Being the first comic based on Capcom’s widely recognised zombie-harvesting series, Resident Evil, I have read, I was surprised by how tame the artwork is in Resident Evil: Fire and Ice. The trade paperback I got my hands on actually contains all four Fire and Ice issues from 2000-2001, as well as additional shorts from WildStorm’s original Resident Evil comic.
The main course here was put together by a large team: Ted Adams and Kris Oprisko writing; Lee Bermejo, Shawn Crystal, Carlos D’Anda and others on art duties.
I’m not at all versed in Resident Evil’s ongoing story, so I shan’t bother with too much exposition with this one. The long and short of it is Umbrella is up to their old tricks as usual, and STARS’ dispatch Charlie Team to unearth and put a stop to the threat.
Even in its perfect bound, ad-free paperback form, this miniseries feels slim on fresh ideas and doesn’t hang together all that well editorially. Part of the blame could be that it is a four-part limited series trying to emulate a globetrotting zombie tale, but it’s really trying to do too much.
Action takes place in two separate locations before the climax in Alaska. There are a fair amount of characters too and, though there are one or two moments where you get to see their soft side, you’re never really given an opportunity to connect with them. The worst part has to be the framing. While it’s pleasing to see the artists holding back on the blood and gore that’s customary with most comic books of this genre, the art feels too shadowy and leaves the reader with no real sense of place.
Top this off with a crop of cacti arranged like the biohazard symbol, which also happen to conveniently hide something integral to the last five minutes, and you’ve got a miniseries that more than falls short of satisfying.