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Marvel Zombies 4 #2 interview with Fred Van Lente

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Released this past Wednesday from Marvel Comics, was the much anticipated Marvel Zombies 4 #2.

We spoke with writer, Fred Van Lente, about the second issue of Marvel Zombies 4: Midnight Sons, and what to expect in issue #3.

The Big Bad Wolf: There were no Man-Thing sightings in issue 2. With only two issues left of this series, will he appear in issue 3?

Fred Van Lente: The cover to #3 would be a pretty cheap tease if he didn't!

The Big Bad Wolf: What was it like writing The Night Shift?

Marvel Zombies Man-ThingFred Van Lente: I always loved the crazy original idea of The Night Shift, which I believe came from Mark Gruenwald -- The Shroud having organized them under the belief they were a villain team, but actually used them for good. Jack Russell/Werewolf was one of the original members -- I think the only thing linking the bunch was they were all West Coast-based.

Then, when I realized The Hood would be taking on the Midnight Sons, there were so many horror-themed members (and some of them, like Tatterdemalion, were originally Werewolf-by-Night villains) they seemed like the perfect choice.

The Big Bad Wolf: With that being said, did you have to do extra research to make sure you had their powers correct, etc?

Fred Van Lente: Sort of. Dennis "X Men Noir" Calero and I had worked on a Shroud pitch a while back, so I bought a bunch of back issues with the Night Shift in them. It didn't take long to amass their every appearance... So I was pretty familiar with them to begin with.

The Big Bad Wolf: Why were the Brothers Grimm not used in the Night Shift?

Fred Van Lente: Mostly because they're at the core of The Hood's team and are busy spreading that deadly Dark Reign in New Avengers. But also, they're "trick" and "gadget" based villains and I've never been a big fan of bad guys you can beat basically by taking away their utility belts.

The Big Bad Wolf: Morbius puts a shovel through Digger’s head. In a fantastic piece of writing, Digger responds to Morbius with “Stop! You’re killing me! Heh, Heh!” This response represents how twisted Digger can be. Can you talk a bit about that?

Fred Van Lente: It was fun to flip through my old reprints of "Tales from the Crypt" and the "Haunt of Fear" to get down a speech pattern for Digger, who started existence as an E.C.-style horror host.

The line was originally "Strop! You're killing me!" which is my all-time favorite E.C. tale -- Tales from the Crypt #33 (1952), for those of you who are counting. But everyone who read that within Marvel kept tripping over “strop,” thinking it was an error, a misspelling of “stop”, so Editorial – knowing how many readers actually read Tales from the Crypt back in 1953 -- thought it was best to keep it “stop” .

The Big Bad Wolf: As a fan, my favorite moment of issue two was when Morbius answered The Hood with “We are no heroes. We are…Monsters!” This almost seemed to help solidify Morbius as leader of this Midnight Sons team. Was that something that you were going for?

Fred Van Lente: Oh, yeah, most definitey.

The Big Bad Wolf: Kev Walker did an amazing job on the page where Morbius bites Dansen Macabre. What was your initial reaction when you saw that page?

Fred Van Lente: Kev even wrote me to thank me for putting in the script, because it's such an iconic horror image, and he and Jean-Francois really knocked that splash out of the park, I think.

The Big Bad Wolf: Zombie Deadpool bites one of Black Talon’s men and like a domino effect, the zombie plague spreads. As the zombies rush The Midnight Sons, Morbius shoots the vaccine at the zombies. Unfortunately for the team, this causes the zombie virus to mutate into an airborne virus, making it even more deadly. What can we expect from this virus in the next issue?

Fred Van Lente: To kill a lot of people. And potentially a lot of monsters.

The Big Bad Wolf: The book ends with The Dread Dormammu showing himself to a frightened Jennifer Kale. What can we expect from this in issue three?

Fred Van Lente: Nothing good, I'm afraid!

The Big Bad Wolf: When is issue three due out?

Fred Van Lente: June 27th…mark your calendars in blood, True Believers!

The Big Bad Wolf: Can you give us a spoiler of something that will happen in the third issue?

Fred Van Lente: The Hood and the Midnight Sons are not the only superhumans on the island...

The Big Bad Wolf: Thank you for your time, Fred! Looking forward to Marvel Zombies issue 3!

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Published on: 2009-05-11 (2352 reads)

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