Comics : Marvel Zombies 2 #1

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This review was first published on: 2008.

Background...

On another dimension of the Ultimate Universe, one day the Sentry crashed down on Earth and brought with him the zombie infection. The Marvel Superheroes where there to confront him but how can you stop something that can't be killed, and with each bite, the zombie army grows? One by one the heroes fell to the infection and once beings with super powers were exposed, what hope does the human populace have to stand against them?

Once the "food" supply started to run low Reed Richards devised a plan to lure one of his other dimensional counterparts to open up a gateway between his dimension and the zombie infected one. This was the universe of the Ultimate Marvel heroes and here Reed Richards was much younger and fell for the trap. Once the zombie versions of the Fantastic Four made it to the Ultimate universe, a small group of survivors lead by Magneto, who sacrifices himself, destroyed Richards' machine trapping all of the Marvel Zombies in their dimension, and sealing off the way back for the Zombie Fantastic Four, still in the Ultimate universe.

Once the human population was no more, the Silver Surfer came to Earth followed shortly by Galactus, but even with all of the two's powers combined, they were no match for the zombie superheroes. Once feasting on the wayward travelers, the zombies now found themselves to be in possession of their cosmic powers, which allowed them to soar through the vacuum of space, where they could travel from world to world, consuming all in their path.

In Detail...

Marvel Zombies 2 #1
Dec 2007 : SM Guest
Summary: Zombie Spider-Man Appears
Editor:  Bill Rosemann
Writer:  Robert Kirkman
Artist:  Sean Phillips
Cover Art:  Arthur Suydam
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Review

40 Years have past since the infected Marvel superheroes left Earth in search of more beings to feed on and it appears that they've eaten everyone and everything in the entire universe. Getting frustrated, Zombie Thanos turns on zombie Hulk and accuses him of eating twice as much as everyone else, who includes Iron Man, Giant Man, Spider-Man, Luke Cage, Gladiator, Wolverine, Phoenix, and Firelord, who can only say "Guk" because of a lack of a lower jaw. Hulk smashes the head of Thanos into mush and says that it's ok that he eats twice as much as everyone, he can now eat Thanos' share. Before Giant Man can stop him the Gladiator tries to eat some of Thanos but spits it back out because of the awful taste.

Slowly Giant Man starts to remember that Reed Richards used a machine to escape their dimension back on Earth. He tells everyone that this is their chance to escape this now empty universe and start all over again somewhere else. Iron Man starts remembering that he too worked on this machine with Reed Richards. As they fly back to Earth, Spider-Man comments to Luke Cage that, it just might be his imagination, but he thinks that the hunger is starting to fade the longer they go without eating someone.

Back on Earth a small boy is walking through a deserted city with trees and other plants overgrown everywhere when he hears a voice calling out for help underneath some rubble. Digging towards the sound the small boy discovers the zombie head of Hawkeye who must have been trapped there since the other zombies left Earth. After promising the boy that he won't bite him, the boy promises that he'll take the head back home with him.

...And that home is New Wakanda, where an aging Black Panther sits at the throne for all the survivors. An old (and fat) Forge is warning the Black Panther about a group of young people, who have taken to calling themselves the Acolytes and are worshiping Magneto, who want to overthrow the Black Panther as their leader. Forge tries to argue that they should be kicked out but the Black Panther reminds him how old they are and how they'll need a new leader eventually, except the Wasp, whose head now sits atop a very curvy, female robot body, reminds them that there is a way that the Black Panther won't have to get old any longer. With the discovery of the head of Hawkeye, the Wasp now knows that the fading of her cravings for human flesh isn't just an isolated insistent. Hawkeye, too, no longer feels the need to eat people any longer.

Meanwhile, on their return trip, the Marvel Zombies stumble upon Eros, the Living Planet, and make fast work of him.

Back at New Wakanda, in an extremely disturbing image, we have the scientist who created Wasp's robotic body, place the Zombie head of Hawkeye on one of her older models. Seeing Hawkeye with breast is more disturbing then anything else shown in these zombie books. The doctor tells the Black Panther that when he tried to remove Hawkeye's mask, Hawkeye freaked out thinking the doctor was actually removing his skin or something. Apparently being buried in a hole for 40 years has severely damaged Hawkeye's mind (go figure).

The young upstarts, the Acolytes, have themselves a new leader, the son of Fabian Cortez, one of Magento's original Acolytes, who is whipping his followers into a frenzy to overthrow the leadership in New Wakanda. And guess who is at the top of their list to succeed the current ruler - Cortez himself.

Later that night in the Black Panther's chambers on Asteroid M, with the Black Panther and his wife sleeping, the Wasp is at a monitor when it tells her that there's been a breach, but since they're not currently in space, the doctor tells her it's probably nothing, but to go check it out if she feels like it. In the shadows a dark intruder creeps closer to the sleeping couple, lifts a blade into the air, and plunges it down into the stomach of the Black Panther, as his wife screams fill the room. In a failed attempt by the Black Panther to fight off his attacker, the lone assassin makes a fatal slice across the incision that was already made as the Wasp bursts into the room and blasts him with an electric taser. Pleading to the Wasp to save her husband, the Wasp knows there's only one way and she bites him on the neck. Getting her first taste of human flesh in a very long time sends the Wasp into a frenzy as she launches herself at the screaming woman, only to be pulled back at the last second by the now zombie version of the Black Panther. Standing over his assassin with his intestines hanging out to the floor, the Black Panther tells the Wasp to leave his wife alone but to help him eat the unconscious man's body laying at that their feet.

Covered in blood and flesh and telling his wife not to look at him, the Black Panther can only stare at what he has become. The Wasp reasons with him that with some time in the detention cell, while they still have their wits about them, after a few weeks they'll be back to normal again. Plus after what just happened, what else could go wrong.

Little does she know that at that very moment, making their way back to Earth, we have Spider-Man driving Giant Man crazy by asking "Are we there yet?"

In General...

After 40 years of traveling the universe with the Silver Surfer's stolen cosmic powers, the Marvel Zombies have gotten to the point where they believe that there just isn't anymore food left. Giant Man and Iron Man vaguely remember a machine that bridged a gap between dimensions and once realizing that this is there only hope, they decide to head back to Earth, stopping at Eros, the living planet, along the way for a quick bite to eat.

Back on Earth a small group of people have actually survived the first round of zombie infections and now, led by the aging Black Panther, there seems to be trouble brewing in his ranks. A group of younger members, calling themselves the Acolytes and worshiping Magneto, decide that new leadership is called for and late one night an assassin sneaks into the Black Panther's bedroom and stabs him in the stomach, signing his death sentence.

The Zombie Wasp barges in, seeing that the Black Panther is moments before death, infects him with the zombie plague by biting him. With the taste of fresh meat now on her lips, the Wasp turns her glance at the frail figure of the Blank Panther's wife, only to have the Black Panther come to and stop the Wasp before she can get to her. Looking at the unconscious body of his assassin, the Black Panther tells the Wasp to leave his wife alone and to help him eat him.

Meanwhile the Marvel Zombies are still making their way back to earth. If the zombie infection spreads any farther then just the Wasp, the Black Panther, and the discovered head of Hawkeye, there's not going to be much left of the small population of Earth to satisfy their hunger.

While traveling back to Earth Spider-Man makes a very important observation - the longer they go without eating, the less the pain and hunger has any kind of hold over their minds. This explains how the Wasp is allowed to live amongst the group of humans back on Earth. The only problem is that the Black Panther and the Wasp have both just recently fed, and the Marvel Zombies have stopped and eaten an entire planet made up of living flesh. With all of them re-zombified, what chance has the surviving people have to not be food and to stop whatever plans the zombies have that have lead them back to Earth?

Overall Rating...

Everyone in this issue just seemed so two-dimensional. The dialog wasn't that great and at points seemed very sophomoric. Not that it was entirely bad or anything, I would just rather feel a little stronger sense of horror about what is happening. Everybody just seems so candid about the horrors that they are all facing. It has been 40 years after the events in the first mini-series, so maybe everyone has been a little desensitized, but even so, you'd think that living with the zombie head of the Wasp attached to a robot's body wouldn't be something you'd just get used to. Plus a little body discovers the head of Hawkeye and barely bats an eyelash as he picks it up and brings it home.

Another thing that bothered me was that in one scene we have Luke Cage asking Spider-Man why he's been so quiet lately and Spider-Man tells him about how he believes that the longer they go without feeding the more the hunger fades away. And then the next scene we have him chowing down on Eros, only to be followed afterwards with Spider-Man cracking jokes and acting like he's usual self pre zombie infection. I guess eating a living being takes Spider-Man's conscience away. Like I said, very two-dimensional.

But other than that it was still a fun book, which is why I didn't rate this book too badly. Seeing some of the Marvel Heroes as zombies is still a cool premise that us readers can't seem to get enough of. If you can look past the flat story and just have fun with it, you'll find that it's really an enjoyable book. Not much depth but still fun nonetheless.