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From Walking Dead to iZombie: Top 10 zombie comics explored

Sherlock Holmes, Rick Grimes, and a robot (Images via DC, Image, and IDW Comics)
Sherlock Holmes, Rick Grimes, and a robot (Images via DC, Image, and IDW Comics)
Brad Hill

There's no doubt that zombies are a big part of pop culture. The mythology has evolved over recent decades. The undead drones were always imagined as slow-moving, brain-eating creatures that decayed over time. While brain-eating remains a part of their mythos, slow-moving has seen some changes.

They continue to be a fan favorite topic to read. So much so that they've found their way into literary classics like Pride and Prejudice. When dealing with superpowers and aliens, it's only natural for a writer to gravitate toward the undead. As fans of the zombie genre, these 10 should be on your read list:


Best zombie comics to get your hands on

The Walking Dead

Rick Grimes fighting off a horde of the undead (Image via Skybound Entertainment)
Rick Grimes fighting off a horde of the undead (Image via Skybound Entertainment)

The first comic to check out is easily The Walking Dead. First published in 2003, it lasted for sixteen years with nearly two hundred issues and has seen critical success beyond the comic book pages. It was adapted into a television show that has seen multiple spin-offs.

Starring former sheriff Rick Grimes, the story follows a group of human survivors doing their best to stay alive in a world overrun by the undead. It's a deep dive that sheds light on the way people treat each other, even in the worst conditions. The characters are brought through exciting stories that even the most casual fan will love.


Victorian Undead

Watson and Holmes (Image via DC Comics)
Watson and Holmes (Image via DC Comics)

If a writer were to add a supernatural twist to any literary classic, why wouldn't it be Sherlock Holmes? Victorian Undead followed Holmes and Dr. Watson as they investigated cases with a supernatural edge. Readers immerse themselves in Sherlock Holmes's world and all the great characters like Inspector Lestrade and Moriarty.

Published in 2010 under DC's imprint Wildstorm, it was an enjoyable read because not only did it pit iconic literary characters against an undead horde, it put zombies in a time era they're not often seen. Victorian-era England was an intriguing time period because there were a lot of opportunities to play with technology and history. And the clothing styles were quite dapper.


Blackest Night

Hal Jordan (Image via DC Comics)
Hal Jordan (Image via DC Comics)

While not technically a zombie series, it was the undead Hal Jordan and the other Lanterns were battling. Blackest Night was the culmination of stories and the fulfillment of a Green Lantern prophecy. It saw the emergence of the Black Lantern Corps, which was comprised solely of deceased characters from the DC Universe.

It was a great read because it used the 'Blackest Night' phrase from the Green Lantern oath while fulfilling a prophecy mentioned at the end of the Sinestro War storyline. It is also a tie-in to an Alan Moore story from the '80s. There's always a sense of satisfaction fans receive when little details have a pay-off in their favorite comics.


Deadworld

Deadworld (Image via IDW Comics)
Deadworld (Image via IDW Comics)

A comic series that has been around a while is Deadworld. Considered by a lot to be the best zombie comic in existence, Dead World has had quite an apocalyptic publication history. It has gone from one publisher to another in its long lifespan. Since 1987, Deadworld has been published by Arrow Comics, Caliber Comics, Image Comics, IDW Publishing, and Transfusion Publishing.

The story is about a group of kids evading an army of walking dead to survive. These monsters slowly take over the world and offer the survivors a sense of urgency and dread. The undead army is led by one zombie known only as King Zombie. He is an intelligent flesh-eater capable of talking. Readers are shown how King Zombie rose to power through a series of one-shots.


Marvel Zombies

Zombie versions of Marvel heroes (Image via Marvel Comics)
Zombie versions of Marvel heroes (Image via Marvel Comics)

We're so used to seeing our favorite heroes overcome any obstacle they face. With great minds like Reed Richards and Stephen Strange, it would seem like avoiding infection would be possible. However, Robert Kirkman penned the darkest of universes with Marvel Zombies, which is the draw. Fans get to read a story where the heroes lose.

There are no winners in this story. Everyone from Captain America to Galactus succumbed to the virus. Eventually, when there's no more flesh to devour, the once greatest heroes try to find their way to other planets. They even go so far as to reach out to other universes. Don't skip over this series.


Revival

Em with a Glowing Man (Image via Image Comics)
Em with a Glowing Man (Image via Image Comics)

While not necessarily about zombies, it is a story about the dead returning to walk among the living. The intriguing aspect of Revival is that it's centered around a mystery. The reason for the dead returning. Most stories about the undead skirt around the reason they return, like in The Walking Dead, but Revival makes it its focus.

Revival follows a detective and a CDC doctor as they investigate the mystery behind people near a small, rural town in Wisconsin returning from the dead. Tensions rise between the CDC, civilians, and the military as more is discovered. There are creatures in the woods around the Wisconsin town that nobody knows what to make of. It's a story worthy of its television series.


DCeased

Superman fighting the undead(Image via DC Comics)
Superman fighting the undead(Image via DC Comics)

In the wake of Marvel Zombies, DC created their own dark universe titled DCeased. After the Justice League defeats Darkseid, he somehow manages to complete the anti-life equation and weaponize it, forcing anyone that sees it to become a mindless flesh-eating monster. The Justice League acts fast to contain the situation, but it quickly gets out of hand.

The success of the series led to multiple spin-offs and even a sequel. The story, artwork, and overall tone received praise from readers and have proven to be a wild success.


Night of the Living Dead

The Living Dead on a bridge (Image via Avatar Press)
The Living Dead on a bridge (Image via Avatar Press)

If you're an enthusiast for the walking dead, you're probably a fan of George Romero's film Night of the Living Dead. It's the movie that started it all. The comic series of the same name offers a look at the events leading up to the film. Written by the co-writer and co-creator of the film, this comic is a must-have for zombie fans.


Zombies vs. Robots

A robot fights a horde of flesh-eaters(Image via Image Comics)
A robot fights a horde of flesh-eaters(Image via Image Comics)

If you're in the market for something wild and ridiculous, then Zombies vs. Robots is for you. While the artwork by Ashley Wood alone makes the series worth the purchase, the dialogue is no slouch. The story is about robots that tried to save human civilization when an undead outbreak promised their collapse. Humanity is nearly wiped out, and it's up to the robots to take care of the walking dead.

The action sequences are well-executed, and the robots are given some hilarious lines. Human characters are often used as fodder, but when every other story is about them, it's nice to have something different, like robots being the protagonists.


iZombie

Gwen digging graves (Image via DC Comics)
Gwen digging graves (Image via DC Comics)

This title is set apart from many other properties because it brought its readers a new type of undead. The intelligent zombie. While they look a little different and require human brains to feed on, they retain the intelligence they had when they were alive. This is something not seen in previous living dead stories.

With this new concept came a new set of rules. It required the main character, Gwen Dylan, to ingest a human brain at least once a month to hold onto her memories. Along with the brain she consumed, Gwen would receive part of the deceased's thoughts. She had no shortage of brains since she was a gravedigger. When the comic was adapted for television, a lot of the plot was changed.


Edited by Suchitra

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