"The Dead Travel The Cosmos... In Spandex!"
by: Protoclown

Two years ago, I did an article about the Marvel Zombies mini-series, in which lots of classic Marvel superheroes got infected with zombieism and munched upon every human on the planet. Last year, I showed you the Marvel Zombies vs. Army of Darkness crossover, wherein Ash from the Evil Dead movies went toe-to-toe with the community of zombified Marvel super-heroes. This year, we're going to talk about Marvel Zombies 2, and whether or not it's the least bit interesting. I'm going to drop a "spoiler" here, and just tell you flat out that the answer to that question is a resounding "no". You see, last time we left our zombies, they had killed Galactus, gotten the Power Cosmic and headed off into space, after eating every man, woman, and child on Earth (or so they believed). There simply isn't anywhere interesting for the story to go at this point, but don't take my word for it--see for yourself.

The sequel starts forty years later with the small handful of surviving zombies (with new, cybernetic replacement limbs!) from the first book (along with a few galactic additions: Gladiator, Thanos, Phoenix, and Firelord) standing on a lonely asteroid at the edge of the known universe, as they suddenly realize that they've eaten everything.

The Marvel zombies realize with horror that even the heartiest of buffets must have its limits.

That's right, there's nothing left. In forty short years, these zombies have flown all over the universe and eaten every living thing they could find. And since this happens at the very beginning of the story, you just know that you're not about to be assaulted with a pointless, boring journey at all. So if you're the writer, Robert Kirkman, where do you take the story from here, when it clearly doesn't have any legs left? Well, assuming you're not trying to milk a dead concept for money, you don't. You're fucking done. This is where the first book should have ended: with the horrific realization that the zombies are completely alone in the universe, with nothing left to eat. Unfortunately though, we're not so lucky, and the story continues...for some reason.

The zombies begin to lament their situation, and Thanos immediately blames Hulk, stating that if Mr. Big Green Fattypants hadn't eaten well more than his share, they wouldn't be in the predicament they are in now.

They had a fight to the death over who was allowed to wear purple, or something.
You'd be surprised the things that matter when the whole universe is dead.

Hulk does not much care for that sentiment, so he smashes Thanos's head to a pulp, stating that now he technically can eat for two, since Thanos won't require a share anymore. Of course, this kind of ignores the fact that there isn't any food left to eat anyway, but then, no one ever accused Hulk of being particularly smart.

"Hulk not realize that Thanos's head filled with grape soda!"

The starving Gladiator, having never tried the rotted flesh of a fellow zombie before, immediately leaps upon Thanos's corpse and takes a big bite, despite Giant Man Hank Pym's warning. He soon finds himself puking up zombie chunks all over the space rock.

Bulemia isn't just an affliction for humans to suffer. Zombies have to deal with it too.

Giant Man stops and thinks through the pain of the Hunger for a moment, remembering that Reed Richards had made a machine that transported the Fantastic Four to the safety of another dimension. Perhaps if they could find that machine, they could teleport themselves to an entirely new dimension and start over, eating everything that the next universe has to offer. With that, they start the long, long flight back to Earth. As they fly back, Spider-Man tells Luke Cage that he's started to notice the terrible Hunger has faded a bit after not having access to food for so long.

Meanwhile, back on Earth, one of the few remaining survivors (that the zombies don't know about), a young boy, is travelling through the ruins of New York City when he hears a voice calling out from the wreckage. He soon discovers that the voice belongs to the head of zombie Hawkeye, decaptitated by Magneto in the first Marvel Zombies book, where he has apparently remained buried under wreckage for forty years. The boy picks him up carefully, and the zombie shows no desire whatsoever to eat him.

"Sweet! We've been in need of a new soccer ball ever since the last one popped on a rusty I-beam!"

We then cut to the capital of New Wakanda, last remaining human civilization on Earth. T'Challa, the Black Panther, who survived the first Marvel Zombies minus an arm and a foot (but now with cybernetic replacements), is talking with Forge and his wife (unnamed, but she looks an awful lot like an even older Aunt May, and even though we saw her die already she is apparently immortal in all Marvel continuities) about how the long-dead Magneto's Acolytes want to steal the seat of power from T'Challa and take over New Wakanda for themselves, those dastardly devils.

"Welcome, Forge! Can we get you anything? Some wheatcakes, perhaps?"

They're talking about how they're all getting older and soon they won't be able to run things anymore, when suddenly Wasp (Janet Pym) walks in with T'Challa's grandson, who is carrying zombie Hawkeye's head in his hands. Wasp, no longer affected by the Hunger, suggests that she can turn them into zombies and make them immortal so they can rule forever, but surprisingly, they're not wild about that idea.

Poor, foolish Sarah Connor was so concerned about the robots destroying the Earth,
when really, it's the zombie robots she should have been worried about.

T'Challa then notices that his grandson is carrying the zombie head of his former friend, and Forge tells him to bring him over carefully. It's time for the experiments to begin!

"Who wants zombie kisses! Does Grandpa want some zombie kisses?"

We cut back to the space zombies, to witness them taking a break in their voyage to feast on a living planet they somehow missed before. (In a sense, though, aren't a lot of planets "living"? Isn't our own?)

Boy, won't they be disgusted when they find out that Soylent Green isn't actually people,
but rather a bunch of chemically altered, factory processed pseudo-meats.

Back on Earth, the human scientist Reynolds has had a look at Hawkeye and determined that he's not really a danger to the group because he no longer suffers from the Hunger. Then he puts his head on the Wasp's original robotic body, because it apparently amuses him to see Hawkeye with metallic breasts (I know it does me).

"Cannot fight the Hunger... must... grope... self!!"

Then we see son of Magneto Acolyte Fabian Cortez preaching to a bunch of other Acolytes about how T'Challa's time is done, that they have fucking zombies on their payroll, and it's time for a change, and blah blah blah. One of his men attacks the Black Panther in the middle of the night, inflicting him with a grievous stab wound.

Never, ever, ask for a wake up call at the Days Inn in Kosciusko, MS. Just trust me on that.

T'Challa fights off his attacker, because he's the fucking Black Panther, and Wasp arrives in time to finish him off. Sensing that he's only got minutes before he bleeds to death, she decides to administer some "medical aid" by biting him and turning him into a smelly, horrible zombie like her.

"Dammit, woman, I'm the King! It's unsightly for me to be walking around with a hickey!"

After tasting human flesh again, Janet is suddenly overcome by the Hunger, and makes a lunge for T'Challa's wife (who is totally Aunt May), but is stopped by a furious T'Challa, who demands that she leave his wife alone, pointing to the corpse of his attacker and stating that they should feast on him instead. After chowing down on another human being (and advising his wife not to look), T'Challa sits in shame, realizing what he has done. Wasp has a plan to contain them both in a holding cell before the Hunger takes hold of them again, where they will wait for it to fade so that they can come out again and act like responsible, friendly zombies.

T'Challa reads the future in his entrails, and it doesn't look good. Mostly because he's all out of entrails.

Back in space, Spider-Man jokingly asks the group of zombies "Are we there yet?" one time too many, causing Hank Pym to turn around and go off on him, telling him to shut the fuck up and stop being so damned annoying. Spidey's response is to shoot Giant Man in the mouth with webbing, which of course further enrages him.


A fight damn near breaks out, as Giant Man prepars to kill Spider-Man, and the tension has to be broken up by Iron Man and the Hulk of all people. Yes, the Hulk just invervened and helped break up a fight.

"Hulk know that Spider-Man can be asshole, but Hulk still think Giant Man need take chill pill!"

Meanwhile, on Earth, T'Challa and Wasp are still locked away in the holding cell, while Black Panther's grandson hangs around outside, not understanding why his grandfather is locked up and wanting to free him. And Cortez talks with Forge, trying to convince him that since their leader is now a flesh-eating zombie, the people are never going to follow him now (apparently he is unfamiliar with the politics of the last hundred years).

"Okay seriously, it is starting to smell REALLY bad in here, you guys. You can let us out now.
It's cool. I promise we won't eat you!"

Back in space, Peter Parker and Luke Cage have a deep conversation about how Spider-Man jokes around to mask his insecurities, while Forge informs the now Hungerless T'Challa and Janet Pym that Cortez has started a real movement out there, and uh, he doesn't think he'll be able to get them out anytime soon. The reality is that Cortez has gotten Forge to ostensibly agree to execute the zombies tomorrow morning, but he sneaks back into the prison area with Reynolds and Hawkeye in the dead of night and releases them anyway.

"Alright, I've got a sexbot and an old guy who's up for anything that gets him in more drugs,
but I gotta tell you up front that couples cost extra."

As they quickly and quietly dart through the hallways to reach the outside, Forge and Reynolds tell them the plan is to hide them out in the woods for a couple months, by which point they think that the people will have rebelled against Cortez and ousted him from power. Then they can come back into town and everything will be cool. But when they get outside, they are surprised to see...Cortez and his men, waiting for them!

"I can't believe you guys were going to go to dinner without the rest of us! You are some selfish assholes!"

Cortez rambles on for a while, giving a long speech about how their leader has clearly become a monster, he's not fit to lead, he should be put to death, blah blah blah, when suddenly he realizes that everybody has this really shocked look on their face and they are staring at the air behind him. He turns around to see what they are looking at, because he knows he's not that awesome, and sees this:

The zombies would always pose for a moment before going after their prey.
For the photographers.

Giant Man asks the survivors how in the world they managed to escape detection for so long, and that's when Janet tells her ex-husband that they don't have to be slaves to the Hunger, that they can beat it and live in harmony with the humans. About this time, Hulk shouts "Enough talk!", lands on the ground and starts biting off heads.

Old Man Jenkins was also known around the commune grounds as "Old Man Cop-a-Feel".

Chaos erupts as the big green goliath starts rampaging through the settlement, but Giant Man restrains him, telling him that they need to stop and think this through. He explains that they ran out of food the last time because they just ate everything without pause or discrimination, but he advises that if they create breeding camps and savor what they have, they can be in a constant supply of fresh human flesh forever!

"Oh, darn it all! I never could get the Heimlich down quite right! Can someone who
knows what they're doing come over here? A little help? Choking on a torso? Hello?"

But Spider-Man feels a twinge of guilt at this, says he won't be a party to it, and shoots Giant Man in the head with the Power Cosmic!

"Okay, hitting me in the head with a lava lamp? Not cool. If that thing breaks, you're cleaning it up."

Spider-Man unloads all of his guilt on Giant Man, talking about how he's haunted by all the horrible things they've done, how he hasn't felt the Hunger in a while, and how he remembers a time when they used to be heroes. But Giant Man is less than impressed by this.

"Oh, crap. Is my head open? It feels breezy. Does anybody have any duct tape?"

An all-out fight then breaks out, with the humans desperately trying to escape as zombie fights zombie on the grounds of the New Wakandan capital. During the battle, Black Panther radios to Reynolds, who is inside the compound, and tells him to activate the special forcefield they cooked up years ago. It surrounds the building, keeping all of the zombies safely outside its perimeter.

After switching on their forcefield, the Thundercats know they are totally safe against the forces of Mumm-Ra.

They feel a lot safer inside their sphere of safety, that is until they realize that they accidentally trapped Gladiator and one half of Luke Cage in there with them!

"Fools! You have trapped me, Gladiator, inside your protective sphere!
Now, break out the oils and get ready to wrestle!"

Spider-Man tries to appeal to his sense of heroism, reminding Gladiator that he was a protector of the people, but Gladiator merely informs him that these humans aren't his people, and that the zombies killed and ate all of his people a long time ago, so he's kind of feeling the whole revenge thing. Black Panther doesn't much care for his answer and lunges for him in anger, but Gladiator easily punches a huge hole in his chest and throws him to the ground.

"Come on, Gladiator, have a heart! Um, I didn't mean that literally."



Reader Comments

Big In Japan
Oct 8th, 2008, 04:21 AM
Why does when somebody becomes a zombie, their lips suddenly disappear? Do they decompose at a rapid rate compared to the rest of the body? Do zombies even decompose in the first place? And why do their eyes start to glow? I don't believe there is any source of light behind the eyeball...

So many questions...
Oct 8th, 2008, 05:56 AM
I can't stand this zombies thing; it seems like a redundant idea that ran out of steam right away. The threat that it might have spilled over into the Ultimateverse is a worry; it's the only thing which could make that title crappier.

I was kinda hoping you'd be getting stuck into Marvel Apes, Mr Protoclown; it sounds horrific.

FYI, the right to wear purple is definitely worth fighting over.
Oct 8th, 2008, 06:55 AM
Ya know, I think they keep this series around for the covers. Just look at them, they're wonderful.
Oct 8th, 2008, 07:16 AM
The scream to the ceiling... Cheesy...
Forum Virgin
Oct 8th, 2008, 09:04 AM
I haven't read these, but based on the few snippets shown, I think that "Aunt May" is supposed to be Amelia Voght. But you're right; it's way funnier if it's Aunt May.
Retardedly Handsome
Oct 8th, 2008, 10:50 AM
After the last review I was almost persuaded into buying these. Instead I put them down and and grabbed something else...Thanks for reassuring that I made the right choice.
1.21 Gigawatts!!!
Oct 8th, 2008, 11:35 AM
Wonder how many of those robotic woman bodies they have lying around… Kind of makes you wonder what they do with their free time... or on second thought, it may be best left alone.
What Video Games?
Oct 8th, 2008, 01:17 PM
It still kills me that the zombies just stop being hungry. Kinda defeats the whole concept of zombies if you ask me.
Amicable Herculean
Oct 8th, 2008, 07:47 PM
Talk about beating a dead horse! geddit? Also, patiently awaiting the next All-Star Batman Article.
The Goddamned Batman
Oct 8th, 2008, 10:06 PM
Next All-Star Batman article is coming, after all the Halloween stuff is done!
Admiral of the Undead
Oct 8th, 2008, 10:39 PM
I love the Marvel Zombies series, but the opening to part II did piss me off slightly. Come on... Hulk isn't even in Thanos' league. Sure, Hulk is strong... but Thanos is the consort of death itself. A true blast from Hulk would only bruise Thanos, if that.

Oh well, the story was still interesting. :-D
Old Ninja
Oct 9th, 2008, 05:18 AM
Awesome article, although I do feel it still at that time had alittle steam, it is true that with a possable 3 out soon the engine will come to a grinding stop.

What looks bad however is Marvel Apes (Uhh), And i Like Monkeys!

Cant wait for the God-Damn Batman...
Oct 9th, 2008, 06:03 AM
I still giggle at the zombie make out scene.
Imperial Stormtrooper
Oct 9th, 2008, 07:36 AM
Pfft. Those zombies are no match for a Stormtrooper and his E-11 blaster! Pew-Pew them all!
Oct 9th, 2008, 09:13 AM
The stealer of Pies
Oct 9th, 2008, 10:17 AM
Dear Godzilla:

What happens is, when they first get bitten, they start vomiting and whatnot, and all the zombie stomach acid they have now burns off their lips.

yes, this is the actual explanation from the first volume.

on an unrelated note, i just really really like these covers. they're just so damn great.
good fer what ails ye.
Oct 9th, 2008, 06:06 PM
What happened to Thor and the rest of the Asgardians? Because I'd like to see zombie Volstagg. And on a side note, what about the merc with a mouth?
Mr. everywhere
Oct 10th, 2008, 12:15 AM
hey have you guys seen that one new marvel spiderman (i say new, because it was the last one i have seen. think august), where they had a bunch of different parallel universe type stories? like for example: spidermonkeyman. basically the exact same storyline as the original spiderman, but with monkeys! brilliant right? right? no.
Doctor Caliente
Oct 10th, 2008, 12:37 AM
I'm sorry, but I simply loathe the Marvel Zombies... maybe that's what the authors had intended though...
Forum Chaos Lord
Oct 10th, 2008, 01:42 AM
There needs to be a Goddamned Zombie Batman.
Oct 10th, 2008, 02:07 AM
I actually liked this one. It tied up the loose ends nicely (like explaining why in the hell wasp stopped trying to eat people). I think it was more of a setup for the enevitable trilogy. Everybody knows part II always sucks compared to part I and III.

Answering a few of the questions (both in the article and in the posts):

The eyes don't glow, it's just the eye looses it's pigment. Standard zombie deal there.

It took the galactic zombies much longer to calm down because they had eaten so much. The more you eat, the hungrier you get. Again, standard zombie deal.

Hulk now has the power cosmic... thanos does not.

Afaik thor didn't make an appearance in the zombie universe.. remember, it's a parallel world, not the "real" marvel world. My guess is the norse gods don't exist in this reality. (And more importantly adding them into the plot would have complicated things dramatically.)

I think these zombies don't rot. The thing is the cells are dead though, so their bodies don't heal. Only possible explaination I can give you.

Now for my questions:

How did the "new" marvel zombies survive to become zombies? A team of guys with the power of Galactus and the surfer can't eat a bunch of third-rate characters? (Phoenix excluded).

Speaking of the power of galactus... Wouldn't consuming the flesh of the most powerful (and immortal) being in the universe give you the ability to oh.. I dunno REGROW YOUR FLESH?!?! Ever seen a scar on galactus even after all those battles? I rest my case.

If the hunger was so great then when did they have the time and enegry to graft on new limbs? Not only that, considering they can now frikkin fly, WHY did they attach new limbs? I mean vanity no longer becomes an issue when you smell like 40 year old meat.

Speaking of vanity. What, no robotic lips?

Also, cage seems to have grafted on an alien arm. Wouldn't he, you know, EAT that instead?

How do the heads talk? No vocal chords ya know.

Just some things to think about.
Oct 10th, 2008, 04:33 PM
Howard, Thor was in it, at least the first one. And I Think Godzilla was talking about the Cosmic Zombies, so the Eyes glow because of the power cosmic.
Forum Virgin
Oct 11th, 2008, 09:15 AM
About the whole lip thing; they sure do talk remarkably well without them! Really, try talking without using your lips and see how you sound. I guess its a zombie thing.
Amicable Herculean
Oct 11th, 2008, 06:40 PM
Remember those Twinkie ads they used to print in comic books?
Forum Virgin
Oct 12th, 2008, 03:12 AM
I can't help but think that a zombified Matter Eater Lad could actually be frightening.

As for the whole missing-lip thing, I've seen a few zombie films where the dead feasted on human face, resulting in the victims becoming lipless zombies. But that doesn't explain why such an injury designed to make certain background zombies stand out more was given to nearly all the Marvel Zombies.
Oct 12th, 2008, 07:22 PM
Crap, that's right, thor WAS in it. Well maybe in this reality thor is the only norse god left. Or, judging by the first issue of zombies 3, maybe they got sucked into the nexus?

I think the main reason for the lip thing was so the reader could tell who the zombies are, joking and plot problems aside. I mean most of the marvel heroes wear masks, and many of them, like spiderman and iron man even wear masks that cover their face. It could be difficult for a slower reader to determine which ones are infected and which aren't without such an obvious deformity. Although personally, I think zombies that you can't identify right off the bat would have been far more frightening.
Oct 12th, 2008, 07:31 PM
they already have skrulls though
Oct 12th, 2008, 07:54 PM
Eh... the skrulls mess is going to be one of those things we are forced to pretend never happened in the end. I like the zombies series because, for the most part it does NOT interfere with the "real" universe.

Before we beat this article to death, one more point...

I think I've mentioned it before, but the real plot hole that gets me that everyone else seems to overlook is the timeframe. Around 200 superheroes ate the whole earth, full of BILLIONS in a couple of weeks? Try to eat the biggest peace of food you can find... just shovel it in. Took a little while right? Now scale that up to the size of a whole person. Now by a billion. I don't care if some of them are as big as a house or if some of them do have super speed... there's no frikkin way! Plus there's the whole pooping thing. We establish in the first series that the zombies don't really digest their food that much (it eventually dissolves in their stomach acid, but not quickly like real digestion). We establish in army of darkness vs zombies that they do indeed poop (HULK NEEDS TOILET PAPER!!) So shouldn't the entire galaxy, literally, be full of crap? And pooping takes time just like eating.

Then we are to beleive the 8 or so left ate the entire galaxy in just 40 years. Come on! Galactus, who also devours entire worlds (all at once btw, instead of just one person at a time) has been around forever, and yet the galaxy pretty much is still there. So now 8 normal sized people can do it quicker??
Former Virgin
Oct 12th, 2008, 10:28 PM
I haven't read any of the zombie comics. The only way I know of them if from the excellent reviews here. My question is does zombie Wolverine ever do anything? In the panels that I've seen he appears to be a bit player at best.
Vigilante All-Star
Oct 18th, 2008, 03:50 AM
Howard C: Marvel Zombies 3 is taking place with the zombies invading the 616 universe...sorry about that.

The story actually started in Ultimate Fantastic 4, so the Ultimate invasion is done...
Forum Virgin
Oct 19th, 2008, 07:15 AM
This is for HowardC: The new zombies were formed because, basically, the heroes intentionally infect new beings they come across with super powers. It goes back to Reed Richards believing the virus was the next step in evolution. The same thing happened on the Skrull planet that the regular Earth FF ended up on (Black Panther, Storm, Torch and Thing), where the zombies infected four Skrulls that had the original FF's powers (including the Zombieverse's version of Lyja, Torch's Skrull wife).

It surprised me from the first panel that the zombies, for the most part, aren't wearing their Galactus gear... Hulk's still wearing the Galactus skirt, Wolvie's got a purple glove and Cage has a purple sleeve, but that's all I see. Also, note Spidey's two-toed look on his new leg? As for why they didn't try regrowing their limbs and flesh, maybe it wasn't that much of a priority for them at the time?

I think it's established that after they eat for a while, the Hunger DOES diminish some and the zombies are able to think semi-clearly, which is probably when they were able to come up with the grafting.

And that's all I can think of for your comments.

As for the eyes, it shows other non-cosmic zombies having blank eyes, also, just another identifier along with the lipless look.

Come to think of it, zombie vomit might explain why Spidey's mask ripped so easily in Dead Days.
Oct 21st, 2008, 01:47 AM
Chuggernaught: Zombie Wolverine doesn't really do much in this series (other than get all the skin ripped off one arm). I think Marvel has decided to just throw him into every comic they print, whether he belongs there or not, just like Spider-man.
Oct 25th, 2008, 09:32 AM
Say what you will, Robert Kirkman is still the man. I love Invincible and The Walking Dead (although the latter causes me just as much consternation as joy).

Can't wait for the next All-Star Batman.
An Arizona Horror Company
Oct 28th, 2008, 02:27 PM
We need a zombie J. Jonah Jameson.

Comic Geekery Incarnate
Nov 24th, 2008, 07:42 AM
HowardC: Galactus eats in moderation, either just enough to ensure he could contain Abraxas, or to to ensure it lasts as long as possible depending on if you want the Abraxas stuff to have happened. Not gorging himself like these guys do.

Hmm, what if this "Hunger" is related to the "Hunger" Galactus was affected by some time ago... No, you're right, let's never speak of that again.
Saturday Night Slammaster
Nov 29th, 2008, 11:15 AM
What the hell did Wolverine do all issue? I mean, if he's still alive, you'd expect him to, you know, do something, right?
Space Viking Repo Man
Nov 30th, 2008, 07:10 PM
I adore the Marvel Zombies. Yes, it's absurd and insane and I'm not exactly sure how they could take down the Silver Surfer and the power cosmic, but I don't take it as seriously as I should. Part of the appeal is seeing how far the premise can be stretched, and how bad it could get.

And the covers are AWESOME. But at this point, I'm thinking they should throw DC a line for a Marvel Zombies vs. DC Zombies. That's the only way it could get better. Zombify the DC Universe and this could get so awesome so quickly.
Jan 28th, 2010, 02:05 AM
'S been at least a year already... So where's our review of part 3? And 4? And Returns? And I hear they're making a 5... So Marvel Zombies has the sequel power of any other modern horror franchise, at least.

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