Written by Robert Kirkman, Drawn by Sean Phillips (2007)
Reviewed by Steve, added on Mar 5 2008
Man, what a letdown. I absolutely loved the first series. It was so over the top. It was like the ultimate ďWhat If?Ē. What if all of the marvel superheroes abandoned their quest for good and just started eating people? Thank God Ultimate Reed Richards is a douche and opened an alternate dimension to zombie goodness. It was damn near perfect. So then I began reading Marvel Zombies 2. It took five months for Marvel to tell a story that could have been told in two.
The outlook was good at first. A zombie civil war. The story is after 40 years or so, the cosmic powered zombies, plus zombie Phoenix, Firelord, Gladiator, and Thanos have eaten the entire universe. There is no life left (almost). And so they hightail it back to earth to try to piece back together Mr. Fantasticís old dimension hopping gizmo in the hopes of find a universe a bit more populated. Problems ensue.
If I had to pick one thing that made Marvel Zombies 2 disappointing compared to other MZ stories like what ran in the Black Panther comic, it would be the timeframe. In the Black Panther comic the story took place at some random time in-between MZ and MZ2. The zombies attack a bunch a Skrulls. It was fun because the zombies had people to eat. This does not happen in Marvel Zombies 2. They basically tell you this on the first page of the first issue. There is no more food. And this shows in the rest of the comic. The first series had the zombies attacking Magneto, Silver Surfer, Galactus, and sometimes even each other for food. It was great. In the sequel a handful (maybe 5 or 6 or so) of nameless humans gets eaten. Thatís about it. The highlight of the entire series shows the zombies attacking Ego the Living Planet. Itís about three panels in the first issue. Itís all downhill from there. Hell, the zombies donít even show up back on Earth to attack the few survivors until the beginning of issue #3. Thatís two whole issues of the zombies just hanging out in space because they really have nothing to do in this comic.
The meat of the story comes from the survivors on earth struggling to make a living for themselves. There are two human factions, one led by the now 70 year old Black Panther and another led by the son of Fabian Cortez. They are on the verge of war with each other before the zombies show up midway through the story to ruin their day. And they are infinitely more interesting than what the zombies have become. Both human sides unite with a few zombies who have lost their hunger to fight ones that still crave flesh. Thatís where the whole Marvel Zombie Civil War bit comes from. The ďwarĒ doesnít begin until the end of the third issue and is all but forgotten by the end of the fourth. The fifth and final issue is the worst of the bunch. The ďendĒ of the story isnít an end at all. Itís more like a kick to the nuts of the fans and a way for Marvel to open the door for a Marvel Zombies 3 should sales warrant it. Hell, the writer himself tells you on the last page in a single paragraph that he didnít know where to go with this story and it shows horribly throughout.
Marvel Zombies 1 and Marvel Zombies 2 are like night and day compared to each other. If you liked MZ1 you almost have to check out the sequel but prepare for a heaping helping of disappointment. My advice? Trick a friend into buying the trade paper back when it comes out and borrow it from the idiot.