Review: MARVEL ZOMBIES #3

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MARVEL ZOMBIES #3
Written by Simon Spurrier
Art by Kev Walker
Published by Marvel Comics
Release Date: August 26, 2015

How am I still enjoying a comic called Marvel Zombies? What the hell is going on? Oh yeah, Elsa Bloodstone…that’s why.

And, to be fair, I like the kid too. Simon Spurrier has crafted a remarkably heartwarming tale featuring the most caustic Brit in the Marvel U reluctantly taking care of an ominously powered kid in a land of zombies. It sounds zany, but that is part of what works for this book. The situation is wild and that gives Spurrier a lot to work with for Elsa, and her encounters with Deadpool and her past are amazing in this issue. I will admit that when the last issue ended I was worried about seeing the Merc With A Mouth appear, as I’ve enjoyed this being the all-Elsa show, but Spurrier uses him as a great side character and keeps the focus on Elsa, her past, and her dry wit.

Spurrier does a great job of exposing Elsa’s difficult upbringing without ever making her seem weak. If anything, I’d argue Elsa is stronger than ever with this take from Spurrier, and one of the most dynamic characters in the Marvel Universe right now. Her dynamic with “the kid” is great, and their feuding (alright, more like Elsa just being supremely sarcastic and the kid not knowing what to make of it) is absolutely hilarious. Spurrier’s humour tempers the darker moments of Elsa’s past nicely, and makes the situation the duo are stuck in more lighthearted. These Zombies are deadly and awful, but there’s enough humour here to make the comic not feel like constant despair.

I do have to say that I felt the ending of this issue was foreshadowed a bit too heavily, as by about page 15 I figured the only conclusion as to the identity of the mystery zombie had been revealed. When the eventual reveal happened, it lost some impact because of the lack of shock factor.

Kev Walker is delivering the best work of his Marvel career here, and his style suits this story so well. His style has a cartoon-ish element to it, leaning away from hyper-realism (not a criticism) and it compliments the tone of Spurrier’s script perfectly. The comical elements are perfect and Walker executes on the drama in Elsa’s flashbacks as well, leading to a very visually well rounded comic. I’m not sure if it is confidence or if I’m just growing to like his style more as time passes, but Walker’s work seems to be getting better by the issue and his Marvel Zombies work has been stellar. The only Elsa Bloodstone I had read prior to this mini-series was in Nextwave by Stuart Immonen, and I can say that Walker’s work holds its own against Immonen’s take (and those who know me know I’m not saying that lightly). This is a good looking comic, which is something I am vexed that I am saying about a comic with Marvel Zombies as a title.

Marvel Zombies #3 is another great chapter in one of the minis that has been a real highlight for me in the world of Secret Wars. Issue #3 digs deeper into Elsa’s past, slowly unraveling why she is who she is, and Spurrier and Walker are doing a great job with the character. Issues this strong make a great case for expanding Elsa’s role in the Marvel Universe, which better be happening in the fall. This is no longer a hope or a request, it is a demand.

The Verdict: 9.0/10

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