Marvel Zombies is a comic book miniseries, published by Marvel Comics. The series is set in an alternate version of the Marvel%20UNIVERSE%20'>Marvel UNIVERSE (Earth-2149) where almost all superheroes and super villains have become flesh-eating Zombies. The series was written by Robert Kirkman and illustrated by Sean Phillips, with painted covers by Arthur Suydam. The title is a play on the phrase "Marvel zombie", a term used in comics fandom to refer to readers who display an unusual amount of dedication to Marvel titles.
Robert Kirkman and Sean Phillips are developing a one-issue prequel to Marvel Zombies entitled Marvel Zombies: Dead Days dealing with the onset and spread of the infection. The one-shot will be concurrent with the Marvel Zombies vs. The Army of Darkness crossover.
Marvel Zombies is a continuation of an Ultimate Fantastic Four story arc titled Crossover, published in Ultimate Fantastic Four #21-23 and written by Mark Millar, with art by Greg Land. This arc both came under fire and received praise for "swerving" comic book crowds by subtly hyping a crossover between the Ultimate and 616 universes, only to have the zombie Reed Richards at the end of the first issue, when Ultimate Richards realizes the world isn't what he thought it was and zombie Richards says, "Ever get the feeling you've been had?"
In this story arc, Ultimate Mister Fantastic is tricked into teleporting into a universe inhabited by zombie versions of Marvel super heroes. Mister Fantastic is saved by Magneto, one of the few survivors, who explains that the infection started only a few days ago after an unidentified infected superhero similar to The Sentry from yet another dimension crashed into New York City looking for more people to eat and infect. He is never called by name and is only distinguishable by his outfit. Magneto is able to teleport Mister Fantastic and the other survivors back into the Ultimate universe, but Magneto stays behind to destroy the teleporter and make sure that the Zombies don't infect other dimensions.
An unexplained panel in the crossover during the Ultimate Fantastic Four story featured the ultimate universe's Reed Richards confronted by several of the Zombies including a zombified Ghost Rider. No explanation has been given as to how a creature that, in essence, was not alive to begin with, could have become zombified.
Marvel Zombies miniseries
Magneto survives the destruction of the teleporter and appears to be the only uninfected person around. Before being caught by the Zombies, Magneto learns that the Acolytes and Forge have survived on Asteroid M; soon thereafter he is killed and eaten by the Zombies. Ultimate Fantastic Four writer Mark Millar said he originally planned to have the Punisher as the last human fighting the Zombies, but writer Robert Kirkman "did a far better job... Robert just knocked the ball out of the park and made the book his own."
The Silver Surfer, Herald of Galactus, then arrives on Earth and informs the zombie heroes that Galactus is on his way to devour the planet, but in Marvel Zombies #3 the Zombies then attack the Surfer. The Surfer puts up a fight against the overwhelming Zombies taking out a lot of heroes but is in the end overpowered and devoured. The heroes discover that eating the Surfer grants them each a small amount of the Power Cosmic, enabling them to fly, among other abilities. Meanwhile the Acolytes land on earth to find Magneto but instead find the Black Panther, whom GiAnt-Man has been keeping alive as a future snack. The Acolytes' leader Fabian Cortez takes the Black Panther to Asteroid M, along with the head of zombie Wasp in order to study her to find a cure.
Galactus arrives on Earth and the Zombies attempt to eat Galactus as well, but quickly learn that they are no match for him and retreat. GiAnt-Man, Iron Man and Bruce Banner begin creating a device which they hope will overcome Galactus. Upon completing the device, they return to Galactus, only to notice that several zombified villains are attacking Galactus. Using the device to amplify the Powers they gained from the Silver Surfer, they blast a ray at Galactus, critically injuring him.
A battle ensues as the heroes and villains fight over the fallen Galactus. The only survivors are Spider-Man, The Hulk, Iron Man, Luke Cage, GiAnt-Man and Wolverine. Together, they attack the weakened Galactus and consume him.
Five years later, the Acolytes, Forge, Black Panther and the zombie Wasp (now kept alive and stable via a robotic exoskeleton & support system) set foot on Earth again to discover it covered in plant life and devoid of the living or undead. It is shown that the zombified superheroes left with the cosmic power they gained from eating Galactus and the series ends with the remaining Marvel Zombies descending upon an alien planet as the new Galactus.
After Marvel Zombies
The story ties into Ultimate Fantastic Four #30-32. In a story arc titled Frightful, the zombie versions of the Fantastic Four are returned from the Ultimate Universe to the zombie universe. Ultimate Doctor Doom enters the universe with them, carrying a parasite that threatens to destroy all life on the planet. He arrives next to the Zombies consuming Galactus, but by the time Doctor Doom arrives in the Frightful arc, Galactus is little more than armor and a skeleton. The Marvel Zombies series ended the Galactus scene with the 'heroes' eating, but not completely devouring, Galactus. Since the miniseries jumps ahead to end five years later and Doom is not mentioned, it is unclear if this encounter ties into the miniseries continuity.
The October 2006 issue of Wizard Magazine featured a one-page Marvel Zombies comic by artist Sean Phillips called "Eat the Neighbors." It parodied old Hostess Fruit Pie advertisements which featured Marvel heroes defeating villains by offering them snacks. In this case, Spider-Man, Colonel America and Iron Man serve two children as "Hostees Meat Pies."
Zombie Wolverine appears on a team of six alternate-reality Wolverines in Exiles issues #85-86, though it is another version of the character first seen in the Marvel Zombies limited series.
In an article on Newsarama, Joe Quesada says that when he asked fans what they would like next in the genre of Marvel Zombies, an unnamed and unidentified fan screamed "Marvel Apes!" and he enjoyed the idea, creating the possibility that there might be a Marvel Apes mini-series.
The Marvel Zombies will appear in a crossover with DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT franchise Army of Darkness in a five-issue limited series entitled Marvel Zombies vs. The Army of Darkness starting March 2007. The series will tie in with Marvel Zombies: Dead Days, a prequel to the Marvel Zombies series about who became a zombie, why, and how the rest of the heroes/villains got infected to be released May 02, 2007; and Army of Darkness #13.
Solicitations for Spider-Ham's new one-shot comic book, the Ultimate Civil War Spider-Ham Crisis, showed that, in his multiverse-wide quest for thought balloons (as he was angry that Marvel replaced them with captions), he lands in the Marvel Zombies universe (Earth-2149) and becomes, as J. Michael Straczynski puts it, "Undead Ham".
Black Panther #28 on May 23, 2007 will start a 4 part story arc where the new Fantastic Four end up in the Marvel Zombies universe.
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