Or – “DESTROY!”

DESTROY!!!

MARVEL ZOMBIES DESTROY #1
Writer: Frank Marraffino
Artist: Mirco Pierfederici
Colorist: Garry Henderson
Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Editor: Jake Thomas
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $3.99

Previously, in Marvel Zombies: It’s a little bit hard to believe that it’s been over half a decade since Bob Kirkman unleashed the madness of Marvel Zombies on an unsuspecting public, at a point where the zombie craze was still relatively fresh.  Each subsequent miniseries has had a little bit of diminishing return, and I actually didn’t read the previous two MZ minis at all.  What brought me back on board this time?  Three words:  Howard The Freakin’ Duck!

OKAY, IT’S A NICE OPENING…

We open in the midst of WWII, as Dum Dum Dugan takes to the trenches to fight the hordes of the Axis, only to find all of his friends mown down by enemy gunfire.  He quickly awakens from his nightmare, only to find a smaller, downier nightmare in his living room: Howard T. Duck, late of A.R.M.O.R. (Alternate Reality Monitoring & Operational Response.)  As an aside, I kinda like Howard being part of the group that monitors alternate worlds, being that he’s from one and all, only ending up trapped in this world (that he never made) because of exactly the kind of mulitiversal incursions A.R.M.O.R. is designed to stop.  Howard explains to Dum Dum what the stakes are (although, to be honest, the fact that it’s all over the cover and solicitations kind of undermines any suspense that might have been built up) and we meet the rest of what Howard uncharacteristically calls the Ducky Dozen (mostly revamped/relaunched versions of Golden Age Marvel characters like Red Raven and Flexo the Rubber Man.)

CLEVER USE OF ZOMBIES…

The journey to Nazi Zombie earth leads to the realization that the evil scientists have  begun using artillery to fire their own undead soldiers at enemies, a pretty cool concept when ya think about it.  The heroes crash-land (thanks to the standard misunderstanding) and my favorite member of the team is immediately zombified, which is either super-cool or awful, depending on how one considers it.  The dialogue throughout the issue is workmanlike (though Howard’s ‘Band of Brother’ speech is nice) and the pacing is okay, but for some reason the issue doesn’t really grab me the way I had hoped it would.  The last page reveal comes across to me as more strip-mining of classic concepts, and the revival of more Golden Age characters on the heels of The Twelve, the recent All-Winner’s Squad mini, Six Guns, and half a dozen other books in the last few years doesn’t put that thought to rest.  In fact, once we get past Howard recruiting Dum Dum, the book breaks down to stock characters, plots and conflicts with a couple of flashes of brilliance as we go…

THE VERDICT: DUCK!

Marvel Zombies has become, to many, a punchline: The series that, like it’s lumbering protagonists, keeps going long after it should have fallen to pieces.  When MZ5 brought the team of Howard The Duck and Machine Man together, it was the equivalent of Power Man/Iron Fist back in the 70’s, an infusion of buddy comedy that pretty much meant the death of the cultural touchstones that created them.  This book continues that trend, taking what we know and trying to up the ante just a little more to make it more awesomer.  Marvel Zombies Destroy #1 is okay, but nowhere near the thunderbolt that Marvel Zombies #1 was back in ’06, earning a diluted and overexposed 2 out of 5 stars overall…

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

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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