Set in a world where a zombie virus ran unchecked through the hero and villain populations, the original 2006 Marvel Zombies series is a riff on the “Marvel zombie” fan nickname and an attempt at catching some of that The Walking Dead hype. It’s also one of those comic-industry half-jokes that runs out of control, as the franchise became an unexpected hit and spawned multiple sequels and spin-offs before finally cannibalizing itself to extinction. On October 17th, the undead menace returns with a cult favorite dug up from the Marvel vaults: Simon Garth, the original Zombie.
First created by Stan Lee and Bill Everett for Atlas Comics all the way back in 1953, Simon Garth was resurrected into Marvel continuity in 1973 and was written and drawn by industry greats including John Buscema, Roy Thomas, Alfredo Alcala and Syd Shores during the character’s initial adventures with the publisher. After his first shambling outings, the Zombie became an infrequent guest star throughout the Marvel Universe, including playing a key role in Marvel Zombies 4. This new Marvel Zombie (singular) one-shot requires no knowledge of that tale, though, as writer W. Maxwell Prince and artist Stefano Raffaele introduce readers to a new iteration of the undead apocalypse, where a handful of heroes including Misty Knight and Moon Girl serve as humanity’s final Defenders (wink) against the brain-hungry remnants of civilization.
We here at Paste are big fans of Prince’s surreal, off-kilter work on the Image Comics series Ice Cream Man, so we’re thrilled to bring readers an exclusive preview of his viscera-filled debut Marvel Comics work. Stefano Raffaele and Rachel Rosenberg’s decaying interior work certainly don’t hurt matters either—just wait until you see their Doc Ock. Get your Halloween month started right with the unlettered first look below, and be sure to pick up Marvel Zombie #1 on October 17th from your local comic shop or online digital retailer.