Zoo: The Graphic Novel HC
Publisher: Yen Press
Release Date: November 20, 2012
Creators: James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge (Authors); Andy MacDonald (Art and Adaptation)
Format: 208 pgs.; Full-Color; Hardcover
ICv2 Rating: 3 Stars out of 5
Violent attacks by animals on humans are increasingly geometrically across the globe but the only one who seems to see that it could lead to the extinction of mankind is brilliant biologist Jackson Oz. But it's a race against nature and time as well as survival as he tries to convince authorities what's happening before it's too late.
James Patterson's Zoo has all the elements you'd expect to find in a sprawling eco-thriller but it never turns into the potboiler/page turner it could have been, mostly due to the leisurely nature of the pacing. It takes literally years for Oz's nightmare scenario to reveal itself so a lot of the pages are spent on him uncovering new pieces of evidence proving his theory and attending seemingly endless committee meetings.
Given its premise you'd think the graphic adaptation of Patterson's novel would be more visceral but there's nothing particularly graphic here. There is one perfunctory sex scene and a number of When Animals Attack type moments (complete with "munch, crunch, grr" sound effects), but they're few and far between. When events finally escalate to the point armies of bears, dogs, etc. begin openly attacking humans you'd think our military would be using napalm, cluster bombs and helicopter gunships to turn them into a fine red mist. But the great Jackson Oz tells us they'd be useless and so it comes to pass.
But having said all that those looking for a more adult approach to the material Andy MacDonald does a fine job on both the story and art, making the high concept fairly convincing.
--Steve Bennett: Writer and retail services consultant.