'Black Summer' is set in the same universe as 'Z Nation', here's what you should know before you watch the Netflix zombie series
'Z Nation', a series on SyFy, is the parent show of the Netflix zombie series, which features the survivors after the summer everyone was killed
Netflix's new show 'Black Summer' is not a spin-off of 'Z Nation', but is set in the same universe. So, if you like 'Z Nation' you may not necessarily like 'Black Summer' as the two are as different from each other as chalk and cheese. While the former is a comic take on the post-apocalyptic Zombie-verse, the latter is a more serious and survival driven drama with a mother, Rose (Jaime King) playing the lead role.
The five-season show 'Z-Nation' began three years after the events of 'Black Summer' and most humans were killed due to the virus. The show centered on Alvin Murphy (Keith Allan), who is the only known survivor of a zombie bite. He was one of the prison mates at Portsmouth Naval Prison, Maine, who was administered with a vaccine that cured him to an extent. While Alvin did not turn into a zombie like everyone else, he evolved into a hybrid between a zombie and a human.
In essence, he begins to shed his skin and his body turns blue, he is even able to control or mesmerize zombies he comes in contact with, and also has control over himself. He is the only shot at formulating a vaccine against zombie bites and he must travel to the world's last known functioning Centers for Disease Control, which is in California. He has to find a way from the east coast, New York, to the west coast and he does so with a group of other survivors.
The group has a helping hand in the form of Citizen Z (DJ Qualls) who helps Alvin and the other survivors from an NSA listening post at the Arctic Circle. A former hacker for the NSA, he is the only survivor left in the employ of NSA. He uses his equipment to help the survivor group make its way from New York to California. Over the five seasons, the survivors go through life-altering situations and one member of the survivors' group even gets bitten by a zombie after which he is killed by his girlfriend.
We also see humans evolve into different kinds of zombies such as the "walkers" and the "talkers" and there is also the fact that Alvin begins to eat zombie brains like many other survivors. The show is a fascinating take on what could really happen if we were to be attacked by a virus that would turn us into zombies.
Now 'Black Summer' set three years before 'Z Nation' began, at the onset of the virus attack. Rose loses contact with her daughter and to track her back, she joins a group of American survivors who will help her get in touch with her daughter again. There is a lot of terror because this is the beginning of mass death and destruction, something the population has not seen before. There is also horror and gore that is an expected by-product of a zombie movie. 'Black Summer' is slated to release on April 11.