Imagine a world where the iconic superheroes are all zombies – it’s made possible because of the Marvel Multiverse. You see there are many different worlds in the multiverse, each of them with a different versions of Marvel’s beloved characters. I’m only a occasional comic book reader so here’s an explanation of the multiverse courtesy of the WIKI –
“Within Marvel Comics, most tales take place within the fictional Marvel Universe, which in turn is part of a larger multiverse. Starting with issues of Captain Britain, the main continuity in which most Marvel storylines take place was designated Earth-616, and the multiverse was established as being protected by Merlyn. Each universe has a Captain Britain designated to protect its version of the British Isles. These protectors are collectively known as the Captain Britain Corps. This numerical notation was continued in the series Excalibur and other titles. Each universe of the Multiverse in Marvel also appears to be defended by a Sorcerer Supreme at nearly all times, appointed by the mystic trinity of Vishanti to defend the world against threats primarily magical in nature from within and beyond and bearing the Eye of Agamotto.”
Sounds complicated but you don’t really need to know any of that to enjoy this graphic novel which collects together the five issue mini series, Marvel Zombies. An introduction gives is some of this background and also explains how the Marvel Zombies mini-series came about. When Mark Miller wrote a Fantastic Four arc set on an alternative world where Marvel heroes and villains had been turned into flesh-eating zombies, Marvel where so taken with the concept that they decided to continue it in other titles. The Walking Dead writer, Robert Kirkman was brought in and the resulting mini-series, collected in this graphic novel, is a truly gruesome horror story with some sick and twisted black humor. It’s also unpredictable and many heroes and villians are killed off in the story. This is a crazy world where Spider-Man hates himself for eating both his wife and Aunt May and Bruce Banner finds that whatever he ate as zombie Hulk quite often bursts through his stomach when he transforms back into zombie Banner.
It’s a crazy concept that works wonderfully and Kirkman brings us much of the same gore filled storytelling that made his Walking Dead title such a success, only this time in vivid full colour art by Sean Phillips. Of course we’ve had many variations of zombies – from the shuffling undead of Romero to the speeded up versions in films such as 28 Days Later, but Marvel here provides us with a new and original take on the genre – zombies with super powers who can also talk and think. It sounds absurd and I guess it is but nevertheless it works perfectly and provides a read you’ll want to chomp down on.
Marvel Zombies is available now as part of the Ultimate Graphic Novel Collection