Marvel Zombies Destroy

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In an alternate universe where the NAZI Army won WW2 by becoming members of the living dead a plan is being hatched to invade our own universe, but a team of heroes lead by Dum Dum Dugan and Howard the Duck seek to put a stop to their schemes. Collecting Marvel Zombies Destroy 1-5.

Marvel and their alternate universes. I can’t keep track of how many damn alternate universes they have at this point, it seems like every other issue is introducing a new one. I can’t say I hate them since some of my favorite storylines come from alternate universe stories, Hulk: The End, Wolverine: The End, Days of Future Past, Age of Apocalypse, and Cullen Bunn’s Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe trilogy, not to mention Marvel Zombies of course. It just gets difficult to follow after a while with so many different universes that comingle at different times in the comics. The one shots don’t usually matter too much as they’re just a single story in an alternate universe that doesn’t get brought up again for the most part. It’s the ones that are brought up again and effect the normal Marvel universe of Earth-616 that become a problem. With so many of them intersecting at various times things become a little convoluted and a bit confusing. Not necessarily complaining since I’m a fan of some of the worlds that have been created, but, yeah, I guess I am complaining just a tiny bit. I mean, while they can be fun there’s just too many of them and some border on ridiculous. What’s next, a world of Marvel Apes? What? They did that already? Oh for fuck’s sake.

Our latest installment in the Marvel Zombies series finds Dum Dum Dugan being recruited to lead a team of lesser known heroes by the one and only Howard the Duck whose had a bit of experience dealing with the undead menace. Dugan isn’t too thrilled to go back into combat, but his sense of duty and the nightmares that have been plaguing him, not to mention his hatred of the Third Reich, compel the man to fulfil his duty. That’s right, the threat facing our world is none other than Hitler and his NAZI regime, not the Hitler of our world, but one from an entirely different universe where the NAZIs won World War 2. They were able to win not through better tactics or by exploiting a weakness in the Allied Forces that wasn’t found in our version of events but by turning every German into a zombie. Howard isn’t quite sure how it was accomplished, only that once the German Army become an undead force of nature they were able to sweep across the globe and zombify or consume every person on the planet. With everyone a member of the master zombie race, food has become a problem and so Hitler’s second in command, none other than the Red Skull of that universe, has come up with a way to travel to a new universe, namely ours. Shield division A.R.M.O.R. (otherwise known as Alternate Reality Monitoring and Operational Response) has tasked Howard with recruiting Dugan so that him and his team of heroes can make the trip to the Nazi zombie universe and shut them down before they get a chance to consume our world. It won’t be easy, not only is there an entire army of German zombies waiting for them, a slew of zombified superheroes hungry for a new meal, and not much in the way of help from the indigenous people of that universe, but the clock is running out for them to complete their mission. As if things weren’t already bad enough, once there they discover that along with the people of Earth being turned into zombies the people of Asgard have been turned as well. Dum Dum Dugan has been in some rough situations before, but this might be the most challenging mission he has ever embarked upon.

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{I’m sure his nightmares didn’t involve saving an anthropomorphic duck}

You almost can’t go wrong adding Howard the Duck into something. He’s such a fun character who does things his own way without much care about what others think of him. I know it’s not a popular opinion, but even his movie was awesome. Yeah, it would have helped if they hadn’t made it PG and so damn kid friendly, but it was still a fun flick that showcased Howard’s more sarcastic nature. It just could have benefited from some more fowl language (come on, that was funny) and a more accurate Beverly (they made her a rock singer instead of a nude model for the kiddies). Anyways, much like Howard’s previous appearance in the Marvel Zombies franchise, he’s a great addition to our cast of characters, providing much needed humor but never becoming corny or distracting. Adding Dum Dum Dugan was a good move too as it gave us a hero who is entirely human leading this group against the undead Nazi horde. This gave the story a sense of urgency and tension considering Dugan can’t just punch his way through the horde, he has to rely on his intelligence and skill instead. I’ve always liked Dugan’s character, he’s a tough as nails soldier willing to do whatever he needs to do in order to get the job done, but at the same time he’s aware of the things he does that might not be much better than the enemy he’s facing. He has no problem going to any extreme to win but doesn’t relish in it, realizing the cost to his soul. That’s why I liked his inclusion so much, he could go as far as necessary with this mission without having to worry about the cost of his humanity since he was defending the human race against zombified NAZIs. Battlestar makes a return as well, having already faced super zombies in Marvel Zombies Supreme. He doesn’t play a huge role but, much like Supreme, it’s a pivotal one. I thought he was a good fit with Dugan, being a protégé of Captain America and someone who had worked with Dugan in the past. It was also nice to have someone who wasn’t an all-powerful, near unstoppable force by Dugan’s side so as not to trivialize the man’s role.

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{With a threat this big facing the Marvel Universe Dum Dum Dugan is the man for the job}

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{Also, tell me you wouldn’t want to party with this cool cat, err, duck}

I was a little bit worried about the other heroes at first though. One of my biggest complaints about Marvel Zombies Supreme was the inclusion of the Squadron Supreme. Not only were they knockoff Justice League members but as such they were such bland additions, and they were a major part of the story. Here we have heroes such as Red Raven, Gur, Dragoon, Flexo, Breeze Barton (no relation to Clint Barton otherwise known as Hawkeye), Blazing Skull, Dynaman, Eternal Brain, and Taxi Taylor. To be perfectly honest, I’d never heard of many of these, and looking them up I couldn’t find out much about their stories. Some had history from way back in Marvel’s early days but looked to have dropped off the radar back in the 60’s. The only two I’d heard of in passing was Eternal Brain and Dynaman, actually, Dynaman I only thought I’d heard of, he sounded familiar but I couldn’t remember from where. Eternal Brain I only remembered as being a Celestial that had to go into hiding. My worries were fortunately completely unfounded. Most of them are simple fodder for the zombie hordes and the rest play only minor roles. The main players are Dugan, Howard the Duck, Battlestar, Taxi Taylor (who is needed to breach the dimensional walls), and a few heroes from the NAZI zombie world like Columbia, Riveter, and Libertas (the woman who took over for the Captain America of that world when he was killed, complete with his shield). All the extra characters are interesting in design but ultimately poor additions, but with them not having a major part they didn’t take away from the story too much.

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{Reservoir Dogs Marvel style}

I was glad those poor additions didn’t hurt because Marvel Zombies Destroy had a great story to tell, one that might rank among my favorites in the franchise. Once again we’re given a story that has absolutely nothing to do with the original Marvel Zombies. How the Third Reich became zombified is completely original. I don’t want to ruin it for you, but it was a unique zombification method. We do get to see some classic Marvel heroes as zombies, but for the most part they’re heroes we haven’t seen among the undead before, including a zombie version of The Invaders that counts Bucky Barnes, Union Jack, Namor, Toro, and others in its ranks. Seeing a zombified Asgard was interesting as well. There’s only one inhabitant of Asgard who isn’t a zombie and though you can most likely guess who it is, I’m not giving it away. I enjoyed seeing not just zombie Thor but many of his comrades too. Expect more than a few Asgardian gods to join the fray at one point or another.

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{Zombie Asgardians}

The artwork was another aspect of this edition that I loved. It’s very darkly toned, but simplistic in design. I don’t say that as an insult since it worked so perfectly. Simplistic isn’t a negative comment, the artwork is very talented and helps to draw you into the story further. There just wasn’t as much flash put into it, reminding me almost of old school EC comics in a way. It was definitely the right direction to go as it was a great fit for the story. They also made sure to include the blood and gore I love so much. I think there are more bodies ripped apart in Marvel Zombies Destroy than in any zombie flick I’ve seen. These zombies don’t just bite, they rend and tear apart anyone who gets in their way. They didn’t pull any punches in showing the glorious, gory details of each hero that gets taken down. The artwork is top notch but without the alternate covers I’m such a fan of this would normally be the part where I complain. Once again they’re sadly missing, and as you’ve come to see in my reviews for the Marvel Zombies franchise one of my favorite things are the alternate covers. I won’t be doing that this time around though. They do have some great cover work, but that’s not what makes up for the lack of alternate covers, what really made up for it was a little humorous collection of Recap Art shown at the very end that I absolutely loved.

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{I don’t want to ruin the humorous recap art but you see by the covers that it’s bound to be good}

This is a definite must own for the Marvel Zombie fan. Even if you haven’t been following the series this is an enjoyable read. It doesn’t have much to do with the others in the franchise, making it a standalone edition. I’d recommend this to any lover of both the undead and Marvel Comics.

 

The Undead Review

 

Published By: Marvel Comics

Written By: Frank Marraffino and Peter David

Artwork By: Mirco Pierfederici

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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