The Goggler Pull List #30: Extinction Parade and Extinction Parade: War

Dept. of Comic Book Compulsions

In this latest instalment of The Goggler Pull List we review the Extinction Parade series by Max Brooks and Raulo Cáceres. Strap in. This will get bloody.


Extinction Parade: War issues 3 and 5, from 2014.

It was purely by chance that I stumbled on to Max Brooks’ (son of filmmaker Mel Brooks) comic series Extinction Parade and Extinction Parade: War. So imagine my surprise when, in 2014, I saw a comic book cover that I thought featured a vaguely familiar building in the background, and a Malaysian flag on a missile.

If the name Max Brooks is vaguely familiar, it’s because he had already written a couple of zombie books, one of which, World War Z, was turned into the globetrotting Brad Pitt zombie action film of the same name. (Take my word for it, the book was better.)

What I’m saying is, Max Brooks has a thing for zombies. And in the Extinction Parade series of comics, he and artist Raulo Cáceres take it a step further by introducing vampires. Of course there are humans too in this story but they very much are an incidental part of it. Because Extinction Parade is really the story about vampires and zombies, with humans caught right in the middle of it all. 


Extinction Parade title.

Extinction Parade tells the story of two vampire sisters, Laila and Min, who have found themselves in, of all places, Malaysia. They aren’t recent arrivals, but rather have been here since the beginning. The first series is made up of five issues and all throughout, Min, who is narrating the story, makes references to moments in Malaysian and Malayan history, the tin mining town of Kuala Lumpur, the Japanese occupation, Communists, and the 1969 race riots. They had seen it all.

Japanese communists murdered by Laila and Min in Extinction Parade.

But the arrival of the zombies, or the subdead as Min calls them, changes everything. From having to come up with elaborate kills, or feeding on society’s forgotten classes, the subdead outbreak had changed the game to allow the vampire sisters to kill openly, murdering police officers and military men, while the world around them descends into the zombie outbreak.

All is not as it may seem for Laila, Min, and the other vampires though. What at first appeared like a blessing, allowing them to murder and devour humans on sight, soon turns to a curse as they realize that the zombies are also killing their only food source. The first five issues ends with the vampires picking a side and declaring war on the subdead on behalf of the humans, something their kind would never have done in all their history.


Extinction Parade War title.

Extinction Parade: War picks up soon after the events of the last issue, as the humans have moved further north to Penang island, with Laila and Min forming an unofficial first line of defense. This second series of books, also five issues long, deals with Laila and Min, as well as the rest of the vampires in Malaysia, coming to terms with their own limits. Having never been physically tested themselves, fighting the zombies, while also having very little to feed on, tests the sisters’ resolve and abilities. 

Laila and Min hold off a bridge in Extinction Parade: War.

Throughout this second series, the idea of these vampires as beings stuck in stasis is repeated over and over. Having not had to learn anything in their long lifetime, constantly having slaves and helpers around to either show them how to do things, or to do it for them, have left the sisters, and vampires at large, as grown up children. Other vampires try and form a military force, and to make a concerted effort to fight the subdead, but are left powerless and immobile as they argue the philosophies of war, instead of actually fighting it.

The vampires begin to show themselves as being academically superior, but action inferior. As the second series ends, Laila and Min have left the makeshift vampire military force and made their way back to where it all started for them, where they grew up. And unfortunately, that may be the end of it.


Despite it being teased at the very last panel of the very last page, the third series of comics in the Extinction Parade series doesn’t seem to be forthcoming. Seven years after the last issue of Extinction Parade: War, there has been no news on any new issues. I did come across a 2014 report that the comic book had been picked up to be developed as a TV series, but there has unfortunately been no update on that front in the seven years since.

Vampires attack humans in Extinction Parade.


Extinction Parade is not for young eyes. There is nudity. There is a lot of blood. And there is A LOT of gore. The sight of brains is a regular occurrence. As are human intestines. But the Extinction Parade series also does a lot of interesting things with the tried and tested tropes of vampires and zombies. Putting them both in the same story for one. And also not telling that story from the point of view of the humans who are caught right in the middle.

In an interview with Bloody Disgusting from 2013, Max Brooks talks about how he envisions the vampires in this series as the aristocratic class of Europe, with the humans as both food and slaves. Laila and Min have a human manservant that has done everything for them, from doing their laundry, to doing their “laundry.” But what happens to this aristocratic class when all that is upended? When their very livelihoods and servants, who are technically one and the same, are no longer? What happens when this class of society suddenly have to not only fight for themselves, but fight for their future, that of their servants, and of their food?

In a very weird, and ultimately too short a series, Max Brooks has been able to not only tell a story about class divide, but also implanting the idea that sometimes the ones with the servants may end up being the ones enslaved by their own constructs.

The many faces of Willem.

We get our comics either from our local comic book store, The Last Comic Shop, or on Comixology. Are you interested in checking out the Extinction Parade series? Have you already read these comics? Let us know by getting in touch with us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

For another comic book with a Malaysian connection, check out our review of Gun Honey here.

Check out our previous installments of The Goggler Pull List here.

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