Coming up with a new way to breathe life into the Marvel Zombie franchise is hard so this latest graphic novel doesn’t even try. Marvel Zombies Destroy! is the familiar story of the A.R.M.O.R. (Alternate Reality Monitoring & Operational Response) team being sent to an alternate world where the zombies have taken over and now want to enter another reality, possibly ours. At the head of the team is Howard the Duck who has recruited Dum Dum Dugan for his Ducky Dozen team to rid Earth-12591 of the zombie plague only this time it seems that the Nazi’s won WWII by becoming zombies and thus have advanced to the point of not only having taken over the world but now have found a way to exit their world and to enter a new world with new flesh to pursue.
It’s plain from the beginning that Howard the Duck has an alternative reason for bringing Dum Dum Dugan into the foil which makes for a very comedic episode but this series suffers from the same issue that many of the more recent Marvel Zombies stories suffer from which is the lack of substance to the story. Written by Frank Marraffino & Peter David the story seems more concerned with having fun, killing Nazi zombies, and cracking as many jokes as possible (which is what you would expect from a story that features Howard the Duck and Dum Dum Dugan) but that’s the extent of the series and like previous series this one will be easily forgotten once read. The series has been running on empty for quite some time and I do have to admit that Nazi zombies was an inspired choice to go with but putting Howard the Duck and Dum Dum Dugan at the center of the action does the story and the franchise a disservice. I’m itching for there to be a return to the glory days of the Marvel Zombie franchise from such early stories as Dead Days and the first two stand alone series.
The other bad thing that is happening with these stories as they are becoming way to predictable in terms of who is going to live and who is going to die and with a zombie story it should be unpredictable but with each subsequent story in the Marvel Zombie franchise this is telegraphed to the reader by the “who’s who” of no name supporting characters and especially in terms of Howard’s Ducky Dozen the reader knows from their first appearance that they are all more or less going to die as they are characters no one has ever heard of. I do have to admit artists Mirco Pierfederici and Al Barrionuevo have found some unique ways to kill both the good guys and the Nazi zombie bad guys and for those who thrill at this aspect of the franchise this series does not disappoint.
I do miss the alternative covers for each of the individual issues that used to accompany the graphic novel at the end and even the regular covers from the initial five issues are nowhere to be seen so there are absolutely no extras to be had with this edition which is sad. Only an “undead” letter from the editor and a page of recap art are at the end and this is just a travesty.