Marvel Zombies Return

Let’s just end this. This book is the finale of the original Marvel Zombies story that got sidetracked after Marvel Zombies 2. It is also just absolutely awful.

Alright, the book is 5 issues long with the first 4 issues showing off what happened to the Marvel Zombies after they were teleported away by Cortez.

The first issue is the Spider-Man story, which probably had the best concept based on the art alone. It has this silver age vibe to it and I really like it. However, the story is just zombie Spider-Man killing the Sinister Six in increasingly gory ways.

Issue 2 is about Iron Man, but not the zombie Iron Man. It’s a retelling of “Demon In a Bottle” but with zombies attacking. Everyone but Rhodey dies, and he takes Iron Man’s place.

Issue 3 stars Wolverine. Zombie Wolverine fights another Wolverine and gets wrecked. I could barely tell what was going on in this issue because the art is so muddy. I couldn’t even root for either Wolverine because I forgot who was the zombie and who was the normal guy.

Issue 4 is World War Hulk with zombies. The end. Nothing else happens beyond that statement.

Issue 5 is where everyone comes together. They show a group of zombie heroes and villains who are all supposed to be Justice League analogues inside a base next to a dead Galactus. They talk about killing Black Panther, Luke Cage, and Wasp so there goes the only likable characters from the previous story. The four heroes from the previous issues arrive and fight these other zombies. Sandman appears and kills them all using some nanites that Spider-Man helped make. Giant Man, who had been appearing and planning something since the beginning, tries to trap the Sentry to use a battery to teleport to another universe to feed off. Uatu the Watcher appears and sends the Sentry back in time to the original zombie universe to contain the virus, creating a time loop.

Final Thoughts: I was confused throughout because the first two issues don’t mention that this is “Earth Z” so the timeline was messing with me. After all the zombies are killed they show Iron Man still hovering around. But earlier he mentions that heat seeking missiles don’t work on our kind, so he is also a zombie. So that means zombies are still around and the virus isn’t contained, negating the point of the entire book.

Rating: Rubbish

 

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Marvel Zombies 5

Alright, this is the last of the numbered “Marvel Zombies” series. There are three other comics from the series I will have to review, though. Last time, Werewolf by Night was infected and now three people are sent out to cure him. Find out who now.

Issue #1 begins in an alternate world’s old west. There a girl, Jackie, is trying to get to her father, the villain Hurricane. Zombies begin to attack and Hurricane is killed fighting them. Before he dies he passes his superspeed power to Jackie. She fights the zombies and is about to be killed when Machine Man arrives, with a partner, Howard the Duck. They take a sample of the zombie and prepare to leave when Jackie asks to go with them. They accept her and head into the Planestorm, where they arrive on a world where War of the Worlds actually happened, ending the issue.

Morbius seems to have aged 20 years since I last saw him

Issue #2 begins with Howard the Duck telling us that Machine Man has been different because Jocasta left him for her ex, Ultron. In this world they meet three freedom fighters, Killraven, Old Skull, and M’Shulla. Killraven uses his power of mind control to get one of the Martians to infect the people in the Martian breeding centers. The virus’s rapid spread causes all the Martians to leave the Earth. The issue ends with Machine Man fusing with one of those cool Martian robots with the saucer looking head. Issue #3 takes place in some old English medieval world. The Black Knight causes a zombie outbreak using a book and the heroes destroy the book, end of issue. That’s about it for that story.

Issue #4 takes place in a parody of a sci-fi future. The virus comes from people downloading a video service to watch some soap opera sounding show. The most important thing that happens is that the person spreading this virus is an alternate Jocast and her bodyguard Arno Stark, Tony’s dad I think. Machine Man kills them both and we move on to the last issue. Oh boy, this issue. Issue #5 takes place on our Earth and begins with a nerd stereotype, named Wendell at a comic book store. He’s buying Marvel Zombies 5 and complains that Kirkman was better (he was.)

This is Van Lente's justification to kill some random guy: He doesn't like his book.

He leaves the store and goes home, where he has a package there for him. He opens it up and is blasted by the zombie virus. He slowly turns into a zombie, with only his parrot, Lockheed, who speaks in Yoda talk, around with him. He prepares to kill himself when he hears a scream that he assumes is someone in trouble. He prepares to go save them, dressed like a bunch of Marvel characters, when Machine Man and Howard bust in. Wendell has been struck by rigor mortis, but is still alive. They take the sample from him, and kill him saying “Die, nerd” as they do it. The issue ends with Machine Man opening up every plot hole in the Marvel Zombies series, and then just basically saying we should stop complaining and just enjoy the story.

This is just a terrible issue all around. They make this stereotype character, who even admits to being a stereotype, make you feel bad for him in his narration captions, and then just kill him. I guess he expects us to hate/laugh at him because he’s a nerd, but they make him sympathetic by wanting to help people, being selfless in wanting to stop the virus by killing himself, and even having enough control to let Lockheed go. And the part at the end about the plot holes is just childish, this is the most petty book I’ve ever read.

Plot: The plot is just nothing but an excuse to get these characters from one place to another. Any reasoning for this can be easily written out and ignored, which is just bad.

Characters: Howard and Machine are actually still funny and are the highlight of this. Jackie is a alright mother figure to the group, and I wish she could be in the mainstream world.

Action: There’s some action, but it doesn’t really matter. I don’t know how much I can say it’s bloody and gory.

Art: The reason I kind of skimmed over issue #4 was the horrible art. It’s scratchy and overly inked. Machine Man looks like Reagan for some reason. The issues are just average at best.

Ending: Horrible ending, needlessly cruel and childish.

Final Thoughts: I hate this book. The first couple issues are just boring and have nothing really special. That last one though, is just a travesty. You basically watch someone as they are about to die, and Van Lente just expects you to be laughing. I had high hopes because of Machine Man’s return, but his charm has worn off. Howard the Duck is just random, and is probably here just for another joke in the last issue. All of that said, this book is just one heaping pile of Rubbish.

Rating: Rubbish

Marvel Zombies 1

Now we must start upon one of the longest series I’ll cover, “Marvel Zombies.” Teased as the first meeting of the Ultimate and regular universe, Marvel got everyone when they revealed that it was not so. Ultimate Reed Richards was contacted by what appeared to be the regular Reed.  Turns out he was a zombie from another universe and he brought Reed to his universe, where almost everyone has been bitten and turned into zombies. Reed escaped with help from Magneto, who destroyed the zombies’ teleporter. This is where we will begin.

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Our heroes, ladies and gentlemen

Magneto lies on the ground, injured from the teleporter’s explosion, and surrounded by zombies. He battles them across the city, putting a good fight, killing Hawkeye, breaking Spider-Man’s leg, and slicing off Colonel America’s forehead. He is bitten by Wasp and then eaten by the group of zombies. The zombies discuss their zombie biology until the Silver Surfer appears, but disappears before the zombies can attack him. The group decides to wait for Iron Man to show up, while Hank Pym (Giant Man) goes back to his lab to find his wife, Wasp.

At his lab it is shown that he has Black Panther tied to a board to be used as food for himself. Hank is caught eating T’Challa’s leg by the Wasp, so he bites her head off and spits it out. Iron Man joins the zombie group and the Silver Surfer appears again to herald in the arrival of Galactus. The zombies attack the Surfer, and he manages to slice Iron Man’s body in half, destroy one of Wolverine’s arms, and fry Hulk’s face. The fight ends when Hulk bites the Surfer’s head off, and Wolverine, Colonel America, Giant Man, Iron Man, Spider-Man, and Luke Cage eat his body. Eating Surfer gives these zombies the power cosmic, and they use it to kill most other zombies.

We cut to Black Panther and the Wasp’s head walking down the street. They are confronted by a group of mutants looking for Magneto, who take Panther back to Asteroid M (Magneto’s base in the Earth’s orbit.) Back to the zombies, Galactus appears to devour the planet. He shoots lasers at the zombies, blasting off Luke Cage’s left side. They escape back to Hank Pym’s lab, where they build a laser cannon to enhance their cosmic blasts. When they look at Galactus, they see an army of villains also fighting Galactus. They fire the cannon at Galactus twice, causing him to fall down. The “hero” zombies rush in to try and eat Galactus and fight the villain zombies.

Colonel America is killed in the fight, when Red Skull rips his exposed brain out. The zombies finally reach Galactus’s body, and proceed to eat him. We cut to 5 years later, with the people of Asteroid M returning to Earth. Panther has prosthetic limbs and Wasp is now a head in a jar on a robot body. They find the planet has no one left on it, as if the zombies have left. We see another world, which appears to be inhabited by the chrome cousins of the Xenomorphs. The Marvel Zombies appear in their Galacti attire and prepare to eat the aliens, ending the story.

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The irony is too thick here.

Well this was quite a short review, but let’s get to the rating anyway.

Plot: What a fantastic concept. Instead of focusing on heroes fighting zombies, we see the lives of zombie versions of heroes we know.

Characters: Again, we know these characters. We get to see them at their worst, with Giant-Man and his horrible deeds, and Spider-Man’s guilty conscious still existing. They balance this out with some dark comedy, and character building.

Action: The action is a bit gory, but what do expect from a zombie comic? Magneto’s fight in particular shows his genius tactics and power. After that it becomes more of a laser show, and less interesting.

Art: The art is pretty great, with dark shadows and heavy inking to set up this horrible world.

Ending: The comic uses “The end?” as it’s ending, and it does leave off with a great set up for another comic. There will be a point where “The end?” will become annoying, but not in this one, as it was the first go.

Final Thoughts: I have read all of Marvel Zombies, and about all of the spin-offs and sequels. This is the second best of all Marvel Zombies material that I have read. It’s great in character, art, action, and the premise could have carried this much farther. It somehow manages to be ridiculous, but reasonable and it moves along at it’s own special pace. Now, for the first time on Vintage Bullet, the Vintage rating has been given.(Applause, and cheers of the children should be playing as you read that last line)

Rating: Vintage