Marvel, in their never-ending battle to give fans a reason to buy their wares, publishes stories about undead versions of their most cherished heroes. The initial series is written by renowned zombie expert, Robert Kirkman, and shows the aftermath of a myserious virus that gives the Marvel heroes an insatiable hunger for flesh.
With the zombie love at a high, I examine some issues from the Marvel Zombies line. I’m not in love with them, but the issues sometimes provide some compelling or humorous moments of note.
I’m limiting my commentary to: Marvel Zombies 1 #1, its prequel, Marvel Zombies: Dead Days (Robert Kirkman, Sean Phillips), and the one-shots Marvel Zombies Halloween and Marvel Zombies: Evil Evolution. I’ll admit that I may come off as ignorant about the Zombie Universe, but I’m not paying lots of money to get all the stories.
Reed Richards Betrays Heroism, But Professor X Can’t
Early on in Marvel Zombies: Dead Days, there’s a big spread of the surviving X-Men fighting for survival. Meanwhile, Xavier has already been zombie chow by Alpha Flight.
Wouldn’t the zombies be better off leaving the telepathic Xavier as a zombie? If Reed Richards can decide that being a superhuman zombie is better than a superhero, wouldn’t Xavier’s mind-reading abilities be an asset? At least let us see Xavier make a last stand against the zombies.
That brings up another bring that annoys me about Marvel Zombies: how does one off a zombie other than ripping them bit by bit the eating them? In Evil Evolution, which seems to follow Dead Days, Reed can function as a disembodied head plus guts hanging out.
Marvel Zombies Halloween Has a Weak Resolution
Some readers may have been charmed by 2012’s Marvel Zombies Halloween one-shot by . It’s amusing in some places. A woman and her son fight for their lives inside an abandoned house. Attempting to recover some of their humanity, they discover a black cat and make him a new companion.
The kid likes “Blackie” so much that he looks for the cat when it goes missing. His search leads him to a deserted town that places him in peril.
The identities of mother and child are withheld until the climax. Some may have guessed who they are by the moment the boy puts on a Wolverine costume and the mother briefly speaks of her mutant hero.
In town, the kid is ambushed by the brattier Marvel Zombies, including Mettle and Squirrel Girl. This may or may not tie into Avengers Academy, but I stopped reading it after the third TPB. The mother finds her son and confronts the zombies. However, Mephisto dispenses the super-powered undead and spares the mother and son because he wants her son for… something in the future.
What a weird deus ex machina. I may be missing some nuance about how Mephisto interacts with the Marvel Universe, but the ending isn’t satisfying.
It is then where we should break out the Kleenex, for the mother is Kitty Pride and she’s been protecting her and Colossus’ son. After meeting Mephisto, the epilogue is something sappy about how Colossus will always be with Kitty and son in spirit. Awwww.
Apes Versus Zombies In Marvel Zombies: Evil Evolution
It’s gimmicky universe against gimmicky universe where the Apes stave off being the next zombie meal. The matchup of Marvel Apes and Marvel Zombies is silly, yet decent, and it takes getting used to many art shifts.
And knowing the Super-Apes of the Marvel Apes universe from the Apes of the “Human Universe.”
And having the resolution involves timey-wimey brain-bending stuff that may not make sense.
Karl Kesel is the constant of Evil Evolution. He understands that this is all goofy. By comparison, I couldn’t the Kirkman-written issues are meant to be taken seriously. Within Evil Evolution, I chuckled at this “family reunion” between zombie Human Torch and human Invisible Woman:
Also, Spider-Monkey has his dignity intact in the end, so it’s all good.