The 'Marvel Zombies' Comic Books Could Clue Us Into Our Heroes' Fates in 'What If...?'

Jamie Lerner - Author

Sep. 9 2021, Published 6:39 p.m. ET

Marvel Zombies comic books
Source: Marvel

The Marvel Zombies comic book series was created by Robert Kirkman (co-creator of The Walking Dead) and Sean Phillips. Though others took over with their own storylines, the main plot is in Marvel Zombies, Marvel Zombies 2, and Marvel Zombies Return. There are 15 main comics tied to the Marvel zombies. But how do they end?

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When it comes to zombies, we never want to cross paths with them unless … they are Marvel Zombies. Marvel’s What If…? Episode 5 takes a jab at retelling the Marvel Zombies comic book series.

So when the ending of Episode 5 is completely ambiguous, leaving us with the image of Zombie Thanos and the infinity gauntlet minus the mind stone, we need to know if the end of the Marvel Zombies comic book series could give us any answers.

Marvel Zombies
Source: Marvel
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To understand the end of the main ‘Marvel Zombies’ series, we need to understand the beginning.

Unlike in What If…?, the inception of the zombie virus in comic books is unknown. However, what we do know is that it comes from an alternate Earth: Earth-2149.

One thing about Marvel timelines, which existed even before Loki cracked open the multiverse, is that to denote different universes, each Earth gets its own number. For example, the MCU takes place on Earth-199999, but the Marvel comics exist on Earth-616.

Zombie Fantastic Four
Source: Marvel
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This is important because the Marvel zombies first appear when a zombified Reed Richards from a zombified Earth-2149 tries to get the Earth-616 Fantastic Four over to his universe to feed on them. Luckily for the Fantastic Four, they don’t fall for the bait, but now we know an entire universe of zombies exists, which is what the Marvel Zombies series jumps off of.

Uatu the Watcher interferes at the end of the ‘Marvel Zombies’ comics.

If we’re basing how Marvel Zombies ends off the plot of Marvel Zombies through to Marvel Zombies Return, then Uatu the Watcher plays a major role. We know in What If…?, Uatu claims only to watch and not interfere, but in the comic books, he actually chooses to interfere in our world against his species' rules.

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Watcher Zombie Comics
Source: Marvel

After seeing zombies ravage Earth-2149 and attempt to branch into other universes to find more uninfected flesh to feed upon, the Watcher realizes something must be done. When a few Zombie heroes teleport to a universe similar to Earth-616 called Earth-Z, the two groups of Zombie Avengers ultimately battle each other.

One group, led by Zombie Spider-Man, wants to end the plague, and the other, led by Zombie Sentry, wants to spread the plague to all the universes.

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The Watcher 'What If...?'
Source: Marvel

The Watcher sees the danger in this — not only could it end one universe, but it could end the multiverse as well.

So the Watcher sends the zombified Sentry back in time to when the infection begins on Earth-2149. This creates an infinite time loop contained in the two universes in which they devour themselves. Not a bad idea, Watcher, not bad at all.

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The end of the ‘Marvel Zombies’ comics could hint at the end of the storyline in ‘What If…?’

Although Zombie Thanos is the cliffhanger we’re left with in “What If...Zombies?”, he doesn’t have much to do with the end of the Marvel Zombies comics. But, Thanos does exist in the Marvel Zombies! In the comics, Thanos actually tries to reverse the infection with the Cosmic Cube. Could he be using the infinity gauntlet for the same purpose?

Zombie Thanos
Source: Marvel

On the other hand, Zombie Thanos may be similar to Sentry, a character we haven’t met yet in the MCU. This makes sense since Peter Parker definitely wants to end the virus, and Thanos would make a perfect adversary. Is this what makes the Watcher interfere?

“What If... Zombies?” is now available to stream on Disney Plus.

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