For comic book fans, Marvel's upcoming Secret Wars event is huge. While DC readers may be used to big, continuity-changing Crisis events, Marvel readers aren't quite as accustomed. In fact, Marvel's reality-spanning events are typically limited to one-off series or B-list heroes - mostly so that the big names like Spider-Man and the X-Men maintain the status quo.
That all changes with Secret Wars - both the mainstream Marvel Universe and the Ultimate Comics universe are ending, and Battleworld is where it all goes down. The planet has been carved up into sections where major factions from multiple universes will all vie for control.
Out of all the different factions, the most outlandish one could also be its most interesting: the robotic armies of Ultron are locked in a war with the undead Marvel Zombies. It's ridiculous, it's over-the-top...and now, it's an ongoing series.
Age of Ultron vs. Marvel Zombies writer James Robinson and artist Steve Pugh announced the series earlier today (via Entertainment Weekly), and while the concept alone is pretty amazing, it's more complex than one might think. The hellscape that the story takes place in serves as a prison for the entire planet, and prisoners are stuck in the middle of a war between Ultron and the ravenous Marvel zombies horde.
Marvel editor Mark Paniccia explains the warzone as one of the worst punishments imaginable:
"Getting sent to this No Man's Land means you've done something wrong in Battleworld...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."
While the mystery character has yet to be revealed, Marvel has confirmed that The Vision, Wonder Man and Jim Hammond (the original Human Torch android, not the Fantastic Four member) will all be locked inside. It's obviously not going to be a fun ride, either, as Robinson explains that the androids and zombies don't exactly get along:
"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...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."
There's no telling how long the series will run, or whether or not it will continue after Secret Wars has ended. The first issue will go on sale later this year alongside the event, but until Marvel releases a statement, we don't know how long the war between Ultron and the Zombies will last.
Age of Ultron vs. Marvel Zombies #1 goes on sale June 3.