Weird, Off the Cuff Tangent on Why I Never Liked Marvel Zombies

In general, I enjoy a good zombie story.

I love superheroes.

I could never really bring myself to enjoy Marvel Zombies.

Sometimes you just know something before you can explain it, but I think I finally latched on to why I never could just lighten up and enjoy the stories.

In a What If?/Elseworlds type of story, you might see a hero that you love acting in a manner that goes against what you know about them.  However, in those stories, you generally have a point where something crucial changed for them.  You have a point that defined them, and it didn’t go that way in the story you are reading.

A lot of What If?/Elseworlds type of stories aren’t nearly as interesting if you don’t have a handle on the “baseline” character.  If you don’t know what Superman is like, you don’t know what Red Son is saying about who Superman is, and what it would take to change him.  Those stories, even if they end badly, even if they end with the hero doing horrible things they would never do in their mainstream incarnations, explore who that hero is by contrasting what they are with what they could be, and zeroing in on crucial moments in their development.

Marvel Zombies didn’t do that.  You didn’t have heroes turning to villains because a friend or loved one died.  You didn’t have heroes giving up on their careers because they failed to defeat that one foe they were always meant to defeat.

What happened in Marvel Zombies is that heroes, through not particular fault of their own, were infested with a virus that made them do horrible things.  Often times, they knew what they were doing, and knew it was antithetical to everything they had ever wanted to be, and they couldn’t stop themselves.

Marvel Zombies made heroes as impotent as unable to stop great evils as many of us feel on a day to day basis.  That’s why I couldn’t enjoy the concept.

There was no defining choice that went one way or another.  There were circumstances out of their control that took over and made things horrible, and they just had to watch as the world went to Hell.

I read superhero comics because I want to see someone make a difference.  No matter how small and insignificant I may feel, no matter how convoluted and complex the evils of the world may feel, the heroes I read about are not insignificant, and they can figure out what the evil is in their world, and stop it.  There is nothing so opposed to the concept of a superhero as watching as evil overruns the world, being unable to stop it, and eventually being unable to be a party to that evil.

By no means am I saying that the books are bad, or that they never should have been written.  I’m not saying that anyone that read those stories and enjoyed them was wrong for doing so.  But too many times in my life when I have felt down, and beaten, and out, reading about someone that pushes on through the adversities and chaos around them to the other side, and wins, and accomplishes the greater good, it is the very thing I need to keep my sanity intact, and to push on to gain whatever minor victory I can achieve in my own life.

This isn’t a review or a critique.  Its just been something I’ve known for a while, but haven’t really been able to put into words until this evening.

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