Will.i.a.m wears a lot of hats these days. Whether it be musician/rapper (as a member of The Black Eyed Peas or a solo act), actor, producer or talent judge, he’s more or less done it all in the entertainment industry. And now he can cross comic book writer of the list as he teams up with Benjamin Jackendoff and veteran Marvel/DC artist Damion Scott in an exquisitely packaged mish-mash of hip-hop, aliens and zombies.
Masters Of the Sun mixes L.A. Gang culture, B-Boy-ism and Egyptology to tell the heroic tale of a Hip-Hop group from East L.A. who must battle an ancient, alien God sent to earth to continue a Black Curse–which turns drug dealers and gangsters into zombies! With a deep love of the Hip-Hop culture, Zulu-X and his crew go head-to-head with a nefarious ancient order that has infiltrated the inner cities to settle an ancient score. What happens next can only be described as the perfect blend of action, ancient wisdom and street-smarts all rolled into one epic adventure.
Right from the get go, the main highlight of this book is Damion Scott’s art. With almost twenty years’ worth of experience, he has previously produced some of the most memorable art of the modern Batman era (particularly his work on the Cassandra Cain Batgirl series) as well as stints on Spider-Man and the latest version of Ghost Rider. His art style is heavily influenced by hip-hop and hip-hop culture, so he is clearly in his comfort zone in this graphic novel. There are some great designs all-round present in the comic with Zulu-X’s hip hop heavyweight meets X-Men’s Cyclops being particularly cool. Managing to merge hip hop with zombies and aliens is no mean feat but Scott pulls it off with flying colours. Likewise, it’s a challenge to create a hip-hop influenced hero that looks authentic and doesn’t come off as gimmicky. Zulu-X fortunately doesn’t fall into this trap and you’ll never find yourself questioning the authenticity of the protagonist.
On the writing side, Will.i.am and Jackendoff have created a great group of characters with the hapless wannabe hip-hop stars Jimmy Guapo and Polo being particularly memorable. The whole comic works as both an action sci-fi adventure and also as a strong social allegory supporting the #staywoke movement as Zulu-X and his crew battle to prevent their culture and lifes to be upended by the group that has unleashed the zombie plague.
Will.i.am has proven his writing chops and Damion Scott gets to cut loose in a truly bonkers cross-genre experience. This all-new graphic novel is well worth your time.
Black Eyed Peas Presents: Masters Of The Sun – The Zombie Chronicles is out now from Marvel
9781302910846 – P/B £20.99
Post by Leo