Marvel Zombies used to be an insult leveled at comic fans who slavishly followed Marvel Comics. Comic fans insulting other comic fans for reading comics… Aren’t we intelligent! Fast forward twenty years or so and Marvel Zombies is one of the hottest properties in comics today. Helped along its way by a sudden upswell of interest in the zombie genre, Marvel Zombies was a massive hit in 2006 and so far has spawned two sequels; Marvel Zombies: Army of Darkness and Marvel Zombies 2. This box set of five (and a bit) characters based on Marvel Zombies was released in September 2007.
The now familiar peg hanging carton returns. First seen on the Suncoast Exclusive Battlestar Galactica 5-pack it’s also been used on the Classic Spider-Man box set. At first I thought my pack had been through the mill. I was slightly disappointed at how beaten up the box was. It was a true ‘d’oh!’ moment as I realised it’s supposed to look beaten up! The edges of the box look torn and creased, it’s really a clever piece of design. The box front features the Marvel Zombies logo on the sloped top and the Minimates logo on the box front proper. There’s a big group photo of on the front featuring the Marvel Zombies coming atcha! Boy they look hungry.
The sideflaps feature head shots of the various zombies. The back of the box hosts a different group shot of the characters and also a small graphic of Arthur Suydam’s cover artwork. The usual company logos and legal indicia run along the bottom of the pack. I like the way the beaten up look is continued all around the packaging.
Zombie Luke Cage
How did Cage get bitten? I thought his skin was as dense as steel? Regardless, this is a sweet Zombie ‘mate. The design is based on the Power Man Luke Cage Minimate rather than the lame New Avengersone.
Like all the Marvel Zombies Cage’s features have been distorted almost beyond recognition by the zombie virus. Cage’s mouth is enormous and filled with rows of rank-looking teeth. His eyes are now tiny white slits. Cage has the same hairpiece as the Power Man Minimate, a reuse which makes perfect sense and there are no complaints here. The look of this ‘mate is fantastic.
The chest-block has been cast in clear plastic, and whoever thought of that deserves a raise! All the costume details are painted over the clear block leaving Cage’s left side exposing ribs and organs. It’s been really well thought out and looks disgustingly brilliant. Detailing is top notch: Cage’s yellow shirt is torn and dirty, the musculature on the chest is well presented and not overdone. It’s also worth pointing out that the rest of the Minimate is cast in white plastic and then painted. I’m a huge fan of this process as it gives a much more consistent look to the figure. Another point of interest is that Cage’s skin is much darker than in his original incarnation and the muscle definition lines are also much thicker. Cage wears the same chain belt as non-zombie Cage. Perhaps this too should have been dirtied up, maybe even give a paint wash to make it appear rusty, although this is really just nitpicking. Cage’s arms have also been given the beaten up look. His shirt sleeves are ripped and have that nice zombie scuzz look to them too. His wristbands (which have been well used on plenty of other Minimates since their first appearance on the original Power-Man) have also been scratched up a tad.
A really nice touch on this ‘mate which carries over to some of the others is the inclusion of the clawed hands that have been reused from Venom in Series 2. They really do help carry off the whole zombie look. Cage’s jeans and bright yellow (what was he thinking?) boots also have plenty of zombie-scuzz applied. The boots are a bit of a let down. Power-Man wore buccaneer-style boots which, on the original ‘mate were represented by a simple line running around the lower leg. The same look is on the Zombie’mate but the line is inconsistently applied and disappears completely on the inside of the legs. It’s possible that I’ve got a Friday afternoon job. I hope so, because that type of mistake just shouldn’t be happening. Cage looks almost as good from the back. This is mainly down to that clear chest block again. The damage to the back is more extensive than the front and consequently more of Cage’s insides can be seen. Nasty, but funny too.
Cage has no accessories, he has C3 feet and a peg hole in his head. He also has an appetite.
In conclusion, a great Zombie ‘mate. Someone had a lot of fun with this guy and it translates into a fun figure. The deco on the boots lowers the score.
Zombie MMC Score – 8 out of 10
Zombie Colonel America
Sentinel of Liberty… Snacker of brains!!! Cap gets promoted, then he gets turned into the living dead. Sometimes life just sucks!
First things first, this guy has a new head sculpt. Realistically it’s the only way Zombie Cap, or rather Zombie Colonel America, could be depicted. The usual Minimate head-block has been replaced with a one-off sculpt that shows Cnl A (I’m going to refer to him as Cap from now on, you all know who I mean anyway!) with the top of his head taken off. This looks great, with exposed gooey brains, shredded mask detail and loads of zombie scuzz. The one off sculpt continues on the face, as although the mask is non-removable DST have taken the time to differentiate between the lines of the mask and exposed part of the face. The zombie face is very distorted, Cap’s nose is gone and parts of his face seem to have rotted away. All the detail is well done and pretty damn gruesome with it.
As with Cage, Cap’s body is cast in white plastic and painted over.There’s a similar level of detail on the armoured part of the uniform as there was on the New Avengers Cap in wave 12 though this has been added to with various patches of battle damage and zombie scuzz including some rather revolting hints of visible intestine. Zombie Cap’s costume sleeves are also beat up and covered in scuzz, I’m glad to see it’s not been over done here as it was on Zombie Giant Man. The legs continue the beaten up look and sadly just like Cage there are errors on the boots. Although the lines are much more consistent there’s a very noticeable bleed over of red paint on the left leg. The cuff lines have also been missed out on the inside ofthe legs. Minor quibbles and more likely a cost issue than a mistake. There is, after all, a hell of a lot of other detail on these ‘mates. The back of the figure doesn’t have the same level of deco as the front. The star is more noticeable and there’s really only a couple of instances of wear and tear. Very little on the back of the legs and boots too.
Zombie Cap comes with his trusty shield, compared to the regular shield it’s very scuffed up. It’s also been cast in white plastic and then painted over, though the cuff that fits over the arm has been cast in black. Zombie Cap has C3 feet. There’s no peg-hole in his head due to the nature of the custom sculpt.
In conclusion, minor paint app problems aside this is another quality Zombie ‘mate. A lot of thought and effort went into his creation.
Zombie MMC Score – 9 out of 10
He’s the best there is at what he does. And what he does is rot… And stink! Zombie Wolverine is, like Cage, another zombie that shouldn’t be. Cages skin shouldn’t have been pierced. Wolvie’s healing factor should have taken care of the zombie virus. If it can beat a brood drone, it can certainly beat a virus.
This Wolvie has a brand new mask, with ‘wings’ (well, what would you call them?) that sweep much further away from the head. It’s very reminiscent of Mark Silvestri’s turn at Wolverine, and if it had been on a gaijin-style Wolvie it would look very nice indeed. As it stands, it’s on Zombie Wolvie and thanks to the eyeball that’s hanging out of it, it looks a bit rubbish. Remove the mask and there’s a suitably rotten face underneath. DST have also included the hairpiece that Astonishing X-Men Wolverine wears. Not sure why this is, other than they could. There’s not a lot more to say about the face, the right eye is still hanging out of its socket while the left eye is, like the other zombie Minimates, rendered in deluxe squinty white. Wolvie’s got his snarl going on, but as all the zombies in this set do nothing but snarl it doesn’t really make him stand out.
For some reason DST have given Zombie Wolverine a “powerhouse” chest piece. It looks awful. It’s nice that they’ve given him his raised sleeves at last, but it makes the ‘mate huge. He appears more massive than the Hulk and that’s just wrong. The colour of the costume is a kind of mustard orange, much darker than Wolverine’s yellow duds, and it’s more than a tad jarring. I can only assume that DST have taken their cue from the colour palette in the Marvel Zombies comic book which had a very dark tone to it. I can’t say I like the look of this ‘mate at all. The tiger stripes are barely apparent but there’s a huge expanse of buff abdomen and only the smallest nod to zombie scuzz.
Wolvie’s not got the Venom hands due to him sporting his regulation claws. It looks as though DST have chosen the regular claws rather than the more aesthetically pleasing X3 ones. Strange they’d go to all the trouble of tooling new hands and then not use them again. One sweet little touch is the glimpse of exposed metal bone on the inside of the right arm, where some of Wolvie’s skin has been lost. It’s not apparent at first, indeed I’ve only just noticed it while writing this review, but all the same a nice touch which should be noted.
The legs continue the icky colour scheme and reflect a fair amount ofwear and tear. The boots are a new sculpt. All previous Wolverines that had this style of boot had regular Minimate feet (or c3 feet) and the boot fitted over them. Zombie Wolverine’s boots are an all-in-one. I wonder if it’s these new boots that makes him taller than he should be? as it stands he’s head and shoulders above Hulk. All Marvel Minimates are supposed to be 2″ give or take, and scale isn’t supposed to come into it. Spider-Man has exactly the same dimensions as Hulk, Hulk is slightly taller than Spidey thanks to his hair piece. The height discrepancies between Zombie-Wolvie and other Marvel ‘mates stand out too much and it wrecks the figure.
In conclusion, Zombie Wolverine is a stinker in more ways than one.
Zombie MMC Score – 3 out of 10
“Hulk Hungry!!!” Hey, he was green to begin with, how do you know he’s rotting?
Zombie Hulk has a great face, the rage is still all there, but he doesn’t look as disgustingly deliquescent as his zombie buddies. Apart from his white eyes and pointy teeth there’s not a lot of zombie ickiness going on with this guy. He has a new hairpiece and it’s a corker! Hulk’s original hair was a bit too smooth and tidy. This Hulk looks like he just got out of bed, on the wrong side of course.
The body is fantastic. In the first Marvel Zombies series Zombie Hulk ate Magneto’s leg… Whole! Once his hunger was satiated he reverted to Bruce Banner but still had Magneto’s leg inside him. POP! Zombie Hulk’s chest is absolutely revolting, his stomach has burst open and taken most of his chest with it. All that remains is his ribcage and a few ribbons of stubborn skin. It’s also worth noting that at last we have a Hulk with a “powerhouse” chest piece. No longer does he have to put up with taunts from other Minimates that he’s a 70 stone weakling as they kick sand in his face.
The bottom of the chest piece doubles as the shredded top of Zombie Hulk’s purple trousers, this is very effective and a clever use of the piece which also shows DST’s commitment once more to the use of one-off parts. Thanks to the molding of the shred pattern I can’t see this piece being used on any ‘mate apart from the Hulk. There’s a little zombie scuzz on Hulk’s arms and back. The musculature on Zombie Hulk’s back is warped and distorted. I think this is due to the abuse he’s put his body through and it’s a cool touch. Zombie Hulk has Venom hands cast in green plastic to give the impression of clawed hands.The regulation purple trousers are in attendance and looking more beaten up than usual, and possibly for the first time Hulk has toes. It’s good to see and the fact that he has right and left feet is also appreciated.
Zombie Hulk has no accessories. He has C3 feet and a peg hole in his head.
In conclusion, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with this figure. Despite him being smaller than Zombie Wolverine, I’m still a fan.
Zombie MMC Score – 9 out of 10
Peter Parker ate a peck of pickled people! The soul of Marvel Zombies? While the rest of the Marvel Zombie crowd are pragmatic, hungry and just get on with things, Spidey is conflicted. He ate his wife and his aunt. The guy’s going to have issues!
Zombie Spidey’s mask is shredded away from the bottom part of his face so his hideously exaggerated mouth is there for all to see. He’s also lost his nose and just has a hole where it used to be. I meant to mention this with the Cap Zombie ‘mate too… Minimates don’t have noses, so why show where one used to be? I think both ‘mates would have looked better without this detail as in my opinion it over eggs the pudding. Zombie Spidey’s eyepieces are shattered, one is almost completely gone and you can see a baleful red eye. It looks good but it’s a bit weird that Spidey has pupils where all the other Zombies have all white eyes. Not a complaint, just an observation.
Detailing to the body is good. It looks like a new print for the weblines but doesn’t appear to be the same as Torment Spider-Man’s. The lines are a lot lighter and finer. Only problem is, the web lines on the Mask are in the style of Series 2 Spider-Man and the head is cast in red plastic. The body is cast in clear plastic and painted over and there’s a noticeable discrepancy between the two shades of red, and the weight of the web lines. This is only really noticeable upon close inspection and doesn’t spoil the figure overall.
It’s good to see the clear plastic on the chest block. It was very effective on Zombie Power Man and while the missing area on Zombie Spidey’s chest isn’t as large as on Power Man, it still looks very cool. Spidey’s ribs stand out nicely and you can also see a hint of spinal column too. Nasty, but effective. There’s more damage on the back of the torso piece. A large area of flesh is missing showing more exposed ribs and … Organs! The red spider-symbol is also missing. Accident or design? I can’t decide but it doesn’t detract from the figure. There’s not as much zombie scuzz apparent on Spidey as there is on the other ‘mates. Possibly because his costume is already highly detailed and adding much more would detract from the figure. There are ‘battle damaged’ sections on the arms but that about it for the upper body. Like Power Man and Hulk, Zombie Spidey’s been given Venom hands but cast in red plastic. A nice touch, that helps ‘sell’ the monster vibe of the zombies.
Zombie Spidey’s t-piece and right leg are also cast in clear plastic and painted over. In the first Marvel Zombies mini-series Spidey breaks his leg badly, to the point where it’s hanging off. Casting the leg in clear plastic and then painting the leg bones on is a touch of class and I hope to see this level of inventive design on future Marvel Minimates. Web lines around the ankle are crisp, and also show a level of wear I wasn’t expecting such as loose threads and small tears. I’m pleased to see the web lines continue on the inside of Zombie Spidey’s ankles as that was a bit of a disappointment on some of the other Zombie’mates.
Zombie Spider-Man has no accessories. He has C3 feet, and a solid head. No peg holes on this Web-head’s dead head.
In conclusion, another great Zombie ‘mate, probably the best in the set. He’s certainly my favourite.
Zombie MMC Score – 9.5 out of 10 (minor niggles stop me giving him 10)
Former model Janet van Dyne takes size zero ambition to a ridiculous conclusion. Zombie Wasp’s not really a ‘mate. She’s an accessory to the set, but such a cool accessory she deserves a mini-review of her own.
Facially she looks nothing like Jan, but then she’s a decapitated zombie, so the whole body comparison thing goes out of the window too!It has to be said that she has a really horrific face, possibly the nastiest of the lot, helped in no small way by the huge area of black in the centre, but that gaping zombie maw does contribute to the intrinsic scariness. There’s a small section of dismembered spine protruding from Zombie Wasp’s head which surrounded by a really yucky looking coating of muscle tissue. It’s horrible, but great. Part of Zombie Wasp’s hair has been fashioned into a handle which Minimate hands can grip. It’s yet another great idea in a set full of great ideas (and Zombie Wolverine but we won’t mention him again) which enables Jan to be carted around by her undead buddies. Yeah right. Like they’re going to share meat!
Zombie wasp has no body to review, or indeed accessories. She has no arms, or hands to carry them. Zombie Wasp does not have C3 feet. For that matter she also has no legs. What did you expect? She’s a disembodied head! Zombie Wasp does not have a peg hole in her head. At least, not the usual type. The icky spinal column that sticks out from the base of the head precludes there being a hole running through it. So this is a brand new sculpt. There is a kind of peg and socket combination on the head and hair piece that’s designed to keep head and hair together when being held by another Minimate. It’s a very robust combination,the head takes a fair amount of force before it’s freed from the hairpiece.
In conclusion: A fun accessory, I’d love to see a proper Wasp at some point in a regular Marvel Minimate wave.
Zombie MMC Score: N/A – She’s a great accessory but not a proper Minimate, so no score
Final Thoughts: A great set! It’s good to see DST branching out so creatively with the Marvel Licence. What with this, the Daredevil/Giant Man two-pack and the soon to be released Black Panther/Iron-Man pack Marvel Zombies makes for a sweet little subset within your Marvel Universe collection. More please!
Review and pictures by Stewart Kay