This week gave us the final issue of Marvel Zombies 3, written by Fred Van Lente with art by Kev Walker. Despite the history of the series, I still have to say… this is totally worth reading.
I’m not joking. It’s actually really fun.
The first Marvel Zombies was decent. Not great, but it was a good enough read just because Kirkman had so many toys to play with. He had an entire universe to desecrate as he saw fit. Marvel Zombies: Dead Days was a boring disaster of a prequel that barely answered any of the questions brought up in Marvel Zombies. Marvel Zombies vs. Army of Darkness was better than it had any right to be. And Marvel Zombies 2? Oy.
With Marvel Zombies 2, Kirkman had done away with all of his unending potential, replaced with five issues of writing himself into a corner. I enjoy Kirkman’s work, so I stuck with it just to see where it was leading, but the ending was underwhelming as hell. Finally, even I was done with the series.
Thomas Wilde suggested I give Marvel Zombies 3 a shot based on the first issue. I’m glad I took him up on that. They’ve moved in a very different direction that brings back the potential for fun and over-the-top stories of mayhem. How? By bringing it into Marvel 616.
Zombie Deadpool has snuck into 616, where he’s quickly captured by another SHIELD offshoot called ARMOR. They specialize in alternate reality investigations. Due to the zombie threat, Morbius the Living Vampire suggests that they make a cure for the disease. The only way it would be possible is to have someone enter the zombie world, find a living human being and take a blood sample.
Enter Aaron Stack, formerly known as Machine Man. While he cares little about the fleshy humans, he agrees to go for the sake of protecting his ex-girlfriend Jocasta. At the very least, the two are immune to the infection.
They visit the zombie universe after the Galactus Zombies have flown off. The remains of New York are ruled over by Zombie Kingpin, who was infected before he could succumb to the Punisher shooting him down back in Marvel Zombies vs. Army of Darkness. He and his society thrive thanks to human clones as created by the joint technology of Zombie Jackal and the Zombie Inhumans.
And yet, among all that, there is still one living human being out there.
The star in all of this, of course, is Aaron Stack. Following up on the Warren Ellis depiction used in Nextwave, Aaron is like a cross between Bender and that really badass Inspector Gadget fanart pic that’s made its way around the internet. Though he’s lost his faith in humanity, he still sees the injustice in the use of clones as sustenance, as they’re being exploited like robots. That’s when he decides to do someting about it.
This makes me realize exactly why Marvel Zombies 3 is such a breath of fresh air. You look at those other comics and you see nothing but hopelessness and death. The survivors envy the dead. No matter what, there can be no happy ending.
Hopelessness gets old. With Earth 616 on the line, fate is on the side of the virtuous. There will still be death and injustice, but at the end of the day, the good guys will win. Finally.
There are so many great pages to post, but rather than give everything away, I’ll just post these two gems.
Unlike the other two main Marvel Zombies miniseries, this one ends in a way that tells us what the next installment is going to be about in a way that keeps my interest. Marvel Zombies 4 should be neat.
Keep in mind, if you haven’t read Marvel Zombies 2, it has no connection whatsoever to Marvel Zombies 3. Feel free to skip that.