Overview

Marvel Zombies 2 #1

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Marvel Zombies 2 #1

Credits

  • Words: Robert Kirkman
  • Art: Sean Phillips
  • Inks: Sean Phillips
  • Colors: June Chung
  • Story Title: Marvel Zombies 2 (Part 1 of 5)
  • Publisher: Marvel Comics
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: Oct 17, 2007

The Marvel Zombies concept isn’t quite as fresh as it was back when Robert Kirkman’s flesh eating superheroes first landed on shelves in late 2005.

Chalk that up to the multitude of zombie titles pumped out nowadays, the Hot Topic t-shirts, the now required Arthur Suydam variant covers, or even the fact that we’ve already seen eleven issues of this decomposing universe thanks to the Dead Days one-shot and the Army of Darkness crossover. Regardless, zombie fatigue is at an all time high and unless Kirkman has something big in store for his undead avengers he’d probably be better off sticking to his superb Image series, The Walking Dead .

Enter the Marvel Zombie Civil War .

That alone is enough to win me back to the ranks of the undead faithful. And in the first issue of the sequel we’re teased with a few roads that could lead to a confrontation so massive it might even put the Superhuman Registration Act to shame. When we last left the Marvel Zombies nearly all of the superheroes had been eaten, leaving Spider-Man, Hank Pym, Hulk, Luke Cage and Wolverine to travel the galaxy and devour planets. Literally. But don’t let the cover fool you. Captain America and Mr. Fantastic aren’t making any appearances. And that’s one of the biggest hurdles Kirkman’s going to have to tackle this time around. He already killed off 95% of the Marvel Universe in the first miniseries.

And it’s a little difficult to call a scrap between five zombies a Civil War. With that in mind, Kirkman has expanded the cast of characters to include a few cosmic entities including Dark Phoenix and Thanos. But so far these additions have had very few lines, if any at all, and seem a bit unnecessary.

After eating everything in the universe, the zombies decide to hightail it back to Earth to try and rebuild Reed Richards’ dimensional portal in hopes of finding fresh meat. However, what they don’t know is that Black Panther has built a new society in the rubble of New York. Half the page count is spent with these human characters and it’s here where the book falters. Kirkman takes his time setting up the conflict between the conservative Panther and the rebellious youth that wants to spread out and rebuild the world. These pages serve mostly as exposition and despite a few laughs, including the discovery of zombie Hawkeye’s head, are mostly devoid of humor. And while the dimensional transport may act as the deus ex machina to bring back characters like Cap and She-Hulk, it seems more likely that the Civil War referred to in the solicitations might actually involve this squabbling group of humans and the effects of a second zombie outbreak.

Sean Phillips’ art on the other hand has never been better. His off the wall style fits perfectly with the darkly comedic nature of the book and if you enjoyed his work on the previous series you’ll find more to love here. Kirkman specifically plays to his strengths during the zombie scenes which are gory yet over the top enough to still be hilarious. The scenes with the humans aren’t quite as well rendered and that’s actually my biggest gripe with this issue: Not enough time is spent with the zombies. Anytime they appear in panel you’re almost guaranteed a laugh or two, especially during a rapid fire exchange between Pym and Spidey on the final page. But the time spent on New Wakanda grinds the narrative to a halt.

The transformation of a new zombie superhero during the final pages bodes well for this mini’s future but nothing here is as engaging as the chase for Magneto during the original issue that started it all.

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