The Zombie Rights Campaign Blog

Review of Marvel Zombies 5 #1-2

Aha, Fred Van Lente, we meet again. Have at you, sir!

So, Marvel Zombies 5 has kicked off in a much more low-key fashion than the big Marvel Zombies alternate-universe-extravanganza ‘Marvel Zombies Return’. So low-key I entirely missed the first issue coming out. Oopsie! Bad activist, bad!

Ahem. Ok. MZ-5 picks up as a sequel of sorts to MZ 3, rather than MZ 4; it concerns Machine Man and a universe-hopping quest to find and isolate all the varieties of the ‘plague’ that causes Zombies to rise from the grave which, Marvel seems certain, is dramatically worse than rotting in the ground quietly.

Typical. The dead should be quiet and accept their tiny allocation of space. Instead of forty acres and a mule, dead people get what, 20 square feet and a pine box? Outrageous!

Anyway, Machine Man’s girlfriend Jocasta left him for her first husband, and MM has taken to drinking himself silly on stolen beer as a response. Unfortunately for Zombies (but fortunately for Marvel’s sales department), the alternate-universe monitoring secret agency A.R.M.O.R. has this new mission for him, and sends Howard the Duck, of all people/things, to supervise the alcoholic android.

Yeah. Ok.

In the first issue the two Zombie hunters travel to a ‘Frontier’ dimension, in other words, a Western Comic. A green-glowing meteor from space has fallen to Earth, and the radiation it emits will cause anyone who has died and not completely decomposed to rise as a ‘Romero’ type Zombie (Marvel’s terminology).

mz5_1

Far be it from me to quibble, but in Romero movies, so far as I can tell, only the *recently* dead rise, whereas people very long dead indeed, in an era before modern embalming or preservatives in your food, crawl out of the grave looking remarkably spry in this comic.

At any rate, this town was unfortunately a bit of a tourist trap whose main attraction was dead gunslingers, so this means: Gunslinger Zombies. The only person who can stop these pistol-packing flesh-munchers is a gunslinger with mystic speed powers and a sassy daughter. Can they save Wild West Earth?

In Issue #2, said sassy girl, now with her own speedy superpowers, has joined the team and they travel to a post-apocalyptic world conquered by the Martians from HG Wells. Zombies barely make an appearance in this comic, as it mostly concerns a world operating in your high-fantasy/quasi-sci-fi far-future-alien-struggle mode. Think, obviously, War of the Worlds, crossed with a bit of The Book of the New Sun. Primitive tribes of humanity fighting against strange outsiders who use technology so advanced it might as well be magic. (for those of you into grim children’s literature, it also resembles the Tripods series of books for kids, only with a fair amount of gooey gore)

mz5_2

Overall, MZ 5 seems to be striving for a laid-back, low-drama form of Zombie Bashing. Lots of light-hearted humor, a talking duck with a penchant for huge guns and a severely inebriated, borderline suicidal robot leaven the gore, which has also been toned down from earlier MZ series. MZ 5 is the slow pleasure cruise of alternate universe Zombie Hatred, in no particular hurry to get where it’s going, just enjoying the trip and its smug Lifeist superiorities.


About The Author

The role of 'Administrator' will be played tonight by John Sears, currently serving as President of The Zombie Rights Campaign.

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