By Jim Beard
You can't keep a good zombie down, especially when it's a Marvel Zombie! This September the fan-favorite fiends return, but in an entirely unexpected manner!
MARVEL ZOMBIES RETURN chronicles the newest adventures of the undead versions of such popular Marvel heroes as Spider-Man, Wolverine, the Hulk and more. MARVEL ZOMBIES 4 writer Fred Van Lente will head up the five-issue event, aided by three novelists who know their way around a zombie or three.
"With Fred being one of the most in-demand scribes here at the House of
Ideas, this was another great opportunity to bring in additional voices to the party," says editor William Rosemann. "Just as Fred jumped in and reinvigorated the Zombies franchise, the tradition continues with new blood being pumped into the undead. And who better to write the further tales of our frightening flesh-eaters than some of today's most popular zombie novelists?"
Rosemann also points out that MARVEL ZOMBIES RETURNS requires no previous knowledge of any of the MARVEL ZOMBIES series to enjoy the new event.
"If you've read MARVEL ZOMBIES 1 and 2, then here's where the zombie versions of Spider-Man and Wolverine were zapped to—but if you haven't read those stories, never fear," he assures. "The action in MARVEL ZOMBIES RETURN begins from the very first page, and is crafted with you in mind. All the info you need to enjoy the feeding frenzy will be supplied—as will the victims!"
MARVEL ZOMBIES RETURN: SPIDER-MAN features Van Lente and artist Nick Dragotta and spins the wrecked wall-crawler into a mystery deep in his own past.
"Zombie Spidey has been transported in time as well as in space—specifically, back to the swinging 60's era of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN," explains Van Lente. "This story actually is a riff on AMAZING #68, in which a mysterious tablet is on display at Empire State University that may contain the secret to curing our undead Wall-Crawler of his zombieism. The question is, will Zombie Spider-Man get to it before the Kingpin and the Sinister Six, and can he hold off the hunger long enough to do what he couldn't do in his own universe, save Mary Jane Watson? Or once a monster, always a monster?"
MARVEL ZOMBIES RETURN: IRON MAN spotlights the canned cretin at one of the most challenging points in his past, written by "Monster Island" novelist David Wellington and penciled by Andrea Mutti.
"Here Iron Man—Tony Stark—is human, very, very human, facing a threat unlike anything he's seen before," says Wellington. "He's also at his absolute lowest point, strung out on alcohol and feeling like a loser. He's not a super hero here. He's a guy with a lot of problems, and they're dragging him down. What he can do, though, even when he's so far gone, what he can achieve is going to be the mark of his real character. We get to find out if Tony is a real hero, or just a guy with a really cool set of toys. The results may surprise some readers!"
MARVEL ZOMBIES RETURN: WOLVERINE, snikting your way courtesy of "Patient Zero" writer—and incoming BLACK PANTHER scribe—Jonathan Maberry and artist Jason Shawn Alexander, sets the undead Logan against some of the Marvel Universe's greatest martial artists.
"There's a lot of good storytelling that can be done with martial artists and the living dead," Maberry claims. "In my installment it's more 'chop socky' than kung-fu, with an emphasis on 'chop.' Kung-fu doesn't fare too well against super-powered zombies at the best of times, and when the super-powered zombie in question is Wolverine, then the line-up of kung-fu heroes is more like a buffet at a sushi bar."
MARVEL ZOMBIES RETURN: HULK smashes along on the moon with "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies" novelist Seth Grahame-Smith—making his comics debut—and artist Richard Elson.
"I guess the one big similarity between 'classic' zombies and Marvel Zombies is that they're both crazy about brains," muses Grahame-Smith. "But I'll give Zombie Hulk a little credit: he has a brief moral struggle here with his new-found hunger for gray matter. Very
brief. I guess you could call that heroic. But beyond that, he doesn't have much trouble getting in touch with his inner zombie. Just ask the people of Manhattan."
And then MARVEL ZOMBIES RETURN: AVENGERS wraps it all up with Fred Van Lente on words, Wellinton Alves on pictures and a terrifying troop of the Earth's Moldiest Heroes overflowing the pages.
"I can tell you that the 'event' [that brings them together] is the massive, apocalyptic climax to the entire MARVEL ZOMBIES RETURN series," notes Van Lente. "It's called 'Carnage on Infinite Earths' and involves the Blue Area of the Moon in a very significant way. Just remember these words, and where they come from:
"'Nobody knows what caused this exactly, but some people think it might have been a punch.'"
For all the latest news updates from Heroes Con 2009 and Wizard World Philadelphia 2009, keep checking back right here on Marvel.com all weekend!
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