Friday, December 07, 2007

Four Color Fiend: Marvel Zombies 2 #2 & other stuff


There are some plot points given away in my MZ2 review, so let’s get those out of the way.

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The elderly, but still active, T’Challa (the Black Panther) has been infected with the zombie virus by The Wasp. As the story opens both of them are in self-imposed isolation in Asteroid M, the last human/mutant outpost. Malcolm, the son of Magneto, feels that in this new situation it is he that should lead the survivors. It looks like things are not going well in an attempted escape by the Panther, aided by the mutant Forge and several others. Just preparing to leave the refuge they are confronted by Malcolm.

Meanwhile, back in space, the Galactus-powered Marvel Zombies, let by Giant Man are bickering amongst themselves. This is triggered by Spider-Man’s “Are we there yet?” It looks as if the MZs are about to take each other apart, when Iron Man reminds them that they were and are friends. Writer Robert Kirkman seems to be bringing the underlying tensions to a head, with Spidey & Luke Cage considering how they might end their flesh-eating ways, while GM, Hulk and some others are just fine with how things are.

At issues end the MZs have finally made their return to Earth. There GM announces his plan to begin raising the survivors as food, some of them to reproduce and keeping the zombies supplied with ‘meat.’ When Forge tries to place a barrier around the non-zombies he unfortunately also traps the undead Shi’ar warrior, Gladiator (a one-time X-Men ally).

Regular MZ artist Sean Phillips does his usual great job making everybody living & undead easily recognizable. As Phillips says in an interview in a recent MARVEL SPOTLIGHT, he purposely does not try to make the zombies funny but allows them to be put in amusing situations, which shows the dark humor of the series. The issue, as you can see in the repro, has a cover by Arthur Suydamn (who is quickly gaining a following for his MZ cover tributes) that copies the cover that showcased the first appearance of the Golden Age Human Torch.

While at Nuclear Comics I picked up the issue of MARVEL SPOTLIGHT, I just mentioned. It focuses on the MZ series, with interviews and art from the creative teams involved in all the appearances of the zombies. There are also a few pages talking about the up-coming “Mystic Arakana” mini-series from Marvel. While not mentioned, it seems that this will do for the Marvel Universe something similar to what DC has been doing since “Days of Vengeance” and the on-going SHADOWPACT series. In other words, it will show how characters like Doctor Strange, Scarlet Witch and her fellow mutant (the aptly named) Magik do what they do.

Oddly enough, thanks to the Friends of the Library bookstore, I was able to buy the “Day of Vengeance” TPB a couple of weeks ago, along with the JLA book collecting the “Crisis of Conscience” storyline and Villains United. I liked DoV enough that I picked up the last three issues of SHADOWPACT and can’t wait to read them. Ragman has been one of my favorite characters since his original series and how can you go wrong with a talking chimp?

Nuclear Comics & Skateshop (Hey, Kenny!) was having their 13th anniversary sale so I bought entire runs of the OMAC PROJECT, SEVEN SOLDIERS: SILENT KNIGHT & INFINITE CRISIS. Trust me, there was plenty more I was tempted to pick up but decided not to go too crazy, as I really want to keep my current collection manageable.

I know I’m about 2-3 years behind the other reviewers and fanboys, but I’m trying to play catch up. I may have a few things to say about each of the series when I get a chance to finally read them.
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