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Marvel Zombies #5

Posted: Thursday, April 13, 2006
By: Kelvin Green



"Conclusion"

Writer: Robert Kirkman
Artists: Sean Phillips, June Chung (colours)

Publisher: Marvel Comics


I wanted to like this series, as its heart is in the right place (somewhere in a zombie's intestinal tract, most likely). It's the kind of unrestrained fun that I wish we saw more often nowadays in this climate of filmic "realism" in superhero comics, but it doesn't quite work. The book has some fun ideas, and I particularly like the nice little irony concerning Galactus in this issue, but it doesn't seem to do anything with them, and the plot doesn't really develop. Frankly, the series as a whole reads like a pitch extended to five issues, and that's a disappointment, as there's a great deal of potential here.

For instance, Robert Kirkman remembers his supporting cast this issue and dutifully shuffles them on for the finale, but they did next to nothing for the whole of the series and their late reappearance only draws attention to that, not least because they do nothing of significance even when they return. And yet, there are lots of interesting things that could be done with this group of survivors on an empty Earth, things we won't get to see, unless this series gets a second volume and a tighter plot.

There are some good moments, but they're small and infrequent, just the odd line of dialogue here and there or a fun little sequence (the Red Skull gets a great moment as he finally defeats Colonel America), and it's not really enough to make the whole project worthwhile. Nor is the art, which while very effective in bringing together two very different types of storytelling (classic superheroics and creepy horror), doesn't have enough oomph to carry the comic on its own.

I'm a big fan of Robert Kirkman's writing, and I think he's not only doing great work now, but still has some masterpieces ahead of him (>koff!< Avengers! >koff!<). That said, this has been a bit of a disappointing misstep for a usually dependable writer.



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