The Daddy of the Dead, George Romero, will be bringing his epic comic book story, EMPIRE OF THE DEAD, to television. We haven’t seen the Uncle of the Undead since he wrote-directed 2009s SURVIVAL OF THE DEAD, to mixed reviews, but since then has created and written the Marvel comic book, EMPIRE OF THE DEAD. This is a fifteen-issue miniseries that began in 2014. In May 2015, it was announced at Cannes that the production company Demarest, the company that backed Kevin Smith’s TUSK, was developing the comic book in to a TV series. The series will be written by Romero and long time collaborator, Peter Grunwald, and Romero will also executive produce.
EMPIRE OF THE DEAD is set in New York City years after a zombie plague has nearly wiped out the human population. Now the vampires are poised to claim what’s left of Earth. I’m liking that Romero branched out and left his comfort zone by including vampires. This one should be interesting.
Back in October of this year it broke that the Godfather of Zombies, George Romero, would be taking his vision of zombies conquering New York City to the realm of comic books. Now with the help of Marvel Comics and artist Alex Maleev, Romero is telling his latest instalment in his zombie universe, EMPIRE OF THE DEAD, in a fifteen-issue limited series that has New York City infested, not only with zombies, but with vampires as well. Yeah … read that last part over again. Check out the press release below as well as some panels from the upcoming first issue:
When the dead fight the dead – where does that leave the living? Marvel is pleased to present your very first look at Empire of the Dead #1 – from zombie godfather and horror visionary George Romero and Eisner Award winning artist Alex Maleev!
Welcome to New York City years after a horrifying plague has swept the nation. The Big Apple is a quarantine zone – but that doesn’t guarantee safety inside! Flesh-eating zombies roam within the remains of Manhattan – and they are not alone. Vampires lurk in the shadows as well, feasting on the living and the undead alike – and no one is safe!
“Like a surgeon, George Romero is once again using the horror genre as a scalpel, cutting through the surface of everyday life to expose society’s undercurrents,” said editor Bill Rosemann. “One could say that the vampires are the Haves and the zombies are the Have-Nots. And us poor humans? We’re the ones getting caught in the crossfire of their escalating war. It’s a violent clash indeed, and Alex Maleev is bringing this undead battle to horrifying – but beautiful – life!”
What happens when the undead invade the city that never sleeps? Find out when Empire of the Dead #1 shambles into a comic shop near you this January!
GEORGE A. ROMERO EMPIRE OF THE DEAD #1 (NOV130635) Written by GEORGE A. ROMERO Art by ALEX MALEEV Cover by ALEX MALEEV Variant Cover by ARTHUR SUYDAM
I’m really excited to see Romero’s take on vampires and how flesh-eaters and blood-suckers are gonna occupy the same areas. I’m hoping for a three-way battle between zombies, vampires, and humans. Bring it on, George!!
Issue #1 in the 5-issue series is slated for a January 2014 release. Are you looking forward to this? What do you think of the addition of vampires into Romero’s zombie universe?
It was a matter of time before Romero’s zombies hit the Big Apple. They started off on a small farm in Rural Pennsylvania, then invaded the Monroeville Mall (also in Pennsylvania), and then made their way to the Florida Everglades. Now he’s coming to New York City in a 15-issues miniseries from Marvel comics titled, EMPIRE OF THE DEAD … debuting in January 2014!! Why comic book form, you may ask. SImple:
“I could never afford to shoot [in NYC],” Romero, 73, says with a laugh.
Pretty practical!! What can we expect from EMPIRE OF THE DEAD?
It’s still the major metropolis everybody knows but a few years into its zombie apocalypse. Some things have reverted to a prior state — there are sheep grazing in Central Park’s Sheep Meadow. Yet there are strong social and political elements: The mayor is one of the main characters and a female member of the living dead starts to show some real smarts.
So it looks as though Romero is going to further explore the idea of intelligent zombies that he began in 1985 with Bub in DAY OF THE DEAD and explored a little more in 2005s LAND OF THE DEAD with the zombie character, Big Daddy. I’ve said many times before that I’m really not a fan of the “intelligent zombie” in Romero’s world. I didn’t mind Bub mainly because that was something different. But the idea that zombies can be civilized and taught to behave and live side by side with uninfected humans just doesn’t do anything for me (obviously this could have huge social and political themes for Romero). Romero also promises that there there will be a big twist in EMPIRE OF THE DEAD that will reverberate throughout all his zombie films. I’m thinking we’re finally gonna get the cause and origin of the zombie virus/outbreak.
Romero originally wrote a 300 page EMPIRE OF THE DEAD script but soon realized that no studio would finance the large budget that’d be required to film it, so he brought the idea to Marvel. Marvel jumped on it. According to USAtoday.com, one of the main themes in the miniseries will be, could zombies coexist with humans if the undead became more intelligent?
“These zombies are starting to show sparks of real care and concern for each other,” Romero says. “I’m not going to go all the way to Omega Man where they take over the world, but I’m having a lot of fun with it. We’ve got some new rules and new characters, and we’re taking it in a completely different direction.”
“It’s basically Chicago or Detroit. The city isn’t destroyed, but it’s just running on its engine, corrupt and no holds barred. It’s a little bit like the Old West,” says Romero, a lifelong fan of comics.
“That’s what I’m talking about now. There’s hardly any morality anywhere, except of course for our heroes.”
I’m definitely excited to see where Romero takes this story considering he doesn’t have the constraints of budgets. What do you think? Are you into seeing where the man who single-handedly created the zombie genre takes it?
Yup you read that correctly. George Romero is writing a comic book for Marvel. Way back in October 2012 Twitch reported that zombie extraordinaire George Romero would be writing a new comic property for Marvel. After too many months of silence a teaser has finally dropped for the project. And by “teaser” they definitely mean TEASER!! Here’s what was revealed last October:
“I’m writing a comic for Marvel. I’m writing it now, but its plot is a secret … I can tell you it won’t involve any of their on-going characters, there will be no superheroes. But it will involve zombies!”
And here’s the teaser:
It’s definitely not much, but I’m excited nonetheless. What about you?