In 2005, via the pages of Ultimate Fantastic Four, Marvel Comics published a tale about an alternate Marvel Universe filled with zombies. Told over a three-issue arc, the story focused on a zombie version of the Fantastic Four, who posed a threat to the multiverse.

In the story, Ultimate Reed Richards makes contact with a Reed from another universe. Everything seems fine at first, until Reed discovers that his counterpart is a zombie, keen to escape his world and feast on humans from the Ultimate Universe.

The story – which appeared in Ultimate Fantastic Four issues #21 – #23 was a huge hit with fans, and while the tale was somewhat self-contained, it opened up the idea of a very sinister world existing in the multiverse. Keen not to let this world fall to the wayside, Marvel Comics created a five-part spin-off book called Marvel Zombies to flesh out the story and focus purely on these zombies.

Marvel Zombies centred around various Marvel heroes (Spider-Man, Iron Man, Luke Cage, etc) who had been turned into zombies, and who were eating their way through the human population of the planet. One of the only characters to escape zombification was Magneto, who found himself in a battle for survival.

Written by Robert Kirkman, the co-creator of The Walking Dead, Marvel Zombies was a deliciously dark, often quite humorous tale. It took Marvel Comics down a macabre path and became a monster hit for the company.

Image: ©Marvel Comics
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Due to the success of Marvel Zombies, Marvel Comics returned to this universe, again, and again, and again. At first, the stories acted as companion pieces to the Ultimate Fantastic Four/Marvel Zombies stories, but over time, new comics were published that moved away from the main story arc, to create spin-offs and side tales that had very little to do with what came before.

In this post I am taking a look at the Marvel Zombies comics, to present a guide to the stories. Below you will find both a publishing order and a collection of reading orders, to help you navigate your way through the series.

If you have never read a Marvel Zombies story, or you have become endlessly confused by the sheer amount of tales that have been published, this post should help you out. The world of Marvel Zombies is very confusing, so the aim of this post is to streamline things a little.

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Marvel Zombies in publishing order

Image: ©Marvel Comics

First up, let’s take a look at the publishing order. This is a list of all the Marvel Zombies titles that have been published from 2005 onward.

  • Ultimate Fantastic Four (2005) #21 – #23
  • Marvel Zombies (2005) #1 – #5
  • Ultimate Fantastic Four (2006) #30 – #32
  • Marvel Zombies vs. The Army of Darkness (2007) #1 – #5
  • Black Panther Vol. 4 (2007) #28 – #30
  • Marvel Zombies 2 (2007) #1 – #5
  • Marvel Zombies: Dead Days (2008) #1
  • Marvel Zombies 3 (2008) #1 – #4
  • Marvel Zombies 4 (2009) #1 – #4
  • Marvel Zombies Return (2009) #1 – #5
  • Marvel Apes: Prime Eight (2009) #1
  • Marvel Zombies: Evil Evolution (2009) #1
  • Marvel Zombies 5 (2010) #1 – #5
  • Marvel Zombies Supreme (2011) #1 – #5
  • Marvel Zombies Destroy! (2012) #1 – #5
  • Marvel Zombies Halloween (2012) #1
  • Marvel Zombies: Battleworld (2015) #1 – #4
  • Age of Ultron vs. Marvel Zombies (2015) #1 – #4
  • Zombies Assemble (2017) #0 – #3
  • Zombies Assemble 2 (2017) #1 – #4
  • Marvel Zombie (2018) #1
  • Marvel Zombies: Resurrection (2019) #1
  • Marvel Zombies: Resurrection (2020) #1 – #4

As you can see, there are quite a lot of comics which feature the Marvel Zombies. Some of these comics carry the ‘Marvel Zombies’ banner, while others do not.

What’s important to note is that amongst this list you will find a collection of sequels, prequels, spin-offs, side stories, re-imaginings, and reboots. There really is a huge mix of stories here, not all of them are presented in chronological order and not all of them are connected.

I have collected together this list so that you can see what comics are available in this collection. However, I highly recommend that you DO NOT read the comics in the order listed above.

Reading the comics in publishing order is really quite confusing. You’ll find yourself jumping back and forth between timelines and continuities, and this will just cause you a huge headache.

My advice? You take a look at the reading orders I’ve set out below, which breaks the stories down into different story blocks, that are far easier to follow.

But before I get on to the story blocks, just a little warning.

Although the reading order(s) set out below puts the Marvel Zombies stories in a (loose) chronology, please be aware there is some overlapping between stories, as well as some inconsistencies.

The reason for the inconsistencies? Various creative teams have been involved with the series since its inception, all telling different stories, at different points in the timeline. As a result of the sheer number of people involved, not everything matches up perfectly.

Got it? Good!

Now let’s move on!

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Marvel Zombies ‘main story’ in chronological order

Image: ©Marvel Comics

The first chunk of the Marvel Zombies story largely centres around zombies from an alternate Marvel Universe. As noted at the beginning of this post, this storyline began in the pages of Ultimate Fantastic Four.

However, as this storyline developed, Marvel Comics began adding prequels and sequels to the story. As such, if you wish to read these tales in chronological order, you need to begin the story with Marvel Zombies vs. The Army of Darkness – a Marvel Comics/Dynamite Entertainment crossover comic, first published in 2007.

The story sees iconic horror character, Ash Williams (from the Evil Dead movie series) transported to the Marvel Zombies Universe where he encounters a horde of undead heroes. The story is then picked up with Marvel Zombies: Dead Days, and continues all the way through to Marvel Zombies Return.

If you wish to read the main story arc, then read the following comics:

  • Marvel Zombies vs. The Army of Darkness (2007) #1 – #5
  • Marvel Zombies: Dead Days (2008) #1
  • Marvel Apes: Prime Eight (2009) #1
  • Marvel Zombies: Evil Evolution (2009) #1
  • Ultimate Fantastic Four (2005) #21 – #23
  • Marvel Zombies (2005) #1 – #5
  • Ultimate Fantastic Four (2006) #30 – #32
  • Black Panther Vol. 4 (2007) #28 – #30
  • Marvel Zombies 2 (2007) #1 – #5
  • Marvel Zombies Return (2009) #1 – #5

Marvel Zombies ‘side stories and expansions’ in order

While the above list focuses on the main story arc, the Marvel Zombies collection includes a number of side stories, beginning with Marvel Zombies 3. Some of these stories take place in the main Marvel Universe (aka the 616 Universe), while the setting/location of the other stories is a little more ambiguous.

The reason I have separated these stories from the main arc is because these side tales become increasingly disconnected as they go on. For example, Marvel Zombies 3 takes place sometime between the events of Black Panther #28 – #30 and Marvel Zombies 2, so could be read as part of the main arc, but it has little to do with the ongoing narrative.  

Marvel Zombies 4 is then a sequel to Marvel Zombies 3, but has even less to do with what has come before. This trend then continues through Marvel Zombies 4, Marvel Zombies Supreme and so on, until the stories reach a point where they are just zombie stories featuring Marvel heroes and have nothing to do with that initial arc.

If you wish to read all of the side stories (after you have read the main arc), then work your way through this list:

  • Marvel Zombies 3 (2008) #1 – #4
  • Marvel Zombies 4 (2009) #1 – #4
  • Marvel Zombies 5 (2010) #1 – #5
  • Marvel Zombies Supreme (2011) #1 – #5
  • Marvel Zombies Halloween (2012) #1
  • Marvel Zombies Destroy! (2012) #1 – #5
  • Marvel Zombies: Battleworld (2015) #1 – #4
  • Age of Ultron vs. Marvel Zombies (2015) #1 – #4
  • Marvel Zombie (2018) #1
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Marvel Zombies ‘Manga’ in order

Image: ©Marvel Comics

In addition to the main arc and the side stories, the Marvel Zombies have also been ‘re-imagined’ for Zombies Assemble. This is a collection of Manga stories inspired by both Marvel Zombies and the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

In these stories, the Avengers have become infected by a virus, following the battle of New York (as seen in the 2012 movie, The Avengers).  The virus turns various members of the team into zombie-like creatures.

These stories have NOTHING to do with the previous Marvel Zombies books, but you may wish to check them out if you adore Manga, you’re a big fan of the MCU, or you are still having fun reading Marvel Zombies stories.

  • Zombies Assemble (2017) #0 – #3
  • Zombies Assemble 2 (2017) #1 – #4
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Marvel Zombies ‘Reboot’ in order

Image: ©Marvel Comics

And finally, in 2019, Marvel Comics made the decision to reboot the Marvel Zombies comics, with a new take on the material. This reboot was called Marvel Zombies: Resurrection, and focused on a story which ignored everything that had come before.

The reboot helped Marvel Comics to draw a line under the old material, which had become convoluted and confusing, and create a new starting point for readers. Should you want to check out the reboot, then you should read the following comics:

  • Marvel Zombies: Resurrection (2019) #1
  • Marvel Zombies: Resurrection (2020) #1 – #4
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Should you read every Marvel Zombies story?

Image: ©Marvel Comics

OK, so if you have made it this far, you now have all the different story blocks to read. These blocks should make things a little less confusing and much easier to digest.

But the big question is, should you read everything I have listed above?

Personally, I would say no.

While Marvel Zombies started off very strongly, especially with those early Ultimate Fantastic Four stories, the Marvel Zombies concept became less appealing and far less interesting the longer it went on. Some of the later stories are really terrible and a slog to get through, so personally I would suggest you don’t waste your time on them.

Although I like to return to the Marvel Zombies stories periodically, I only reconnect with the material which I feel is worth my time. Many of the stories are poor and their connection to the main story arc is tenuous at best.

My personal preference is to only read the following books (and in this order):

  • Marvel Zombies vs. The Army of Darkness
  • Marvel Zombies: Dead Days
  • Ultimate Fantastic Four #21 – #23
  • Marvel Zombies
  • Ultimate Fantastic Four #30 – #32
  • Marvel Zombies 3
  • Marvel Zombies 2
  • Marvel Zombies Return

Marvel Zombies: Resurrection #1 and Marvel Zombies: Resurrection #1 – #4 are also worth a read, but I ignore everything else. A lot of the stories are simply not good and really not something I need to read more than once.

Obviously, you need to make up your own mind about what to read, but if you want the good stuff, then just stick to the books I have recommended. In my opinion, these books really are the best of the series.

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Thank you for stopping by It’s A Stampede! to read this post about Marvel Zombies. Due to all the prequels, spin-offs, and side stories, the world of Marvel Zombies is VERY confusing, and more complex than it needs to be, but hopefully this post has streamlined things a little.

For more Marvel-ous content, be sure to check out the recommended reads below.

Read more:

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