For the first time since 2019, Marvel Studios returned to the San Diego Comic-Con this year and brought with them an entire arsenal of images for fans to salivate over. Before commandeering the Hall H panel on Saturday evening, Marvel held a panel early on Friday July 22 to divulge exclusive information on all of their upcoming animation projects, including the long-anticipated Disney+ series Marvel Zombies.
On Friday morning and into the afternoon ahead of the Marvel Hall H panel, Marvel Studios head of streaming, television and animation Brad Winderbaum joined head of visual development Ryan Meinerding to headline the Ballroom 20 panel, giving convention-goers an exclusive first-look at a handful of animation projects the studio has in the works. Besides discussing their Disney+ revival of the 1992 X-Men: The Animated Series, X-Men ’97, What If…? Season 2 and other exciting plans, the animation team gave attendees a first look at the characters that will appear in the animated series.
Spearheaded by storyboard artist Bryan Andrews, who’s known for his work with What If…?, Doctor Strange and Avengers: Endgame, Marvel Zombies will feature zombie versions of Hawkeye, Captain America, Captain Marvel, Wanda Maximoff and Okoye. They will be facing off against heroes Yelena Belova, Kate Bishop, Red Guardian, Jimmy Woo, Death Dealer, Shang-Chi and Kamala Khan.
The concept of flesh-eating zombies devouring the Marvel Universe was first introduced to the MCU in 2021’s Disney+ animated series What If…?, which explored a number of alternate scenarios for our mighty superheroes. Though a plague of zombies was not an entirely original idea, the horror spin was never examined within the cinematic universe until now.
In 2021, What If…?‘s head writer A.C. Bradley discussed the birth of the idea for zombies, and pitching it to Marvel Studios president and producer Kevin Feige, in a virtual conference :
“Kevin surprised us by being like, “No, you’re doing Marvel Zombies.” …we drew directly from the comic for inspiration and for actual pieces of scenes because it is so good, and less from the movies.”
The Marvel Zombies comics were first published in 2005, written by The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman, and included five limited time issues. The idea – that a virus swept across an alternate universe, infecting even Earth’s Mightiest Heroes – stemmed from a particular arc of the Ultimate Fantastic Four in which zombie Reed Richards deceives his Ultimate counterpart into opening the threshold between their universes, thus unleashing the virus. Spoilers, Ultimate Richards saves the day, but with the highly-anticipated Disney+ series fans may get to see what happens in that zombie universe, expanding on the heartbreaking What If…? episode.
Check out the first look images for Marvel Zombies and take a look at the What If…? zombie episode below. There is currently no release date for the series.