Writer: Phillip Kennedy Johnson
Art: Leonard Kirk, Guru-eFX, VC’s Travis Lanham, and In-Hyuk Lee
Release Date: October 30th, 2019
When Galactus’ corpse emerges at the perimeter of Earth’s solar system, the Avengers, X-Men and Fantastic Four investigate. Too late, they realize that Galactus’ body is now the vessel of an interstellar terror, which one-by-one transforms Earth’s Mightiest Heroes into the universe’s most terrifying predators in this week’s all-new MARVEL ZOMBIES RESURRECTION #1 by Phillip Kennedy Johnson. As our champions try to escape the superpowered, cannibalistic aberrations that were once their friends and family, will any survive? And even if they do, can they hope to protect Earth from the infestation that has already claimed half of the known universe? Let’s jump into the first issue of this terrifying new vision of the classic Marvel tale!
On this haunting day before Halloween, Marvel unveils the return of MARVEL ZOMBIES, which hasn’t been seen since it’s 2009 five-issue mini-series as well as a cameo in SECRET WARS (2015). Now, the series is back leaving readers wondering, how does this zombie apocalypse commence? Well, Phillip Kennedy Johnson excavates an intriguingly smart way of unearthing this new nightmare in a way that was unexpected and more unique than your average zombie-virus or plague. Johnson quickly moves the story ahead, compiles his main players, and expedites this story into space where our heroes begin to run into vicious problems almost suddenly. The only caveat this reviewer had was that the Marvel Preview basically summarized the opening half of the narrative. This reader would have appreciated the discovery of the opening half of the issue more on his own without being told the blueprint in the preview.
That said, this critic still admired that over half of the issue was actually not centered around zombies at all. Johnson utilized the tension and anticipation of the outset of this zombie anecdote and postponed the big reveal as long as possible, which added more anxiety and suspense to the narrative while elevating the exhilaration within the issue. Furthermore, the stunning surprise of exactly how the heroes get infected was so fascinating. Moreover, Johnson’s space exploration team was chosen for this mission purposefully to give each hero some type of task. From Magneto to Wolverine, Johnson required these specific characters at distinct points in the story to progress the narrative making them useful and important. This aspect of the narrative was extremely well done.
Another gradient this reviewer thoroughly appreciated was Johnson’s portrayal of Reed’s hubris. Reed always pokes around where he doesn’t belong because he’s doing it for ”science”. His family and friends question is motivates but he always finds a way out. However, it’s Sue who eventually points out towards the end of the issue that there will be a time when Reed finally gets scorched. Was it this time? Does the Fantastic Four make it out? Does anyone make it out without being infected? Well, you’ll have to read this week’s tale to find out!
Johnson sends fans through this issue quick without bogging down the reader with excessive dialogue or narration leaving opportunities for Leonard Kirk to shine, especially with many of the large panels and splash pages throughout the issue. When given the opportunity for space, Kirk’s detail was very remarkably stunning. His larger than life look at the infected Galactus or his close up shots of the infected hero’s faces were absolutely amazing. However, some of the linework/ ink work was relatively thick and heavy at times making the smaller panels blurry and hard to decipher characters’ facial features. This reviewer recommends this art team try to stay as big as they can, which was where they were the most impressive.
Readers will celebrate this easy to understand, fast-paced narrative that was extremely entertaining with a creative spin on the normal zombie plague apocalypse we’ve seen in the past. There are still a few questions that this reviewer wants to be answered. However, this is only the first issue and this critic holds high hopes that Johnson will build on the current status quo and usher in more background information as to this apocalyptic origin. This story will grab readers’ attention and some of the rules appear to be set in stone. This reviewer recommends picking this story up and adding it to your pull list, especially if you’ve loved MARVEL ZOMBIES in the past, DCEASED over at DC Comics right now, other zombie tales, or are interested in an ElseWorld-type story where the writer can let loose without any repercussions or continuity issues.