28 Days Later redefined zombie horror with its depiction of a country fallen into savagery, but Selena’s darkest moment wasn’t on the big screen.
Danny Boyle’s ‘fast zombie’ horror film that redefines the genre 28 days later – and its sequel 28 weeks later — is one of the most iconic portrayals of the walking dead ever to grace the silver screen, but an ordeal experienced by Naomie Harris’ Selena was more intense than anything moviegoers have seen.
Set between the two films, BOOM! Studio-related comics 28 days later sees Selena return to the UK, hired as a guide by a group of journalists who hope to expose the origin of the Rage virus outbreak so that its horrors never happen again. As the team is quickly picked up, Selena is able to help the survivors get to Edinburgh, where they must once again face the true horror of the franchise – fellow humans.
Selena soon discovers that Edinburgh is now under the rule of former gang lord King Dixon, who resents his group for using salvaged supplies he considers his property. In 28 days later chapter 15 – by Michael Alan Nelson and Alejandro Aragon – Selena is submitted to the “Mannequin”. This horrifying fate takes the form of a small cage with a red circle drawn in its center. While Selena had seen the structure earlier, it’s only now that she’s made aware of its gruesome purpose: those who upset King Dixon are forced to spend a night in the cage, surrounded by the show’s nocturnal horrors. . Sympathetic gang member Raj explains that the red circle is the only safe space in the cage, and if any part of Selena crosses it, she will be torn to pieces. The torture gets its name from the fact that only those who are able to stand still like mannequins will ever see the morning.
The dummy is another gruesome example of the series’ theme that normal humans can be even more cruel and vicious than “zombies” infected with the Rage virus. During one long night, Selena manages to survive, even as she begins to hallucinate under the barrage of horror that surrounds her on all sides. While the films depict many terrifying fates inflicted by both ordinary humans and Rage wielders (and originally had a much darker ending), the comic takes its time to highlight the immense psychological toll of this experience and the fact that its unique brand of horror comes from human invention, not from the uncontrolled violence of those infected.
Like many zombie stories, 28 days later explores what humans become under intense pressure and how they maintain or abandon their own humanity in a suddenly wild world. In the case of the comics, the story focuses even more on the threat posed by humans, as a big enough disaster pushes the worst people to the top and makes what was previously unthinkable a way of life. Luckily, Selena is able to arm herself and escape King Dixon’s Edinburgh, which means there should be another sequel in the series. 28 days later series, fans can see how the survivor double faces a fallen world – rather than just a country – in Rage.
Next: 28 Days Later Rage Virus Was Intended To Create Super Soldiers
The X-Men have found a genius way around a problematic trope
About the Author