Simon Garth was a wealthy businessman and a very prominent man in the public eye. He was however also known to be excessively cruel to his employees. On one such day, Simon was criticizing his gardener Gyps along with his shears and later verbally and physically harmed him after the man caught a peek at his daughter Donna Garth skinny-dipping. He fired Gyps on the spot. Filled with rage, Gyps ambushed Simon Garth that night, drugged him and send him off to the swamp to be sacrificed by the Red Sect in a Voodoo ritual.
However, the leader of the ritual was Layla, Simon's secretary who had also fallen in love with him. She was able to free him, but he was later caught by Gyps who killed him with the very shears he had wielded in Simon's employ. He then threatened to kill Layla until she resurrected him as a zombie. Layla did so and Simon awoke from the dead. Simon promptly went on a killing frenzy until one of the cultists threw the the Amulet of Damballah around his neck which allowed Gyps to control him, since he had the other part of the amulet. Whomever now wore the Amulet, was able to control the Zombie.
The Zombie differs from his undead kin in that his soul still inhabits his body. As a result, he is fully aware of his actions and surroundings. He is impervious to pain and does not need to eat, sleep, or breathe.
The Zombie was created by Stan Lee and Bill Everett and first appeared in Menace issue 5 (july 1953) making him one of the earliest creations of Marvel Comics to still be around.
Major Story Arcs
Freedom for the Zombie
Zombie who had been bound to the command of the owner of the Amulet of Damballah, was released from his undeath by Layla and Papa Doc Kabel. Both of which had continuously helped him throughout his "life". At one time the two had granted him 24 hours in his human form to attend the wedding of his daughter Donna Garth. Together the two used their powers to lay Zombie to his final rest.
Meeting Spider-man and Lilith
However, Simon's rest was not for long. Lilith, the daughter of Dracula, came into possesion of the second Amulet that could control the Zombie. She brought him out of his eternal slumber in hope of him doing her biddings for him. However with the help of Spider-Man and vampire detective Hannibal king, the second Amulet was taken from Lilith once more and the Zombie was out of her influance. The Amulet was then given to Simon Garth's daughter, Donna Garth. She took control over her dead father's body and brought him back to New Orleans where her home was.
When Donna had returned with her undead father to New Orleans, she used her father to avenge the death of one of her best friends and classmates whom was the victim of a Voodoo doctor. This Voodoo doctor had slipped her classmate a leathal potion witch had turned her into a zombie too. Simon Garth broke trough the walls of the house that harbored the Voodoo doctor and almost instantly killed him. Donna vowed, with the help of her undead father, to stop every walking dead from that moment on, but she has not been seen again from that point on.
Marvel Zombies 4
Simon Garth was recently kept contained by A.R.M.O.R.. When the zombies attacked the lab, Garth escaped his cell but got attacked by the zombie Captain American but Garth didn't taste good to him. Garth then found the severed moving head of zombie Deadpool and took him and escaped threw A.R.M.O.R.s portal generator. They ended up in the Atlantic Ocean and were attacked by the Men-Fish but they faught them off and turned them into zombies which made the Men-Fish attack a cruise liner.
From that point on, Simon Garth and Deadpool have formed a tight friendship. Garth and Deadpool then arrived on an Island in control of Black Talon. It turns out that Garth does have the ability to talk only to Black Talon because Talon is a Bokor. Garth and Deadpool are later locked up in Black Talon's dungeon. Deadpool later breaks him and Simon out of the dungeon and go out in the open town of Taino. They then walk into the zombie storm cloud and witness the fight between Man-Thing and the super zombie. During this time he starts feeling sorry for zombie Deadpool's desire for freedom failing. Later on he enters Black Talon's plantation where the Midnight Sons are carrying a burnt Deadpool mask. Jennifer Kale then transfers the zombie virus in the body of Simon and now has the virus trapped in his body. He is now contained back at the HALLOW.
Zombie is super-humanly powerful, however he can still sustain physical damage as any other person however, he can magically regenerate from these injuries if given time. He, however, does not have any control over what he does. Whoever holds the duplicate Amulet of Damballah can control Zombie without reserve. Being dead, Zombie has no need to eat, sleep or breath.
This version of Simon is that of an unlucky assistant manager of a bank. Two burglars: Shorty and Gyp kill every one in the bank excluding Simon and and his co-worker Layla. He is forced by Gyp to fill bags with money but Simon secretly plants paint bombs in the money bags which would make the money useless if someone opened the bag. A police car is seen and both thieves start to worry so they take the two hostages in their car and flee. As they are on the road they see roadblocks, men in bio-hazard suits and zombies eating people. They discover whats going on after hearing to the radio speaking about a toxic spill. Their car is damaged after a zombie attack and Layla dies, Garth starts to mourn about all the chaos around him and is forced by Gyp to go follow them to a rest stop. At the rest stop the thieves find their dead accomplice and are knocked unconscious by a soldier named Hanifan and Angie . Garth explains what happened and they lock both thieves in a refrigerator.
Hanifan tells Garth the zombie origin and that he was part of an Army caravan delivering supplies to Fort Drum when his jeep broke down. He and another soldier named Devito saw a car accident were chemical barrels from an overturned Army truck were leaking airborne gas. Hanifan and Devito tried to find survivors and found Dr. Collins extracting blood from a dead soldier. Devito is then bitten in the throat by their zombified sergeant as more soldiers were turning zombies. Hanifan and Dr. Collins fled, leaving Devito to be devoured, as they fought their way to the rest stop where they found Angie.
After arriving at the rest stop, Dr. Collins has shut himself inside the manager's office and has managed to call for help. Garth sees to Collins in the office and questions him as to why he is dissociating from the rest of the survivors. Suddenly, the office's window is crash in by what appears to be a zombie. But the intruder reveals he is alive, identifying himself as Bristol, and was running from the zombies. The said zombies follows him to the office. The survivors quickly held off the zombies and retreat out of the office and barricade it. Then realizing that the door won't hold them, they plan to take shelter in the lobby and drop the restaurant's gate to seal themselves from the zombies. Dr. Collins then tells that Hanifan is a liability and needs to be quarantine as he is clearly infected from exhuming the chemicals previously on the highway. Garth is reluctant to divide Hanifan from the group, but Hanifan accepts that Collins is right and his health is becoming worse. Hanifan has himself isolated in a arcade room with a metal door for everyone's safety and gives his weapons and key to the cooler to Garth.
Noticing he has the key, Angie convinces Garth to release Gyp and Shorty as she refuses to see the robbers being sealed off from the lobby. There is a brief tensity between Garth and Gyp before the zombies finally breaks through the door. The group holds up inside the lobby, but Gyp is bitten in the shoulder by a zombie in the struggle as the gate closes. Shorty grabs a gun in the chaos, and realizing Gyp is infected and would eventually turn into a zombie, makes his decision to kill his partner. But he is shot and killed by Angie, who reveals that she is Gyp's girlfriend.
Garth and Bristol are guarded by Angie as Gyp searches for Dr. Collins, who has hidden himself in the women's bathroom. Dr. Collins is calling his superiors that he is needed to be rescue before being breaking off. Gyp then finds Collins and knows he has knowledge on the zombies and demands to know if he (Gyp) is infected. Collins digest to Gyp that he was a part of the Army Animal Research and Vivisection Division at Fort Drum and had been working with his colleagues on a serum that would help keep soldiers active after extensive trauma. Instead, they created the infection that turns people to zombies during the first field test. His division was later researching on the serum's transfer from biting to contagion when the program was terminated. Collins and the Army were transporting the load of the serum to be buried when the accident occurred and causing the outbreak. He hasn't any idea if Gyp is infected, but assure that help from the Army is arriving. He also note the fact that the Army is short on manpower as some of the zombies had broken out of the quarantine zone. This made Gyp to realize that there is limited help coming to him and the others.
Gyp returns with Collins to the survivors and and devise an escape plan out of the quarantine. He decide that the only escape is taking the escape van that was belonged to Henry and acquiring the keys from his corpse by bluntly having Bristol to act as bait and a distraction to the zombies; however, Garth objects and volunteers in Bristol's place as Bristol overweight physique is a liability to be swarm down by the zombies. Gyp is adamantly reluctant to lose him over defusing the paint bombs in the money bags but consented. Garth is to sneak out back of the rest stop through the basement and climb onto an old water tower where he can gain the zombies' notice and distract them. Garth agrees to this plan but needs collateral in the form of some of the money bags to ensure that Gyp and Angie wouldn't leave the others behind.
As Garth sneaks back out of the rest stop, he is confronted by a zombie Layla. He stands hesitated in which he is bitten by her. He pushes Layla away and climbs the water tower as the zombies had gained their attentions on Garth. Gyp, Angie, Bristol, and Collins breaks out of the rest stop and fighting their way to the van. Bristol saves Collins from a zombie, but is then surrounded and devoured. Gyp and Angie seize the keys and drives the van as Collins flees from the scene. Gyp and Angie drives to where Garth is and informing him that the others are gone. Garth refuses to give the money to him and chose to stay on the tower. As the zombies swarms over the van, Angie panics and drives out of the zombie crowd with the money and abandoning Gyp on the water tower in the process. With nothing to gain and surrounded by zombies, Garth and Gyp fights each other until a group of Army men arrive and guns down the remaining zombies and demanding Garth and Gyp to surrender. The two climbs down the tower where they are held at gunpoint and are demanded to know where Dr. Collins' whereabouts or be killed.
Garth and Gyp are demanded into revealing Dr. Collins' whereabouts or be killed by the Army men who had come to supposedly save them. Despite not knowing where Collins is, Garth lies to them. One of the soldiers, Private Olsen tells his commander Sergeant White that they don't have time as the rest of the Army are entering the quarantine zone, which Garth realize that they are not the rescue team. Garth tells them Collins is inside the rest stop and guides them with Gyp inside.
Garth directs the soldiers that Collins is hidden inside the arcade in which Gyp states that the doctor was hiding for his own good. Sergeant White has Olson to look for Collins and has himself and Private Locke to guard Garth and Gyp. It is then revealed that the soldiers are looking for Collins' possession of his vial containing the serum to the infection and plans to sell it. Garth then decide to trick the soldiers into being bought off from the money bags without their knowledge on the paint bombs. His plans worked and Garth attempts to wrestle White but is quickly subdue and prepares to be shot. However, White is stop from shooting Garth and Gyp as everyone hears Olson's scream. A now undead Hanifan emerges out of the arcade with a piece of Olsen's arm. Locke tries to kill Hanifan, but he and Hanifan are killed in the struggle by White. Garth quickly wrestles over White and is then shot in the stomach. Gyp grabs an assault riffle and knocks down White before killing him. He then focus on thinking a way to kill Garth for his troubles, but Garth picks up a pistol and enters into a standoff with Gyp. The criminal backs away from Garth and is pointed out by him that the money are useless with the paint bombs inside them. Before leaving Garth, Gyp scold him that he and himself are also at their losses in which Garth accept his fate.
Gyp then finds Dr. Collins at the soldiers' vehicles and demands in giving him the vial that is valuable to be sold. He then notice how bad his infection has progressed from looking his reflection. As Collins tries to explain another way to counteract Gyp's infection, he learns that there is no cure for him and in response stabs the vial into one of Collins' eye. Gyp succumbs to his infection and begins to eat an agonizing Collins.
Miles away, Angie's van breaks down and is surrounded by zombies. She tries to remain quiet but opens the money bag and causing the paint bomb to explode, alerting the zombies who then swarms the van.
Back at the rest stop, the Army had finally arrive and find everyone inside dead. They then notice the arcade room is sealed off and opens it, finding a still alive Garth. Realizing he is been bit, Garth is carried on a stretcher and sees the undead corpse of Layla being burn on a bonfire with the other zombies. He is taken to a helicopter and overseen by a Dr. Barnes, who tells Garth that the infection has been self-contained as the zombies seem to have expired themselves into dried husks after 12 hours. Dr. Barnes then takes a sample of Garth's blood and contact his superior that Garth contains the infection that is needed to continues Dr. Collins' work, as the present outbreak has convinced the military to return to their research on the serum.
In Other Media
- Bowen Designs created a Zombie statue.
- The Zombie was part of a Marvel Legends box set from ToyBiz, which also included Werewolf by Night, Dracula and Frankenstein.
- Zombie appeared in the HeroClix figure game.