The zombie genre is one that comes and goes in popularity. It’s often a genre that works well as an allegory about the unease of the time. In this case, Marvel Zombies Resurrection #1 nails the zeitgeist with a release that adds layers to what could easily be a seasonal holiday fun release.
Marvel Zombies Resurrection #1 is the first issue of a limited series that’s a new take on Marvel’s popular zombie line of comics. A previous one-shot was released that was the lead up but one can dive into this debut without any issue.
Writer Phillip Kennedy Johnson delivers a bit of a different take than previous Marvel Zombies volumes. Where humor and levity were the focus, this debut has a bit of a more dour tone. The comic has more in common with Cormac McCarthy’s The Road than the previous volumes of the series. And in many ways, it’s what’s needed.
Unlike previous volumes, we’re surrounded by a disease we can’t see. Many of us are parents or have protecting others on our minds. In that way, the zombie genre is ripe for a new allegorical spin reflecting on our current situation. And, that seems to be the direction Johnson is going.
The zombies have arrived and a small band of survivors that include Franklin and Valeria Richards, Peter Parker, Forge, and Moonstone are attempting to move forward. Much like the virus that haunts us currently, they’re plagued by what they don’t see around them. Zombies hunt their location while super powered ones can strike at any moment. It’s what we, and they, don’t see that builds a tension that drives the issue.
Johnson also focuses on the protector role for Spider-Man. He’s there to keep the remaining Richards children safe, as he’s promised. For a character that’s usually so joyful and full of quips, it’s a massive shift and you can feel the weight he’s dealing with. It’s a role parents find themselves in even without a real world pandemic but in the current climate, it’s hard to not reflect and compare what many of us are going through.
The serious nature of it all is enhanced by Leonard Kirk‘s art, Rachelle Rosenberg‘s colors, and Travis Lanham‘s lettering. Shadows and quick surprises keep readers on their toes. The dark color pallete enhances the depressing nature of it all. But, even with that more serious look, there’s still a lot to stop and say “cool” about. With Forge part of the team, we get awesome details like Cyclops’ head being used as a laser weapon and a nice take on a reused Sentinel.
The team nails the first issue with a nice mix of reflection, build up, and foreboding foreshadowing. It can get cliche at times, which genre stories can do, but there’s so much more here that twists what’s come before in previous volumes. While it might not feel like we need a story that reflects the current pandemic, Marvel Zombies Resurrection #1 in some ways is helpful to help center the reality we face. It creates entertainment we can relate to and in ways play out or fantasy and enhance the role many of us currently find ourselves. It’s a departure from previous volumes in tone but this newest volume of Marvel Zombies does exactly what horror and science-fiction is good at, talks about the world we find ourselves in.
Story: Phillip Kennedy Johnson Art: Leonard Kirk
Color: Rachelle Rosenberg Letterer: Travis Lanham
Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25 Recommendation: Buy
Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review