Z Nation, the hit horror/comedy zombie-themed show on the Syfy network, has enjoyed a growing viewership over the last two years, which is why it was greenlit for a third season earlier this year. The show's main cast are all returning for the next season: Warren (Kellita Smith), Citizen Z (DJ Qualls), Doc (Russell Hodgkinson), Murphy (Keith Allan), 10K (Nat Zang), Addy (Anastasia Baranova). Plus, season 3 will add in the acting talents of Joseph Gatt (Star Trek Into Darkness, Banshee) as the mysterious character called "The Man."
The Asylum, the studio behind mockbusters such as The Sinister Squad and the overwhelmingly popular Sharknado franchise, took a decidedly different approach with their zombie show, giving the main characters a primary directive that helps influence their motivations, pushing them towards a specific goal beyond that of simply "staying alive." Like other zombie shows, Z Nation starts its story with the main characters already trying to survive in a world overrun by the undead, leaving most of the events that lead up to the zombie takeover undisclosed... until now.
Ahead of the start to San Diego Comic Con this year, Dynamite Entertainment, the publishing house behind Adolescent Radioactive Black Belt Hamsters, Battlestar Galactica, the Army of Darkness series and many other titles, announced they will be producing a prequel comic for Syfy's zombie show titled Z Nation: Black Summer. The show's co-creators Craig Engler and Fred Van Lente will work together as writers on the comic series, which will expand the background on pre-existing characters.
Set sometime during Year Two of the Zpocalypse, Z Nation: Black Summer will cover many of the events before the TV story picks up. A major drought hits much of the United States and the last of the canned food has finally run out, leaving the humans who remain in a desperate mode for survival. As friends become enemies, and family members become strangers, the comic will follow these survivors as they turn "against one another in a brutal struggle for a potential new food source that could spell the difference between life and death."
In a statement talking about the prequel comic, Engler and Van Lente said the following:
It's a fast-paced adventure that features Z Nation's signature mixture of horror, humor, and heart, and will be a great entry point for new readers while delighting existing fans of the show. - Craig Engler
Z Nation is my kind of zombie story, full of equal parts gore and fun, with lots of great characters, too. I am thrilled to be exploring the mythology of some of the fan-favorite heroes on the show and capturing the early days of the Z-pocalypse. And to do it with my friend and co-creator Craig Engler is an extra special treat. - Fred Van Lente
It appears that Engler and Van Lente are eager to tell a new portion of the Z Nation story with Black Summer, and fans of the show should expect the same irreverent, horror/comedy tone that has made it popular to exist within the comic's pages.
Z Nation: Black Summer releases early 2017. Z Nation Season 3 debuts on the Syfy channel in the Fall of 2016.