Black Panther (4th series) #29

Issue Date: 
August 2007
Story Title: 
From Bad to Worse: Part 2 of 3

Reginald Hudlin (writer), Francis Portela (penciler), Val Staples (Colors), VC’s Cory Petit (Letters), Arthur Suydam (Cover), Daniel Ketchum (Assistant Editor), Axel Alonso (Editor), Joe Quesada (Chief), Dan Buckley (Publisher)

Brief Description: 

The zombie Luke Cage attacks the Skrull soldiers as the Fantastic Four try to convince the Skrulls that they’re on the same side. They attempt to distract the zombie, but he soon learns that they’re dimensional travelers. Together with the Skrull Fantastic Four, they collaborate an attack against Luke.
Outside, the other zombies continue to run amok eating everyone they see. They come across the Negative Zone bug also attacking Skrulls, but he beats the zombies back. They get angry that he’s taking their food, but decide to go eat instead of attacking.
The Fantastic Fours attempt to escape, finding a ship, but the Skrull FF are commanded to attack the zombie Luke Cage as the others fly off. On board the ship, the Black Panther requests to attempt to contact Earth. When they do, they are surprised to find that it is The Black Panther who answers.
The zombie Luke Cage and Iron Man get into a fight over Luke going on a solo raid, but Luke beats Iron Man away. He then explains to the others that the Fantastic Four were from another dimension. If they figured out how they did it, they could have an unlimited buffet.
On board the ship, the FF discuss using the frogs again, but begin to wonder if the frogs are indeed sentient. It seems that each time they use the frogs, it puts them in more peril. The Skrulls over hear this and pull their guns on the heroes demanding the frogs. Storm turns off the power in the ship crashing it.
The Fantastic Four wake are buried beneath the rubble. As someone begins to dig them out, they discover that it is the Skrull Fantastic Four, turned into Zombies.

Full Summary: 

The dead face of the zombie Luke Cage looks on at his potential meal with excitement as the Skrull army begins firing on him. The Skrull Commander turned on the Fantastic Four and blamed them for the zombies attack, claiming it was all a ruse. T’Challa attempts to reason with him and asks that they join forces or surely they will all die.
The Thing takes the Skrull bullets for T’Challa as the Human Torch blazes to get the Skrulls to back up. They watch as the zombie Luke Cage devours more Skrulls and they realize that they must do something to stop him. The Black Panther wonders about the zombie’s uniform since it appears eerily similar to Galactus’s.
The Fantastic Four move into action to distract the monster. The Thing picks up a boulder and shatters it allowing Storm to blow the pieces with a hurricane force at the monster, halting his feast.
Luke Cage stops to tell the Fantastic Four how annoying their attack was, but the Black Panther asks what happened to Luke, still believing this is the Luke Cage from their universe. The zombie tells T’Challa they were wondering where he was, but then looks at Johnny and Ben and asks if they were cured. As the Human Torch begins to ask what he’s talking about T’Challa quiets him and lies that he found a cure. The zombie waves the dead Skrull arm at them tells the Black Panther not to hustle a hustler, if the other great minds of their world couldn’t find a cure, how could he?
Luke then begins to wonder about their lack of knowledge regarding what’s happening on Earth and why they’re so far away from Earth. T’Challa leans in to Storm and states that she always thought he was dumb. Storm insists this is no time for jokes, but perhaps this version of Luke Cage read a few books. The Skrull Fantastic Four stand by and watch, silenced by the scientist. Luke then wonders how the Fantastic Four managed to travel through the dimensions and wants to know where their device is. The Black Panther holds back King Soloman’s Frog, which seems to have a mischievous grin on it’s face, and prepares for an all out attack. The two sets of Fantastic Fours, human and Skrull, charge at the zombie.

Outside the zombies continue to fight the Skrull army. Wolverine makes quick work of the soldiers on the ground. Meanwhile Spider-Man hunts down a female Skrull and her child in their home. He tears up the bed they were hiding under and proceeds to eat both of them.
The Skrulls elect one of the privates to go try and talk with the zombie Wolverine. The Skrull is shoved forward and attempts diplomacy, but Wolverine quickly incinerates the Skrull with a blast of his cosmic power. The other two Skrulls who sent the private forward try to make a run for it, but find themselves up against the zombie Iron Man.
Iron Man and Spider-Man then join the Hulk in pursuit of more Skrulls. These Skrulls find themselves confronting the Bug from the Negative Zone, who also seems to be making his way through the Skrull army. The three zombies get angry that the bug is attacking their food. The bug smashes the Hulk into the other two and all three go flying into the city.
Civilian Skrulls flee as the three zombies crawl out of the rubble. They agree that the bug needs to be taught a lesson, but they decide that they’ll think more clearly after a bite to eat.

The two Fantastic Fours quickly head out of the command center toward the scientist’s ship. The zombie Luke Cage busts through the ground. The Black Panther states that he’s twenty seconds earlier than he had thought. As the get closer to the ship, the Skrull scientist orders his Fantastic Four to hold the zombie back. Both Storm and the Human Torch protest.
The scientist explains that they are his soldiers and he will need the real Fantastic Four’s help if the planet is to survive. Lyja turns to the Human Torch and holds him back as he protests her going. She tells him that she is not the girl he knows and this is her duty. The real Fantastic Four head into the ship, Storm gently agreeing with Lyja. The Skrull Fantastic Four face off against the zombie of Luke Cage as he nods toward the leaving ship stating that he’d see them soon.
Aboard the ship, Storm and the Thing watch on as the Skrull Fantastic Four are slaughtered. Storm states that if they do not act quickly, the whole universe may share their fate. The Black Panther asks the scientist if he has any devices to observe Earth. The scientist admits that most of their resources have been destroyed, but they can try. Storm and the Black Panther hold each other closely and admit that it is a distinct possibility everyone they love could be gone.
When the screen lights up it is the Black Panther who answers. The two T’Challas look at each other and pull off their masks. Ben and Johnny confirm that this is indeed an alternate universe. Behind the Black Panther on the view-screen, Lisa Hendricks appears and is surprised to learn that this new T’Challa is married to Storm. Ororo agrees that it is strange seeing all this, but they have bigger problems.

Back on the Skrull planet the Zombies continue to eat the remains strewn about as Luke Cage joins them. Iron Man reprimands Cage saying that they agreed on no solo trips so that everyone gets a fair share. Cage snaps back saying he doesn’t give a damn. The two begin blasting each other with their cosmic powers, Cage laughing stating that Iron Man doesn’t have anything extra unlike the Hulk. He’s just half a brat in a tin can. Cage punches Iron Man and he is flung up into the air and away from them all.

On the ship, the Fantastic Four agree that this is all pretty bad, despite it not being their universe. The Thing suggests they rub the frogs again and hope they get them out of there. The Black Panther explains that it seems with each use the frogs seem to be putting the group in greater peril with each use. T’Challa explains that one of the frogs controls time and the other controls space, that together they can transport you or bring someone to you. Storm beings to wonder if the frogs themselves aren’t being controlled, but are in fact alive.
The four quickly realize that they are at gun point surrounded by the Skrulls. The Thing states that they already did all this, the Skrulls explain that they need the frogs to escape their doomed world. Storm gets angry and turns off the power in the ship. The ship plummets and crashes back on the doomed world.

Outside, the zombie Giant Man tells Luke Cage that Iron Man is going to kick his butt. Cage begins to tell them that they ate everyone on the planet, and then explains that the Fantastic Four they saw earlier were from another dimension. All they have to do is get them to say how they traveled and they can have an unlimited buffet.
Beneath the wreckage of the ship, Johnny lights his arm so that they can see. The Black Panther thanks Storm’s winds for giving them as gentle a landing as they could hope for. They hear a strange noise and are surprised to see the Skrull Fantastic Four digging them out. Unfortunately for them, the Skrulls are now Zombies too.

Characters Involved: 

Black Panther, Human Torch, Storm, Thing (All Fantastic Four)

Skrull General

Skrull with Human Torch Powers

Skrull with Mr. Fantastic Powers

Skrull Scientist

Skrull with Thing Powers

Zombie-verse Lyja with Invisible Woman Powers

Negative Zone Bug Warrior

Zombie Luke Cage

Zombie Giant Man

Zombie Hulk

Zombie Iron Man

Zombie Spider-Man

Zombie Wolverine


Story Notes: 

This issue is part of the Initiative crossover dealing with the fallout of Civil War.

The Black Panther and Storm joined the Fantastic Four in Fantastic Four #543 because Mr. Fantastic and the Invisible Woman decided to take a leave of absence to work on their marriage. Also, in Civil War #7 the Wakandan Embassy, where T’Challa and Ororo had been staying, was destroyed.

This issue takes place immediately following Fantastic Four #546.

The Zombie Heroes’ adventures are chronicled in the Marvel Zombies mini-series. The first appeared in the Ultimate Fantastic Four Series, then movies into their own mini-series. With their introduction in the main Marvel Universe, the distinction between the completely separate Marvel Universe (616) and the Ultimate Universe seems to be fading.

Lisa Hendricks is an Acolyte of Magneto in the zombie universe. She was shown to be married to Black Panther in Marvel Zombies #5. They also have a child together.

The zombie universe Black Panther has a robotic arm due to the zombie Giant Man having eaten parts of him, while keeping him alive.

It is somewhat unclear depending on which part of the story you’re reading whether the real Fantastic Four are aware of this being an alternate universe until they see the two T’Challas.

Issue Information: 
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