Marvel Zombies 4

MZ1

An undead Deadpool has escaped A.R.M.O.R. headquarters with the original zombie Simon Garth and that means the zombie virus is free in our world, leaving A.R.M.O.R. no choice but to send in their own monsters to fight those from another dimension. Contains Marvel Zombies 4: 1-4 and Tales of the Zombie (originally published in 1973)

This chapter contains a reanimated race of fish evolved to the level of men; this kind of threw me for a twist. Should I consider reanimated fish as my brethren? Should I afford them the same rights I would any other zombie? The answer in the end is, I believe, yes. Though they came from a different evolutionary scale than my own, they are still members of the walking dead and that is a bond which goes far beyond species (besides, we tend to leave bigotry to the living).

This chapter in the Marvel Zombies story begins with a new team of heroes charged with hunting down Deadpool and Simon Garth. This new team, known as The Midnight Sons, consists of Dr. Morbius (The Living Vampire), Jack Russell (Werewolf by Night), Jennifer Kale (a witch and the one survivor from Deadpool’s first attack), Daimon Hellstrom (The Son of Satan), and to a lesser capability, Man-Thing (a swamp monster carried in a little vial by Jennifer Kale). Before they can nab the on the lamb zombie they run into a little bit of his handiwork, a now zombified race of fish men loosely related to Namor’s Atlanteans. The team battle it out against the rotting fishmen while trying to discover the direction of their true quarry. After a quick death match that leaves the now zombified race of subhuman Atlanteans extinct, The Midnight Sons continue on their quest to locate their two zombie escapees who, unbeknownst to the heroes, have made it to the island stronghold of Voodoo Lord Black Talon. Black Talon has built his very own cocaine empire since abandoning his fight against the world’s superheroes and has no intention of becoming involved once again, so while he doesn’t mind the presence of Simon Garth (Garth is a Voodoo zombie from our own universe so he is accepted by Black Talon) he recognizes the danger having Deadpool represents and wants nothing to do with it. He immediately agrees to sell the head to one of his customers, none other than The Hand, who in turn brings his own team of monsters to collect his newest acquisition. With Morbius’ team already on the way and Deadpool looking for any way out, one monster of a rumble is just around the corner.

MZ2

{The Midnight Sons}

I’m going to go on record and say that not only is this my favorite in the Marvel Zombies series but a new favorite of mine in Marvel’s entirety. I couldn’t help but love the monster mash line up going toe to toe against each other. On one side you hide the so called good monsters, the ones trying to live a decent life and on the other side you had monsters who had accepted who they were and ran with it, but the real icing on the cake is that in between these two is the ever present zombie menace. When all three sides meet up it is one hell of a fight and thankfully Marvel handles it with both style and brutality.

MZ4

{And of course fish monsters}

Kev Walker continues his role as artist and so the blood and guts that I was such a fan of from the last series is continued with this one and I must say it’s taken up a notch as well. This is perfect because the story is where you find the brunt of the brutality that I mentioned above and that brutality was going to need a specific brand of artwork to see it shine. Walker seems to take this challenge on as a personal mission, at least that’s what I have to assume because he does a fantastic job of showing that brutality in the panels of Marvel Zombies 4, and this brutality always comes in a shade of red. The alternate covers though are sadly missing from this chapter to the Marvel Zombies universe, there are still a few zombie covers but they are originals created specifically for this part of the story. I’m not saying they’re bad because that isn’t the case, they are actually impressive examples of what Marvel has to offer, but I just found myself being a little disappointed that they didn’t keep up with the alternate covers.

MZ3

MZ7

{Scenes like these make up for the lack of alternate covers}

One change up that I did love was the story. They continue where number three left off but that’s where it ends, this is a whole new chapter in the Marvel Zombies storyline and introduces a whole new set of characters to the undead battlefield. The fact that those characters happened to be monsters themselves was perfect. The Marvel universe is littered with archetypical monsters such as werewolves, witches, vampires, demons, and all manner of underworld rejects, gathering the best representatives of these creatures and adding them to the Marvel Zombies lineup seems almost like a no brainer, and I must say Marvel really did pick the best representatives to battle it out. What really amps this up is the fact that these “heroes” (even the team trying to protect the world isn’t sure the title is appropriate) and villains aren’t in it to hurt each other, they’re in it to kill each other. The two sides go at it with a desire to do no less than rip their opponent limb from limb while at the same time trying to avoid becoming zombie chow.

MZ6

{Adding some Voodoo is always a plus}

There is one last thing, a compliment to the collection the makes this set perfect, the addition of Tales of the Zombie, the very first appearance of Simon Garth and the very first Marvel Zombie, (Tales of the Zombie was published in 1973). I vaguely knew of the character before I picked up this set and was glad to get a proper introduction to him after the actual story of Marvel Zombies 4.

MZ8

In my opinion, this is the best one they’ve made so far, and easily the pinnacle of monster combat in comic history. I can easily picture reading this one again and again and I hope that Volume 5 can live up to the high expectations set by Volume 4.

 

 

The Undead Review

 

Published By: Marvel Publishing

Written By: Fred Van Lente (Marvel Zombies 4) and Stan Lee/Steve Gerber (Tales of the Zombie)

Artwork By: Kev Walker (Marvel Zombies 4) and Bill Everett (Tales of the Zombies)

About The Undead Review

When I was alive I was an asshole and after I died remained pretty much the same, if not a little worse. You’d think becoming a member of the walking dead would mellow a person out, no more worrying about awkward small talk with people, no more having to be politically correct, and the entire world is your upright, bipedal buffet. Don’t get me wrong, it’s fun as hell to be a zombie, just somewhat irritating at times, especially those times you have to watch a lame movie or read a lame book. Thankfully, when I am forced to watch these films or read those books, I’ve got places like The Undead Review to bitch and moan to my heart’s content. {When he’s not devouring the living or sinking his teeth into a good film The Undead Review (Andy Taylor) spends his time writing his own stories or hunting down the paranormal. Oh, and did we mention his blind dog once saved the world?)
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