“You see this, you plague, you cloud, you curse, whatever you are? Deep down in whatever passes for your mind…do you finally start to understand this about us, about life? You may be relentless and ravenous — but so are we! We will never stop fighting — we will never give up!” – Morbius, The Living Vampire.
The thing I’ve noticed in comics is that the supernatural element of a universe is very underrated, compared to the mainstream superhero factor. This can be said for DC and Marvel, but steps are being taken to shed more light on them. It’s why I’m reviewing Marvel Zombies 4, written by Fred Van Lente and drawn by Kev Walker. It features The Midnight Sons, a team of supernatural heroes that consists of Morbius The Living Vampire, Werewolf By Night, Daimon Hellstrom and Jennifer Kale.
The story is centred on stopping a zombie virus from an alternate reality, before it consumes the primary Marvel 616 universe. ARMOR (Alternate Reality Monitoring and Operational Rescue) have assembled the Midnight Sons under Morbius’ leadership to stop the zombies. He’s developed a cure to the virus. The Hood is featured as one of the villains, trying to use the plague for his own benefit.
Each of the Midnight Sons are given their moment to shine, with Daimon Hellstrom acting as the pragmatist of the group. I was happy to see him featured because Hellstrom is my favourite supernatural comic character. What’s great about the story is that each member is fighting against their own monstrous nature. Jennifer Kale is the most human of them, though she has an intense fear of zombies and is trying to face up to it.
During an extraction mission in the West Indies, the team come face to face with Hood and his Night Shift. The Midnight Sons defeat them. However, Morbius’ cure causes the zombie virus to adapt and turn into an airborne superbug. The virus starts to devour everything around it and Jennifer Kale calls on Man-Thing to battle with the storm.
Man-Thing is defeated and Jennifer is cornered by a zombified Werewolf By Night in his human form. In a moment of fear, she calls out to Dormammu, who’s been possessing The Hood and is looking for a stronger vessel.
“You don’t have anything to run from Jennifer. I don’t either! We are with those who embrace all of us now! We are the Midnight Sons, Jennifer Kale! We bring light to the darkness! That is all we are.” – Daimon Hellstrom.
The Midnight Sons battle Dormammu in the middle of a zombie invasion. The Hood teams up with them to keep the zombies at bay. Hellstrom is able to exorcise the demon from Jennifer and Man-Thing returns to destroy the plague.
Van Lente tells a hell of a story, characterising the Midnight Sons as people who know they’re monsters, but continue to do good. Walker’s art is eye-catching and grotesque. His attention to detail with zombies is one of the best I’ve seen.
If that’s not enough to make you want to buy the graphic novel, the zombified talking head of Deadpool and a zombie called Simon go on a road trip together. That stuff writes itself.