Book Review: Marvel Zombies 3 (HC) – Author Fred Van Lente

Writer: Fred Van Lente
Art: Kev Walker
From: Marvel Comics
Publication Date: 2009
Format: Full Color – 112 pages
Price: $19.99

Wow, think you’ve seen it all….. then hop on board for round #3 as I fill you in on the details of the Marvel Zombie world. What I love most about these releases is the art styling’s that change from one set of artist to the other. It’s not often that you get to see “Black Bolt” or Ghost Rider” ripping into some flesh like a cannibal. It’s also not often that you get to hear “Black Bolt” speak but in this world anything’s possible …as necrosis has set in old Black Bolt” is running at the mouth like a kid a who just experienced “Pokemon” for the first time.

Back again with a new story and new take on the horror comic universe, it’s pretty safe to say that any notions of heroes you had before go completely out the window in favor of there new transformation of zombies that want nothing more than to simply eat. This issue collects “Marvel zombies 3 Issues 1-4″.

Lets get something straight right out of the bullpen, this is not a series for young children. With heads being ripped off, brains exploding, arms chewed on like turkey bones and big one shots of intestines falling from the newly opened wounds…this is a gore hounds dream…just not the kind of material you want the kiddies cracking open.

Now as we find out self dealing with alternate dimensions, we learn that these zombies are “so” flesh hungry” that they are willing to use whatever means they can to open portals to other dimensions to infect, feed, and rule with a band of super heroes that eat anything in there path. Our star performer this round in Machine Man, one hero I used to follow quite often. Well it only makes sense that he be sent on assignment back with his former robot girlfriend Jocasta as they lack the human parts that can be infected from the zombie virus. They are sent back in a portal to reclaim human blood from a the virus native dimension. As they put it, this is not a job for “organics” .

As they get sent back and find a world in ruin, they discover quite a few things. King Pen is still running things and much of the heroes are reduced to tasks to maintain there way of life. In fact they have created a incubation chamber of sorts that they clone human beings so that they can eat them,… Pretty clever, and pretty sick.

Within these pages are plenty of bloodletting, face chomping, chaos bringing, and highly graphic gore episodes that would even be too much for film let alone comic books….but somehow in our state of a culture in disarray the public has demanded the chaos and now it even filters into the comic arena as well. In my opinion as a reviewer, I love it! it’s fresh, innovative and a darn surprising turn of perspective on a universe that hardly crossed over into these taboos.

Morbius makes a topline appearance with more up his sleeve than usual. The plot has plenty of twists that find roles being flipped upside down and sideways along the way. Most of all we get to see Machine man like never before ….kicking ass on an entire planet and filled with a rage that is unparalleled In the process, perhaps an old love interest in Jocasta has been awakened. what I also enjoy about these strange alter universes is in the little breakaways that show heroes now in altered realities of pain, dismemberment or situations of suffering that are far removed form a normal comic book universe. Great art inside that is a bonus to the series, and in my opinion one of the more darker illustrations styles used for the franchise.

The book ends with some great cover art one page illustrations doubled up with the original covers they were mimicked. Issue #3 cover cleverly swaps out the original “Evil Dead” cover for one featuring Jocasta. Included are all the variant cover arts which are almost worth it in themselves to purchase. My favorite comes in the way of a zombie versions of “Daredevil” #112. And then final pages give us a couple of pages of pencil art ….killer!!!

Writer Fred Van Lente has created a story that is as complex as it is intriguing. Hats off to his ability to really twist this universe around with fresh approaches and clever connections. Artist Kev Walker also gets top points for a extremely graphic and well done take on marvel characters and zombies. I get the feeling that these folks really enjoy ripping these characters to shreds as a release both visually and narratively Or maybe its just the horror fan within that finally gets to rear it ugly head… in any case …fantastic!…now I’m a hunt to acquire my missing volume #1 Hardcover….

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