“Marvel Zombies: Dead Days” by Robert Kirkman, Mark Millar, Reginald Hudlin, Sean Phillips, Greg Land, Mitch Breitweiser and Francis Portela is a haunting vision of a universe inhabited by heroes that have turned into gut-munching zombies. The zombies have also retained the full capacity of their minds, creating a nightmare-inducing scenario sure to delight horror-movie fans looking for a change of pace. Plus, the imagination of the writers is unlimited since they don’t have to worry about the high costs of special effects that most monster movies suffer from.
The graphic novel kicks off with a hell-raising introduction entitled ” Marvel Zombies: Dead Days,” which is an eerie vision of former heroes turned into monsters. The action starts right away as we witness Spider-Man eating the remains of Mary Jane and Aunt May, and realize this is not the Spidey we grew up with. Giant-Man tries to make sense of everything, but his soon attacked himself, and what is intriguing is that this often-underused character is given his own story. The world is in shambles, and the remaining heroes retreat to a hideout from Nick Fury to figure everything out and discover a way to escape this universe into a parallel one.
Only one major problem: Reed Richards believes it may be smarter to become a zombie.
The artwork in the first issue is that of a gory delight, but hardly compares to the artwork of the next series of issues pulled from the pages of “Ultimate Fantastic Four” issues 21-23 and 30-32. These issues focus on the Fantastic Four from a parallel dimension and how they handle their encounters with the Marvel Zombies. The characters are slightly annoying, but the artwork is so beautiful that it more than makes up for that little flaw. Everything is drawn so realistically that you feel as if you are looking at live-action stills rather than a comic book (The Invisible Woman has never looked hotter than she does here).
Finally, issues 28-30 “Black Panther” wraps up this very unique storyline as Black Panther, Storm and the Fantastic Four enter a universe inhabited by Skrulls. They are soon followed by the zombies of Wolverine, Iron Man, The Hulk, Spidey, Luke Cage and Giant-Man, which is a frightening concept. They are cannibalistic, losing limbs and are at war with each other, and these are the smartest of the zombies. The image of a legless Spidey chowing down on a human leg is utterly startling, and the whole experience of this graphic novel is worth your while.
The book also features a commentary on the zombie-filled covers that were based on original early Marvel comics. This allows one to truly appreciate all aspects of the book even if you’re not up on your Marvel history.
The unique concept rejuvenates your love for comic books, and is a reminder of why they are so important. “Marvel Zombies: Dead Days” is a work of art that is unlike anything read before, sparking an urge to go online and order the rest of the series.