Marvel Zombies 3 #4

8th January 2009 | by | 4 Comments

Marvel Zombies 3 has been an unexpected success, re-injecting some direction and energy into a concept that many feel had run its course. Machine Man has had one of Marvel’s most successful makeovers, and functions as an entertaining protagonist with the added bonus that he’s not vulnerable to infection. His presence gives the series a tinge of ridiculousness that, combined with the horror-elements, mean we’re left with a comic that reads like the Marvel Universe’s own Evil Dead (perhaps for those of us who didn’t read the Marvel Zombies Vs. Army of Darkness limited series.)

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Jocasta, soon to be a Mighty Avenger, also gets a good moment in the spotlight here. Whether this foreshadows further interaction with Stack, or simply stands alone, it makes for good material that future writers could build off – and most importantly, it’s material that they might actually want to build off, too. Lente’s gift surely lies in making old, forgotten characters into viable concerns again, and given how this issue of Marvel Zombies ends, that’s probably a good thing…

The ending leaves me with an odd feeling of curiosity and dissatisfaction. On one hand, I’m glad we’re getting another Marvel Zombies series, because if Van Lente can make this one so good, the concept clearly has mileage left in it. On the other hand… if anything can exhaust that mileage, it’s the Midnight Sons. MZ4 is due to star all your favourites: Morbius! Man-Thing! And three other guys! It’s surely going one of two ways – either they’re being set up as dispensible cannon-fodder, or someone – perhaps Van Lente – is trying to get a Midnight Sons revival off the ground. I’m not sure which option I prefer.

Even so, compared to the last Marvel Zombies series, which left everyone saying “okay, now stop.” the ending of this one does convince me that the joke isn’t too old yet – assuming you’ve got the right writer. At this stage it looks like the zombies are passed being an “Aunt May/Franklin Richards team-up”-esque piece of absurdist Marvel lore and are instead going to be a permanent fixture. Make of that what you will, but to be honest, I can live with rocky online