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The History of Zombie Comics: The Rise of The Undead

The History of Zombie Comics: The Rise of The Undead

Zombies have become a ubiquitous part of popular culture, and zombie comics are no exception. From their origins in horror films to their rise in mainstream media, the undead have become a beloved staple of storytelling. In this article, we will explore the history of zombie comics, from their humble beginnings to their modern-day iterations. Join us on a journey through the rise of the undead and discover how these stories have captured the imagination of audiences for decades.

History of Zombie

The History of Zombie Comics: The Rise of The Undead
The History of Zombie Comics: The Rise of The Undead

Zombies, mythical undead beings created through the reanimation of corpses, are most commonly associated with the horror and fantasy genres. The term “zombie” derives from Haitian folklore, in which a dead body is revived through magic, specifically voodoo. Although modern depictions of zombies often involve science-fictional explanations such as carriers, fungi, radiation, and pathogens, the concept of the voodoo zombie was first exposed to Western culture in W.B. Seabrook’s The Magic Island in 1929. The modern interpretation of zombies as flesh-eating creatures is largely drawn from George A. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead (1968). This film inspired a wave of zombie films in the 1970s and 1980s, but the genre waned until its resurgence in the late 1990s with the video games Resident Evil and The House of the Dead. Since then, the zombie apocalypse concept has become a staple of modern popular art, with zombies increasingly being humanized and romanticized. The human-zombie romantic relationship is often interpreted as a metaphor for sexual liberation and taboo breaking, given that zombies are subject to wild desires and free from social conventions.

The Rise and Emergence of Zombies in the Pop Culture

The Rise and Emergence of Zombies in the Pop Culture
The Rise and Emergence of Zombies in the Pop Culture

The emergence of zombies in pop culture can be traced back to their origins in Haitian folklore. However, it was the 1968 film “Night of the Living Dead” by George A. Romero that established the modern-day interpretation of zombies as flesh-eating undead creatures. This film inspired a wave of zombie films in the 1970s and 1980s, but the genre waned until its resurgence in the late 1990s with the video games Resident Evil and The House of the Dead. This led to a new wave of popular Western zombie films, including fast-running zombies, which became a staple of modern popular art, such as “28 Days Later” and “Shaun of the Dead”. More recently, the zombie archetype has been humanized and romanticized in pop culture, often serving as a metaphor for social issues and sexual liberation. Overall, zombies have become a cultural phenomenon, with their presence in media and entertainment continuing to grow in popularity.

The Walking Dead

The History of Zombie Comics - The Walking Dead
The History of Zombie Comics – The Walking Dead

“The Walking Dead” comics, created by Robert Kirkman and Tony Moore and later adapted into a hit TV series, have had a significant impact and influence on the zombie genre. The comics, first published in 2003, took a character-driven approach to the genre, focusing on the human stories and struggles in the midst of a zombie apocalypse. This approach was unique and set the comics apart from the more action-oriented and horror-driven zombie stories that had previously dominated the genre.

It also popularized the idea of long-form storytelling in the zombie genre, allowing for deeper character development and more complex story arcs. The series has been praised for its compelling writing and for exploring themes such as morality, grief, and survival in a post-apocalyptic world.

The success of “The Walking Dead” comics has influenced other zombie media, with many creators taking inspiration from the series’ approach to storytelling and its emphasis on character development. The TV series adaptation, in particular, has been a huge success, becoming one of the most-watched cable shows in history.

Marvel Zombies

Marvel Zombies
Marvel Zombies

The Marvel Zombies comics had a significant impact on the zombie genre, particularly in the world of comic books. The series, which debuted in 2005, depicted popular Marvel superheroes infected with a virus that turned them into flesh-eating zombies. The storyline and artwork by Robert Kirkman and Sean Phillips were well-received, and the comics quickly gained a cult following.

One of the unique aspects of Marvel Zombies was the use of familiar characters from the Marvel Universe as zombies, which added a fresh twist to the zombie genre. The series also incorporated humor and satire, which was a departure from the typically serious and gruesome tone of most zombie works.

Marvel Zombies had a significant influence on subsequent zombie media. Its popularity led to the creation of a number of spin-off comics, including Marvel Zombies vs. The Army of Darkness, and even an alternate universe in the Marvel Comics continuity. The series also inspired a line of action figures and merchandise.

Overall, Marvel Zombies expanded the scope and appeal of the zombie genre by introducing new and creative elements that attracted a wider audience beyond just horror fans. Its impact on the genre can still be felt today in various media, and it remains a beloved and influential work among zombie enthusiasts.

iZombie

The History of Zombie Comics - iZombie
The History of Zombie Comics – iZombie

The “iZombie” comics series, created by Chris Roberson and Michael Allred, had a significant impact on the zombie genre in several ways. The series introduced a unique take on zombies, with its main character, a zombie named Gwen, able to maintain her intelligence and personality by consuming the brains of the recently deceased. This added a new level of complexity and depth to the typical zombie trope, expanding the possibilities of storytelling within the genre.

“iZombie” incorporated elements of detective fiction, giving the series a more focused plot and allowing for greater exploration of its characters and world. This approach was later adopted by other zombie-themed media, including the popular TV series “iZombie”, which was adapted from the comic.

The series also contributed to the trend of humanizing and romanticizing zombies in pop culture, with Gwen and other zombies portrayed as sympathetic and likable characters. This idea of zombies as misunderstood and oppressed groups struggling for equality has become a common theme in modern zombie media.

DCeased

DCeased
DCeased

“DCeased” is a comic book series published by DC Comics that explores a zombie apocalypse in the DC Universe. The series was created by Tom Taylor and released in 2019, and has since gained popularity among fans and critics alike.

One of the most significant impacts of “DCeased” in the zombie genre is its unique take on the classic zombie trope. By introducing zombies in the DC Universe, the series not only allows for established DC characters to become infected, but it also allows for unique storylines to be developed around these characters.

It (DCeased) has been praised for its emotional depth, with many readers connecting with the series’ exploration of loss and grief in the midst of a zombie apocalypse. The series also features stunning artwork that captures the horror and chaos of a world overrun by the undead.

It can be said that DCeased has left a notable impact on the zombie genre in the comic book world. Its success has also led to the release of several spin-offs and tie-ins, further expanding the world and exploring different aspects of the zombie apocalypse.

Also Read: List of Valentine’s Day Characters From Comics For A Perfect Date

Soham Singh

Writer/traveler & observer ~ Will is the way forward.....never stop experimenting & trying! Encyclopedia of Human Errors & Emotions

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