Fresh off of Empyre: Captain America, the best tie-in to the big Avengers/Fantastic Four summer event, writer Phillip K. Johnson takes on the darkest corner of the Marvel Universe. Continuing from 2019's Marvel Zombies: Resurrection #1 one-shot, Johnson is now delivering a full miniseries with the title with artist Leonard Kirk, colorist Rachelle Rosenberg, and letter VC's Travis Lanham.
Anyone who read the original Marvel Zombies comics by Robert Kirkman and Sean Phillips with covers by everyone's favorite exhibitor Arthur Syudam will remember a series that shows no mercy. On every page, beloved and iconic characters were murderer or turned into zombies in the most brutal fashion possible. Marvel Zombies: Resurrection #1 continues that harsh brutality, with a narrower focus as the cast of survivors, is, at this point, limited. Peter Parker leads a small crew and, before even reading the solicit, you know they Marvel sure referred to this group as "ragtag." In this comic, we see this group of survivors do what folks in zombie comics do: look for shelter. They happen across Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters and things go, as you'd expect in this comic, very badly very quickly. It's an interesting read that sees Johnson, who did the same quite well in Empyre: Captain America, write a Peter Parker who struggles with the ideals of heroism in bleak situations. That moment of character stands out in a series that is essentially a vehicle by which to brutally dismember characters, and more of that kind of introspection will elevate this series quite a bit. The various Marvel Zombies titles have felt like thrillers that, above all, strive to shock. This issue does that, but it feels like there is a great potential for more due to Johnson's set-up.
The art is good, and the heavy shadows in Kirk's lineart make everything appear scarier. However, the scenes of Spider-Man's dreams, in which we see the characters in costume, let his work and Lee's colors shine. There's less of a blend of superhero-style artwork and zombie horror this time, with the majority of this book recreating the visual tone of a generic horror comic. It works just fine, and Marvel Zombies has always leaned more toward darker visuals, but the bright superheroes vs. zombies action in the few pages where Peter dreams stand out in a major way.
Overall, Marvel Zombies: Resurrection is a good start that will please fans of this style of superhero horror. Johnson continues to show his versatility as a writer, as this is far from the hopeful and inspiring Empyre: Captain America. It may be bleak, and it may not be for everyone, but it succeeds in what it sets out to do: thrill, shock, and intrigue.