Or – “Latveriaaa… Latveriaaa… You Border On The Adriiiiatic!”


So, after three issues of Ultimate Fantastic Four, the five issue original miniseries, another UFF crossover, four issues of this mini, the ‘Dead Days’ one-shot, the Fantastic Four crossover, and the Dead Days one-shot, have the Marvel Zombies finally reached the apex of their coolness? There are only so many ways to say “Everybody dies!” after all, although I prefer the fey, disaffected “You die, she dies, EVVVVerybody dies,” from Heavy Metal, m’self. Is this the issue where the franchise is finally (you should excuse the expression) cannibalized?

Zom1.jpgPreviously, on Marvel Zombies Vs. Army of Darkness: S-Mart housewares employee Ash Williams finds himself dead. Again. This time was different, however, as he ended up in a strange afterlife, where he encountered a strangely-familiar undead looking caped figure. After bumping heads with The Punisher and Spider-Man, as well as watching his alternate-universe counterpart get eaten by a giant zombie duck, he hooked up with Dazzler and The Scarlet Witch. Wanda’s knowledge of magic allowed them to access the home of Doctor Strange, overcome a zombie Doctor Druid, and discover the secret location of this universe’s Necronomicon. Unfortunately, it’s in the hands of Victor Von Doom, and he’s no nicer in this world than in the regular-issue Marvel Universe. It has been less than a day since the Sentry brought the zombie plague to this Earth, yet the infection has spread like wildfire (not the Legionnaire, mind you.) Have you ever wondered WHY? It all starts with Wanda Maximoff, the Scarlet Witch, about to be eaten by a dozen of her former teammates…


With Quicksilver infected, no one is safe, as his super-fast body comes with a super-fast metabolism, and he literally tears through victims and would-be saviors alike, spreading the contagion at blinding speed. New York quickly becomes overrun with too many competing predators, so Pietro takes off for greener pastures, each one further away than the last. Reaching his top speed, he is able to run across the surface of the ocean, to find new food sources…


Hey, isn’t the Red Guardian dead? I mean, wasn’t he already really dead instead of… Oh, I don’t know what I mean. Regardless, the superhuman zombie plague runs rampant across the globe, while in Latveria, Von Doom is more worried about being addressed with respect than saving lives. “Miss Maximoff. Kindly inform your associate that I am the ABSOLUTE monarch of Latveria, and if he addresses me again as ‘Yo, Threepio,’ ‘Hey, Tin Man,’ or ‘Domo Arigato, Mr. Roboto,’ I will remove his head from his body.” Heh… it’s even funnier when you say it while holding Ash up by the throat with seemingly no effort at all.


“As if, Buddy!” replies Ash, before Wanda interrupts. Ash tells Doom that he needs the Necronomicon from Vic’s library to save the day, and Doom scoffs. “It is a pan-dimensional virus, a cosmic contagion. SCIENCE, not sorcery, will be the key to putting and end to it.” Dazz and the Witch try to talk Doom into just a few moments with the book, but he’s not having it. Doom orders his Doombots to take Ash into custody, but Ashley J. Williams doesn’t play like that. He judo-throws a doombot, and calls Doom out. “You bozos don’t have the slightest idea who you’re messing with. I’ve taken on entire armies of Deadites single-handedly– you think I’m gonna be stopped by a couple of glorified wind-up toys?” Doom decides to show Ash very graphically what happens to those who displease Doom. He asks a technician what’s happening outside, and is told that Goliath is still attacking, though most of the others have been repulsed. Doom proceeds to show why you shouldn’t tick him off…


Boy, doesn’t matter what universe it is, William Barrett Foster can’t BUY a break. You feel bad for him, until you realize this is less humiliating than the death Mark Millar gave him. With that lesson learned, Doom has his ‘bots take Ash away. Scarlet Witch steps in, trying to play the diplomat… “Doom, please. Have mercy on him. He could be the key to stopping–” “He is the key to NOTHING!” Doom goes on to explain that he IS taking mercy on Mr. Williams, as he’s being locked in the brig, and the brig is currently where he’s saving the populace of Latveria from being horribly eaten.


Doom is a futurist, you see, and he’s planned for this contingency… She-Hulk’s words are very true, when you compare this behavior to Iron Man’s recent acts, you see many paralells, notably the theory that you have to break a few eggs to make an omelette. Dazzler sneers at Doom’s heroism, but he points out that the heroes are the problem, and much as I hate to admit it, he’s absolutely right. Some hours later, after Doom has prepared a state dinner for the two hot spandex-clad ladies, the door to Ash’s cell slides open. Wanda has broken away from her dinner engagement while Doom is talking himself up to the pneumatic young Miss Blaire, and lets him out. She tells Ash to head for the library, but he points out that she’s pulled him “out of the frying pan and into the line of fire!”


Mutants are terribly useful to have around, aren’t they? Soon afterwards, the armored form of Doom enters the library, greeted by his ‘bots. “Away with you, lackey. Master needs to me-time in the book-room!” When the robot questions him, “Doom” replies “Take a HIKE, tin-britches!” He pulls the Necronomicon down, and the book is confused (remember, it can talk.) “Doom? What is this? Something about you… seems different.” He pulls off his mask, and Ash replies, “Oh, ya think?” The book is surprised to see the chosen one, but refused to tell Ash a thing, replying to threats with a terse, “to use your own clumsy vernacular: Or WHAT?” Snapping the Doom-Bots hand into his own bionic limb, and powering up the disintegrator, Ash comes back with, “Or you’re gonna suck laser blast!”


So the situation really is hopeless. “Face it, tiger,” taunts the Necronomicon, “You crapped out!” As he leaves the library, all hope seems lost, but a voice calls out to him, telling him that time is running out. “Would you shut up back there? I know time is running out AND I know that the world is doomed, so just put a damn cork in– Huh?” Every hero has his weakness, be it wood, Kryptonite, yellow, or in Batman’s case, logic… And Ash’s fatal weakness is simple: hot chicks in tight clothes.


Breaking Amora (and trusting a woman whose name is one letter away from “amoral” is a sign of how little blood flow is getting to his brain in that get-up) out, Ash tells her about the refugees in the basement. She is stunned to hear of uninfected humans, but Ash doesn’t catch how eager she seems. Quickly moving down the hall, they find Scarlet Witch and Dazzler, but they’re both horrified to see his accomplice. Ash plays the “Hey, baby, don’t be jealous” card, but nothing is what it seems. “You should have figured out by now…”


Good thing that suit has a skullcap… As this series rockets towards the inevitable (literally) conclusion, the visual gags keep coming, and the Ash dialogue is, as always, snappy and very true-to-the-character. Doom’s appearance is interesting, and it was funny to see his imperious demeanor contrasting Ash’s flippant behavior. The presence of Amora, and the constant reiteration of magic in this issue makes me think that there’s a magical escape hatch in Ash’s future. I may, also, be overthinking things. This issue wasn’t quite as fun as last, partly due to it’s more static settings, but the multiple artists worked pretty seamlessly together.

John Layman writes a pretty interesting tale, and a very good Ash Williams, and I’d say that the series still has some unlife in it. His dialogue is his strength, especially for Ash and Doom, but he succeeds in writing convincingly for Dazzler and Doctor Doom equally. The change in art styles made me like this issue only slightly less than the last, but I still eagerly await the last issue of this tale, and think this issue is more than worth a well-above-average 3.5 out of 5 star comic.


The Author

Matthew Peterson

Matthew Peterson

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture!

And a nice red uniform.

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  1. June 8, 2007 at 5:46 pm — Reply

    “An Army Will Rise…”

    Funny how there’s a bunch of perfectly healthy people in Doom’s Bunker…and the Necrocomnicon in his Library…when you consider this Book’s Title.

    Heh heh heh…

  2. Dino
    June 8, 2007 at 9:27 pm — Reply

    “You border on the Adriatic”!

    So, a “Cheers” fan, eh? Ah, that Coach Ernie Pantusso was something!

    I have been too busy to hit the comic shop this week and this is the book I’ve been waiting for. Thanks for the scoop.

    Oh yeah, the next AOD series after this one is called “Army of Darkness: From the Ashes” and is coming soon! Check it out here: http://www.dynamiteentertainment.com/htmlfiles/p-C107721.html

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