Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Marvel Zombies 2: Civil War

The biggest story in 2007 was Marvel Comics' Civil War. Forget about DC's Infinite Crisis, forget about 52, forget about World War Hulk even! Civil War was THE focus point of the comics-verse with the ramifications still being felt in the Marvel-verse. In fact, one might argue that the events leading up to Civil War triggered the World War Hulk storyarc when the Illumnati exiled Hulk into space. If Civil War doesn't become the storyline of the year or the comic book event of the year as voted by the Wizard staffers...well...I dunno what I'll do but it won't be pleasant!

Anyway, what happens when you combine the hottest event of 2007 with the hottest comic book series/property of 2006 (and that's Marvel Zombies for those of you who are thinking of any other comic series!)? Why, you get the sequel to Marvel Zombies of course!

Mark Millar’s ‘bad idea’ not only inspired Kirkman and Phillips’ zombie epic, but also a sequel based on his best-selling miniseries

By Ben Morse

Posted October 2, 2007 11:50 AM

The success of Marvel Zombies—and its impending sequel—proves that even Mark Millar’s “bad” ideas usually turn out pretty well.

“When I pitched it years ago, everybody absolutely hated the idea,” laughed Millar in reference to his brainstorm for a Marvel Universe filled with zombie versions of its heroes. “Marvel said, ‘That’s the worst idea you’ve ever come up with.’ Then later, when [writer] Warren [Ellis] was leaving Ultimate Fantastic Four and they had nobody lined up, [Marvel Editor-in-Chief] Joe [Quesada] said to me, ‘Why don’t you do your zombies idea?’ and it turned out to be very popular.”

So popular it would spawn Marvel’s biggest surprise success of 2006: the best-selling Marvel Zombies miniseries written by Robert Kirkman, a veteran of the undead genre with his self-created Walking Dead, with art by Sean Phillips (Criminal) and unforgettable covers courtesy of painter Arthur Suydam, who re-created classic Marvel scenes with a zombie twist.

Beginning Oct. 3, Kirkman, Phillips and Suydam reunite for the five-issue Marvel Zombies 2 and throw another Millar concept into the mix with an internal conflict among the zombies that echoes the writer’s monster hit Civil War, a comparison the Zombies team isn’t looking to discourage with Suydam aping Michael Turner’s cover to Civil War #1 for the first issue. The story takes place 40 years after the original series’ conclusion, and features the zombies returning to Earth following an interstellar sojourn.

“The Zombies are noticing changes in themselves and a few want to stop their flesh-eating ways, while others do not,” explained Kirkman.

Spider-Man, still full of guilt over devouring his wife and aunt, leads the Zombies looking to reform while Giant-Man heads up the unrepentant undead. “Spider-Man is the most popular character in the Marvel Universe, so he has to be a figurehead,” chuckled Kirkman. “Giant-Man stepped up in [the first Marvel Zombies] and started bossing people around, so that continues.”

The rest of the cast includes the zombie incarnations of Wolverine, Hulk, Iron Man, Wasp and Luke Cage, plus what Kirkman calls “the triumphant return of zombie Hawkeye,” who got decapitated in the first issue of the original series, as well as the new cosmic additions of Thanos, Firelord, Gladiator and Phoenix. “With a big cast, there are tons of people for me to kill,” noted Kirkman with glee.

Throwing either a wildcard or more potential snacks into the equation, surviving heroes Black Panther and Forge have re-established a burgeoning civilization on Earth and must contend with the return of their former comrades.

While Kirkman joked that Millar “doesn’t speak to me anymore because he’s worried I’ll steal another of his ideas,” how does the father of Marvel Zombies feel about his once-mocked idea continuing to flourish?

“I absolutely love it,” enthused the Scotsman. “Robert is the best zombie writer in the world and did a much better job than I’d have done. It kicks ass.”

Oh wow. I knew the sequel to Marvel Zombies was going to be big...but THIS big? Looks like single issues AND the HC reprint for me again! Just can't get enough of Marvel Zombies and the brilliant covers by Arthur Suydam! Heck, I'm even thinking of getting his Dead Days poster which is a parody of the record-breaking, best-selling X-Men #1 cover by Jim Lee! See the above picture.

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