The most intriguing section of Zot! 1987-1991: The Complete Black and White Collection, by Scott McCloud, comes in the middle with “The Ghost in the Machine.”
The plot involves the attempted assassination of the president and his family, and a truly sinister bad guy called, oddly enough, 9-Jack-9, who appears as a sort of electric avatar.
In his notes, McCloud, now probably better known as the author of Understanding Comics, concedes this is probably his darkest Zot! story.
“Every major villain I created for the series represented a different potential future, and level of credibility I assigned to that future determined the gravity of the character,” McCloud writes. “9-Jack-9 represented the most credible of all those futures — the very real possibility that technology, for all its benefits, would eventually do us all in.”
The story may be dark, but in this black-and-white collection that bit of weight makes for deeper reading.
Read my earlier post on Zot! here.