Despite my better judgment, I purchased the hardcover Marvel Zombies trade. Even worse, I read it. That was worse judgment. Ouch.
Further, I have bought every trade paperback of Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead even though all it does is remind me how much of a missed opportunity it is. I guess it’s good, because it allows me to develop my own surely brilliant zombie ideas without fear of overlap but the problem is I WANT TO LIKE IT. It should be like a warm blanket for me, a guy for whom zombies were a seminal part of the formative years. Each page of The Walking Dead should create little Indy 500’s in my bloodstream, furious races by blood cells on a quest towards my engorgement. But alas.
Zombies are so much better than vampires and serial killers. More fun that radioactive mutants and a lot less fucking annoying than pale Japanese chicks with spooky long hair but the bulk of this "zombie craze" does little to inspire me. Land of the Dead, Shaun of the Dead, World War Z, and 28 Days Later (and to some extent the Dawn of the Dead remake, though that’s a remake and thusly not new) are all that really feels right to me, though people seem content to just do zombie stuff all over the map these days with reckless abandon. When reckless abandon isn’t reckless enough there’s stuff like the press release that flew through my fleshy inbox flap: word that the Marvel Zombies were returning, this time in a crossover with none other than Ash of the Evil Dead flicks. In comic form of course.
I never thought I’d be tired of Ash. Never. Now, thanks to bad video games, comic books (aside from the John Bolton one from Dark Horse) and silly toys and multiple DVD releases the character and franchise feel as vital and warming as Star Wars. The franchise is lame. Lame!
If you’d have told me in 1988 that I’d cringe at an Evil Dead product, I’d slap you in the jowls. Then again, in 1988 I’d have given my left leg for an Ash/Marvel Universe crossover. Now they feel like four color digitally colored Judases, sending me out of my childhood comfort zone onto a cross of my own making, left to writhe in the heat while my sacred characters become even more foreign to me.
Of course, I could be making a mountain out of a molehill. But, fuck molehills!
Here’s the press release:
"October 31, 2006,
Runnemede , NJ
– Dynamite Entertainment today announces the crossover event
of ‘07 – a Five Issue Limited Series titled Marvel Zombies vs. The Army of
Marvel Zombies vs.
The Army of Darkness will act as a direct prequel to
last year’s smash Marvel
Zombies series which featured “dynamite” covers by
Arthur Suydam, crisp scripts by Robert Kirkman and fantastic art by Sean
Philips and colorist June Chung! Oddly enough Marvel Zombies followed the events in
Mark Millar’s and Greg Land’s Ultimate Fantastic Four #24. To throw
in more crossover madness, the final pages of DYNAMITE’S Army of Darkness #13
by writer James Kuhoric, teases at the upcoming event. So the groundwork has
been laid out through the Ultimate Universe, the Marvel Universe, and now the
Army of Darkness Universe!
The announcement also comes hot on the heels of both
DYNAMITE’S Army of
Darkness and Marvel’s Marvel Zombies winning 2006 Scream Awards
from Spike TV (DYNAMITE’S Army of Darkness won for Best Screen-To-Comic
Adaptation, and Marvel
Zombies won for Best Comic).
DYNAMITE stated: “Marvel Zombies vs. The Army of Darkness! This
is a big one for Ashley J. Williams! The Biggest. We’re very pleased to
be working with a great creative team and our good friends at Marvel on this
one, it’s gonna be a blast! We are working hand in hand with Marvel
to have this crossover mean as much as possible. We not only were able to
fit the story in continuity but we’re also keeping it fresh and fun (or
as much fun as you can with zombies after Ash!). And stay tuned, True
Believers, we’ve got a few more tricks and treats up our sleeves in 2007.”
The series is bringing the best of the best with the old and
the new. Featuring covers in the Marvel Zombie tradition by Arthur Suydam (and
wait till you see the way Arthur incorporates Ash in to each “new”
classic image), this landmark event is written by newcomer John Layman (Xena; Red Sonja) with interior art by
Fabiano Neves (Xena) and
magnificent coloring by June Chung (Marvel
Zombies). And of course, the spiritual guru of the undead himself,
Robert Kirkman will be acting as a special consultant on the whole series.
Zombies was really one of the breakout hits of 2006 with
multiple printings even for the Hardcover collection, and this limited
series follows up on the heat of that success! It should prove to be an
exciting ride for both Marvel and Dynamite as we work together in the first of
what we hope to be many crossovers,” said David Gabriel, Marvel’s
Vice President of Sales. “My one wish that I hope retailers make come
true..order heavily on these issues…please don’t make us do second, third,
fourth, and fifth printings of all these issues all through next year…”
Marvel Zombies vs.
The Army of Darkness is scheduled for a March release,
and will take the place of the regular AOD series, which will be on hiatus
while the crossover mini-series takes place (hey, Ash is in Marvel Zombie
world, what would we do the series about? Evil Ash?… Hey, wait a
minute, we’ll get back to you on that). Issue #13 of Army of Darkness is
due in stores in December (and more to come on some surprises there), but hey,
we’re talking about Marvel
Zombies vs. The Army of Darkness here, so check out the cover by
sir Arthur Suydam – it ROCKS!"
Yeah, have fun suckers.