Sequential First Part: The Sacrifice Comic

By Kieron Gillen on September 15th, 2010 at 8:47 am.

Thank you, Zoe, for not having an umlaut. That's very annoying.

The first part of the previously announced Left 4 Dead comic is out. It’s coming out in four weekly parts, leading up to the release of the actual The Sacrifice pack. It’s also a hefty creature. The first part is over forty-pages, so the whole thing should be getting on for 160 and actually includes details to the background of the plague itself. It’s also drawn my Michael Avon Oeming, who’s a fantastic visual storyteller and worth looking at generally. I especially like the BLAM! apocalypse. If you want to investigate further, I’ll suggest the first Powers trade. Anyway, you can read the first part of The Sacrifice here. Go! do so!

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61 Comments »

  1. Rinox says:

    Valve, I will never leave you. Here, take all my money, forever.

  2. Dominic White says:

    I gotta say, Valves decision to hire comics people to fill out the backstory for their games is one of the best decisions they’ve ever made. Hurrah for cool stuff for free!

  3. Bungle says:

    Meanwhile, other developers continue to strip out portions of their games so they can be sold separately as DLC.

    Love you , Valve! The only big developer that still knows how to take care of their customers.

    • Lack_26 says:

      Yep, say what you like about Valve they’re brilliant at getting you involved in the back stories, especially when they write it AFTER the game has been released.

  4. Jutranjo says:

    Love how Francis has a mini heavy on his desk.

  5. Carolina says:

    “I [?] especially the BLAM! apocalypse”?

    I like Oeming’s artwork, some of his drawnings remind me of Bruce Timm.

  6. James says:

    Yeah, I wondered about the “BLAM! apocalypse” myself. It sounds exciting.

  7. Tetragrammaton says:

    A microsecond of orgasmic rapture quashed………Why did you leave us Shiny? Whyyyyyyyy?????

  8. Tainted says:

    That was really really good. They nailed the characters and chemistry of the characters. This just shows up how poor the characters in L4D2 is. Such a shame really, L4D2 is by far the better game but L4D1 has the best characters.

    I’d pay good money for them to port the characters (And levels) from L4D1 to L4D2… I’d never play as any of the L4D2 characters again (apart from Uncle Phil of course)

    • Flint says:

      I’d have to disagree there and say they’re both great sets of characters, albeit two completely different ones as the L4D cast has a more exaggerated, cartoony vibe to them while the L4D2 cast seems a bit more real (albeit a rather whimsical group of real people but who wouldn’t go a bit whimsical in a zombie apocalypse). I’d actually say that the same sort of difference is all over the two games as a whole.

      Two very great games with a great cast and a surprisingly distinctive feel.

    • the wiseass says:

      I totally disagree with L4D2 being the better game. The level design and atmosphere of the first one seemed far superior. Also I really liked the party of the map where you had to make a stand surviving zombie wave after zombie wave before you could advance. They kinda removed this completely from the sequel where you’re mostly forced to rush through the game.

      For example during the part where you had to defend the house just like in the comic, we usually made our stand in the small shack on the right side of the house a short way up into the woods. Or once we tried to jump on the roof of the public picnic place on the left side of the house. And finally let’s not forget the brilliant airport scene.

      The level design of the sequel feels far inferior, even rushed and chaotic. I didn’t enjoy it as much as the original I’m afraid.

    • Fumarole says:

      I’m guessing anyone who thinks L4D has better gameplay doesn’t play versus.

    • the wiseass says:

      You’re right, I don’t play versus. Coop only :)

    • DJ Phantoon says:

      I don’t think I’ve ever had as much fun as running at a smoker with a chainsaw, watching him jump backwards in terror as he desperately tries to get away and realizes his good ambush spot doesn’t leave him room to run away.

      Versus is terrific, and chainsaws are basically the most awesome real weapon ever.

    • Psychopomp says:

      “Also I really liked the party of the map where you had to press mouse 2 for 10 minutes.”

  9. Polysynchronicity says:

    Kieron accidentally the whole BLAM! apocalypse?

  10. Plopsworth says:

    Millhaven? A Nick Cave reference?

  11. BooleanBob says:

    Oh my God, amazing. 10amazings.

    Good to see I’m not the only one for whom a cheery ‘occupado’ routinely fails to defuse awkward toilet/knocking social scenarios.

  12. MacBeth says:

    Can we look forward to new DLC set in Millhaven, one wonders… not that I’m complaining. I do find myself playing more L4D1 recently though, just because I like the feel of it more, so new official maps/updates would be lovely…

  13. Premium User Badge

    Stense says:

    That was really cool. When I first heard of the comic, I had an uneasy feeling that it would be in the same vein as the Doom comic. So glad its not. Love the art and the story they are starting to tell.

  14. Rick says:

    I don’t think the art style really works for L4D, but the writing’s good. Francis remains as brilliant as ever.

  15. Rinox says:

    I loved the shot of Louis standing in front of the smashed office window the best.

  16. jarvoll says:

    [SPOILERS IF YOU HAVEN'T READ YET]

    Er, so perhaps this is betraying a lack of knowledge of the L4D universe (though I own and played through the first one on expert – honest!), but it appeared to me that louis got bitten, and that the delibrate interposing of his arm with the arm of the dead guy, plus his crestfallen look afterwards, very strongly implied that he was thus infected. So why is he still fine throughout the whole game?

    • Kieron Gillen says:

      I believe that’s what we’re meant to be wondering.

      KG

    • Ricc says:

      @jarvoll:

      All of the L4D characters are immune to the infection (so there will never be a Bill zombie…), but Louis couldn’t possibly know that at this point.

    • Nick says:

      I thought it was pretty well etablished that the survivors didn’t get zombified by being bitten.. what with you being bitten, scratched, licked, vomited on and generally tossed around by pretty much every sort of infected thing around.

    • plugmonkey says:

      And the bridge finale in L4D2.

      Coach: We are not infected.
      Intercom: Have you been exposed?
      Coach: Exposed? Man, I am COVERED in zombie blood, brains, guts, puke and I don’t know what else, but I repeat, we are NOT infected.

      Or words to that effect.

  17. Qjuad says:

    @Jarvoll

    The survivors are immune to zombification.

  18. bleeters says:

    That was absurdly brilliant. Far funnier than I’d expected, too.

  19. Premium User Badge

    Fatbubba says:

    [GOING ON IN A SPOILERISH WAY]

    My guess is even though he’s bitten he’s immune like Bill said to the guy in the church when they wanted to get into the safehouse (which campaign is that again?).

    It could be that because of the bite, he is a carrier of the disease now even if he himself is immune to the effects of the disease. Which could be a reason why they are still on the run in the Sacrifice. So I kind of expect there to be problems for him at the start of the second comic which leaves them no choice to go on the run again after having seen what the army does with “failed testsubjects” in the last shot of the first comic.

    • Premium User Badge

      Fatbubba says:

      crap, was meant as a reply to @jarvoll

    • TheFlyingWooly says:

      ‘Carrier’ seems to be an important term.

      At the start of the bridge sequence in the Parish campaign the army guys on the radio ask if the camp is set up to take carriers.

  20. Lobotomist says:

    That is actually a darn good comic !

    And this is compliment from somebody who is comic art affection ado since and before he could read :)

    • Pani says:

      I too thought it was a darn good comic,

      but my compliment comes from someone who isn’t a fan of comics and generally doesn’t like the style of story telling.

      Who’s compliment holds more weight? :)

    • plugmonkey says:

      When I heard about this I was expecting about 8 pages. Tops.

      That is completely awesome and I would very much like a hard copy.

  21. sana says:

    Well written as usual, but the art is absolutely ass…

  22. jackshandy says:

    Eh, I couldn’t say I liked it. A lot of gore and grittyness and INYOURFACE ACTION with a semi-cartoon artstyle that doesn’t really mesh with the game (Although it did grow on me, and the blam apocalypse was lovely).

    Also, the jokes kind fell flat for me; I get that they’re more about delivery, and the fact that they’re terrified and insane and not making good jokes, but yeah. “I take back alla nasty crap I said about you.” “Wait, you’ve been saying nasty crap about me?”

    Ok, done complaining about a free service now.

  23. jalf says:

    @Bungle

    Meanwhile, other developers continue to strip out portions of their games so they can be sold separately as DLC.

    You mean exactly like Valve did with L4D -> L4D2?

    ;)

    Could we make up our minds here. Either developers are eeeevil when they back down and decide to take the content that was supposed to be part of the core game, or free DLC and charge money for it (as a sequel or as paid DLC), or they’re not. It seems a bit unfair to love Valve when they do it, and hate everyone else when they do the exact same thing.

    Or are we saying that it’s ok that Valve never delivered the free L4D content they promised, due to them being busy putting it in L4D2 instead, because they’re giving us a comic as compensation?

    Anyway, getting back on topic, I dunno, I’m not a huge fan of the art.
    The poses are generally a bit stiff and copy/pastey. The bottom left pane on page 19 is a good example. I’m not really a big art buff, but that pane in particular just grated.

    Enjoyed the story though, and the art mostly did it’s job, so can’t grumble too much I guess

    • Wang Tang says:

      It’s coming out in four weekly parts, leading up to the release of the actual The Sacrifice pack.

      There’s your free DLC. But I understand that compared to other Valve games, where gamers have come to expect free maps etc., it took long for new L4D content.

    • jackshandy says:

      Well, it’s not like they had chainsaws and four other types of zombie and everything else already made and lying around, then decided to strip them out of the game to make room for the cash tie-in sequel. Just because Valve is amazing enough to give us everything from TF2 free doesn’t mean we should hate them when they decide to charge money for something that’s worth it, basically.

    • Bungle says:

      Everybody knows Valve screwed up with L4D->L4D2. I got mad at them too. However, I see that as their only blemish in recent memory. Their treatment of TF2 alone is enough to secure my loyalty. Over 100 updates and it’s evolved more than any other game I’ve ever owned.

      I won’t hesitate to jump ship if they start taking advantage of me, but I see L4D2 as an isolated mistake. And we assume Valve learned their lesson from it.

  24. Jahkaivah says:

    @Stense

    Not to say the Doom comic wasn’t awesome. But for crying out loud it’s Valve, where the hell would that feeling have rooted from?

    • Premium User Badge

      Stense says:

      A fair point yes. Valve do have a good track record with this sort of thing, like the Team Fortress 2 comics that have appeared. I recently re-read the infamous doom comic, so I guess it just soured the notion of another game I’ve enjoyed trying its hand at a comic :)
      But luckily, this left 4 dead comic was well done in my opinion, so uneasy feeling completely unfounded afterall as hoped.

  25. the wiseass says:

    I liked the toilet scene and the ending. The art… not so much but I’m not complaining. It’s a free comic and I’m eager to see how the story goes on but the artwork really is horrible. I also didn’t like the smack talk in the beginning of the comic before they were rescued by the army. But the scene where Louis is standing in front of the broken office windows was absolutely thrilling.

  26. RadioactiveMan says:

    I think the art is mixed. There are some great panels- I particularly liked the smoker-sniper rifle shot, the part where they kill the Tank, and the panel where the back of the apc opens and there are military guys there. On the other hand, there are also some really poorly drawn sections that look unfinished. An example is the bottom of page 10, where there are some pointless space-filling images. Also, I thought the writting was a bit flat. It felt like they were trying too hard to make it funny, or to use dialogue lines from the game: “Throwin’ propane”… BUT as jackshandy said, hard to complain about something free!

    I’m looking forward to the rest. I’m guessing each release will have the backstory for another character, which would be cool. I never bought bought L4D2 on principle, but I might re-install the first one to give this new DLC a try.

  27. haircute says:

    @radioactiveman
    It is too bad you chose to make a principled stand against fun. How boring for you.

  28. Legion says:

    the are no words to discribe this…
    THANK U VALVE!!!!!!
    when is the hard copy coming out? xD i want it so bad!

  29. Chieron says:

    To quote Bill. “We’ve been immune so far…”
    To quote Zoey. “How’d you find out you were immune? Helluva test huh?”
    Crazy Church Guy. “It’s been an hour, I must be immune! No I hav-I have to be immune.”
    It has been established that there are many immunes in the L4D universe. Louis, at this point, is likely unaware that he is.

  30. The Dark One says:

    The Army dudes also refer to them as TMs, presumably that’s short for Typhoid Marys.

  31. Jayerandom says:

    ooooooh. Wow. Capable of transmitting zombieism to others, without succumbing themselves– this is a new wrinkle on zombie fiction that I’ve never thought of before. Interesting!

  32. FireFighter says:

    Just curious…in the polls PC wanted backgrounds of Zoey. Xbox wanted backgrounds of Francis (i think?) Why did they choose Louis? lol

    • Araxiel says:

      Because it’s part one out of 4.

      There are 4 characters, so one can fairly assume that in each chapter/part there will be a background scene

  33. jayerandom says:

    Part 2 is out, and DAAAAAAAAAAAMN. Poor Zoey…