"Hulk eat Rhino's head. Head not so good. Hulk regret it."
Comic book miniseries
, published by Marvel Comics
The series actually had its genesis with a storyarc called "Crossover
" in "Ultimate Fantastic Four
." The Ultimate Marvel
imprints took established Marvel characters, gave them new origins, and started them over in a modern setting, at least partly to cut out a lot of the convoluted continuity that scared off some new readers. "Crossover" ran in Ultimate Fantastic Four #21-23 in late 2005, and it was written by Mark Millar
and illustrated by Greg Land
. It was promoted by Marvel as the first crossover between the Ultimate universe and the regular continuity-frazzled Marvel universe.
At the end of Issue #21, the Ultimate Reed Richards traveled to the alternate universe
to discover, not the familiar Marvel universe, but a wasteland
all but stripped clean of human life. Marvel's superhero
es and supervillain
s had been turned into flesh-eating zombie
s. And not shambling idiot zombies either. All the intelligence they'd had when they were alive. All their powers. Almost impossible to destroy. Pissed-off and hungry as hell. They'd killed off the entire population of the planet in just 24 hours and planned to travel to the Ultimate Universe and start eating everyone there, too.
Of course, Reed makes it back to his own universe, thanks to a non-zombified Magneto
, who holds the zombies off long enough for the FF to get away.
Readers enjoyed the zombie universe, however, and Marvel quickly decided to revisit that world in the five-issue series called "Marvel Zombies" (an in-joke, as die-hard Marvel fans were often called Marvel zombie
s themselves). The miniseries was written by Robert Kirkman
and illustrated by Sean Phillips
, with covers by Arthur Suydam
The plot kicked off immediately after the Ultimate FF made it back to their own universe, with Magneto facing a small army of metahuman zombies. He doesn't last long, and after the zombies eat him, they run into the Silver Surfer
. After they eat him (and gain cosmic powers in the process), they run into Galactus
. But can any number of undead
flesh-eaters match the hunger of the Devourer of Worlds
Almost everyone dies in this one. Yes, even though most of the main characters are already dead
. It's hard to kill a Marvel Zombie, but they're not entirely indestructible. Even the ones who survive get some nice gory mutilation
s -- Wolverine
loses an arm, Spider-Man
loses a leg, Iron Man
gets chopped in half, Captain America
gets the top of his head sliced off.
In the end, it's really not a very good story. The plot is shallow and predictable -- we all know what's going to happen to the Silver Surfer as soon as we see him, and we've got a pretty darn good idea what's gonna happen to Galactus, too. (For the Marvel Universe's heavy-hitter, Galactus gets spanked a lot.)
in the book is even worse than the plotting. Now you would
expect that getting turned into an undead monster and eating everyone on earth would tend to unhinge
you a bit. But these guys act nothing like the superheroes they used to be. The only one who ever expresses any regret
about killing and eating his friends and family is Spider-Man. The rest of them don't seem to care a bit -- so much for their dedication to the side of truth
, and the elimination of wrongdoing
. Almost as bad is the dialogue
. Only the Hulk speaks with any sort of unique voice. The rest of them sound exactly alike. Spidey talks like Iron Man talks like Wolverine talks like Luke Cage
talks like Giant Man
The best parts of the whole thing are the covers by Arthur Suydam. Each is a painted tribute
to a classic Marvel cover from decades past -- but with lovingly rendered zombies taking the places of the heroes. They're gross
... and it's too bad that Suydam couldn't have provided all the art for this series.