Marvel Studios returned to the San Diego Comic-Con this year for the first time since 2019, bringing with them an arsenal of photos for fans to fawn over. Before taking over the Hall H panel on Saturday evening, Marvel conducted an early-morning panel on Friday, July 22 to provide exclusive details on all of their forthcoming animation projects, including the highly anticipated Disney+ series Marvel Zombies.
Marvel Studios head of streaming, television, and animation Brad Winderbaum joined Marvel Studios head of visual development Ryan Meinerding to headline the Ballroom 20 panel on Friday morning and into the afternoon ahead of the Marvel Hall H panel, giving convention-goers an exclusive first look at a handful of animation projects the studio has in the works. In addition to addressing the Disney+ relaunch of the 1992 X-Men: The Animated Series, X-Men ’97, What If…? Season 2 and other exciting ideas, the animation team provided participants with a first peek at the characters that will feature in the animated series.
Marvel Zombies will include zombie versions of Hawkeye, Captain America, Captain Marvel, Wanda Maximoff, and Okoye, and will be spearheaded by storyboard artist Bryan Andrews, who is renowned for his work on What If…?, Doctor Strange, and Avengers: Endgame. They will be up against the likes of heroines Yelena Belova, Kate Bishop, Red Guardian, Jimmy Woo, Death Dealer, Shang-Chi, and Kamala Khan.
The idea of flesh-eating zombies invading the Marvel Universe originally appeared in the MCU in 2021’s Disney+ animated series What If…?, which examined a variety of potential possibilities for our powerful superheroes. Though a zombie pandemic was not a wholly novel concept, the horror twist was never explored inside the film world until now.
In a virtual conference in 2021, What If…chief ?’s writer A.C. Bradley detailed the origins of the zombie concept, as well as proposing it to Marvel Studios president and producer Kevin Feige:
“Kevin startled us by saying, ‘No, you’re doing Marvel Zombies.’…we pulled directly from the comic for inspiration and real sequences since it’s so excellent, and less from the movies.”
The Marvel Zombies comics, authored by The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman, were initially released in 2005 and contained five limited edition issues. The notion that a virus traveled throughout an other reality, infecting even Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, came from a specific arc of the Ultimate Fantastic Four, in which zombie Reed Richards dupes his Ultimate counterpart into opening the threshold between their realms, allowing the virus to spread. Spoiler alert: Ultimate Richards rescues the day, but the highly anticipated Disney+ series may let viewers to witness what happens in that zombie reality, elaborating on the devastating What If…? episode.
View the first look photographs for Marvel Zombies and the What If…? zombie episode below. There is currently no release date for the series.