Marvel Zombies are returning - by way of Japan, but also Canada.
Marvel Comics are bringing the previously Japan-only manga Avengers: Zombies Assemble by Yusaka Komiyama to the United States as Zombies Assemble, adapted by Jim Zub. Zub, who previously adapted the Avengers K manhwa OGNs, is adapting and localizing Komiyama's manga series for a English miniseries serialization.
The Thunderbolts writer describes Zombies Assemble as "Avengers movie fan fiction run amuck, but I mean that in a complimentary way," and Newsarama talked to him about this project.
Newsarama: Jim, what’s going on in Zombies Assemble?
Jim Zub: It's a unique tale of the Avengers battling against a zombie virus outbreak that threatens to destroy them done with a manga flare in terms of both the action and humor. It's warped and kind of wonderful in the way it plays with reader expectations.
Nrama: Who all, in terms of heroes, is in it?
Zub: That's one of the interesting parts. This is the Avengers cinematic universe cast up against a zombie apocalypse scenario that starts off as a bit of a mystery and then builds in intensity from there. Captain America, Iron Man, Hulk, Thor, Black Widow, and Hawkeye, with War Machine and Pepper Potts in the mix as well. It's your favorites attacked and infected by zombies.
Nrama: This story reminds us of the various Marvel Zombies miniseries that have been done in the past - what do you think of this idea of a zombie apocalypses inside the Marvel U?
Zub: Stories like this are a neat way of pushing boundaries and exploring how characters react to extreme changes to the storytelling paradigms we know and expect. Zombie apocalypses play into our fears about the breakdown of society, morals, and the extremes we'd go to if there was no brighter future to come. Any cast of characters thrown into that kind of story gets a dramatic boost and the Avengers are no exception.
Nrama: And you've most-certainly already read Yusaku's manga before adapting and localizing it, so how would you describe it?
Zub: On my first read through I was really taken aback. Zombies Assemble is a bit like Avengers movie fan fiction run amuck, but I mean that in a complimentary way. It's a twisted story with really wild stuff happening chapter after chapter. There's violence, humor, and intense emotions. It's strange and compelling, like seeing the Marvel movie-verse through a distorted mirror.
Nrama: This is your second adaptation of foreign work after the Korean Avengers K. What's this unique experience like?
Zub: My job on these projects is to take the raw translation with existing page art and adapt them more fully for a North American reading audience. Sometimes that means making the character voices sound right and other times it means adjusting dialogue to make for a smoother reading experience and bridge cultural differences. It can be tricky in spots, but I'm enjoying the challenge.
Nrama: You're well versed at art-managing with your time at UDON - are there some mangaka or manwha artists you'd like work with on a Marvel book?
Zub: Working with some of my favorite mangaka on Marvel stories would be an absolute blast. Off the top of my head I'd say Katsuhiro Otomo (Akira), Naoki Urasawa (Pluto, 20th Century Boys), Hiroaki Samura (Blade of the Immortal), and Masakazu Katsura (Video Girl Ai, Zetman) would be at the top of my list.
Nrama: Getting back to the story at hand before I let you go – big picture, what should people expect with Zombies Assemble?
Zub: Expect the unexpected. No one is safe and brains are tasty.