Marvel Zombies (series)
Cover of Marvel Zombies (2006), hardcover collected edition. Art by Arthur Suydam.
|Created by||Mark Millar
|Formats||Original material for the series has been published as a set of story arcs in Ultimate Fantastic Four, limited series, and one-shot comics.|
|Publication date||September 2005 – present|
|Marvel Zombies||ISBN 0-7851-2277-X|
|Marvel Zombies vs. The Army of Darkness||ISBN 0-7851-2743-7|
|Marvel Zombies: Dead Days||ISBN 0-7851-3563-4|
|Marvel Zombies 2||ISBN 0-7851-2546-9|
|Marvel Zombies 3||ISBN 0-7851-3635-5|
Marvel Zombies is a comic book metaseries published by Marvel Comics. The series features zombie versions of Marvel Universe superheroes who have been portrayed as both protagonists and antagonists through the different limited series within the metaseries.
- 1 Publication history
- 2 The Infection
- 3 Main series
- 3.1 Ultimate Fantastic Four
- 3.2 Marvel Zombies
- 3.3 Marvel Zombies vs. The Army of Darkness
- 3.4 Marvel Zombies: Dead Days
- 3.5 Marvel Zombies 2
- 3.6 Marvel Zombies 3
- 3.7 Marvel Zombies 4
- 3.8 Marvel Zombies Return
- 3.9 Marvel Zombies: Evil Evolution
- 3.10 Marvel Zombies 5
- 3.11 Marvel Zombies Supreme
- 3.12 Marvel Zombies Destroy!
- 4 Tie-in comics
- 5 Other comics
- 6 Covers
- 7 Collected editions
- 8 Merchandise
- 9 References
- 10 External links
The series of titles begins with two Ultimate Fantastic Four story arcs, "Crossover" (2005) and "Frightful" (2006), by Mark Millar and Greg Land. The story arcs were followed by a Marvel Zombies limited series by Robert Kirkman and Sean Phillips, who also created the prequel Marvel Zombies: Dead Days and sequel Marvel Zombies 2.
With Marvel Zombies 3, Kirkman and Phillips were replaced by Fred Van Lente and Kev Walker. The team continued on to Marvel Zombies 4, a four-issue mini-series starting in April 2009. Van Lente then stayed on to write the first and last issues of Marvel Zombies Return a series of five one-shots looking at different aspects of the outbreak. With Marvel Zombies 5 he teamed up with Kano, with the story picking up from the end of Marvel Zombies 4.
A new series was launched in 2011, Marvel Zombies Supreme takes the zombie infection to Earth-712, the universe of Squadron Supreme. It has a new creative team of Frank Marraffino and penciller Fernando Blanco. This was followed by Marvel Zombies Destroy! set in a dimension where Nazi zombies won the war. It was initially written by Frank Marraffino, with art by Mirco Pierfederici, but Marraffino's health issue meant he had to hand over the writing reins to Peter David with issue #3.
||This section describes a work or element of fiction in a primarily in-universe style. (March 2013)|
The ultimate origin of the infection is unknown. Although a paradoxical loop is responsible for its existence in the universes seen in the Marvel Zombies and Marvel Zombies Return, several universes are shown to have their own isolated outbreaks that have not reached the catastrophic levels seen in other series. As seen in Marvel Zombies 5, some of these universes have unique variations different from the established virus. Any connection between the common version seen in the first four series and Marvel Zombies Return and the isolated, alternate versions seen in Marvel Zombies 5 is unknown. In Marvel Zombies Supreme, the zombified Squadron Supreme is created when scientists graft the original team's DNA to human corpses and zaps them with space radiation. These zombies appear to be infected with a disease identical to the one seen in Marvel Zombies, its three sequels, and Marvel Zombies Return, though what this suggests about the origin of the virus seen in those series (if anything) is unknown.
Regardless, the most frequent version is the virus seen in the first several Marvel Zombies series. The contagion passes via a bite from an infected being. The infected appears to be dead, or at least decaying, but retains their intelligence, personality and special abilities, sans healing factors. The disease causes a powerful hunger in the host, a hunger which can only be sated by ingesting the flesh of the living; the flesh of other infected tastes foul to them and causes them to be ill. The hunger affects the infected's self-control; the more hungry they are, the less rational and intelligent they become. Once sated, the zombies' personalities re-emerge, and the more humane and moral individuals often feel great guilt at this point, though others (such as Hank Pym or Reed Richards) seem to embrace the infection, and seek to spread the infection to other universes.
The disease seems to be almost 100% infectious, with both Wolverine and the Hulk, individuals normally highly resistant or immune to most diseases, being affected. However, as noted by Spider-Man, those with any kind of accelerated healing appear to be able to fend off the zombification longer after being bit than others, however the virus eventually takes hold of him. The disease is also shown to affect the high gods of Asgard and Olympus, as members of several of Earth's ancient pantheons, such as Thor, Hercules and Amora are shown among the packs of zombies in various series. Perhaps the only immunity goes to voodoo-crafted zombies, such as Simon Garth, who cannot spread the virus. Non-organic mechanical beings, such as Jocasta, Ultron and Machine Man apparently cannot be affected by the zombie virus, certain mystical changes in physiology (such as in the case of Jack Russell, from his human to werewolf form), while unable to purge the infection, are able to keep it and its effects at bay for some time, and Uatu and the Watchers, due to their having exchanged corporeal bodies for forms of pure energy long ago, are incapable of being consumed by the infected, and are immune to the virus. The Aquarian, empowered by the energies of the Cosmic Cube, is able to, through intense hibernative meditation within an energy cocoon, eventually purge the infection from his system, and the Man-Thing, allegedly due to his intimate connection with Gaea, evidently cannot be permanently harmed by the zombie virus. While the skills of Doctor Druid and apparently Doctor Strange (the Sorcerer Supreme of Earth's dimension), and even the dark magic of the Necronomicon itself cannot seem to directly cure the virus, at least some forms of highly potent extradimensional magic, such as that employed by the Faltine Dormammu through the mystic Jennifer Kale, is even able to at least temporarily take control of the plague and its consciousness. Kale's Atlantean magery, combined with the voodoo spells of the Black Talon, is able to draw and contain the virus-mind within a single suitable host, such as Simon Garth. The zombified Hank Pym, when the Marvel Zombies are confronted by Death and Thanos (secretly Skrulls in disguise), expresses the view that the power of the Cosmic Cube could undo everything that has thus far occurred. In Marvel Zombies 5, Morbius of the core Marvel Universe finally manages to produce a cure by combining samples of different versions from several realities, having earlier produced a vaccine that could possibly infect its users as well, as shown in the case of the Werewolf. Furthermore, Mephisto has proven capable of easily destroying the zombies using his demonic hellfire.
The disease is incredibly hard to stop once spreading, due to the high survival rate of all zombies. Zombies seem to only need their brain stem to survive and can continue living without any use of their organs, limbs, and body functions. The infection even allows severed heads without lungs or vocal cords to continue speech just to further its infection capability. This was witnessed by Wasp and Hawkeye in the original Marvel Zombies, they were both simply severed heads that somehow still could function, and another example would be Captain America who survived for over forty years as a brain on the ground until being put inside the body of Black Panther's dead son.
The contagion has an addiction element to it; if a victim can be isolated from a food supply, within a couple of weeks the cravings disappear and the subject is able perform a functioning role within society, albeit with necrotised flesh, and near-immortality. Any additional ingestion of flesh will restore the hunger, though it can again be overcome. Another interesting note about the addiction, is that even while lacking a digestive system or even most of their lower body, the infected still have hunger pains and wish to continue feeding.
Ultimate Fantastic Four
In the story arc "Crossover" (issues #21–23), Reed Richards receives contact from an older version of himself from an alternate dimension. After crossing over, Reed discovers he's been duped and that the entire world is infested with blood-thirsty zombies looking to use the Ultimate Marvel universe as a food source. The zombified Fantastic Four, after failing to capture him, cross over to the Ultimate universe through a dimensional portal, but are captured. With help from Magneto, Reed escapes the zombie universe and prevents more zombies from entering the Ultimate universe.
In "Frightful" (issues #30–32), the zombified Fantastic Four attempt to break free from their confinement. The Ultimate Johnny Storm is infected with a demon from the Negative Zone, and the Ultimate Reed Richards performs a mind-swap with the Ultimate Doctor Doom. After the zombies break free, Reed, in Dr. Doom's body, becomes the demon's new host and defeats the zombies. Dr. Doom undoes the mind-swap and goes through the portal, destroying it and trapping himself in the zombie universe.
After zombie superheroes eat the human race to extinction, Galactus prepares to eat the Earth. Colonel America, Giant Man, Wolverine, the Hulk, Iron Man, Luke Cage and Spider-Man defeat and devour the Silver Surfer, and then attack Galactus. Infused with the Power Cosmic, Giant Man, Wolverine, the Hulk, Iron Man, Luke Cage, and Spider-Man, travel the universe as the "Zombie Galacti" to search for more sources of food.
Marvel Zombies vs. The Army of Darkness
In this crossover, Ash Williams (of Evil Dead-fame) arrives accidentally in the world of Marvel's Zombies. Continuing Ash's own storyline from Army of Darkness' ("The Death of Ash (vol.I) # 12-13"), this series also serves as a prequel and an origin of the Marvel Zombies.
Marvel Zombies: Dead Days
In this continuation from Marvel Zombies vs. The Army of Darkness, the zombie infection spreads throughout the world, while uninfected superheroes try to concoct a plan to save the human race inside the S.H.I.E.L.D. helicarrier; unfortunately, many of them were overwhelmed and infected, while the survivors flee back to the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier.
Marvel Zombies 2
After devouring all life in the universe over the course of forty years, the Zombie Heroes return to Earth to find a way to access other dimensions for food. On Earth, they face off against New Wakanda, a colony of humans who survived the zombie onslaught. Near the end of the book, the zombie Hulk killed many zombies and he, too, was killed. The last remaining zombies were teleported to a new world at the end.
Marvel Zombies 3
After zombies invade the Marvel Universe, Machine Man and Jocasta go to the Marvel Zombies universe to retrieve a blood sample from an uninfected human. Unbeknownst to them, a zombie Morbius plans to use the blood to infect the Marvel Universe.
Marvel Zombies 4
The Midnight Sons, under the command of A.R.M.O.R., hunt zombies who have escaped to different universes. Meanwhile, Dormammu commands The Hood to capture the virus for his own ends of zombie life.
Marvel Zombies Return
The storyline follows from Marvel Zombies 2 when zombie Spider-Man, Giant-Man and Wolverine (the Earth 2149 version of Wolverine is killed in the 3rd issue) were teleported to a different universe, and deals with the ramifications of their arrival on a new Earth and the characters' resurgent hunger, which once again drives them to obtain cross-universal teleporters.
Each issue stars its titular characters, though not necessarily the zombified versions of Earth-2149, as seen in the case of Iron Man and Hulk, whose respective issues feature uninfected versions battling zombies.
The series culminates in the Watcher of the new universe sending the infected Sentry of his reality back in time to the moment when the infection emerged on Earth-2149, essentially 'containing' the zombie virus in those two universes in an elaborate time loop, Uatu recognizing that since the virus's "hunger" will never be sated, let it then devour itself.
Marvel Zombies: Evil Evolution
This one-shot is a crossover between the zombies and the Marvel Apes. It resolves some of the remaining questions over the origin of the zombie plague and is set between Dead Days and Crossover. The story starts in the zombieverse shortly after "Dead Days." Zombie Giant-Man and Wasp discover the Ape-verse (as seen in the previous Apes specials) and take a trip there to devour its populace. We later learn that the Prime Eight scared them back to their dimension.
The Ape-vengers are now leading a pre-emptive strike into the zombieverse to get the zombies before they get the Apes. There's heavy casualties on both sides. Zombie Reed-Richards is decapitated, but still mobile. He teams up with the Gibbon, Gorilla Girl, Ape-X, Speedball, Spider-Monkey, and the rest of the characters to alter history so that the Ape and Zombie universe never meet.
The team is successful. History is changed so that the Apes never found Speedball back in the Speedball special, so the zombies never discover either universe. However, Gorilla Girl had to sacrifice herself to change history, so she ceases to exist.
It is also implied that a dimensional portal Reed Richards had earlier been testing had something to do with bringing the Zombie Sentry to his Earth, though this is not made clear how this fits in with the rest of the Marvel Zombies series.
Marvel Zombies 5
A direct sequel to Marvel Zombies 4. Forecasters for A.R.M.O.R. discover that several alternate realities afflicted with a variation of zombieism will temporarily merge during a cross-temporal "planetstorm". Morbius charges fellow A.R.M.O.R. agents, Machine Man and Howard the Duck with retrieving different samples of zombies from each reality so that he can find a cure for his infected friend, Jack Russell. Different classes of zombies are identified, informally named after the directors of movies in which their type appeared (e.g. "Romeros" and "Boyles"). Amazing Spider-Man #622 acts as a prequel to this series.
Marvel Zombies Supreme
Responding to a mysterious emergency call, Jill Harper and her super-crisis special-ops unit descend deep into the bowels of a top secret underground research facility. They discover that the demented experiments of an unhinged geneticist have placed them at ground zero of a brand new virulent zombie strain—one that has infected powerful superheroes. The Squadron Supreme, once heroic defenders of justice and utopian ideals, have been reduced to corpulent cannibalistic murderers with a voracious appetite for human flesh. Harper and her team fight against overwhelming odds to stop this ravenous zombie menace where it began—before it spreads out to devour the earth.
Marvel Zombies Destroy!
A.R.M.O.R. is called upon to rescue a reality where the Nazis won WWII, with zombies, and seek to use magic rituals to teleport themselves to every universe. Howard the Duck brings in Nazi-fighter extraordinaire Dum Dum Dugan and a squadron of fighters known as Ducky's Dozen.
Black Panther (Vol.IV)
In "Black Panther Vol.IV # 27 - 30", the Fantastic Four (Black Panther, Storm, the Human Torch and the Thing) are teleported by King Solomon's Frogs to the "Marvel Zombies universe" where they encounter the Marvel Zombies in their "Zombie Galacti" form on a Skrull planet. This is the first crossover of the "Zombie"- and Marvel's "Main"-Universe.
Deadpool: Merc With a Mouth
A sequel to Marvel Zombies 4, Deadpool teams up with his zombified head after discovering it in the Savage Land. Dodging Hydra operatives, dinosaurs, cavemen and zombie cavemen, he attempts to return the head to the Marvel Zombies universe.
A sequel to Deadpool: Merc with a Mouth, Deadpool goes into different universes to find other Deadpools: Headpool, the zombie head of Deadpool; Kidpool, a kid version of Deadpool; Lady Deadpool, a lady version of Deadpool; and Dogpool, who is Deadpool as a dog...to form the Deadpool Corps.
After Deadpool Corps: Prelude, the Deadpool Corps travel around the universe, fighting off the Champion, "Borg" like entities, and looking for the "broken blade," all while trying to defeat the evil awareness and saving the universe.
Though not directly related to Marvel Zombies, Marvel Apes was first suggested as a successor to Marvel Zombies by a fan during a convention Q&A session with Joe Quesada. All of the following one shots are resolved with the aforementioned Marvel Zombies: Evil Evolution.
Marvel Apes: Speedball Special
At the end of the first issue, a glimpse of an unidentified zombie is seen, commenting that he would like to have a bite out of the protagonists, who warp to a different universe.
Marvel Apes: The Amazing Spider Monkey
The issue ends with Red Ghost and the ape Speedball in the ape universe, running away from the recently-appearing zombie versions of Giant Man, the Wasp, Iron Man, Wolverine, and others.
Marvel Apes: Grunt Line
The issue ends with Ape X, The Gibbon, Jane Potter, Gorilla Girl, and the Red Ghost's apes in the Marvel Zombies universe as zombie versions of Wolverine and Colonel America draw closer.
Marvel Apes: Prime Eight
Iron Mandrill and other heroes receive a vision about the Marvel Zombies. When the seven most powerful Apes gather and reluctantly have to work together with Dr. Doom and a futuristic Nick Furry 2099, they realize that the zombies have already arrived and one of the apes will be infected.
Spider-Ham accidentally travels through the multiverse ending up in the Marvel Zombies universe where he becomes a zombie, often referred to as "Undead Ham". Undead Ham's last words are "Roink! Get out of my way, robot! I'm Hungry". He is with zombies Colonel America, Wolverine and Hulk.
A zombiefied Wolverine similar to the Marvel "Zombie universe" version, appears alongside other Wolverines out on different dimensions, in an Exiles comic book series, but this zombie version of Wolverine is ultimately decapitated.
Marvel Zombies Christmas Carol
This mini-series focuses on Ebenezer Scrooge encountering the Ghost of Christmas Present, the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come, and the Marvel Zombies.
Marvel Zombies Halloween
A one-shot telling the story of living in a zombie-devastated world, through the eyes of a survivor and her child, on Halloween.
Marvel Zombies Handbook
Marvel Zombies: The Book of Angels, Demons, & Various Monstrosities depicts the various Marvel Zombie characters, as part of the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe series.
Most Marvel Zombies issues and trade paperbacks feature covers by Arthur Suydam recreating classic Marvel Comics covers with the characters replaced by zombie versions. The covers of Marvel Zombies 3 by Greg Land feature recreations of posters of classic zombie films featuring zombified Marvel Comics characters. Starting with Marvel Zombies 4, the covers were usually original designs, with some variants continuing the zombified spoof trend.
There are several trade paperbacks collecting the various stories:
|Marvel Zombies||Marvel Comics||Aug 2006||ISBN 0-7851-2277-X||
|Marvel Zombies vs. The Army of Darkness||Marvel Comics||Sept 2007||ISBN 0-7851-2743-7||
|Marvel Zombies: Dead Days||Marvel Comics||Apr 2008||ISBN 0-7851-3232-5||
|Marvel Zombies 2||Marvel Comics||June 2008||ISBN 0-7851-2545-0||
|Marvel Zombies 3||Marvel Comics||May 2009||ISBN 0-7851-3635-5||
|Marvel Zombies 4||Marvel Comics||Oct 2009||ISBN 0-7851-3917-6||
|Marvel Zombies: Return||Marvel Comics||Jan 2010||ISBN 0-7851-4277-0||
|Marvel Zombies 5||Marvel Comics||Nov 2010||ISBN 0-7851-4743-8||
|Marvel Zombies Christmas Carol||Marvel Comics||Sep 2011||ISBN 0-7851-5772-7||
|Marvel Zombies Supreme||Marvel Comics||Sep 2011||ISBN 0-7851-5167-2||
|Marvel Zombies Destroy||Marvel Comics||Oct 2012||ISBN 0-7851-6384-0||
|Marvel Zomnibus||Marvel Comics||October 2012||ISBN 0-7851-4026-3||
|Marvel Zombies: The Covers||Marvel Comics||Nov 2007||ISBN 0-7851-2908-1||Various Marvel Zombies series|
- "Talking Marvel Zombies With Robert Kirkman". Newsarama. October 3, 2005.
- "Van Lente talks Marvel Zombies 3". Comic Book Resources. September 5, 2008.
- "Zombies in Florida: Fred Van Lente on Marvel Zombies III". Newsarama. October 3, 2008.
- "Fred Van Lente Talks Marvel Zombies 4". Comic Book Resources. March 20, 2009.
- Ekstrom, Steve (March 31, 2009). "Back for Four: Fred Van Lente on Marvel Zombies 4". Newsarama. Retrieved March 31, 2009.
- Richards, Dave (June 23, 2009). "Marvel Zombies: The All-Star Return!". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved June 24, 2009.
- Brownfield, Troy (June 22, 2009). "The Zombies - This Time, With Literate Roots". Newsarama. Retrieved June 23, 2009.
- Mahadeo, Kevin (January 15, 2010). "EXCLUSIVE: Marvel Zombies 5". Marvel.com. Retrieved January 15, 2010.
- Richards, Dave (March 24, 2010). "Van Lente Hungers for "Marvel Zombies 5"". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved March 25, 2010.
- Parkin, JK (October 27, 2010). "Exclusive: Marvel Zombies Supreme coming in March 2011". Robot6. Comic Book Resources.
- Ching, Albert (February 16, 2012). "Exclusive: Undead Nazis Strike in MARVEL ZOMBIES DESTROY". Newsarama. Retrieved May 3, 2012.
- Johnston, Rich (March 13, 2012). "Frank Marraffino Off Marvel Zombies Destroy, Peter David On". Bleeding Cool. Retrieved May 3, 2012.
- Marvel Zombies Returns #5
- Marvel Zombies 4
- Marvel Zombies: Halloween
- "Marvel Zombies Return (2009) #3". Marvel.com.
- "MARVEL ZOMBIES: EVIL EVOLUTION #1". Marvel Comics. November 13, 2009.
- "Exclusive Marvel Cover Reveal: MARVEL ZOMBIES SUPREME Suydam". Newsarama.com. November 23, 2010. Retrieved April 3, 2011.
- "DEADPOOL: MERC WITH A MOUTH #1 - Marvel Comics Catalog: The Official Site - Iron Man, Hulk, Spider-Man, X-Men, Wolverine and all Marvel Comics and Graphic Novels | Marvel Comics Catalog". Marvel.com. 2009-07-01. Retrieved 2010-10-04.
- MyCup o' Joe Week 5, Marvel.com, April 22, 2008
- Marvel Zombies Minimates Boxed Set[dead link]
- Diamond Select turns Marvel Zombies into action figures, Newsarama, February 9, 2007
- Saylor, Jeff (2007-05-21). "DST Brings Captain America Back from the Grave". Superherotimes.com. Retrieved 2010-10-04.
- Official website
- Marvel Zombies
- Marvel Zombies at the Grand Comics Database
- Marvel Zombies at the Comic Book DB
- "Marvel Zombies: The Book of Angels, Demons & Various Monstrosities" at the Comic Book DB
- Marvel Spotlight: Marvel Zombies at the Comic Book DB
- Marvel Zombies/Army of Darkness at the Grand Comics Database
- Marvel Zombies/Army of Darkness at the Comic Book DB
- Marvel Zombies: Dead Days at the Grand Comics Database
- Marvel Zombies: Dead Days at the Comic Book DB
- Marvel Zombies 2 at the Grand Comics Database
- Marvel Zombies 2 at the Comic Book DB
- Marvel Zombies 3 at the Grand Comics Database
- Marvel Zombies 3 at the Comic Book DB
- Marvel Zombies 4 at the Grand Comics Database
- Marvel Zombies 4 at the Comic Book DB
- Marvel Zombies Return at the Grand Comics Database
- Marvel Zombies Return at the Comic Book DB
- Marvel Zombies: Evil Evolution at the Grand Comics Database
- Marvel Zombies: Evil Evolution at the Comic Book DB
- Marvel Zombies 5 at the Grand Comics Database
- Marvel Zombies 5 at the Comic Book DB
- Marvel Zombies Supreme at the Grand Comics Database
- Marvel Zombies Supreme at the Comic Book DB
- Talking Marvel Zombies With Robert Kirkman, Newsarama
- "The Dead Walk the Earth... in Spandex!" Article/Review from I-Mockery