As they say in commercials for monster truck rallies, it all ends here. Marvel Zombies: Resurrection manages to pack some shocks into its final issue, though not enough to be fully successful.
Marvel Zombies: Resurrection #4
Phillip Kennedy Johnson (writer); Leonard Kirk (art); VC’s Travis Lanham (Letters); Inhy-uk Lee (cover); Rachelle Rosenberg (color); Ivan Shavrin (Cover); Skan (cover)
November 14, 2020
When we last left Peter Parker, he was confronted by the rotting visage of his old girlfriend, Mary Jane, who urged him to join the Galactus Hive, a Borg-like chain of undead superheroes who believe that their zombielike unification will make them stronger. Sue Storm had seized her son, Franklin, while Valeria tried to reach her parent’s human side. Sue’s bite reveals a shocking secret about Franklin, and then it’s a melee for survival, as the humans and mutants left standing make a mad dash for Galactus to implode his corpse and end the afterlives of their former friends and loved ones.
The finale of this comic is still a mixed bag, with some great character-building moments for Valeria especially thrown in. Her penchant for gadgets has been a highlight of the whole series, and here her application of that knowledge at a desperate moment galvanizes our heroes and makes the action tense and credibly worry-provoking.
Peter is the emotional focal point, but his ultimate choice regarding Mary Jane is pretty forgone considering how far he’s gone for the Richards siblings, Blade, Wolverine, and Chewie. Peter goes through a lot in this series, but he never loses his grip on who he is, no matter how much what he’s gone through has scarred him. Building the series around him was a shrewd move, but I’m disappointed Aunt May didn’t show up to twist the knife in his heart a little more.
Franklin’s backstory, conversely, is very surprising – he finally becomes more active in this issue, and the last scene portends a sequel story that might be even more interesting than this series has been. I will leave the mystery of his survival for the reader to discover.
And yet the issue’s most joyful moments come from Blade finally getting to whoop some ass with Chewie at his side. This may be my favorite friendship in the entire series, and it left me wishing that Blade had more to do in the series in general.
Kirk’s art continues to disappoint me. Though he shines at splash pages and large action sequences, it’s again detailed panels that come off looking ugly and chockablock in this issue. But there is one panel where a character makes an incredible sacrifice and – backlit by flames – and the other characters watch in horrified silence as their compatriot dies. But the colors by Rosenberg and the linework by Lanham both shine, adding brightness to the scheme of things.
Marvel Zombies: Resurrection #4 leaves the door wide open for a sequel. I hope that it eventually gets published, because the characters are just compelling enough to make me wonder what happens at the end of this story. But as-is, the tale remains uneven to the end.