Page 45 Review by Stephen
Delicious. Not for a moment did I think I was going to enjoy this, but it is so grotesque, so over the top - with some really raw, visceral nay nocturnal art from Phillips - that I couldn't help laughing.
It's one of those where you'll be comparing your favourite moments of outrage, whether it's seeing zombie Captain America's scalp sliced off with his own shield, then him carrying in his gloved hands the green goo of his slopped-out brains for the rest of the day, listening to zombie Peter Parker whine, whine, whine ("I ate my wife -- my aunt! Why?! Why did I do that?!"), or having gigantic world-devourer Galactus touch down, only for the Marvel zombies to declare they're hungry. Having spent years in the Marvel universe bickering with wife Janet then punching her in the face, Hank Pym, in his Giant Man costume here, goes one better and literally bites her head off! Perhaps the biggest "No!" moment, though, is when you find out what Hank's been keeping in the fridge.
Here's the set-up: in ULTIMATE FANTASTIC FOUR vol 5 (by no means an essential read before you pick this up, although it was enormous fun) the Ultimate Universe's Reed Richards makes contact with his counterpart in what readers initially presumed was the regular Marvel Universe. It wasn't. It was this one, in which the entire population has been munched for lunch by its zombified superheroes. As this kicks off they're really starving - and it's only when they get to feed that their frenzy dies down long enough to give them space to think.
I've never found Kirkham (WALKING DEAD, much loved by Mark and Tom) a particularly literate writer, but he's brought something else to table instead. Together with Phillips he seems to have relished making this as gross as he possibly can, mutilating the cast in all manner of imaginative ways, and I think that's half the fun: doing things to A-list Marvel superheroes that you'd never see elsewhere. Hiring Arthur Suydam for the covers was the final masterstroke. He produced a series of luxurious paintings, each a witty, zombified tribute to a classic Marvel cover, and here Marvel represent not only all fifteen Suydam images (there were a lot of variants) but their original sources as well.