Zombies have recently shambled back into the forefront of the collective consciousness. Films like 28 Days Later and Shaun of the Dead have, ironically, breathed new life into the undead. Zombie books, movies, and comics are character studies that examine those trying to find life in a world of the dead.
Officer Rick Grimes (Image Comics)
Zombie stories have to be about the survivors. They are the interesting characters, not the living dead whose most interesting piece of dialogue is “Uuuuunnnngh.” Stories need conflict and human drama, and Robert Kirkman (Irredeemable Ant-man, Invincible) is a master of both. In The Walking Dead, Rick Grimes emerges from a coma and wakes to a nightmare. Grimes searches for his family finding that zombies now roam the streets. He conveniently finds his family outside of Atlanta in a camp of other survivors. The back of the trade paperbacks state: “In a world ruled by the dead, we are forced to finally start living.” They are forced to survive not only the zombies, but each other.
Solomon Grudy (DC Comics)
The mainstream DC Universe has not been struck with zombie plague, but that doesn’t mean that zombies aren’t present. Based on a 19th century nursery rhyme, Grundy is a super-strong zombie that debuted in 1944 as a nemesis to the original Green Lantern. He could be considered one of the first zombies in comic book history. Grundy was murdered in a swamp and according to Swamp Thing Vol. 7: Regenesis, was the failed attempt by Plant Elementals to create a new Swamp Thing. A filler B-list villain, Grundy has been a member of the Injustice League and in the ‘70s cartoon Super Friends, The Legion of Doom. Recently in the Justice League of America Vol. 1: The Tornado’s Path HC, Grundy gained intelligence.
Marvel Zombies (Marvel Comics)
Zombies are terrifying on their own. But, imagine a zombie with Nightcrawler’s ability to teleport, or Quicksilver’s speed, and any hope of human survival is eradicated. Originally a story arc in Ultimate Fantastic Four, the reality where Marvel super heroes and villains have been transformed into zombies has been featured in Marvel Zombies and Black Panther. Lead by a zombified Captain America, the super hero zombies work together to consume the people they once fought to protect. Marvel Zombies is collected in hardcover and zombie Spider-man, Wolverine, and others will returned this week for the “Marvel Zombie Civil War” in Marvel Zombies 2, written by Robert Kirkman.
Ash Williams (Dynamite Entertainment)
Based on Bruce Campbell’s character from the cult classic Evil Dead trilogy, Ashley “Ash” Williams is not just an S-Mart employee. He is a chain saw handed, boomstick wielding, dimensional traveler who fights Deadites — demon infested corpses brought to this world by the living book of the dead, the Necronomicon. In the comics, Ash has traveled to the world of the Marvel Zombies in the Army of Darkness vs. Marvel Zombies HC, where Ash fights a zombie version of Howard the Duck.
Dale & Otis Savage (BOOM! Studios)
Savage Brothers Salvage Co. aims to please, unless of course you are a zombie. Taking jobs to help undead shuffle loose the mortal coil, the brothers find themselves in the middle of the Apocalypse, raining frogs and all, and a canned food conspiracy as well. Written by Eureka creator Andrew Cosby and writer Johanna Stokes, the series, as well as the Fear the Dead zombie guide, are collected in the Savage Brothers trade paperback.