- Review from Comic Book Galaxy -

This review is no longer on the web. Fortunately, I made a copy of it before it disappeared. It originally came out in December 2001.


Zed is the story of a young alien genius (named...you got it; Zed), from the planet of Gallos who accidentally destroys the world Xandria (a kind of Galactic U.N.), thereby throwing the galaxy into chaos. Most of the galaxy's rulers are on Xandria, attending the popular Nob-L Prize Celebration, when Zed's invention--the Energizer--unexpectedly goes wild and consumes the millions of souls on the planet in deadly energy. Fortunately for the victims, they are at least able to witness the loudest metal band in the universe, Krah, before the world's untimely demise. Zed manages to escape with a new innovative spaceship invented by one of his fellow Nob-L recipients, but in the meantime an opportunistic tyrant--General Maxuss of Metalia--has united the surviving rulers of the galaxy in a bloodthirsty effort to invade Gallos and bring Zed to justice (i.e., kill him in many nasty ways).

The first issue of Zed fools you a little bit in the beginning. Gagné's seductively simple and cartoonish art, matched with a scripting that reads like a grammar school film narration, has you wondering whether this is something you should pass on to a younger sibling, or if things are going to get a little dark and twisted. Just when you're convinced Zed is something your little sister would enjoy after watching Barney, Gagné pulls the rug out from under you, and suddenly the metal band Krah takes the stage belching screams and profanities at the crowd of the Nob-L presentations, and cute little aliens are being decapitated.

Zed #2 is the first chance you get to really see what I like most about this series; Gagné's ability to give us pictures which are completely cartoonish, yet also absolutely epic. The story is a little light in this issue, and it does leave you a feeling a bit incomplete, but Gagné makes it up with the vast scenes of Xandria being destroyed and fleets of spaceships hurtling through the void.

The third issue is probably my favorite. Like the second issue, Zed #3 gives us the epic scenes which fill Zed #2, but without sacrificing too much as far as story is concerned. Under the protection of the Emperor of Gallos, Zed contemplates suicide as an unexpected group of survivors arrives on Gallos to tell the Emperor who really destroyed Xandria. In the meantime, Gallos raises its protective planetary shield in response to the imminent invasion by General Maxuss, while Maxuss surprises the Gallosian fleet by penetrating the shield with one small ship and landing on the steps of the Royal palace itself. The scenes of Gallos raising its planetary shield, and later of Maxuss's ship penetrating the shield and decimating the Gallosian military, are just as impressive as the more epic scenes of the previous issue.

You'll love this new series, though probably not as much as I do because I got the first three issues for free. Zed is deliciously twisted, funny, epic, and endearing at the same time. There aren't many comics out there I would suggest over Zed. If nothing else, you get to enjoy the mellow sounds of Krah, the most well-named band in the universe. I'm even willing to pay for the rest of the issues in the series as they come out, and seriously think Michael Gagné should start printing out some Krah t-shirts so I can wear them while I'm beating up some of those Iron Maiden wussies!


--Mick Martin, Comic Book Galaxy