At the risk of repeating something already covered in JK’s convention roundup, there’s at least one publishing announcement from this weekend that deserves another look: Marvel has turned to novelists Seth Grahame-Smith, Jonathan Maberry and David Wellington for the next installment of its Marvel Zombies franchise.
Maberry, author of Patient Zero, already is familiar to Marvel readers for his “Wolverine: Ghosts” short, Punisher MAX: Naked Kill one-shot and his upcoming run on Black Panther. Wellington penned the Monster trilogy of zombie-apocalypse novels — Island, Nation and Planet — the Laura Caxton vampire series, and the werewolf novel Frostbite.
And Grahame-Smith made a splash a few months ago with Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, a widely publicized mashup that combines the 1813 Jane Austin classic with elements of zombie fiction. His follow-up is Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.
The three will join comics writer Fred Van Lente on the five-issue Marvel Zombies Return, which debuts in September. According to CBR’s panel report, each issue will spotlight different characters: Spider-Man, by Van Lente and artist Nick Dragotta; The Avengers, by Van Lente and Wellington Alves; Wolverine, by Maberry and Jason Shawn Alexander; Iron Man, by Wellington and Andrea Mutti; and The Hulk, by Grahame-Smith and Richard Elson.
I’m not really a fan of the zombie sub-genre, and I haven’t read any of the previous Marvel Zombies miniseries, but this seems like a pretty smart move by the publisher to keep the franchise fresh (so to speak) and to potentially expand the audience.
Also, I like what I’ve read of Wellington’s work serialized online. So it definitely has that going for it.