Pride and prejudice and (Marvel) zombies

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.

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