“Marvel Zombies Supreme” is, like its many namesakes before it, built on a joke that just won’t stay dead. And I’m fairly sure I’ve said that about Marvel Zombies comics about five times already, which should illustrate the level of zombification we’re actually dealing with. Even the “Marvel Zombies refuses to die” jokes are refusing to die.
Nonetheless, “Marvel Zombies Supreme” has a staggeringly original twist on the concept. Personally, I was hoping that it would be somehow related to Chicken Supreme, but it wasn’t to be. This Marvel Zombies series is different from all the others in one crucial way: it’s set in a universe that the Squadron Supreme once lived in. Indeed, if it helps, you could even think of it as the “DC Zombies” series you’re never going to see.
And aside from that, well, you know the drill by now. Zombie versions of (reasonably) familiar characters run amok while a small crew of hopefuls try to stop them, with predictably gory results. There’s nothing particularly bad about this series in execution, but when the concept is so tired, and the series structure so punishingly familiar, it’s really hard to care. Presumably someone’s still buying these, because Marvel keeps releasing them, but at this point, unless you’re a rabid Squadron Supreme fan there’s really nothing that you won’t have seen before.
None of this is to say that the creators (writer Frank Marraffino and artist Fernando Blanco) haven’t done a decent enough job with the thankless mandate they’ve been given to do yet another “Marvel Zombies” series. Maraffino quickly constructs a corner of the Squadron Supreme universe to tell his story in, and manages to convey what’s at stake (in case you’re new to the concept) so that the ending of the issue has some dramatic weight.
Similarly, Blanco’s art is good, showing influences ranging from Sean Phillips to Kyle Hotz to Steve Dillon. His storytelling and pacing are decent and the character designs are good (particularly Nuke, in the final pages.) The entire comic is completely competent, but it’s based on an utterly uninspired concept. The only part of the issue which stands out by a considerable distance is the cover (Michael Komark doing his best Arthur Sudyam impression), and you can appreciate that just by looking at the comic on a shelf.
In some ways, I actually wish this comic was bad, because at least then it’d be interesting. But it’s not. It’s dull. If you enjoy it, good luck to you, but it’s not for me.