Superheroes vs. Zombies, Part III

ExCommEx-Communication, the third book in Peter Clines’ ongoing zombocalypse series, features superheroes and zombies. No surprise. But this time there’s an added whiff of religious chicanery involved.

We should have seen it coming. After all, one of the original Ex-Heroes was actually a sorcerer supreme who could manifest into the form of a demon from Hell. It was only a matter of time before the author started playing fast and loose with Biblical mythicism.

Cairax Murrain, Reaver Lord and infernal viscount of the Abyss, has successfully broken his bond with his human ward and is roaming the wasteland of New Los Angeles. He’s a bad mammy jammy who looks like a trippy Todd McFarlane drawing. The last time he was on earth was during the middle ages, and Pope Clement VI was able to trick him and send him back to Hell (that’s a novel we’d like to read, btw). With Pope Francis sequestered in Vatican City, all hope lies with a small group of superheroes with nothing but cobwebs and Chinese finger cuffs at their disposal.

But the superheroes are a resourceful bunch and they possess a convenient set of superpowers. St. George is Superman with a Prince Valiant hairdo. Stealth is an inscrutable nutcase, but she’s got Batman-like survival and tactical skills. Also available for duty is a battalion of physically enhanced super soldiers and a woman who pilots a nine-foot-tall mecha battlesuit. Most importantly, especially for this mission, the group includes Zzzap, a guy who can harness the power of an exploding star, and Madelyn Sorensen, otherwise known as Corpse Girl.

St. George and his super dragons have a plan to defeat Cairax, but it involves a bit of Biblical slight of hand. First they need to wade through a mob of five million zombies (no problem!) and then they have to deploy “a creature of radiance and will, shaped in God’s image.” We’ll give you one guess who that “creature of radiance” turns out to be.

As with the two previous books in the series (Ex-Heroes and Ex-Patriots), Ex-Communication is a crazy and funny superhero/zombie mash-up with lots of Hollywood zing. The author is slowly patching together an apocalyptic mythology that might one day mimic Marvel and DC continuity. While reading these books we are reminded of the famous tagline to George Romero’s movie, Dawn of the Dead: “When there’s no more room in Hell, the dead will walk the earth.” This time, however, there will be superheroes waiting to clobber them.

[Ex-Communication / By Peter Clines / First Printing: July 2013 / ISBN: 9780385346825]

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