Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Long Box #8

Words: Robert Kirkman
Pictures: Sean Phillips
February 2006-June 2006

Marvel Zombies. It's almost it's own family of books like X-Men and Avengers.
Marvel Zombies began in Ultimate Fantastic Four #21 when Marvel was teasing the meeting of Ultimate Reed Richards and 'another version' of him. The tease was Marvel allowed us to think they were finally going to cross the Ultimate Universe with the 616-Universe.
Instead we got the Zombieverse.
The story starts simple enough: "It began with a flash in the sky..." We don't really get to much of an origin for the Zombie Plague in this one, it comes later and I'll cover it when I get to that story, but we do get to see how things ended up.

The story continues from Ultimate Fantastic Four #23 which has that version of the Fantastic Four escaping the Zombieverse with the few human survivors with Magneto staying behind to destroy the machine which allows people to travel to other universes.
So, machine is destroyed and the Zombies are trapped in their universe... with Magneto.
The story continues and it doesn't end well for Magneto who's death is the most gruesome page I'd ever seen in a Marvel Comic. It was more like an E.C. page than Marvel.
Skipping to through the story we learn that this form of 'zombism' doesn't make the heroes and villains mindless zombies. They retain their memories and powers but the hunger drives them. After they feed they are able to think like their old selves and some have attempted to find a cure for their problem.
At one point the Silver Surfer turns up and leads Galactus to this earth. But he doesn't survive the Zombies as Zombie Hulk ends up biting the guys head off and the rest feast on his body. After eating the Surfer they realize they have absorbed some of the Surfer's power cosmic. They use this to fight and destroy many of the other Zombies.
Finally, Galactus shows up and is attacked by the Zombies who overtake him.
We then get a repeat of the Magneto feast scene only with Galactus. Gruesome.
So, after eating Galactus the Marvel Zombies take his place in the grand scheme of things and become the Galacti.

One thing helps this stand out, besides the whole 'heroes eating people' thing. First the covers. Painter Arthur Suydam does the covers which are all homages to some of the greatest covers in Marvel history. It helped that this series sold so well and went into multiple printings, the first issue had five(!), to get more homage covers out for us to enjoy.

This has become a fun and rather long living, no pun intended, launching many sequels and even a crossover with Army Of Darkness!

No comments: