The idea of combining two different genres has always been popular within the world of comic books. Whether it’s a noir-western, a vampire-pirate story, or a soap opera-superhero comic, combining two genres gives the writer and artist a wealth of material to draw from. Sometimes it works and sometimes it does not. In the case of XXXombies, Rick Remender, Tony Moore and Kieron Dwyer manage to pull it off, by crossing a genre that is highly taboo with a comics genre that has mostly been played out.
With XXXombies, they tell the tale of a 1970’s porno shoot in Los Angeles that is interrupted by a zombie outbreak, a story that’s main purpose seems to be take the zombie genre into a whole new level of gore and over-the-top gross-out moments. It is clear that this is Remender, Moore and Dwyer’s love letter to the zombie movies as well as the porno movies of the 1970’s. Sticking the zombie massacre in the Boogie Nights type world is a stroke of pure genius and lends itself to some very raunchy and perverted situations. Remender and company push the lines of good taste, and then cross over that line with righteous indignation. They know what they are doing would definitely be construed as offensive by some, but they do not care, and rightfully so for the title gives a pretty good indication of what the reader is in for.
Zombies as a story vehicle usually fall into two categories: Some provide social commentary, such as the George A. Romero zombie movies and 28 Days Later, while others are just good old gore-fests. This latter category is the one XXXombies clearly falls into. If there is any social commentary in this comic, I completely missed it, as the shock value of the gory and just plain gross situations kept me more than adequately entertained, and really, there is nothing wrong with that. Sometimes it is fun just to sit back and let a zombie story gross you out or make you laugh, and this comic certainly does both.
I’m not too sure if anyone has tried to combine the zombie and porno genre before, but it is certainly an entertaining hybrid. While it is enjoyable, it could very quickly over-stay its welcome, and thankfully, Remender recognizes this and keeps the story to a quick four issues mini-series. The whole point of the Crawl Space line is to pay homage to the classic 1950’s EC comics, such as Tales from the Crypt. Each story-arc is a stand-alone mini-series. The next one is titled Army of Frankenstein, and I, for one, cannot wait.