After a flash in the sky occured, a disturbance took place in Manhattan. For unknown reasons, earth's superheros began on a blood thirsty rampage which seemed to be only calmed by consuming warm flesh. Within a matter of hours, the Earth was pushed to total extinction and most of Earth's surviving heroes were infected. Several superheroes who weren't infected are instead desperately trying to survive.
Now with the food supply very low. The infected superheroes are in very large number, and are now searching for another food source. These are no longer the Marvel Superheroes you once knew, these are the Marvel Zombies... And they are very hungry
After obtaining cosmic abilities, the surviving zombie superheroes left the Earth searching for more food. 40 years have passed, and now the aging Black Panther leads the remaining humans who reside in New Wakanada. The zombie heroes are now returning to Earth with several infected cosmic beings amongst their ranks. Their goal is to invade the Baxter Building, and try to activate the device that the infected Fantastic Four used to leap to another dimension, which was destroyed by Magneto almost at the beginning of the outbreak. This soon begins another battle between man and monster.-summary
The sequel jinx definitely caught up here, and tossed some nasty mojo into what was a very solid work. Marvel Zombies 2 written by Robert Kirkman with Sean Phillips providing the artwork, definitely doesn't measure up well at all when compared to its predecessors. The story appears to have suffered a steep decline in every area imaginable. In all, this chapter of the series has a rushed feel.
Almost right away, this story happened to hit one hell of a speed bump by introducing the new key players. Black Panther, Forge, and the Wasp? I don't recall any of these characters ever having a strong following when compared to others such as Cable, Rogue, Havok, or Punisher, and I didn't even bother to compare them to the true Marvel heavyweights. Therefore who exactly would care for them now? The secondary plot is in the form of a coup, which is led by former Acolyte commander Fabian Cortez's son Malcom. He seeks to overthrow the Panther because he's too old to rule, as well as the fact he's harboring infected heroes who claim to be cured of the hunger. This segment of the story never really grabbed my attention due to the sloppy character development of Malcolm. There never really appeared to be a good enough reason why he shouldn't rule. The power struggle was rushed, and too lazily put together. It all felt like filler to me.
There really isn't much in the way of action, in fact, nothing serious kicks off until the end. Now, the series does have a bit of character development which takes place with certain characters, but it was still kind of hard to grow an attachment to some of them. The direction is also pretty shaky. The foreshadow became obvious and the plot twist that would eventually take place didn't really have the necessary impact because of predictability. The ending itself had too much of a rushed feel and seemed too unbelievable. The comedy had its chuckle moments at times, but it was in smaller doses as opposed to usual.
I'll put it out there right now that I'm not a fan of Phillips artwork. His drawings are cool when exploiting the detailed gore. On the other end, I'm not pleased with his character designs at all. They just seem a bit too generic and dated. I can pull out works from 1992 that blows this away.
The action scenes in the final battle almost make the bad pacing worth it. The action is brutal and this is the only thing that saves the volume for me. The artwork is just nasty when displaying exposed ribcages and guts. Action and gore fanatics will probably eat this part up.
In all honesty, Marvel Zombies 2 for me was a big disappointment. But then again, sequels normally turn out like this anyway. The original along with its prequel and side story set the bar too high in terms of action, comedy, story, and plot development. The finish was decent I guess. This volume is 120 pages across 5 chapters.
Pros: -Some of the humor is intact -Good action panels -Character development
Cons: -Uninteresting central characters and secondary plot -Predictable and tacked on ending