Dead Rising: Road to Fortune is a is a four-issue comic mini-series published by IDW Publishing in association with CAPCOM. It fills the gap situated between Dead Rising and Dead Rising 2: Case Zero and also focuses on the Las Vegas Outbreak. The series features Frank West, Chuck Greene and Rebecca Chang.
- Publication date: October 11, 2011
The story begins after Frank West defeats Brock Mason during the events of the first Dead Rising. Frank is still sitting on top of Mason's tank practically beside himself with disbelief. He then notices that his partner Isabela Keyes is in trouble as the horde of zombies that ate Mason are now trying to eat her. Isabella screams for help, and Frank finally comes to his senses. He tells Isabella to remain calm and jumps into the tank to look for a weapon. Luckily for him, the Special Forces left behind some ammunition and a machine gun complete with a grenade launcher attachment.
Mustering his courage, Frank pops back out of the tank and starts shooting the zombies around Isabela to clear a path for her to jump off the jeep she's been cowering on. With Isabela at his side, Frank continues to blow the zombies apart until he finally runs out of ammo. Sighting a helicopter landing on a platform through a nearby tunnel, Frank loads his last grenade and assures Isabela that they're going to make it. He manages to destroy all the zombies in the way and the two of them make it towards the helicopter. Safe at last, Isabela compliments Frank's abilities and Frank shrugs it off with his usual statement of "I've covered wars you know?" Suddenly, at that very moment, Isabela turns into a zombie, and bites Frank on the neck. Everything blacks out as Frank wakes up screaming and realizes that it was only a dream.
It has now been two years since the Willamette Incident, and Frank West has since reaped the rewards of his success. Frank lives in a posh home in Hubbard Gulch, Nevada, has written a Pulitzer Prize-winning book on the Willamette Incident, and is now the host of his own talk show, Uncovered. However, he still bears the price of his success in the form of daily doses of Zombrex to prevent his own zombification. After taking his dose and pouring coffee, Frank turns on the radio for KDED 24-hour News, where Rebecca Chang is reporting on a recent zombie outbreak in Coyote Springs and how the U.S. Military is already moving in to clean it up.
When Rebecca mentions the possibility of a government cover-up, Frank is intrigued and decides to book her for an appearence on Uncovered. When he calls his agent, Clay Hurlton, about it, Frank learns that the network hosting his show has cancelled it. Clay tries to console Frank by offering him some infomercial appearences, but Frank outright refuses. When Clay informs Frank that his show is to be replaced with 'real reality' TV, however, the photojournalist snaps and shouts "You wanna know what REAL reality is, you smug sonavabitch?! TERROR is reality, that's what!" before hanging up. Inspired by Frank's tirade, Clay immediately calls up another of his clients, Tyrone King, and eagerly pitches the concept of Terror is Reality. Back in his home, Frank calls KDED and asks for Rebecca.
Elsewhere, Chuck Greene is driving to Las Vegas with his wife Pam Greene and their daughter Katey Greene. Chuck is set to compete in an upcoming motocross tournament in the city, but Pam is understandably worried about the whole ordeal, having heard reports of zombie outbreaks in the area from Rebecca Chang. Katey on the other hand is eager to see her father win, and hopes to have some fun with the prize money after its over. In his confidence, Chuck reassures them by saying "after tonight, our lives are gonna change like you wouldn't believe..."
- Publication date: November, 2011
In Coyote Springs, Nevada, the U.S. Military is already hard at work cleaning up the town of its zombie outbreak. Though completely outnumbered by the undead hoards, the soldiers' weaponry proves to be more than a match for them.
Just outside the military perimeter, a KDED newsvan arrives and Rebecca Chang steps out to investigate. She is quickly met with the unit captain, John Kilduff, who does not take kindly to a reporter like her snooping around a military operation, especially one like Rebecca who has a reputation for spouting off about conspiracies. As Rebecca argues with Kilduff and Stacey Forsythe arrives with a CURE member to protest the zombie slaughter, the reporter gets a phone call from Frank West, who asks for an interview with her. Rebecca is initially skeptical, seeing as how Frank has spent the last two years wasting time on his talk show and the infomercials, but he tells her that he's ready to get back into what he does best. The two agree to meet later, after Rebecca visits another source in Fortune City.
However, her source, Dr. Curnow of the Phenotrans Corporation, has run afoul of bad luck. Captured by the hulking Security Commander Harjit Singh while trying to escape the research facility, Curnow is brought before Director Marian Mallon. Curnow admits that he can no longer stand the inhumanity of Phenotrans and its work, but Ms. Mallon coldly admits that the work the company is doing is for humanity's best interests. She then proceeds to have Singh break Curnow's neck before telling him to prepare for tonight's operation in Las Vegas.
At a local diner, Frank and Rebecca meet. Rebecca is upset that her source failed to meet, but she then changes the subject and asks Frank about Isabela Keyes and what happened to her. Frank thinks back to two years ago, where shortly after being flown out of Willamette, Isabela is immediately arrested as a wanted terrorist. Frank is unable to help her under threat of being named a co-conspirator, and he has not seen her again since. When Rebecca asks Frank if he thinks Isabela was a terrorist, Frank admits that though she played a part, it was mostly her brother Carlito who was responsible, and that he can't really blame them for their act of revenge after what happened in Santa Cabeza. As the two journalists continue to converse, Rebecca brings up her suspicions towards Phenotrans and how much they stand to gain from the zombie outbreaks, hench her original plan to meet with Curnow, and Frank agrees to accompany her to Fortune City to find the big story.
Out at Still Creek, Nevada, a Phenotrans convoy led by Singh is fueling up at a gas station and is now ready to head out to Las Vegas. Before leaving, however, Singh leaves the town a parting gift... a swarm of queens.
Issue #3 Edit
- Publication date: December 14, 2011
At the site of Chuck Greene's motocross tournament in the Las Vegas Arena, the crowd is cheering wildly, anxiously awaiting the start of the race. As Chuck mounts his bike, he tells Katey he loves her and shares a kiss with his wife Pam (neither of them knowing this would be their last kiss). Pam takes Katey to the stands to watch the race and Chuck rolls up to the starting line.
Over in the crowd, unbeknownst to anyone, Commander Harjit Singh and his team of undercover Phenotrans' agents are eying the spectators meticulously. Each of them is carrying a jar full of queens, waiting for the opportune moment to release them into the city. Up in one of the executive suites, Clay Hurlton is still eagerly pitching his TIR idea to TK, and expresses his interests about asking some of the competitors to participate in the new TV show once the race is over. TK meanwhile, is still making his way towards Vegas in his stretch limo, accompanied by his accomplices Amber and Crystal Bailey.
The race begins, and Chuck quickly gains a solid lead over his competitors. With his wife and daughter cheering him on, Chuck soars high above the crowd and leaves the other racers behind in a cloud of dust. Meanwhile, Harjit decides the time is "now", and drops his jar of queens to the ground. Knowing that is the signal, the other Phenotrans's agents do the same, and people start getting infected left and right. As Chuck makes another pass, a cheering Pam Greene is suddenly stung in the neck by a queen. When Katey asks her what happened, Pam shrugs it off and says that it was nothing more than a "bee sting". At this point, Harjit and his men have exiting the arena and are driving out of Vegas as quickly as possible. Harjit makes a phone call to Marian Mallon and tells her that so far, everything is going according to plan.
Chuck is now in the last few laps of the race, little does he know that more than 70% of the crowd has been zombified, and people are getting eaten or infected left and right. One of the victims is Clay, who in a panic, quickly changes the subject of conversation with TK before a zombie bits him in the throat. Upon hearing Clay's screams of agony, TK orders his chauffeur to turn the limo around and drive. When the Bailey twins ask him about what's going on, TK calmly tells them that they're going to "party" somewhere else this evening, because Vegas is just plain "dead".
Chuck Greene crosses the finish line in first place, triumphantly takes off his helmet and smiles happily. Happiness is quickly replaced with shock as he finally takes notice of what's happening in the stands. The "Las Vegas Outbreak" has begin. In a panic, Chuck frantically searches the zombified crowd for signs of his family. Likewise, within the crowd, Pam is desperately trying to protect Katey from the zombies; kicking or pushing aside any that get too close to them, and making her way towards the track as she tries to locate her husband. Chuck and Pam finally spot each other, and Chuck ramps up his bike. But before he can go another mile, a zombie suddenly jumps him, and knocks Chuck off his bike. Chuck manages to kill the zombie and reach his family, but while Katey seems fine, something strange is happening to Pam. At that moment Pam Greene's zombification completes itself, and she lunges at Katey, biting her in the left arm. Chuck kicks his undead wife away, and tries to subdue her, but she overpowers him and knocks him to the ground. As Pam starts moving towards Katey again, Chuck grabs a screwdriver and impales his wife through the skull.
After Pam dies, Chuck realizes that Katey is going to need Zombrex and hastily prepares to escape the city. As the two Greenes make their final preparations, Katey asks her father whether mommy was coming with them. In response, Chuck sadly glances over at Pam's corpse, mumbles to himself, helps Katey onto his bike, and tells her that this time, they were leaving mommy behind.
Issue #4 Edit
- Publication date: January 11, 2012
Chuck Greene and his daughter are still frantically attempting to escape from the zombie-infested city of Las Vegas. Chuck manages to blast through the crowd of zombies standing around his pickup truck (even though it costs him his bike), and hastily ushers Katey in. Ramping up the engine, Chuck's truck crashes its way out of the arena and onto the Vegas Strip where Chuck desperately begins searching for a pharmacy which may have some Zombrex.
Elsewhere, the outbreak in Las Vegas is already drawing a great deal of national attention. Approximately 50 miles outside the city, Rebecca Chang and her cameraman are parked right outside of a military roadblock which is preventing them (or anybody else) from going any further. Rebecca calls up Frank West to ask where he is, Frank tells her that he is stuck further back in traffic on the same road as her, and is still trying to make his way to the front. Rebecca says she can't wait for him much longer so Frank pulls his sports car off the road and starts driving frantically across the Nevada desert instead.
Meanwhile, Chuck finally locates a pharmacy, but realizes that getting out of his truck under these circumstances would be plain suicide. So he tells Katey to cover her face and crashes the truck through one of the pharmacy's windows instead. Placing Katey on the checkout counter, Chuck begins searching the shelves for Zombrex. Finally he succeeds, and turns around just in time to see a zombified pharmacy worker advancing on Katey. Chuck gets the zombie's attention, and the two of them engage in a fierce battle with Chuck ultimately prevailing. Suddenly, Katey's skin changes to a sickly-gray color, and she begins moaning in a sound that would become all-too-familiar if Chuck didn't act fast. In desperation, Chuck whips out the Zombrex and injects Katey through the neck (as opposed to her arm). Katey goes limp and doesn't make another sound. For the moment, Chuck thinks he has lost her, and somberly clutches her in his arms. But then Katey says "ow, daddy that hurt!" and happiness enters Chuck's life once again. Together they make their way back to Chuck's truck (killing a few zombies in the process), and manage to get out of Vegas without being detected by the military.
Back at the roadblock, Frank has finally caught up with Rebecca. Rebecca tells him that she's going to attempt to find out more by "charming" the guards with her feminine looks and intuition. Even though he himself can't take his eyes off her, Frank doesn't believe Rebecca's plan will work, but Rebecca assures him that its at least worth a shot and that she's done things like this plenty of times before. Frank has no further objections, and even grins to himself as Rebecca waltzes over to the guards. At that moment, Frank's cell phone buzzes, and he recieves a message from a mysterious individual who claims to have inside information about the Phenotrans Corporation. The individual also hints that they want to help with Frank and Rebecca's investigation, and would be sending Frank more text messages in the near future. Frank reports this to Rebecca, and the two of them decide that this new lead could be useful.
Over at the Phenotrans Facility, Harjit Singh officially makes his latest report about the Vegas situation to Marian Mallon. Ms. Mallon congratulates him on a fine job and assures him that this is only the beginning of Phenotrans' next big plan. She then hints that more cities would soon follow in Vegas' footsteps, and proudly exclaims "after all Mr. Singh, who can stop us?"
At the conclusion, Rebecca Chang starts making a live broadcast about the Vegas outbreak while Frank West starts takes pictures; neither of them were successful in getting anything from the guards. As for Chuck Greene, he and Katey pass by a road sign reading "Welcome to Still Creek, Population 753". They have no idea what awaits them in this quiet, little town.
- Marian Mallon's appearance in the series is quite different from her appearance in Dead Rising 2: Case West. Her hair has been cut much shorter, there is no zombie bite mark on her face, and she isn't confined to a wheelchair. While she serves as the main antagonist of Dead Rising: Road to Fortune, the origins of the injury which crippled and degraded her are never revealed.
- Harjit Singh actually has more speaking lines in the series than he did in Dead Rising 2: Case West.
- In the first issue, it is revealed that before he became the host of Terror is Reality, Tyrone King had been a fight promoter in the wrestling business. In addition, based on statements made by Clay Hurlton, it appears that TK was getting tired of this life, which is why he was so eager to discuss the possibilities of TIR with Clay.
- Katey Greene has the same appearance throughout the series as she did in Dead Rising 2. This is rather odd since at the time of Dead Rising 2: Case Zero (which follows the events of RTF), she was about three years younger than she was in DR2. Furthermore, Katey's choice of clothing and hairstyle were also different back then.
- Dead Rising 2: Road to Fortune further supports the fact that Frank West and Rebecca Chang had known each other, and were working together prior to the events of Dead Rising 2. Also (similar to what has been observed in Dead Rising 2: Off the Record), Frank seems to be romantically attracted to Rebecca, but unlike her alternate reality counterpart, Rebecca is more interested in getting the story of her life, and becoming famous like Frank. So while the two of them are indeed partners and friendly rivals, only Frank seems to care about the possibility of a relationship.