Marvel Zombies #2

Issue Date: 
March 2006
Story Title: 
Zombies: part 2

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 (editor-in-chief), Dan Buckley (publisher)

Brief Description: 

The former, now-Infected heroes have spotted the Silver Surfer in the sky but, before they can figure out who the Surfer actually is and what he wants, he has already vanished from sight. The Colonel suggests that they better go find more food, referring to other people who might have been in league with Magneto. Giant-Man agrees with that thought, but first wants to go find his missing wife, Janet. As the two teams depart, Hank sneaks into a dark alley, where he enters a lab, not noticing he is secretly being followed by Janet. He opens a containment tank, where a maimed and tortured Blank Panther lies in. Hank keeps T’Challa around as his food source, and saws off one of his legs for his own private meal. Janet angrily replies to it but, since he can’t risk his wife spoiling this secret to the others, Hank instead kills her. Meanwhile, the other Infected return to their friends and inform Iron Man about what happened to Magneto. Tony is a bit desperate about finding food, and thinks it’s best that he takes ten Infected with him to the Mid-west in an attempt to find surviving people to eat. On that moment, the Surfer reveals and introduces himself to the Infected. After exploring the entire planet, the Surfer has concluded that the planet will be enough for his master, Galactus, to eat. Not really understanding what’s going on, the Infected simply rush into action, ready to eat the Surfer!

Full Summary: 

The Avengers have spotted the Silver Surfer soaring over their heads, but he’s already gone. They wonder where he went. Goliath angrily asks if anyone else has seen where the Surfer went or where he might have gone to.

Luke hasn’t seen a thing: the one moment, the Surfer was there, the next, he vanished. Daredevil wants to know what they are going to do now, as he’s getting hungry again. Angel suggests that he flies up, doing a sweep to see if he can find the guy. Hank doesn’t think so, suspicious that Angel would keep the Surfer for himself once he found him. He threatens Warren that, if he makes such a thing as a small flap, he’ll have Thor whack that hammer of his through Warren’s face. Should that happen, they’ll at least know if anyone can survive that.

Angel defends that he was merely suggesting it. He can’t understand why Hank can’t be more civil. Wolverine asks Colonel America if he’s got any ideas, perhaps. Logan wants to get to the food soaring through the skies before anyone else does. Cap doesn’t know what they can do. The speed the Surfer was flying at, he knows for sure they won’t be able to catch him. He thinks that maybe if the Hulk saw it coming in time he could leap towards it, but otherwise, the Colonel thinks it’s a waste of effort. He believes there’s got to be pockets of civilians hiding somewhere, something like Magneto’s previous clan. He thinks they’d be better of trying to find them.

Giant-Man likes that plan. Still, he doesn’t think it would be a bad idea to get the story of their visitor, like finding out where he came from, so Hank orders the others to keep their eyes open. In the meantime, he wants them to go back to the others and inform them what happened to Magneto. He’s going to see if he can find Janet somewhere and promises to catch up later. Daredevil wants to know what they are going to tell Iron Man about Magneto. Hank suggests that they tell him the truth, that during the fight Magneto broke a gas line and died in an explosion, vaporized. And that there was nothing left of him to eat.

Warren smiles that that lie will work. He asks Hank if they’ll see him again tonight but Hank doesn’t know, as he’s got to find his wife first. He promises to join the others as soon as he can. Spider-Man asks Luke if he can hop on his bag, since his legs are still broken. Though Luke dislikes the idea, he agrees to it.

Not much later, Hank is still wandering through the city, faking that he is looking for the Wasp. Not noticing that she’s actually flying by him, but in her smallest form, Hank wanders in a back alley and enters a lab. There, he opens a containment tank with a live “breather” attached to it. Hank stares at his victim, and is glad that the Black Panther is still unconscious. He thought that maybe the sedative might have run out. He explains that he lets T’Challa wear his mask because it helps Hank’s conscience, but not as much when T’Challa is squirming.

He puts on some working gloves. Hank reveals that he was going to do a little work today. See if he couldn’t figure some things out. Sadly, he adds, the meal he had earlier isn’t going to last long enough for him to keep a clear head. It looks like he’s going to have to carve off another piece of T’Challa’s body, other than his arms, which are already missing.

Hank sarcastically asks T’Challa if he has a preference which body part he would like to see go next. Hank figured he’d start in on the legs before he finished off the arms. He smiles that the others would kill him if they knew he had T’Challa down there. Hank knows that the others wouldn’t understand it. T’Challa would be gone and Hank would always be hungry. And he can’t think when he’s hungry.

Hank takes out a saw, telling T’Challa he doesn’t have to worry, as he always cleans the tools before he uses them. He smiles that he never knows when he’s going to come down this lab in a rush needing a bite to eat. And he surely doesn’t want T’Challa to become Infected, with his or another disease or infection. Hank needs T’Challa there, as a human, for as long as he can hold him out. He hopes T’Challa understands. Hank admits he doesn’t enjoy this, even thinks what he does is sick. But he does it for the good of them all. He likes to think that if he didn’t kept T’Challa so drugged the guy would even volunteer for this.

Giant-Man saws off one of T’Challa’s legs and puts it on a table. That said, he isn’t going to let the drugs wear off so he can ask T’Challa to volunteer, so he just guesses that he’s a monster. He asks T’Challa if he wants to hear something really scary. Well, something that scares Hank, at least. He likes the way flesh tastes. He really does. He mentions that, if he were to somehow find a cure for whatever’s going on with them, if things went back to the way they were, or as close as they could get, Hank admits he thinks he would still eat people. That truly terrifies him. The scary part is that it’s the only thing about this whole situation that terrifies him. And he just sawed a friend’s foot off so he could eat it.

Janet angrily reveals herself, demanding to know what her husband thinks he’s doing and why he’s hiding this from her! Hank is startled. But he admits that he’s keeping this a secret from everybody. Janet demands to know the reason. Hank defends that the others, Janet specifically, lack the restraint needed for this and would have T’Challa eaten in a day or two. And he can’t have that because he needs T’Challa. Janet doesn’t know how Hank could do this. She wants T’Challa shared with her, starting now! She starts attacking Hank with her Wasp-sting. Hank slaps her, smiling that he doesn’t feel any pain: nobody of them does anymore! Janet threatens that Hank will share the Panther with her or else she’ll out his dirty secret to everyone.

Hank doesn’t think so. He quickly grabs her in the palm of his hands and starts eating her! However, Janet tastes awful and he spits her out. He guesses that Janet got the last laugh. He should have known not to do that, as every Infected tastes terrible. He sighs and moves back to T’Challa. He is disappointed that now he’s got a mess to clean up, wanting to leave that for later. Hank remembers that he better goes to eat that foot before it gets cold. Suddenly, the Panther starts to move, like he is trying to say something. Hank notices that the sedative is wearing off. With his final breath, T’Challa begs Hank to kill him.

But Hank can’t do that. If he does that, T’Challa’s meat would spoil and would taste no better than his wife’s head. And they can’t have that. He tells T’Challa to shut up, as it’s going to take him a few minutes to find more sedative.

Elsewhere, the Silver Surfer continues to soar the entire planet, noticing everywhere from England to Latveria that even people like Captain Britain, Sabra and Dr. Doom have become Infected.

In another part of the city, Colonel America and his Infected friends meet up with the other Infected former heroes and villains, asking them if Iron Man has returned yet. Hercules confirms and thinks Iron Man is in a bad mood, since nobody has found Magneto yet and because the Colonel and his group are the last to return. Iron Man flies in and the Colonel says hi to his old friend. Tony doesn’t want to hear any about that. He demands to know where Steve and his group have been and what took them so long to come back. He notices that Steve’s head is all ripped up and demands to know what happened to that as well.

Cap lies that they did found Magneto, and that there was a fight with Magneto getting some good hits. Tony gets already thrilled hearing that, demanding to know where Magneto is and if he got away. Daredevil explains that Magneto didn’t get away, and that the battle got pretty hairy. He lies that a gas line was ruptured and that Magneto died in the following explosion with nothing left to eat. Tony doesn’t believe that there was nothing left to bring back to them. He sarcastically asks Spider-Man how his wife and aunt are doing. Spidey freaks out, not being able to bear listening to that again. Luke tosses Spidey off his back, not wanting to put up with this.

Tony shouts that he can’t be lie to. He noticed that someone has been eating or else Spider-Man wouldn’t be so emotional. Not to mention the fact that he can see Banner and not the Hulk with them. Banner is only himself after feeding. And there’s also the fact Banner bulging and recently ruptured belly, which is a little hard to miss. Angel apologizes for it, but tries to calm Tony down by claiming that he knows there wouldn’t be enough for everyone to go around with. He doesn’t know what else they could have done.

Iron Man tells Angel to relax, as he would have probably done the same thing. He just hates the fact that he couldn’t have a taste and hasn’t eaten for over a day now. Steve tells Tony that, if it makes him feel any better, he didn’t get a taste either, as he showed up a little late to the eating party. That doesn’t make Tony feel better at all. He notices that Hank and Janet are missing and wants to know where they are, since he knew they were part of the Colonel’s group. They never came back, and haven’t seen Hawkeye either.

Colonel America explains to Tony that the Wasp flew away with a chunk of Magneto’s body, because she didn’t want to share with Hank. When the group decided to come back there, Hank decided to go look for her. And they think that Hawkeye is dead. Tony doesn’t understand that Steve only thinks that. Steve corrects that Hawkeye is truly dead. He mentions that Magneto used his shield to sever Hawkeye’s head. They never got around checking to see if it truly killed Hawkeye or not. You never know.

Tony agrees. He reminds that they never truly found out what killed them. He believes that, if things keep going the way they are now, that they will find out soon enough. Steve is surprised to hear that. Tony claims that’s actually something he has been wanting to talk to the Colonel about. He thinks it’s only a matter of time before they get hungry enough to try to eat one another, despite the awful taste. When that happens, staying in a large group together like they have been, becomes a bad idea. Steve agrees. He wonders if Tony wants to split everyone up, thinking everyone has a better chance at finding food that way.

Tony defends that it’s actually just common sense. He explains that, when this all started, there was enough to go around: billions of things, actually. They swarmed like locusts and picked the globe clean. Now, though, their food supply is slim to none. But no, Tony doesn’t want to split everyone up. He wants to disappear. Get about ten of the group together and just go. He wants to go to the Midwest in an attempt to see if they can find anyone.

Daredevil thinks that, if they used a Quinjet, it might even look like a rescue operation. People would come out of hiding and try to flag them down. Tony doesn’t think that’s a bad idea. Also, he wonders what they are going to do about presidential bunkers and hidden bases. He knows that all of Congress has got to be underground somewhere. He asks the Colonel if he remembers where any of those bases where from the time he was President. Steve thinks that maybe he can remember one or two of the bases, because he didn’t spend a lot of time in those. And, he reminds everyone, he didn’t serve a full term. Tony remembers. He mentions that he’s starting to forget things and that’s starting to become annoying.

On that moment, the Surfer passes by again! Tony wants to know who he is. Steve smiles that they saw the guy earlier but actually don’t have a clue what he is. Tony wants to know if anything else is being kept from him. Steve smiles that this about covers it.

The Silver Surfer stretches his hand, which starts to glow immensely! All of the heroes are a bit blinded by the bright light as well. He begins to speak.

The Surfer reveals that the great Galactus has been summoned and will arrive here soon. He explains that the Infected’s world is to be converted into elemental energy to serve as nourishment for his master. The Surfer has surveyed this entire planet and adds that, while it supports life, it will be enough for Galactus to feed upon. Though it will mean the end of everyone living on this planet, he wants the Infected to realize what an honor it is that their deaths will provide sustenance to Galactus. He warns that time is short and suggest that everyone starts preparing for the inevitable.

The Infected have no idea what the Silver Surfer is talking about, but fly into action, ready to eat him!

Characters Involved: 

Silver Surfer (unInfected Herald of Galactus)

Black Panther (unInfected hero)

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

Colonel America, Falcon, Giant-Man, Hercules, the Hulk, Iron Man, Luke Cage, Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch, Spider-Man, Thor, the Wasp (all Infected Avengers)

Black Bolt, Captain Britain, Captain Marvel, Daredevil, Iron Fist, Ka-Zar, Moon Knight, Moondragon, Namor, Nova, Sabra, Sunfire (other Infected heroes)

Dr. Doom, Silver Samurai, Vulture (Infected villains)

Story Notes: 

The cover is an homage to Avengers (1st series) #4, with the actual Avengers replaced by their Infected versions.

Magneto’s human rebels were revealed in the story of Ultimate Fantastic Four #22-23, but escaped to another, unInfected world.

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