Marvel Zombies was one of the few titles for the Secret Wars Battleworld tie-ins that I was most interested in from the outset- it has zombies (no brainer there- pun intended- I love all things zombified) AND it has a random character from a miniseries that I read like ten years ago. So this book is stoking my love for zombie stories AND also piquing my interest in a personally nostalgic, and relatively lesser-known Marvel character.
Beyond the premise of this book, that there were zombies on Battleworld, I had no idea what I was to be in for. Maybe Elsa Bloodstone was to be a zombie hunter; or maybe she was intended to be an unwilling victim to the zombie hordes that roam some random part of Battleworld- or any number of other possibilities filled my head. When I finally read the story, I don’t know if I had anticipated how this tale would be spun: Elsa is an officer in the force stationed along the wall that separates the habitable areas of Doomworld from the crazy demon and monster-filled, zombie ravaged section beyond said wall. In the last issue- a zombie Nightcrawler grabbed Elsa, and she was “bamf-ed” (no euphemism there, she was teleported) deep into the area beyond the wall. Deep behind enemy lines, she runs into a young girl (nothing suspicious about this, at all!) and they become traveling partners. In this issue, they have picked up a mysterious hunter (someone always following them, but not coming close enough to confront them) so Elsa decides to rewire a discarded M.O.D.O.K. and his chair to create an explosion and to eliminate (or at the very least deter) their unwanted shadow.
The two then stumble upon a Carnage-thing (best way I can describe it) who is rather gross looking, and only somewhat humanoid in appearance- and Elsa’s traveling partner accidentally **SPOILERS** kills him and draws the attention of a pair of circling zombie Saurons. This is quite an ordeal, and was a beautifully crafted sequence in the book. I really like how the story set on Battleworld with Elsa and her companion is punctuated with the backstory of how Elsa’s relationship (if you can really call it that) shaped her into who she is- to the point that she is still spouting off his gruff “mantras” at her companion.
I wasn’t sure of what to expect from this series, and after the first issue, I had kind of figured that all bets were off- and I was right. There were a pair of twists at the end of this issue that really blew my hair back (I have used that phrase more than once this week- sorry, I’ll work on some new catchphrases) and that made me eager to read what happens in issue three. I am not sure what Secret Wars has going on for the next few issues, but as long as the Battleworld tie-ins continue to be a welcome source of additional stories set throughout this event- I think that this series will end up being fairly successful: in my eyes, anyway. I am not entirely sure how this book has been received by new readers- I am sure that a lot of these titles, and the idea behind the Secret Wars event is something that seems rather daunting to undertake. I cant imagine that too many people are running out to a comic book shop for the first time and buying Secret Wars and a half dozen Battleworld titles: but, hey- what do I know?
This was a fun story, and it had great visuals and the characters all seemed to have a bit of a unique voice. I do have some concerns regarding the character that was revealed at the end of the book though, because I don’t know how they are planning on handling that character. I imagine there will be some big blowout fighting sequence rather early in the story- and since this book is about Elsa and her little buddy, this character will meet with an unceremonious and bloody end. I hope not, though, because they would make a (for myself, as the reader) welcome addition to the ragtag group wandering in the zombie wastelands.
Check this book out if you like zombies, or if you want something a little more off the beaten path from the Secret Wars main title (at least for now- who knows what they will discover out there in the wastes to bring back to God Emperor Doom).