I write comic book reviews that NOBODY has ever asked for!
Welcome back to the Longbox Junk Halloween party!
Please remember, ladies. . . just because you CAN buy "sexy witch" costumes in size XXL doesn't mean you SHOULD buy "sexy witch" costumes in size XXL. Just sayin'.
Public service announcements aside, let's take a look at another Halloween comic!
Through this month, I've spent a bit of time with DC's version of Halloween Specials, how about we take a look at what Marvel does for Halloween? Unfortunately, I'm generally more of a DC guy, so the Marvel Halloween Special pickings in my collection are more than a little slim.
The Marvel Halloween Special choices in my collection pretty much boil down to a "Spider-Man: The Short Halloween" one shot from 2009. . .which is a madcap comedy set during Halloween (Short Review: It's pretty funny. Pick it up if you can find it.) and this one, which is a bit more "Halloweeny" to me.
Yeah. . .I know. I need to up my Marvel game a bit.
So, Marvel Zombies. Let's do it!
SCRIPT: Fred Van Lente
PENCILS: Alessandro Vitti
COVER: Francesco Francavilla
Before we start, I've got to come clean. . .
I've never read any Marvel Zombies comics before. I know the basic concept and outline just from general comic fandom osmosis, but this is the first Marvel Zombie comic I've ever done more than flipped through.
I know. . .I know. . .Marvel Zombies are REALLY popular and there's a lot of the comics out there. It's just that I've never been interested enough in the idea to buy into it. And for some strange reason, they don't show up in bargain bins either. This is the only one I've ever pulled from a dollar box.
What I'm trying to say here is that I have no clue where this comic fits into Marvel Zombie continuity or if it's consistent with any sort of established Marvel Zombie-verse "lore". Okay?
The story goes like this:
A woman and her young son live in an isolated farmhouse where their daily routine is just trying to survive the zombie apocalypse through superior firepower.
During reading lessons, the boy is curious about the word Halloween, and his mother explains it away as a thing of the past, but her son wants to celebrate, so she goes to the basement and drags up some old decorations and a Wolverine costume. . .but the kid still isn't happy because mom promised candy.
So mom gets her gun and heads out to scavenge some candy from an apocalyptic zombie-infested wasteland for her ungrateful brat. . .telling him to just stay put until she gets back.
So OF COURSE, as soon as mom's out of view, the kid accidentally lets his pet kitten out of the house and he decides to go after it. . .and since this is a Marvel zombie apocalypse he's wandering through, it doesn't take long before he runs into a bunch of zombie-fied superheroes intent on eating him. . .including Squirrel Girl, DarkHawk (the only two I recognized. Had to wiki up the rest), Karolina Dean, Mettle, and Zero-G.
Just as the super-zombies are about to eat her son, momma comes to the rescue with guns blazing in the nick of time and the two of them make their escape. As she phases through a wall, it becomes clear that the mom is actually an adult Kitty Pryde.
Unfortunately, she and her son are both outnumbered and outpowered by the pursuing superhero zombies and it's not long before they're cornered. Kitty tries to sacrifice herself in order to save her son, but the zombies don't take the deal and it seems that both Kitty and her son are going down.
Until Satan. . .er. . .I mean MEPHISTO shows up for the rescue!
After he destroys the zombies threatening Kitty and her son, Mephisto 'splains that with a dwindling supply of human souls to corrupt, it's in his best interest to keep as many of them around as he can. . .and then Mephisto lets Kitty's son know that he will DEFINITELY be seeing him again in the future.
Back at the farmhouse, the son is a bit upset that Mephisto is ALREADY staking a claim on his soul. His mom shares some memories of the boy's father. . .Colossus. . .and tells him that there's a hero inside him and he'll be able to fight Mephisto when that day comes. And then she reveals that during her scavenging, she found the runaway kitten and there's love and hugs and lessons in appreciation to go around.
Okay. . .not bad. Better than I expected.
The story here is pretty simple, but well-written and surprisingly emotional at the end. I'm still not sold on the whole Marvel Zombies idea, though. It seems that even the C-List zombie superheroes in the story would know about Kitty Pryde's hideaway due to the constant gunfire and the corpses littering the farm's perimeter. . .after all, a couple of them can fly.
But then again, I have the feeling (even from this small dose of Marvel Zombies) that logic isn't the driving factor in the world of Marvel Zombies. . .considering that the entire conflict of the story is based on the twin ex-machinas of a super-protective mother leaving her only son alone in order to scavenge candy AND a kid raised in a zombie apocalypse by a super-protective mother having a remarkably low sense of self-preservation to the point that he just wanders into zombie territory alone.
I really liked the art style on this story. The artist was going for gritty realism and it really helped me take the somewhat questionable story more seriously than I probably would have otherwise.
Despite some gaping plot holes, I found this Halloween Special to be surprisingly entertaining and it even sticks the landing nicely at the end by bringing in some parent/child emotion that rings true and was a bit unexpected in a zombie story. The gritty, realistic art really helps sell the somewhat ridiculous premise. Overall, this isn't the best story I've ever read, but it's not bad and definitely worth a read.
Up Next. . .
Another Longbox Junk Halloween Retro Review!
Step back in time to 1973 for some good B-Movie fun with. . .THE THING CALLED KILLDOZER!
Be there or be square.
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