It’s not often that we encounter stories where the kids are the quiet heroes of the zombie apocalypse. More often than not, they’re the ones who need to be saved, cared for, and protected. Zombies, however, presents an alternative.
In this new comic, we follow Sam on his journey to find his daughter and survive. Many of the children that Sam meets along the way are extremely poised and seemingly more in control over their situation than the adults. For example, he meets one young boy who has taught himself to drive; another boy, Josh, who can wield a sniper rifle; and a teenage girl who has created a safe zone for herself and her friends. Zombies distinguishes itself from other “living dead” stories with its young, resolute characters.
To understand more about this unique story, let’s take a look at three of the most significant child characters featured in Zombies.
Josh is a 12 year old boy who is adopted by Sam early on in the story during Sam’s search for his daughter. Although Josh is young, we soon learn of his talented sharp-shooting abilities, which he attributes to hours spent playing his favorite games, Call of Duty and Battlefield. While fighting zombies with the rest of the team, Josh is often seen smoking cigarettes, making him appear much older than his twelve years. While alone with Sam, however, Josh reverts back to his childish self and enjoys playing the role of superhero-sidekick Robin. Later on, after the team of survivors gathers others for help, it is Josh who forms a “hodgepodge family” with the other surviving children, demonstrating his empathy and will to survive.
Justin and Lily
A teenage brother and sister duo, Justin and Lily manage to survive zombie attacks by taking refuge on a boat floating down the Mississippi River. Though they are siblings, the two take very different approaches to dealing with their bleak fate.
Lily is tough as nails. When she discovers that a local scientist has sent a swarm of zombies her way in order to make his own team safer, she slaps him across the face. While she cares very deeply for the safety of her brother, Lily doesn’t feel obligated to help the other survivors. A star politics student before the outbreak, she takes a Machiavellian approach to staying alive.
Justin, on the other hand, is much more altruistic than his sister. He aims to protect others from the nightmare that he and Lily endured on the Mississippi, and he does what he can to help strangers that he and Lily meet along their journey. Similar to a hero like the Lone Ranger, Justin goes wherever help is needed and volunteers for a search party to help find other survivors. Despite his age, Justin believes that “in this world, all you need is a gun to be a man.”
Sam encounters Nath, a girl of thirteen or fourteen, when he takes refuge in a manhole and discovers the labyrinth of the city sewers. Nath, the oldest of her group of children, has managed to create a safe zone for herself and her friends within the sewers, protecting them from zombies and malicious survivors. She is the designated protector of her group, rationing food, collecting water, and holding a gun to anyone who threatens them. As natural leader, Nath thrives at the head of her team, who she playfully refers to as The Goonies. Nath is originally very distrustful of Sam, but comes to befriend him and help him leave the sewers in search of Josh and his daughter. Following their first encounter, we discover that Nath learns to thank and trust Sam, who becomes an honorary member of the Goonies.
‘Hope’ and ‘future’… Two little words we owe to those who are no longer here… Two little words so death doesn’t have the last word.
Not only are the children in Zombies able to fend for themselves, but they are extremely resilient. It is even noted at one point in the comic that most of those who have been bitten but didn’t turn into zombies are, in fact, children. In this way, Zombies specifically highlights the importance of children during this world crisis, both as able characters and as the future of the world.