Comics : Marvel Zombies 2 #5

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This review was first published on: 2008.

Background...

Once realizing that Reed Richards' dimensional portal that he used to flee their universe was not at the Baxter Building like they initially thought it was but was probably with the settlement led by T'Challa, the Marvel Zombies made their way there to eat everyone still living and to activate the portal to send them all to another universe to begin feeding off of that one. During the fight to protect themselves, it appeared that a whole number of zombies were destroyed including T'Challa and the Wasp, or were about to be destroyed (Iron Man and Hawkeye) and that the Marvel Zombies, breaking through T'Challa and his defenses were about to feed on the remaining surviving humans.

In Detail...

Marvel Zombies 2 #5
Apr 2008 : 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

With a sad, mournful look in his vacant, empty eyes, Giant Man says that he's no longer hungry. Wolverine, listening on, just thinks great, more for him, but somehow Giant Man convinces Wolverine to ignore his insatiable hunger and to leave the people alone. Iron Man then flies in to confirm Giant Man's words saying that he too no longer feels the urge to cannibalize the surviving humans.

And just like that, Giant Man vows to stop their evil ways and to help rebuild society. "To become heroes again." But it looks like the other zombies who have already agreed to stop eating people didn't hear Giant Man's change of heart and come bursting into the room ready to fight. Hawkeye and T'Challa seem to have survived the first onslaught, along with Luke Cage and Spider-Man.

Giant Man, asking for a truce, sends Cortez into a rage screaming at him if he actually believes that he should be forgiven for all the atrocities that he has committed throughout the universe. Giant Man says that yes, he does believes he should be forgiven. Cortez couldn't possibly understand how they were all "possessed" and couldn't control themselves. If that were the case then how do you explain Giant Man talking Wolverine and Phoenix into not eating anyone anymore. Spider-Man and Luke Cage, who left the rest of the zombies to go and help the survivors, also sort of throws a giant monkey wrench in Giant Man's argument, but whatever. Cortez vows that he'll do whatever he can to make Giant Man and the rest of the zombies pay for what they've done.

Without getting too much farther into it, the Hulk finishes any more of their arguing by bursting through a wall yelling that he's hungry and when the Hulk's hungry you better get out of his way. Turning their attentions away from each other, the zombies and humans decide what's best to do right now is deal with the Hulk. Giant Man tries to make Hulk understand that they don't have to eat anyone anymore, but the Hulk isn't hearing it. During the fight, the Hulk manages to destroy the Phoenix by smashing her head to pulp, and smashing Hawkeye's head against the floor. With everyone turning on him, the Hulk can't figure out why his zombie friends are now trying to stop him from eating when before they ate with him.

Dr. Reynolds, feeling alone and depressed because the Wasp was destroyed, sacrifices himself to the Hulk. After having fed off of human flesh, the Hulk reverts back to Bruce Banner, who immediately sees everyone's opportunity and tells them all to kill him now while they still can while the Hulk is gone. Turning their cosmic powers on him, Wolverine, Giant Man and Spider-Man blast Banner's head into nothing.

With the Hulk now destroyed they can turn their attention on helping the humans get their lives back in order, and during their efforts, Forge manages to stumble upon the Wasp's head, which appears to still be intact even after being smashed in between Giant Man's hands, under some rumble.

We now get a splash page pin-up of the surviving zombies, along with Forge, T'Challa's wife and his grandson, looking down over the gravestones of Hawkeye, Iron Man, Phoenix, Hulk and Firelord. I guess Dr. Reynolds wasn't important enough to get his own grave. He only sacrificed himself to stop the Hulk.

Later, Giant Man approaches the Wasp and tries to apologize for trying to kill her but, shooting him down, she does tell him that she'll be there at his meeting later even though she can't stand him. At the gateway, all of the zombies have met with Cortez and Giant Man, who tells everyone that he's been working on trying to fix the gateway to open up worlds to them with plenty of supplies and other people to help them get their feet back on the ground. Cortez changes the whole tone of the meeting when he confides that the reason the gateway was so easy to fix this time around was because earlier he removed some key parts of the device but now its fine and working. But he doesn't want to go to another universe. He wants to stay exactly where he is. He likes the world as it is and with the zombies out of his way, he'll be able to rule without any opposition from anyone.

Right before activating the portal, Cortez confesses that he was the one that planned the assassination attempt on T'Challa's life, but it was also him who killed T'Challa's son, and once T'Challa is gone, he's going to kill his grandson as well. With a flash of blue light, the zombies are gone. Forge runs into the room asking Cortez what he's done, that they have to get them back. But with a punch to the face, Cortez silences him and says that the zombies are someone else's problem now.

In General...

It appears that all of the zombies that were destroyed last issue seem to be just fine here, but not that it really matters because after the Giant Man stops being hungry and manages to convince the other zombies from not eating everyone, Bruce Banner turns back into the Hulk, who becomes enraged and vows to eat everything in sight. Hulk manages to destroy a number of the zombies before Dr. Reynolds sacrifices himself to the Hulk, who becomes vulnerable after turning back in Banner, and then gets his head blown away.

Once the Hulk is dealt with the zombies turn their attention on helping the survivors and getting Reed Richards' dimensional gateway working so that they can get some supplies and other people to their dimension. But Cortez has other plans and somehow manages to trap all the zombies in the room with the portal and sends them to another universe before sealing the portal behind them. With the zombies gone Cortez is now free to rule with an iron fist.

Overall Rating...

Last issue it appeared that a number of zombies were destroyed; T'Challa's entire body was squashed and the Wasp's head was smashed by Giant Man, but both of them appear to be just fine in this issue. Yeah, T'Challa's body was destroyed but somehow his head was fine even though in the last issue it appeared that his entire body was smashed into jelly, but there's no way to reason the Wasp's surviving away. Her head was literally smashed between Giant Man's hands, how is she still fine? This type of storytelling is extremely weak, where one issue you have a character meet their maker, but then in the next everything is fine and whatever happened in the last issue is pretty much forgotten.

Another thing that bothered me was how easily the Hulk destroyed the Phoenix. I was always under the impression that nothing could hurt the Phoenix except the Phoenix herself. Hulk punches a hole through her chest and then smashes her head. That's how the Phoenix was destroyed? Don't make me laugh.

Another issue I had was in how can Giant Man, after realizing that his hunger is now gone, makes the rest of the zombies immediately stop eating? I thought when the hunger had a hold on them, there was nothing that they could do to stop themselves from eating, but somehow, at a few words from Giant Man, Wolverine and the Phoenix immediately stop their feasting before it's even begun.

This was just another really weak story with some huge plot holes all over the place. After having such a great time reading the first Marvel Zombies mini-series, I am extremely disappointed with this one. This second mini-series just cannot compare to the first in terms of it's story's quality.