There’s hardly a corner of our modern society we haven’t put a coat of zombie paint on yet. It seems that the undead have seeped into our collective unconsciousness. With the CDC having a zombie attack plan, it’s gotten pretty serious. Within the realm of comics, Marvel and DC have put their flagship heroes against the undead as well. Marvel released a re-imagining of their Marvel Zombies series. Meanwhile, DC offered up something new with its DCeased storyline. While this review will mostly be about merit I’ll try to keep it as spoiler-free as possible. For a deeper review of Marvel Zombies: Resurrection with spoilers click here.
Marvel Zombies: Resurrection (Marvel’s Zombie Sequel)
With Marvel essentially borrowing from a pre-existing storyline, one might assume the worst. But this storyline was immensely popular when it dropped and it’s back with a vengeance. Rewritten for modern audiences with one of the masterminds behind legendary Walking Dead comics. Not only has the Marvel universe never seen an enemy like this before, they didn’t know how to fight it.
It’s clear from the first images of the first book that things aren’t at their usual levels of peril. Somehow in these one-off storylines, we get the most impending sense of doom. Maybe it’s that the main characters can actually die without lasting repercussions. More probably, in this case, it’s that the twisted ways people are dying don’t fit the usual tone. It’s completely out of character for these people to be dealing with this.
Of course, their lives are normally in danger, but this is something else entirely. With their entry into this arena, Marvel lets you know gruesomely that this isn’t their usual fare. This is both disheartening and freeing, giving you the safety of knowing that what happens won’t stick. It also gives you the sense that you aren’t going to like what comes next.
While this makes Marvel’s offering a strong one, don’t count DC out just yet.
DCeased (Justice League Vs. Zombies)
DCeased is a story that starts out as a detective novel, but becomes a horrific nightmare. DC has always had a sort of sheen of perfection on their characters. Ironically, they aren’t the ones owned by Disney, but it’s easy to see after reading enough comics. DC heroes have this bubble of perfection that sort of protects them. This was one of the first times I saw that bubble burst… and it definitely had the desired effect. There’s also an upcoming sequel called DCeased: The Unkillables.
The way the zombie virus was introduced in this story was also more imaginative than usual. With it being a techno-organic virus that can be spread across any screen connected to the internet. Breaching levels of exposure too quick to handle almost immediately, DCeased doesn’t pull punches… ever.
More so than in other “What if” types of stories, this one makes you FEEL each death. Having a lurch in the pit of your stomach every time someone you care about goes outside or looks at a screen. It feels like you’re waiting for your family to die, rather than with the Marvel Zombies: Resurrection. Somehow it felt a little too real, whether or not that’s a good thing depends on the reader. But DCeased is something that feels more personal.
So Which Zombie Storyline is Superior?
While both of these publications are legends in their own right, it boils down to which story you enjoy. In the case of Marvel Zombies: Resurrection, it feels like a dark, macabre glance into an alternate timeline. Removed from the heroes we love, but somehow a little too close for comfort. DCeased however, feels like your childhood heroes are being devoured before your eyes.
So… if you like nightmares, if you want to have images clawing at your eyelids. Then yes, DCeased is what you’re looking for. But if you just want a little zombie fun, maybe Marvel Zombies: Resurrection would be more your speed. Though, fair warning: don’t read either of these stories if you’re squeamish or don’t like blood. There’s a lot more than either company usually includes.