Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Reader's Diary #1207- Robert Kirkman (Writer), Sean Phillips (Art): Marvel Zombies (Collecting #1-5)

I wasn't expecting a lot from Marvel Zombies. A bit of fun, perhaps, but still, I knew it was a cash grab for the zombie craze. That's okay, it's almost Halloween, I can do a frivolous zombie tale.

But then I realized that Robert Kirkman, the mastermind behind The Walking Dead was behind it, and I grew more excited.

Kirkman did not disappoint. That said, it's surprisingly different from The Walking Dead. Here the zombies aren't slow, groaning, stupid hunger monsters, they're talking, plotting, superhero hunger monsters. They're the same characters as before except when it comes to their hunger for human flesh, they have no willpower whatsoever and will kill their own mothers to get some. It's to the point where they've eaten every non-hero on Earth and are now starving.

But a more important difference is that this isn't literary Kirkman. This isn't the fall, redemption, and evolution of Rick Grimes. This is over-the-top gore and senseless violence. In the introduction, Kirkman hysterically tells of how he kept trying to offend the editors and top brass at Marvel, but nothing he wrote got turned down. In other words, this is a very fun collection.

Unfortunately it's all soured by Sean Phillip's art and June Chung's colouring. When it's not generic, everything is so terribly hidden in shadows that all Kirkman's blood and guts are gone to waste. On the TV version of the Walking Dead, one of the best things is how they don't turn away from the gross but delight in it. The makeup artists there must think they have the best job in the world. In Marvel Zombies it's too dark to see anything. It's like they didn't know how to keep those dangling bits of flesh consistent from one panel to the next so they simply didn't try.

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