Graphic Novel: Marvel Zombies vs Army of Darkness

Marvel’s ideas for their comic books have gone above and beyond wackyness in the past, and just when you think that it can’t get any crazier than their Marvel Zombies series, they create one of the greatest crossovers in comic book history. Marvel Zombies vs Army of Darkness.Marvel_Zombies_Vs._Army_of_Darkness_Vol_1_1

This is a crossover which, until now, only occurred in a fanboy’s dream. For those unfamiliar with the Army of Darkness, it is the army of Deadites (demons) from the Evil Dead film trilogy, which are constantly awoken by the Necronomicon – the book of the dead, and then sent back to hell by the film’s protagonist ‘Ash Williams’. Throughout the films Ash cuts off his hand after it gets infected by darkness, and replaces it with a chainsaw, which is then replaced with an artificial metal hand. However he keeps the chainsaw, and, along with his boom-stick (double-barrelled shotgun) he rids the world of these evil creatures.

Now Ash has fallen through a hole in the sky, and into another universe, quite similar to his own. There is only one major difference, this universe is inhabited by Marvel heroes, and after Ash gets a warning that the Deadites will soon arrive and destroy this world, he realises that it is up to him to warn the Earth’s crusaders about their impending doom. Assuming that he is a complete nut-job, the heroes ignore him, until they realise that he was babbling the truth, but by then it is too late.

Set just before the first Marvel Zombies comic book series, this one shows something that the other did not…the actual infection spreading, and then the world’s population being devoured by the heroes. Which was great because most of the time, in something zombie themed, the best part is seeing the outbreak happening, as oppose to what happens afterwards. It also brings along with it the humour of Ash from the Evil Dead films – his overly arrogant macho-ness and his famous catchphrase “gimme some sugar baby”, although this time spoken by a zombie, the boom-stick makes sure that he does not speak it again.

Ash teams up with the only heroes left: Scarlett Witch, Dazzler and unfortunately Dr. Doom. Together they attempt to stop the infection by using the Necronomicon, and save what’s left of humanity. However a huge twist in the story, forces Ash to work together with an enemy which fans of the films would never think was possible.marvel-zombiesarmy-of-darkness-20070306024243797-000

The Karate kid himself, Ralph Macchio, once again is the editor. However this time it was written by John Layman, rather than Robert Kirkman. Before you feel that there might be some slight disappointment, have no fear because Kirkman was the consultant, so he oversaw the entire thing. The images, by Fabiano Neves, are once again rife with colour and detail, down to the last blood-seeping scar, and the vast landscapes which sometimes take up entire pages are just breath-taking. There is so much going on in the scene, you think that you have seen everything on the page and then discover something else going on.

This is a novel that comic and horror film fans alike will be drooling over whilst reading it. From the witty comedic conversation, although short, between Ash and Spider Man, to the classic comic covers which have been altered to display the Marvel zombies and Ash popping up in the background (the cover for the graphic novel actually being the cover from an Uncanny X-Men issue which the upcoming film X-Men: Days of Future Past storyline is taken from), these are just some of the aspects which make this such an enjoyable read, and impossible to put down.

Publication: MARVEL

Graphic Novel: Marvel Zombies

Taken straight from the pages of Ultimate Fantastic Four, comes a spin-off depicting a universe similar to our own, with one major difference…it is inhabited by flesh eating ghouls.mz1

It started after Reed Richards’ (Mr. Fantastic) counterpart attempted to lure him into another dimension, however Magneto, who is still alive in this other dimension, succeeds in smashing the machine and closes the gateway. Protecting our world, but leaving himself stranded and at the mercy of the re-animated bodies of the Marvel heroes.

An infection has spread throughout this world turning people into the undead, no one was safe from the virus, not even the Marvel super-heroes, who, after turning into zombies themselves, proceed to scour the earth in search of survivors which they can sink their teeth in to.

As soon as I heard about this comic book series I knew that I would enjoy it, being a lover of Marvel Comics and anything zombie related, and it does not disappoint. The novel sort of turns the super-hero theme on it’s head, with the protagonists being turned in to the antagonists, however the personalities and emotions of the characters are still the same, it is just the hunger which has changed them. We still get the comical quips from Spider-Man, the leadership position from Captain America, the intelligence from Ant-Man and the bitchy arrogance from Iron Man. All your lovable heroes…with a slight twist.

It was obvious that this was going to be an enjoyable and exciting series when I heard who was behind the ideas for it: Mark Miller (Kick-Ass, Ultimate Fantastic Four, Wanted), Robert Kirkman (The Walking Dead) and Ralph Macchio (who everyone should know as The Karate Kid). Beginning with a call from Macchio who knew that Kirkman was basically the go to zombie guy, after the great success of his Walking Dead series. Macchio explained that whilst Miller was writing his Ultimate Fantastic Four comics, he wanted to tell the story of this other universe, and have it be the best it could be. After much deliberation of how gory the series could be, due to it being a Marvel comic, the Marvel Zombies series was born. You can see the huge influence which Kirkman had on this project, the comics still had to have that element of being Marvel, but somehow be different. They are, in the way that the story is told through a view which Kirkman is known for, he wrote his Walking Dead series because, although he loved zombie films, he always wanted to know what happened afterwards. A film is limited to an ending, but a comic book series can carry on the story of survival, and Marvel Zombies shows this, everyone on this earth has been eaten, so the question is ‘what do the zombies do now?’marvel-zombies-2

Every part if this graphic novel was just perfect – zombie heroes fighting regular heroes, an all out brawl between undead heroes and villains, the attention to detail and humour of the gore used and the arrival of the Silver Surfer and a certain 28ft destroyer of worlds who attempt to rid the planet of this evil. Not to mention the artwork which was used for the five comic book instalments, original artwork from older comics such as Amazing Fantasy #15 (first appearance of Spider-Man) and Fantastic Four #1 (first appearance of Fantastic Four), and changed them to the zombie versions of the heroes and villains.

Anyone who is a fan of Marvel Comics will definitely enjoy this series, which continues with Marvel Zombies 2, 3, 4, 5 and one of the best cross-overs that could possibly happen…Marvel Zombies vs Army of Darkness.

Publication: MARVEL