George A. Romero’s not-so-secret Marvel project appears to be lumbering toward a fall debut.
As part of its presentation on Friday to the annual meeting of ComicsPRO, the direct-market trade organization, the publisher released a blood-spattered “Marvel of the Dead” teaser (below) that could only be for the comic the horror legend revealed four months ago.
“I’m writing it now, but its plot is a secret,” the filmmaker said in October. Prodded for details, he added, “Well, I can tell you it won’t involve any of their on-going characters, there will be no superheroes. But it will involve zombies!”
Next March, the Marvel Zombies will rise once again, and this time they’re infecting the Squadron Supreme.
Courtesy of our friends at Marvel Comics, we’re pleased to bring you the first look at Marvel Zombies Supreme, a five-issue series by writer Frank Marraffino (who wrote the Haunted Tank miniseries for Vertigo a couple years back) and the art team of Fernando Blanco, Jason Paz and Chris Chuckry. Michael Komarck provides the covers.
The story revolves around Jill Harper and her “super-crisis special-ops unit,” who investigate an underground research facility where a new virulent zombie strain has infected the Squadron Supreme. It’s up to Harper and her crew to keep the zombies from escaping the facility to devour the rest of the planet.
First launched in 2005, the Marvel Zombies series of miniseries have shown us what happens when you mix superheroes and zombies — it usually ends badly for the heroes and the people they protect. The original series featured a decimated Earth-2149, which was overrun by zombie versions of Spider-Man, Wolverine and other Marvel heroes. The zombies have gone on to appear in the regular Marvel (616) universe, in a crossover with Dynamite’s Army of Darkness movie adaptation and even in a Spider-Ham one-shot.
Check out the full solicitation info and the cover to the second issue, also by Komarck, after the jump.
Marvel announced today that they are bringing Marvel Zombies back from the dead one more time with a fifth mini-series, by writer Fred Van Lente and artist Kano.
“What I’ve tried to do ever since they gave me the Zombies assignment was to do something different every time,” Van Lente told Marvel.com. “Folks who read [MARVEL ZOMBIES 4] know that at the end Jack Russell, Werewolf by Night, was infested with the zombie virus. Morbius the Living Vampire wants to cure his friend and in order to do that he needs to somehow figure out a way to unlock a cure for zombie-ism. He recruits his old pal Machine Man from MARVEL ZOMBIES 3, who is back and is again the star of the series, and sends him across the multiverse to take samples from different kinds of zombies.”
Van Lente says Machine Man and a mystery companion will encounter zombies in places like Camelot, the Old West and Killraven’s War of the Worlds. The five-issue series kicks off in April.
Writing for Publishers Weekly, Stefan Dziemianowicz examines the lurching and lumbering rise of zombie fiction, from World War Z and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies to The Walking Dead and Marvel Zombies.
Time magazine has even gone so far as to declare that “Zombies Are the New Vampires,” which probably leaves fans of True Blood/The Southern Vampire Mysteries and Twilight scratching their heads (or sharpening their fangs).
So what’s to blame for this most recent resurgence of the walking dead (lower-case)? As with so many cultural trends of the past several years, the bony finger points to 9/11 which, Dziemianowicz writes, transformed the zombie into “a monster for our time.”
Of course, it’s not all zombies, zombies, zombies (although some days it does seem that way). Quirk Books, the publisher behind the hit Pride and Prejudice and Zombies — the Jane Austen mashup — already have moved on to a new menace: sea monsters.
Yesterday the company announced it will release Sense, Sensibility and Sea Monsters in September. Co-authored by Ben H. Winters, the next book in the series will include “a giant rampaging mutant lobster,” “octopi with glittering tentacles” and, of course, pirates. (You can view a trailer for the book here.)
This past weekend Philadelphia welcomed Wizard World, while Charlotte hosted HeroesCon. Two East Coast conventions, separated by more than 500 miles and a couple of states. If you were away from your computer, then you may have missed some of the announcements that sprang from both venues:
• For years people have been asking for an “iTunes for comics.” Well, it looks like we might actually get one. Rantz Hoseley’s Longbox will be a free download available later this year for PC, Macs and Linux. Comics can be download for a suggested price point of $.99 per issue, with the potential for block and subscription pricing. BOOM! and Top Cow have already signed on.
• Marvel had a lot of announcements at the show. Spinning out of the Uncanny X-Men/Dark Avengers crossover that kicks off any day now will be a series of one-shots that fall under the heading of Dark Reign: The List. Basically Norman Osbourn starts making a list of everyone standing in his way who he needs to do dirty, nasty things to.
The eight one shots and the creators working on them are:
Dark Reign: The List – Daredevil by Andy Diggle and Billy Tan
Dark Reign: The List – Wolverine by Jason Aaron and Esad Ribic
Dark Reign: The List – Hulk by Greg Pak and Ben Oliver
Dark Reign: The List – Amazing Spider-Man by Dan Slott and Adam Kubert
Dark Reign: The List – Avengers by Brian Bendis and Marko Djurdjevic
Dark Reign: The List – Uncanny X-Men by Matt Fraction and Alan Davis
Dark Reign: The List – Secret Warriors by Jonathan Hickman and Ed McGuiness
Dark Reign: The List – Punisher by Rick Remender and John Romita Jr.
The project was announced at around the same time both in Philadelphia and in Charlotte. For more info, check out CBR’s interviews with Bendis, Fraction and Remender, as well as Pak, Hickman and Aaron. Also, Aaron talks a little bit about his Wolverine one-shot on his blog; it will feature both Marvel Boy and Fantomex, as well as a new Weapon XVI.