Initially I wasn’t planning on commenting about the wrap-up of the most recent chapter of the zombie apocalypse webcomic dead winter; I tend to comment on comics when inspired to do so, and to be honest I’ve not found anything in DW to be particularly noteworthy. When I took a second look at it, however, I realized the very fact that the last five months were a disappointment was noteworthy in its own regard. In essence, the last two chapters of the comic have been a waste of time and effort, when you look at things critically.
Let’s consider everything that happened in the last two chapters: the scooby gang has added a new tag-along to their band and they learned that zombies (or at least some zombies) have gotten quicker. Of course, just how much “quicker” is up for debate, as Lizzie was quite able to jump on a zombie’s back and another’s shoulders and finally over a fence without being stopped. The entire scene made little sense and only served to provide a couple updates of dramatic tension before not being mentioned again. In fact, I don’t think Lizzie even tells the others the zombies are picking up the pace.
Probably the only real mystery is why the zombies were so intent to nab one guy; given that the cops and a motorcycle gang were having a shootout not that far away, having them all swarm one potential snack rather than the smorgasbord not a block away seems odd. But reaching this point took far too long and included a number of panels that honestly could have been cut. Heck, the whole musical medley could have been cut with little loss except for those fans who don’t mind the meandering of the last few updates.
While I enjoyed the shout-out to the original Dawn of the Dead with the motorcycle gang (the Sons of Surtr), I’m not quite sure why they needed to be included, or why the police would even bother with them given their current shooting war with the National Guard. For that matter, given the number of vehicles available and how cars and vans would be better suited in a zombie apocalypse (in that you can drive through a zombie horde in a heavy enough car), having Friday and Lou steal motorcycles rather than any of a sizable number of cars left abandoned on the street makes little sense.
In short, it feels like dead winter has lost its way. Lizzie already knows where her folks are holed up, and Friday has every incentive to get her there so he can confront them. This little side-jaunt felt very much like filler to pad the story before we’re led to the biggest conflict that has long been in the offing: Lizzie vs. Friday, over the lives of Liz’s folks. Add in the schedule inconsistencies of late (a problem many webcomics suffer from, admittedly), and we’re left with a situation where padding only serves to further retard the story. And sadly, it seems likely the Sons of Surtr, will be playing a role obstructing our protagonists further, rather than let the story build toward its natural culmination.