Marvel Zombies Destroy!

Marvel Zombies Destroy!

By TJ Dietsch

You can't keep a good Marvel Zombie down.

Marvel Zombies Destroy! #1 preview art by Mirco Pierfederici

The horror themed franchise that kicked off in the pages of ULTIMATE FANTASTIC FOUR back in 2005 continues with MARVEL ZOMBIES DESTOY!, a five-issue limited series kicking off on May 9. Written by Frank Marraffino, author of MARVEL ZOMBIES SUPREME, and drawn by Mirco Pierfederici, the series shines the spotlight on Howard the Duck, Dum Dum Dugan and a team of obscure characters as they face off against an army of undead Nazis.

“In this existence you can build and unify and try to create,” Marraffino says. “Or you can be a Nazi. Or even a zombie. Or worse still, both a Nazi and a zombie. And then all of your efforts are geared to 'Destroy.' The villains of this book are Nazi zombies, and many of them are super-powered Nazi zombies, which means that they can destroy more than your average bad guy. In fact, they're trying to destroy everything we hold dear about the Marvel Universe, so it's vitally important that the right group of heroes [is] in place to try to put a stop to that.”

DESTROY! takes place on a world where the results of World War II went another way, setting the stage for an adventure unlike any other showcased thus far in the Marvel Zombies mythos.

“From the beginning and through each volume, Marvel Zombies has thrown new characters and new versions of old characters through the grinder,” notes Marraffino. “I think that part of what's exciting about Marvel Zombies is seeing specific characters or corners of the Marvel Universe presented in a new way. And that's the type of unbridled idea-exploration that makes the Marvel Universe as a whole so potent!”

Two of those familiar characters given new roles to play will be none other than an anthropomorphic mallard from an alternate dimension and Nick Fury's right hand man.

Marvel Zombies Destroy! #1 preview art by Mirco Pierfederici

“I've wanted to do this type of story with Howard the Duck for years,” Marraffino enthuses. “Howard's an immigrant to our shores who has grown quite fond of what is possible here. He also, from his first appearance, has been accepting and supportive of other 'odd ducks' that he runs into, like the Man-Thing. It makes a lot of sense that he would be a natural leading a band of 'oh-brothers!' into the breach.

“I have to give credit to [editor] Jake Thomas for adding Dum Dum Dugan into the mix. The original thought was that Dugan would be helpful as an experienced Nazi fighter. But Dugan and the Duck are such wonderfully matched counterpoints, they offer drama and entertainment even when the enemy is nowhere in sight!”

Of course, the double D team will not be on their own. In fact, they're part of a team dubbed the Ducky Dozen that includes a character familiar to the Marvel Zombies mythos.

“Battlestar is back to beat-up zombies once again, and he serves as a nice middle man caught between Howard's wild enthusiasm and Dugan's cold practicality,” Marraffino says of one of the protagonists from MARVEL ZOMBIES SUPREME. “The remaining members of the Ducky Dozen are all highly unique descendants of Marvel characters from the 1940's. I'm very fond of the whole team and would love to see them all together again, but being that they appear in a Marvel Zombies book makes this more than a little unlikely...”

And don't think that the Marvel Zombies books have lost any of their edge as the Ducky Dozen get to tear through some of the best cannon fodder around: Nazi zombies.

“Heck, the only thing better than killing Nazis is killing zombie Nazis,” says Marraffino. “Again. And again. And again. In fact, you really do have to let loose on them in order to have a chance against them!”

Marvel Zombies Destroy! #1 preview art by Mirco Pierfederici

While the series includes characters and ideas that fans of the Marvel Zombies series of comics will recognize, Marraffino explains that he and the creative team wanted to make DESTROY! perfect for both new and seasoned readers.

“There are specific things that people expect from their Marvel Zombies, and doggone it, we'd like to cater to those tastes,” he promises. “Hopefully we have provided generous portions of gore and humor and especially the kind of crazy moments that can only be found in a comic with the title of Marvel Zombies on it. Also, working under the guidance of editors Mark Paniccia and Jake Thomas helped me to better understand what makes certain comics worthy of being Marvel Comics, with Zombies or otherwise. As such, I think this series will appeal to longtime Zombies fans but also those readers who haven't tried a Marvel Zombies book before this one.”

Speaking of previous installments in the Marvel Zombies Universe, Marraffino explains how the new series connects to the others:

“The biggest connection is in tone and sensibility. Hopefully this series has the astounding horror and exciting discomfort that previous volumes have reveled in, along with a leavening of humor. We'd like readers to laugh and flinch and say: 'Whoa—did that just happen?!'  And yes, it did.”

Marvel Zombies Destroy! #1 preview art by Mirco Pierfederici

On the subject of working with Pierfederici, who recently drew issues of IRON MAN 2.0 and the AVENGERS ORIGINS: THE SCARLET WITCH & QUICKSILVER one-shot, Marraffino calls it “a dream.”

“Mirco has really sunk his teeth into all the crazy concepts we've got cooking,” praises the writer. “He's putting a grittier spin on his linework than we've seen on his previous books. And Mirco's character designs, especially of the members of the Ducky Dozen, are fabulous! But the area he's really killing 'em undead in is his storytelling. Whether it's in a quiet scene between Howard and Dugan, or in an over-the-top super-battle sequence, Mirco's choices about panel progression and how to convey the information is superb! I'm really excited for people to see his art and all the hard work he's been putting into it!”

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