The Five Best Zombie Comics
Like its source material the zombie genre just won't die, dominating comics, movies, TV and [...]
Like its source material the zombie genre just won't die, dominating comics, movies, TV and popular culture as a whole. While there's plenty of great zombie movies and stories that advanced and popularized the genre, this latest zombie outbreak in pop culture is thanks to The Walking Dead, a black and white indie comic turned entertainment behemoth. This weekend, AMC releases Fear the Walking Dead, a spinoff series of the popular Walking Dead TV adaptation. Fear the Walking Dead is set in the earliest days of the zombie outbreak, before society crumbled into chaos.
Of course, there are plenty of other fantastic zombie comics too, some featuring superheroes and others following a more traditional approach to the undead. If you're looking to get into the mood for Fear the Walking Dead this weekend, give these five series a try.
Afterlife with Archie
A gruesome take on the gang from Riverdale, Afterlife with Archie is the zombie comic you didn't know you needed. Written by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and beautifully illustrated by Francesco Francavilla, Afterlife with Archie features Archie, Betty, Veronica and their friends fending off a zombie outbreak caused by Sabrina the Teenage Witch, of all people. Not only is there plenty of gore and horror in each issue, Afterlife with Archie also subverts many of the characters and themes found in the Archie books. It's a delightfully sardonic take on the Riverdale Gang. Cheryl Blossom and her brother Jason are in secret incestuous relationship. Nancy and Ginger are closeted lesbians and the ravenous Jughead acts as "Patient Zero" for the zombie apocalypse.
Not only is Afterlife with Archie a superior zombie comic, it's one of the finest comics released in the last decade. If you enjoy gorgeous artwork and a book that expertly plays with familiar zombie tropes, grab Afterlife with Archie today.prevnext
In both the Marvel and DC superhero universe, no superhero ever stays dead. DC's Blackest Night explored the concepts of death and resurrection in a superhero universe through the eyes of Green Lantern Hal Jordan, who's not exactly a stranger to dying himself. The culmination of Geoff Johns' "War of Light" trilogy, Blackest Night pits Hal Jordan and his allies against Nekron, the embodiment of death in the DC Universe. After resurrecting a host of dead superheroes to form his Black Lantern Corps, Nekron attacks Earth, hoping to uncover a hidden secret that would erase every living thing on the planet. But the real draw was seeing zomibified versions of DC's characters, reanimated to grotesque life by the Black Lantern rings. Seriously, what was as equally haunting and awesome as Zombie Batman?
A mix of bright colors and dull grays, Blackest Night masterfully blends zombie horror with traditional superhero tropes. Gorgeously drawn by Ivan Reis, the story ends several long teased Green Lantern plot lines and set up the final act of the DC Universe before it rebooted in 2011.prevnext
What if the undead were indistinguishable from the living? That's the basic premise of Revival, an Image series self-described as a "rural noir". Revival stars a cast of characters in a small Wisconsin town struggling to deal with the sudden rebirth of many of their friends and family. While many of the undead try to return to their former lives, death has clearly changed and traumatized many of the revived. Coupled with those who think the undead are abominations or freaks, the Wisconsin town quickly becomes a hotbed of gruesome violence and death. Revival is like a comic version of True Detective with even more weird horror, which is impressive as creators Tim Seeley and Mike Norton released the series years before the popular HBO series went to air.prevnext
If Blackest Night is a superhero story with zombies, then the Marvel Zombies franchise is a zombie story with superheroes. An alternate universe first visited by the Ultimate Fantastic Four, Marvel Zombies is a world in Marvel's multiverse where zombie versions of Marvel's superheroes rule Earth and feast on its few remaining survivors. Unlike other zombie stories, most of the Marvel zombies retain their intelligence, although an all-consuming hunger for flesh overtakes their normally heroic instincts. The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman wrote the first two Marvel Zombies miniseries and Marvel has published several sequels since. Remnants of the Marvel Zombies universe even made their way to the universe shattering Secret Wars event, where they're kept behind a wall erected by the God Emperor Doom.prevnext
Although it's a fun mash up of the zombie and crime procedural genres, CW's iZombie has little in common with its comic book counterpart. iZombie's comic inspiration stars a young woman named Gwen, who works at a graveyard to hide her brain eating ways. Like the star of the CW series, Gwen needs to eat brains on a regular basis to retain her intelligence and not turn into a stereotypical shambling zombie. However, Gwen and her friends Ellie (a ghost) and Spot (a were-terrier) fight other supernatural threats during the series instead of solving crimes, and slowly become aware that Gwen might be the key to preventing the apocalypse. iZombie is a bright and chic take on the zombie genre, featuring impeccably dressed heroes and villains, and a mix of goofy humor and old fashioned drama. But there is one other thing the iZombie comic shares with its television counterpart: Mike Allred, the comic's co-creator, also drew the opening credit sequence of the TV show.
What are your favorite zombie comic series? Let us know in the comments!prev