Comics : Marvel Zombies 2 #3
This review was first published on: 2008.
After eating everything they could find in the entire universe, the next course of action for the Marvel Zombies is to return to Earth to try and find Reed Richards' dimensional portal he used to escape their universe. If they can find it then maybe they could escape as well to find more people to eat. It looks like the small group of surviving people back on Earth is going to have their hands full when the zombies get back.
On Earth the group of survivors was led by T'Challa, the Black Panther, but during an assassination attempt on his life, he winds up becoming a zombie after being infected by a bite from the zombie Wasp, who was only trying to save him from death at the hands of his assassin. The Wasp and T'Challa quickly place themselves into quarantine so that they can get past their hunger for human flesh.
Finally the zombies show up but Spider-Man and Luke Cage have a sudden change of heart because of the time away from eating people has made their hunger diminish, and they turn on the rest of the zombies to try and protect the surviving humans. During the fight, Dr. Reynolds manages to encase New Wakanda is a giant force field generated from Asteroid M, separating the Marvel Zombies on the outside from all the survivors, along with Spider-Man and Luke Cage on the inside. The only problem is that the zombie Gladiator was within the bounds of the force field when it was activated and he doesn't share Spider-Man and Luke Cage's newfound respect for human life.
Marvel Zombies 2 #3
Feb 2008 : SM Guest
Summary: Zombie Spider-Man Appears
Not sharing zombie Giant Man's notion of farming the remaining humans so that they can breed them and strengthen their numbers, Spider-Man and Luke Cage have flipped sides, now aiding the humans. Zombie Gladiator, trapped within the force field that is surrounding Asteroid M along with the zombie versions of Spider-Man, Luke Cage, T'Challa (aka the Black Panther), and Wasp, who are trying to protect the surviving people trapped with them, wants nothing more than to eat everyone himself. Spider-Man tries to reason with the Gladiator reminding him that he was once a protector of his people, but since the humans are not "his" people, plus the fact that Spider-Man and the rest of the Marvel zombies ate his people, he thinks it's about time he returned the favor.
Still trying to reason with the Gladiator, the Wasp tells him that he doesn't have to do this, that they can fight the hunger, but the Gladiator tells her he doesn't have to fight them, he wants to. And as he says that, grabbing Spider-Man by both of his wrists, the Gladiator pulls Spider-Man apart, leaving a huge gash from Spider-Man's left shoulder all the way down to his waist.
While the zombies are fighting each other inside the force field, the zombies outside are doing their best to get in, only their best isn't good enough. Giving up, they decide that maybe going under it would be better. But as they discover that the force field is actually a sphere, inside, even with the Cosmic powers, Luke Cage and Spider-Man are really no match for the Gladiator, but maybe a figure wearing Iron Man's original armor can stop him. With this new person's help, with him holding onto the Gladiator, Spider-Man and Luke Cage focus their blasts at his head and blow it clean off.
While watching from the outside, Iron Man is pretty ticked off that someone stole his original armor. Asking him how he got it, Forge, removing his helmet and revealing himself, tells Tony that his building isn't locked anymore and that he's had over 40 years to improve on its technologies.
Deciding they can't get in, the Marvel Zombies give up on Giant Man's reassurance that the survivors are not the reason why they're back on Earth in the first place. Once they get to the Baxter Building, they're greeted by a robotic assault from the building's defense security. Fighting they're way through to try to get to Reed's gateway, Giant Man wonders who could have turned on the building's defenses since the time they left the planet (um, maybe it was the group of survivors you left a little while ago perhaps).
In the infirmary on Asteroid M, Dr. Reynolds is trying to figure out what to do with the unconscious body of Bruce Banner. Forge decides that the only thing they can do is keep him heavily sedated because, if he should wake up and turn back into the Hulk, there's really no way to stop him. Meanwhile, the Wasp's head is dangling from her cybernetic body and she wishes to get it reattached. Dr Reynolds practically trips over himself to get to help her as Cortex enters shouting out orders about what they have to do, but whatever it is, doing it with those zombies is a huge mistake. Forge reminds him that if not for their zombie friends they wouldn't have survived thus far, plus the zombies are obviously not attacking them now.
Later, Dr Reynolds is finishing up putting the Wasp back together again. She thanks him saying just how horrible it is when she can't move on her own. Dr Reynolds kisses her on the cheek saying how worried he was for her when he saw her being attacked. With Luke Cage and Forge staring awestruck on, the Wasp kisses Dr Reynolds back on the lips (only technically, she doesn't have any lips so no clue how this is possible or even desirable for that matter).
Telling Forge to stop wasting his time and plug up his stomach because he lost the lower part of his body during the fight with the Gladiator, Forge tells him that he's already finished. Using some of the Wasp's old robotic legs, Forge connects them somehow to Luke cage's brain so that he can now control them. Luke asks Forge what it's been like all these years on Earth. Forge says that there's been some good times and bad, but above it all they've just survived. Luke stares off remembering what it was like to be alive (you can almost hear a violin playing in the background).
Later on, T'Challa's wife brings his grandson to see him, saying that she couldn't keep him away. T'Challa tells K'Shamba not to be afraid, but, keeping his distance, K'Shamba asks him if he's really dead and T'Challa asks him what he thinks. K'Shamba says he looks dead but T'Challa reminds him of his studies when he told him that not everything is as it appears. K'Shamba then says that when he dies he doesn't want to be dead like his parents, but like T'Challa, so that he can come back too.
Turning his attention away from his grandson, T'Challa asks Luke Cage and Spider-Man why is it that they've returned and Spider-Man tells him it was to find Richards' gateway to another universe so that they can find more food. Forge grins and tells them to follow him. He wants to show them something.
Back at the Baxter Building the Marvel Zombies, after searching through the entire building, finally figure out that Richards' device was taken and since Forge broke into Stark International and stole Iron Man's original armor, he must have also broken into the Baxter building, stolen the gateway and activated the building's defenses. With this knowledge they know they have to go back and deal with Forge.
Back at Asteroid M Forge is showing everyone the Gateway but tells them that no matter what he does he can't seem to get it working. After finding it, Forge explains that the reason he brought it with him was because he figured the zombies would return and he's have to keep it away from them, maybe even use it himself to escape. Spider-Man is flabbergasted telling them that they don't understand what they've done. This was the very reason the zombies traveled across the known universe, for this very device, and they won't stop until they've gotten it and that they're probably on their way now. T'Challa says that they just don't have the man-power to put up any kind of fight, but Dr. Reynolds seems to think he can help there.
Explaining that during one of their travels around New Wakanda he discovered part of a brain that was still functioning, and of course, he brought it back to their settlement to study it. Once a situation presented itself, Dr. Reynolds could continue to test the brain and he discovered that even though some of its functions were damaged, a lot of the core functionality remained. Telling T'Challa to brace himself, Dr. Reynolds opens a door to reveal the zombie version of T'Channa, T'Challa's dead son, wearing the Captain America costume. Obviously the brain that was found was that of Colonial America.
After getting trapped inside the force field with the Gladiator, the zombie versions of Spider-Man, Luke Cage, and the Wasp, along with the help of an elderly Forge wearing the original Iron Man's armor, which he stole from Stark Enterprises, the survivors make their way into Asteroid M where they patch their cuts and bruises and in the case of the zombies, any holes or missing appendages.
Meanwhile, after searching through the Baxter Building, the rest of the Marvel Zombies realize that Forge must have also stolen Reed Richards's device that he used to escape into an alternate reality. Now knowing where the device is, they make their way back to Asteroid M where a fight is about to commence.
Back on Asteroid M, knowing that they're about to get their butts handed to them by the Marvel Zombies, Dr. Reynolds reveals to T'Challa and the rest of the survivors that he found a part of Colonial America's brain out in the field, and what else could he do with it but place it into the corpse of T'Challa's son, T'Channa.
Once again the story is incredibly juvenile. At one point we have the Zombie Wasp kissing Dr. Reynolds on the mouth, which is just gross, but pretty ineffectual seeing as how she doesn't have any lips. What did she do, just press her exposed teeth to his lips? Oh I'm sure he loved that. Plus, besides the shock value, this added nothing to the story.
And then the scene where Spider-Man tells Luck Cage that his body is a complete mess after he was cut in half from the force field and Luke asks him how can he possibly look bad after he just lost 80 pounds. Give me a break.
Really, this is the best Kirkman can do? Who does he think his target audience is - a bunch of toddlers? Maybe kids have picked up this issue, but right on the cover there is a parental advisory warning, which translates into the subject matter of this book may not be suitable for young minds. If you're going to write something that should be for adults don't ham it up for whatever reason you may have. It just comes off as stupid and pointless.
Robert Kirkman's writing in his Walking Dead comic series, with respect to his dialogue and characterizations, is so spot-on, but here, maybe it's marvel's editorial restrictions and direction guidelines that are making Kirkman's work here so sub-par. Whatever the case may be, this series is getting old very fast.