Credit: Marvel

Age of Ultron vs. Marvel Zombies

Marvel is taking full advantage of the crazy casserole/pizza sandwich/jambalaya that its comic book universe will become during this summer’s Secret Wars, announcing all manner of equal parts crazy, dubious and delightful series in its wake. The latest of which is the heavily teased Age of Ultron vs. Marvel Zombies, which Marvel confirmed on Tuesday will be a new ongoing series from writer James Robinson and artist Steve Pugh.

It’s a choose-your-own apocoalypse scenario: Do you prefer your doom to come via flesh-eating, mostly intelligent, super-powered zombies, or by an army of indestructible robot despots? Fortunately for most of the inhabitants of Battleworld, the land where Age of Ultron vs. Marvel Zombies takes place is walled off from the rest of the planet. Unfortunately for some of the inhabitants of Battleworld, it’s where you get sent if you’re deserving of severe punishment.

“Getting sent to this No Man’s Land means you’ve done something wrong in Battleworld,” says editor Mark Paniccia. “It’s equivalent to having to walk the plank over shark-infested waters. In this story you’ll see someone who is deemed a criminal sentenced to this very dangerous territory—a character I can’t mention—but is a really cool twist that James came up with.”

Caught in this post-apocalyptic hellscape will be The Vision, Wonder Man, and Jim Hammond, the original Human Torch—along with someone writer James Robinson says will be “a very cool surprise.” While everyone will be trying to kill the heroes (along with everyone else in from the former multiverse exiled with them), the Ultron/Zombie armies won’t be very chummy.“Ultron sees his world as the epitome of perfection and the Zombies are the antithesis of that, so no they don’t get along at all,” says Robinson. “They war for whatever humanity they can find, with Ultron wishing to either control it or kill it and the zombies wanting to eat it. They’re definitely at war.”

If that all sounds very over-the-top, that’s because it is! A hallmark of the various Marvel Zombies miniseries (the first of which was written by The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman with art by the great Sean Phillips) were their inherent outrageousness—but they also functioned quite well as taut thrillers. The team behind Age of Ultron vs. Marvel Zombies hope their series will strike that balance equally well.

“[The series will be] at times tongue-in-cheek in that I’m trying to capture the black humor of the zombies and their situation, in the spirit of the original series,” says Robinson. “However at the same time this is about what it means to be human and what it means to have that humanity taken from you, so there are some serious elements too. We’ll also see this bizarre scenario through the eyes of a character from a less technologically advanced domain where Ultron hasn’t been created. He must coming to terms with what he has the potential to/is capable of creating and then learning how to defeat it. And yes, it will be a story of survival too.”

Age of Ultron vs. Marvel Zombies #1 goes on sale June 3, and will be written by James Robinson with art by Steve Pugh and covers by Carlos Pacheco. Courtesy of Marvel, here’s an exclusive four-page preview.

Age of Ultron vs. Marvel Zombies
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