real life as Jared is gunned down out of jealousy right there in the mall parking lot.
Of course Janey gets her gruesome revenge and it’s definitely filling to see her shoving the shooter’s ding dong right up inside his mouth. The kicker though comes at the end, just before those fitting words from before, as Janey leans over Jared and gives him one last kiss goodbye and tells him she loves him.
I almost cried.
Mendoza told one helluva heartbreaker in this anti-thesis of love and happiness and Trom brings it all together with great artwork that sells the story on all its points. I really enjoy Trom’s artwork in these specials. And Mendoza continues his streak of good storytelling.
Happy Valentine’s Day. Even though the review is late and the holiday is gone and past, I hope you’re happy now. Janey is still single so perhaps one day you’ll all have a chance. Me though, I’m going to go have a good cry now because happiness has alluded her (and me) once again.
Final Score: 4.5 Heart-Shaped Boxes out of 5
Zombie Tramp: Valentine’s Day Special 2016 – Ongoing
Action Lab: Danger Zone
Writers: Dan Mendoza
Pencilers: Marcelo Trom
Reviewer: Derrick T. Crow
Valentine’s sucks. Especially when you’re Janey Belle. Janey has only been close to love once and screwed it up, but can all that change when she reunites with that very same high school crush? Well it’s a Zombie Tramp story, so it’ll probably be one messed up Valentine!