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They are a zombie's worst nightmare. And they are adorable.
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Humanity, wobbling on its last legs following a zombie plague of unknown origin, finds itself reduced to a single refugee camp in Yellowstone National Park. Lacking in food, water, and manpower, the hopeless situation turned not-so-hopeless as unlikely salvation rode in on a pale horse. Or rather, it is the horses. Unicorns, in fact.

While the situation has stabilized, the war is far from won, and Yellowstone's tenuous sanctuary is threatened by a mysterious blight killing their remaining crops. Hoping to impress her Commander, Sergeant Glitter volunteers to scout nearby for food, but instead finds a single surviving human, Kate, who just might hold the key to ending their war for good.

Hooves of Death is a 2019 webcomic by Sam Bragg, hosted on Webtoons. Updates every Friday. Read it here.


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This webcomic contains examples of:

  • Action Girl:
    • Sergeant Glitter, who will cut you to ribbons with her horn, stomp you to death with her hooves, and follow it up with a bandolier of grenades for good measure. Also qualifies for Badass Adorable.
    • The human survivor Kate pulls her weight as well, surviving against a horde of zombies thanks to her feisty attitude and a nail-studded baseball bat.
  • Alien Blood: Unicorns literally bleed rainbows. Pretty hilarious even when the injury and blood loss is Played for Drama, and Kate remarks how it smells "magically delicious.”
  • Art-Style Dissonance: Takes the trope and runs with it. Even when zombies are being cleaved in two and a child is succumbing to infection before Glitter’s horrified eyes, the art style never stops being clean, colorful, and cutesy.
  • All Love Is Unrequited: Blaze has a crush on Sergeant Glitter, with her affection just about the only thing that can improve his sullen mood. Glitter seems aware of his feelings towards her, but clearly holds a torch for Commander Sprinkles, judging how Glitter calls for him the moment she wakes from unconsciousness and undertakes dangerous scouting missions to impress him. Seven chapters in, the love triangle becomes another casualty.
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  • Badass Adorable: Runs on it. Even Glitter’s war cry looks just as endearing as it looks intimidating.
  • Barrier Warrior: Several unicorns can deploy shield bubbles for about a minute when the situation gets hairy, though specialists like Commander Sprinkles can cast a town-sized version and maintain it indefinitely.
  • Bathos: Humanity is on its last legs, the few survivors are stuck in a single camp with dwindling food reserves, and hordes of zombies are waiting just outside to rip them limb from limb. Meanwhile, sparkly unicorns with names like Commander Sprinkles stand ready to shed their rainbow-colored blood to protect the last of humankind, without more than a wink to the inherent silliness in the concept.
  • Beautiful Dreamer: Glitter, when recovering from a Hellhound attack, looks especially peaceful and adorable as she rests. Even Blaze is reduced to a squee once he finishes his medical treatment.
  • Big Damn Heroes: For a non-combatant, Blaze pulls these with surprising frequency. The first time he intervenes just in time to save Glitter from a Hellhound assault, literally throwing it beyond the horizon before carrying her and Kate to safety all on his own. The second time, he double-casts shields to save Glitter, Kate, and Commander Sprinkles, with latter being under a Dog Pile of Doom at the time, and has enough endurance to maintain the barrier until they're able to make a break for it. If the group is in trouble, typically he's either the one to pull off a timely intervention or find them an exit.
  • Bishie Sparkle: Commander Sprinkles always sports a fabulous, glittery mane, always in stark contrast to his many scars and his dead-serious demeanor.
  • Blood from the Mouth: Rainbow-flavored, combined with a not-so-Incurable Cough of Death after Glitter gets bit by a zombie, along with a woozy smile as she tells Kate not to worry about it. She actually ''is’’ immune to the plague, and the continued dripping is instead a symptom of blood loss from the untreated injury and continuous overexertion.
  • Bloody Hilarious: The unicorn's blood is rainbow colored, so any moment where it gets shed is kind of hilarious by default, no matter how serious the situation.
  • Bolivian Army Cliffhanger: Episode 7 ends this way for Commander Sprinkles, last seen charging through an inferno while leading a horde of zombies away from Glitter and co.
  • Boyish Short Hair: Glitter’s fauxhawk, once shown to be a majestic, flowing mane before her Adrenaline Makeover.
  • Broken Angel: A core theme of Unicorn mythos is their flawlessness, purity, and grace. While the unicorns here once had untarnished appearance, now they're universally scarred, traumatized, or both, with the years of a Hopeless War against the zombie hordes apparent at only a glance. One unicorn in particular can be spotted even from a distance thanks to their shattered horn.
  • Crapsaccharine World: The first panels show an adorable, colorful unicorn picking up a belt of grenades, and it while the story never loses its cuteness, it gets pretty dark, pretty fast.
  • Combat Medic: Blaze, while primarily trained as a healer, is shown to have no issues casually picking up a Hellhound and throwing it over the horizon when Glitter is in danger.
  • Combat Tentacles: Unlike the other unicorns, Silver is able to directly attack with his magic, summoning blood-red tentacles to hold and bisect entire mobs of zombies. Fittingly, the others consider him a One Pony Army.
  • Cool vs. Awesome: Seriously, "Hooves of Death" is an awesome title and all, but really this comic could have just been called "Unicorns vs. Zombies" and it would be a completely accurate title.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Glitter falls precariously close to this once when Yellowstone camp is overrun and sees Commander Sprinkles, her crush, consumed by a Dog Pile of Doom. Her shield dispels itself and she stands catatonic, while Kate begs her to flee, but it's only the sight of Blaze's own shielding rescuing the Commander that she's able to compose herself.
  • Didn't See That Coming: Type 3: Unknown / Unknown. Given that the Unicorns couldn’t identify their distinctive holes, chances are they didn’t even know that gnomes existed, much less foresee an entire colony being infected and burrowing under the barrier.
  • Dig Attack: The main advantage the Zombie Gnomes have over Human Zombies.
  • Domed Hometown: Yellowstone National Park, or at least a section of it, houses the surviving humans in a sea of tents along with some basic agriculture underneath a magic barrier maintained by Commander Sprinkles.
  • Doomed Hometown: The Yellowstone-adjacent town of Jackson for Kate, and the Domed Hometown mentioned above, after the zombie gnomes dig under it.
  • Eat Dirt, Cheap: Being unicorns, Glitter, Blaze, and Silver can sustain themselves just fine grazing on grass, but Kate needs a little more sustenance than that, being a human, forcing them to scavenge in locales zombies have a heavy presence in.
  • Emerging from the Shadows: At the end of episode 7, a unicorn with a broken horn overlooks the Yellowstone camp. The next panel shows them with a Slasher Smile and the same sickly green eyes of the zombies, seemingly pleased at the camp's destruction.
  • Enthralling Siren: Glitter and co. stumble upon a whole island of them after a zombie horde chases them onto an unguided raft. They can shift freely between mermaid and bipedal forms, but can't stay out of the water for more than a few hours. While they don't seem to have any hypnotic magic, they keep exclusively hunky dudes captive on their island because everywhere else is filled with hordes of the undead.
  • Everybody's Dead, Dave: Most of humanity has been wiped out by the zombies, and eventually Yellowstone as well. When Commander Sprinkles shows reluctance to abandon the camp, Blaze informs him that there's nobody alive to rescue, and that the few unicorns that survived have already fled.
  • Everyone Can See It: Just about anyone seeing Blaze interact with Glitter notices his massive crush on her, except for Glitter apparently, from a fifteen-year-old girl to a literal hellbeast.
  • Eye Lights Out: Or Horn Lights Out in this case, when Commander Sprinkles is consumed by a zombie gnome Dog Pile of Doom. His second to last panel shows only his horn emerging from a mountain of gnomes as its spell fizzles weakly, and the last panel shows his horn fizzling out. Luckily, Blaze was able to get to him before he was actually killed.
  • Fallen Angel: Apparently, not every unicorn is immune to the zombie plague.
  • Fantastic Racism: Just because unicorns are helping the last of the humans survive doesn’t mean they all get along, though the lack of food and hopeless odds have are equally to blame for the strained relations. The humans seem quick to blame unicorns for the disappearing crops and gang up on Glitter for her unsuccessful scouting mission, and Blaze seems dismissive of humans for their Holding Out for a Hero tendencies.
  • Favors for the Sexy: Well, “sexy” for a unicorn, at least. Glitter dumps her squad training duties onto Blaze so she’d be free for a scouting mission this way. A simple muzzle press against his gets him blushing, and it apparently works so often that Blaze’s spent more time training Sergeant Glitter’s squad than Glitter herself. However, Glitter seems to simply know that the tactic works, not "how" it works.
  • Female Gaze: The Sirens seen in Chapter 15 run on this, specifically rescuing ridiculously attractive men to populate their safe haven to oogle them, likely throwing everyone else to the zombies, and they thirst hard to add Silver to their harem in exchange for safe lodging.
  • Fluffy the Terrible: Played With. Cutesy names like Glitter and Sprinkles make perfect sense for unicorns back when they really ‘'were’’ peaceful and adorable, but years of conflict have hardened them all into formidable and battle-scarred warriors that just happen to look adorable.
  • Foreshadowing: A pair of gnomes appear in the first chapter, when later chapters have the settlement puzzled why their crops are gone and (gnome-sized) holes are the only evidence. The gnomes also turn around to see something looming over them, and chapter 6 indicates it a zombie attack that spread the infection to an entire subterranean colony.
  • From Bad to Worse: The situation is bad enough, but a crop failure means that the Yellowstone camp is going to starve to death before the zombies can get a chance to eat them unless they find out the source. And all that becomes a moot point when the Yellowstone camp is breached and only a handful survive.
  • Our Gnomes Are Weirder: Appearance-wise, they look like garden-variety garden gnomes, but have a fondness for tunneling and ironically steal from humans’ gardens instead of guarding them. Unfortunately, they aren’t immune to the zombie virus like Unicorns are, and an infected colony quickly tunnels to the nearest mass of prey: the Yellowstone Camp right above them.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: Commander Sprinkles has the classically badass "scar across the eye that doesn't actually blind it" version.
  • Hellhound: A massive, hellish wolf shows up, having tracked the bleeding Glitter, and but the prey it seeks is actually the seemingly-normal human Kate. Its presence indicates there’s more to the setting than merely “unicorns vs. zombies.”
  • The Hermit: Silver, a reclusive old unicorn with a constant disheveled appearance and the dubious honor of being the former steed of War, making him a One Pony Army. He decides to join Glitter, Kate, and Blaze on their journey, since there's nothing particularly holding him to his current damp, miserable cave.
  • Horn Attack: One of the most effective weapons a unicorn can use is the Absurdly Sharp Blade on its forehead, as Glitter freely demonstrates.
  • Horsemen of the Apocalypse: According to Silver they are the cause behind the Apocalypse (as befitting their name). Famine did his thing a while back, later War came to Silver and made him into his steed, the red horse, and caused wars around the world. Currently Pestilence is making the zombies roam the Earth. Silver says that it should have ended a while ago and Death should have started to ride. The captured hellhound says that it is because Death and Pestilence wish for humanity to suffer that the zombie plague has lasted as long as it has.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: This mindset is why Death and Pestilence are allowing the apocalypse to last so long, figuring that thanks to decades of war, environmental degradation, and disrespect of their fellow sapients, they deserve to be wiped out instead of merely humbled. Given the attitude of the Yellowstone humans, this may have some merit, but as Glitter points out, it's impossible for every human to be deserving death.
  • The Immune: Unicorns by default, only gaining a mild fever when bitten by a zombie. It’s one reason why humanity even stands a chance, along with unicorns’ magical powers. Unfortunately, other fantasy species don’t share that immunity.
  • It Has Been an Honor: Commander Sprinkles thanks Glitter and Blaze for their service, right before he teleports to the other side of a zombie horde to lead the undead away from the rest.
  • Mood Dissonance: Humanity has been decimated by the Zombie Apocalypse, and the few that remain live in near starvation in overcrowded camps. Their only hope for survival lies with...sparkly, multicolored unicorns. That bleed rainbows.
  • Moral Myopia: On the part of the Four Horsemen. While Famine and War brought the apocalypse as they were supposed to, Pestilence and Death are intentionally drawing out their duties to make sure humanity suffers for the harm it did to the world. Yet, the zombie plague, wide-scale destruction, and ecological collapse has already surpassed even the worst of humanity's feats, and many non-humans species like Unicorns and Gnomes are suffering just as much. When called on this, Death's emmisary claimed non-humans "deserved it" since they hid from humans instead of trying to stop them.
  • Morton's Fork: A cheeky example lampshaded as Glitter rescues Kate, the unicorn letting Kate know she could either accompany her to the safe zone willingly, or accompany her to the safe zone while kicking and screaming. Kate grumbles out the lack of options, and Glitter wholeheartedly agrees.
  • Lightmare Fuel: The Zombie Apocalypse has never been so goshdarn adorable.
  • Long-Haired Pretty Boy: Commander Sprinkles, combined with Bishie Sparkles. Even his Covered with Scars appearance barely offsets it. Blaze counts as well, but combined with his constant dour mood it makes him look more haggard if anything.
  • Luminescent Blush: Whenever Glitter pays him a compliment, Blaze gets hit by a blush so intense that the panel background itself will typically turn a lovely shade of pink.
  • Outside-Genre Foe: Inversion, more of an Outside Genre Ally. In a seemingly mundane world beset by a Zombie Apocalypse, the unicorns hiding behind the Masquerade emerge to hold the line. Even a zombie’s strongest weapon, its infectious bite, does nothing more than give a unicorn a fever. Then played straight, when a Hellhound “from the literal Hell” arrives. Similarly, even the magical unicorns have no idea that gnomes exist, much less Zombified versions.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: While the zombies function like the typical hollywood shamblers, their outbreak seems to be magical in origin. One infection that Glitter witnessed firsthand involved nothing more than a child holding an innocent-looking butterfly, which corrupted the girl into Undead Child that immediately attacked Glitter.
  • Peek-a-Bangs: Blaze, a unicorn medic and Glitter’s close friend, wears his red mane long and loose, complementing his dour personality.
  • Saying Sound Effects Out Loud: Glitter, frequently, typically during dramatic moments, like literally yelling “knicker” while knickering as she charges a zombie. Or uttering “gasp” as Commander Sprinkles is overwhelmed.
  • Scars Are Forever: In a flashback, unicorns like Glitter were shown majestic and pristine as you’d expect. Now, even the background unicorns sport a grim collection of scars, and Glitter adds a nasty-looking one after an encounter with a Hellhound.
  • Shock Collar: Copying a spell used by Commander Sprinkles, Glitter and co. capture a Hellhound thanks to a magic collar that'll keep on tightening unless it obeys the unicorns' commands. Foolishly he tries to trip Glitter when fleeing from zombies the next episode, but the collar quickly ensures he's the one needing rescue moments later.
  • Sugar Apocalypse: Reader comments joke the story's art style feels like My Little Pony amidst a Zombie Apocalypse, and they’re not entirely wrong.
  • Super-Persistent Predator: A Hellhound is dispatched to hunt Kate specifically, claiming her constant survival means she's evaded Death for far too long. He "only eats the souls of the damned," not unicorns, after all.
  • Telekinesis: Similar to the unicorns of Friendship Is Magic, all unicorns can manipulate objects at a distance using their magical horns, which is quite useful for pulling the pins of grenades, lowering fussy children down from trees, or toss opponents very far away from you.
  • Tertiary Sexual Characteristics: Played with interestingly. Since they're cartoon unicorns, both mares and stallions alike have luxurious flowing manes in soft pastel colors, however Blaze and Commander Sprinkles have manes in more "masculine" colors like cool blue and orange, and unlike the males, Glitter is drawn with larger, more anime-character like eyes and visible eyelashes.
  • Token Evil Teammate: The Hellhound stalking the group is eventually captured and pressed into service thanks to a Shock Collar, as they hope to use him to track down his master, Death. Naturally, he's not happy about it, and lets everyone know with constant insults and taunts.
  • Torches and Pitchforks: Points given for the mob that harasses Glitter actually being farmers who were complaining about their non-existent harvest and lack of food reserves, explaining why they already had pitchforks on hand.
  • Unicorn: Obviously. They’re of the classical variety, with white coats, long and colorful hair, stag-like hooves, and leonine tails. They aim to prevent the extinction of humans for reasons currently unknown, but most likely out of moral obligation.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: After Glitter returns from her scouting mission with no food and only a lost child, a crowd of humans rush to their Torches and Pitchforks, even having the nerve to take a swing and cry foul when Kate swings back. Their attitude is bad idea regardless, as the Unicorns’ aid is the sole reason the humans remained alive long enough to actually start running out of supplies.
  • Wham Episode: Episode 6, the fall of the Yellowstone camp.
  • The Worf Effect: Commander Sprinkles, who Glitter considers one of the finest soldiers alive, is immediately overwhelmed by waves of zombified gnomes once they emerge, which unfortunately takes the settlement’s protective barrier down as well. Literally one chapter ago, Commander Sprinkles demonstrated he could Teleport, and it takes Blaze's timely intervention to rescue him. Similarly, even the military-trained unicorns along with the villagers wielding pitchforks last chapter seem unarmed and helpless as they go down, not even able to get a swing or a spell off.
  • Zerg Rush: Unsurprisingly used by the zombies, which is their only hope against the plague-immune unicorns, even though it typically results in a single grenade to annihilate the entire clustered group. It’s far more effectively used by the Zombie Gnomes, tunneling right under the unprepared survivor camp with at least a dozen gnomes swarming over every victim. Unfortunately, Commander Sprinkles is one such casualty.
  • Zombie Apocalypse: Zombies? Check. Human civilization nearly brought to collapse? Check. Survivors growing increasingly desperate for supplies? Check. An army of Unicorns arrive to save the last of mankind? Double check!
  • Zombie Infectee: Glitter gets bit by a zombie during her rescue of Kate, and the human is understandably paranoid that the unicorn will turn. It’s subverted though, as Glitter lets her know that unicorns are immune to infection, merely gaining a temporary fever. However, the blood loss, coupled with the burning fever and continuous exertion, is an entirely different problem.
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