Marvel Zombies #1

Issue Date: 
February 2006
Story Title: 
Zombies: part 1

Robert Kirkman (writer), Sean Phillips (pencils), Arthur Suydam (cover), June Chung (colors), VC’s Randy Gentile (letters), Deborah Weinstein (production), Nicole Wiley & John Barber (assistant editors), Ralph Macchio (editor), Joe Quesada (publisher), Dan Buckley (publisher)

Brief Description: 

After helping send young Reed Richards, Kelly Ridge and the Glidewell family back to Reed’s home reality, the Baxter Building collapses down on Magneto. He crawls out of the bricks but finds himself quickly surrounded by the surviving Infected. Magneto tries his best to defend himself and to fight the Infected and eventually buys some time to recover a bit. While in hiding, Magneto is contacted by an ally of his, who is hiding on Asteroid M, along with eleven other survivors. Magneto is surprised to hear that they are alive, as he thought they had all died. He decides to go back to Asteroid M, which is now fully operational again after an earlier attack. However, he is intercepted by the Infected, who kill and eat him completely. After Magneto has been consumed by them all, the Infected try to figure out how their bodies actually work, as some of them are missing body parts and are still alive. On that very moment, the Silver Surfer arrives on the planet and scouts the skies. The Infected are glad to see the Surfer, though, as he means more food.

Full Summary: 

Magneto, crawling out from under the bricks of the former Baxter Building, is glad that the plan worked and that the machine has been destroyed, meaning that the Infected monsters are trapped in this dimension. Infected Daredevil approaches Magneto, and states that he’s correct. They are trapped in this dimension, but Magneto is still here as well.

Magneto gets up and panics a bit when he sees several more Infected, former heroes, surrounding him. Infected Spider-Man tells Magneto he better faces the fact that there’s no way out. Spidey doesn’t think that Magneto really wants to go trough the trouble of fighting them off, when he could just succumb to the inevitable and give up. Infected Colonel America admits that he knows Magneto isn’t looking forward to being devoured, but the Colonel gives Magneto his word that he’ll make sure he’ll die painlessly first.

Infected Wolverine doesn’t agree with Colonel America. Snikting his claws out, Logan wants to see Magneto squeal, as the fight is half of the fun and he has been waiting for this moment. Magneto stands up but doesn’t say anything. Infected Giant-Man suggests Magneto that he can better just submit. They can all see that he’s about to pass out. They know Magneto is a wreck and that this is going to end badly. Hank doesn’t know why Magneto would put himself through one last struggle. With a serious look on his face, Magneto proudly states that there’s still plenty of fight left in him.

Unnoticed, Magneto manages to magnetically lift up some tools and directs them towards the Infected, killing some of them! After doing that, Magneto tries to escape but the remaining Infected quickly follow him. Spider-Man shouts that sneak attack won’t stop them and warns Magneto that they only need one bit and then everything will be over. Colonel America tries to explain that Magneto is only making things harder for himself. Spidey tries to fire some webbing at Magneto but can’t, as his shooters are empty.

Magneto flies up, but Colonel America grabs his legs, trying to follow him. Magneto notices that the Colonel has his shield with him, smiling sarcastically that that’s a good thing. Magneto uses his powers to gain control over it, and makes the shield slice off half of Colonel America’s head! As the Colonel lands down, Spider-Man thinks he broke his leg in half. Colonel America, still alive but furious, warns everyone that when they catch Magneto he’ll get double rations.

Magneto manages to escape on a roof. He decides to keep Colonel America’s shield with him, so he can use it as protection. Magneto tries to hide in building but is exhausted, and even collapses. Magnus tries to encourage himself that he used to be the most powerful mutant alive before he was the only mutant alive, and is confident that he can beat this. He only needs a place to hide so he can heal from his wounds. Magneto tries to gain some cover, but as he looks up he notices that Infected Angel and Thor is already looking for him, meaning the Infected are watching the skies and he’ll have to walk out of this mess.

Suddenly, an alarm in Magneto’s glove goes off. Magneto answers the call and is startled when he recognizes the person calling him. Magneto is confused, as when he had lost contact with the person he thought the person had been killed. Though there’s not much of a visual between either Magneto or the person, the person reveals that the attack damaged a lot of their systems but they were able to fend them off eventually. They were just able to reestablish their communication system moments ago. Magneto still can’t believe the person has survived the attack.

From outer space, the person is sad to report that they haven’t all survived the attack. There are twelve of them left, hiding in Asteroid M, which is very much intact and operational. Magneto admits that he thought they had lost and that things were over, but with his allies now being alive, there could also be others left. They have to reorganize, rebuild and plan things out, as there is much to be done. The person asks if Magneto wants a shuttle send down to him. Magneto shouts they shouldn’t do that, as he’ll come up to them, somehow.

Hiding behind some cars, Magneto apologizes but he can’t talk right now. He suggests that they’ll go on radio silence until his allies hear from him again, as it isn’t safe where he is. The ally understands and closes communication. Magneto discovers a manhole and uses his powers to lift up the hatch. Unfortunately on that moment, Infected Hawkeye discovers Magneto and shouts it to his friends. He fires an arrow at Magneto but he refuses to give up. He throws Colonel America’s shield at Hawkeye, slicing his head off! But the arrow does hit Magneto and he’s in pain. Colonel America takes his shield back, but Magneto doesn’t care much about that. He uses his powers on Colonel America and throws him against a wall.

The other Infected arrive. Giant-Man doesn’t understand why Magneto puts himself through this. Infected Thor thinks it’s clear that Magneto doesn’t know it when he is defeated. Magneto smiles that he could say the same thing about Thor. He magnetically takes out the arrow out of his leg and throws it into Thor’s neck! The Infected get confused and Magneto takes advantage of this. He manages to use what’s left of his powers to destroy a nearby building, causing the bricks to fall on some of the Infected.

Magneto thinks it’s safe that the Infected underestimated him, as he never said he was an easy target. He proudly quotes that he is the Master of Magnetism and that they are now surrounded by steel and concrete, confident that he’ll outlive all of the Infected. They have no chance at defeating him. But on that moment, Infected Wasp bites Magneto in his neck! Everyone else crawls out under the bricks and surround Magneto, smiling that they thought it was a safe bet.

Giant-Man shouts at Wasp to keep what she has eaten from Magneto in her mouth, so that in a minute they can share it. Wasp refuses to do that and laughs at the suggestion, as a piece the size she ate could last her days if she shrinks down. Hank angrily slaps Janet down and shouts at everyone to get back and to stand aside. Magneto hopes that they’ll all choke on him. Hank warns everyone that they don’t have to fight over Magneto, as there’s enough of him for everyone to feed. Thor grabs Magneto by his cape, wanting to have the mutant all for himself.

Hulk arrives, grabbing Magneto’s leg and shouting that the mutant belongs to him. Thor tries to hold Magneto back but Hulk doesn’t give up, and pulls Magneto’s leg from his body! Hulk smiles and starts eating it. While the other Infected continue to tear Magneto apart and eat from him, Hank approaches Hulk warning that’s all he’ll get, as he got a whole leg for himself and that they are going to share the rest. That’s fine by the Hulk.

After Magneto is completely eaten, the Infected go sit down and relax a little. Thor can’t believe he’s still hungry. Bruce jokes that he may not be the Hulk right now, but he is just as infected as Thor. He jokes that he would taste about as good as Thor’s arm and adds that Thor just has to wait until half of what he ate falls past that arrow in his throat. Bruce is confident Thor will be fine. Spider-Man thanks whoever threw some back to him. He couldn’t even get up there with his leg broken like it is. Hank tells Spider-Man he can just thank luck, because if any fell back toward him during the feeding frenzy, Hank promises that was an accident.

Spider-Man thinks he shouldn’t suppose that any of the doctors present would be able to tell him if they think his leg will heal. Banner wouldn’t even begin to guess, as they’ve got no clue about how this works. They can all take a look at him: he is certainly not digesting any of this. He felt his stomach rip off as soon as he transformed back into being himself and not Hulk. He doesn’t know if he would even be digesting it if his stomach hadn’t burst. Hank is certain that they don’t feel pain and that their stomachs can’t hurt them. Thor has an arrow through his neck but is fine otherwise. And Spider-Man is practically missing a leg.

Daredevil wonders if that counts for him as well, as thanks to Magneto’s earlier attack he’s missing clearly a heart and still feels fine. Near as he can tell, his only gripe is a little swelling in the ankles. Hank takes a closer look and panics a bit. He explains to Daredevil that isn’t a swelling. Since his heart stopped pumping blood, gravity is forcing it down into his lower extremities, meaning his legs are filled with blood! Matt believes that’s just going to slow him down. He wonders if he can’t just puncture his legs and drain them if it’s not pumping anyway. Luke jokes Daredevil he sure can’t do that as long as he’s sitting next to him. Bruce believes it seems pretty clear that their bodies aren’t working like they used to, or even at all at some cases.

Wolverine has noticed that his healing factor sure isn’t doing anything. That means they are dead but aren’t dying. Hank states that, from the evidence they have, he’s going to assume that, as long as their brains are intact and functioning, they’ll continue on like ever before. Although they do appear to be decomposing. Colonel America thinks Hank better rethink that theory on the brain, since that doesn’t count for him anymore. Angel freaks out when he sees the Colonel’s brain hanging out of his head! Cap corrects that doesn’t count for all of his brains, as he’s holding some of them in his hands.

Bruce doesn’t think that proves anything. He explains that the human body can continue to function after wounds like that, depending on what part of the brain that is. He wonders if anyone has found Hawkeye’s head, as Bruce would like to test his theory on it. Spider-Man freaks out and can’t believe what they have become. Luke doesn’t want to go there again. Peter freaks out, as he ate both his aunt and wife! He still doesn’t know why he did that.

Hank tries to calm Peter down by saying that there isn’t anyone with them who hasn’t eaten a loved one. He remembers that all of the Avengers had a piece of Jarvis and he almost didn’t fight it and that was… horrific. But they only have so long after they eat where their thoughts aren’t clouded by hunger, and Hank thinks they’ve established that there is no food. He believes they better use this time to figure things out. But Peter doesn’t want to think things out: he wants to die! Hank shouts that Peter can’t right now, so he better stops interrupting them while the others think.

Suddenly, Bruce freaks out! He thinks one of his bones is about to push through him. He can feel it! He really doesn’t want a hole through himself. He asks if anyone can punch him or try to eat him so he turns into the Hulk before it happens. Thor slams Bruce with his hammer. Bruce is in pain a bit and mentions the plan isn’t working and feels no brain activity. Luke doesn’t want to hear any more about it, joking he isn’t desensitized enough for that.

A bone actually starts coming through Bruce’s chest. He can’t feel any pain but can feel the bone coming. Luke is disgusted by it. Spider-Man mentions that it really seemed like a bone, almost making a hole big enough for a part of Magneto to fall out. They all saw it. In fact, Thor is leaning over to eat some of that right now. But Luke wasn’t referring to Banner; it was something he saw in the sky flying by. Hank didn’t see anything and wants to know what it is Cage saw.

The Infected all look up. On that very moment, the Silver Surfer passes by. Luke confirms that’s whom he saw. The Surfer simply stares in front of him, apparently not caring much about what happens below him. The Infected are glad to see the Surfer though, as it means more food for them!

Characters Involved: 

Magneto (uninfected rebel)
Magneto’s uninfected ally on Asteroid M (face unseen)

Silver Surfer (uninfected Herald of Galactus)

Angel, Cyclops, Wolverine (all Infected X-Men)

Colonel America, Falcon, Giant-Man, Hawkeye, Luke Cage, Spider-Man, Thor, Wasp (all Infected Avengers)

Daredevil, Hulk, Moon Knight, Nighthawk, Nova, Shang-Chi (other Infected heroes)

Story Notes: 

It started with a flash in the sky and a ripple through the clouds. The hunger is what brought it there… and feed it did until the Marvel Heroes were no more. They were replaced by soulless monsters, driven only by an insatiable hunger for human flesh. After they ran out of food, Reed Richards devised a plan to lure his counterpart from another dimension into another trap. Thanks to Magneto, who had managed to stay uninfected, Reed’s plan failed, leaving him and the rest of the Fantastic Four strained in another dimension.

Magneto has destroyed the machine that allowed their passage to that dimension… and is left to carry on with his life. He does not expect to live long. This is no world of Marvel Heroes. This is a world of… Marvel Zombies! (these events cover Ultimate Fantastic Four #21-23)

The cover is an homage to Amazing Fantasy (1st series) #15, though it has now the actual Spider-Man replaced by his Infected version.

Spider-Man eating his aunt, who is May Parker, and his wife, who is Mary Jane Watson-Parker, happened off-panel. The same thing goes for the Infected Avengers eating their butler, Edwin Jarvis.

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