Search Results for: Murderworld

Talking Murderworld on

Ray Fawkes and I spoke to Ben Morse at all about the winding road to developing, pitching and finally releasing our twisted Marvel Murderworld story. Check it out!

Murderworld: Spider-Man #1 Reviews

Part 2 of our Murderworld story arrived this week in comic shops to wrap up 2022.
What did reviewers think of it?

Biff Bam Pop!: “Zub and Fawkes have an uncanny ability to make you quickly care about the new characters they’re introducing, a skill not every writer can lay claim to.”

But Why Tho: “Whilst the barbarism remains and the creators seem to delight in murder, there are other elements being introduced that twist the horror of the book. As the group has been thinned, the games have started to come into effects that are more terrifying than the straight slaughter. It’s constantly energetic, and with the rest of the Marvel Universe starting to get involved, the potential for disaster has escalated. “

Caped Joel: 8/10 “This is definitely unlike anything else I’ve read this year. Just a fun story with a good premise, interesting characters, and high stakes.”

Comic Book Club: “I had a very fun time reading this and it works really well…A lot of great twists in here too.”

Comic Book Resources: “Karami’s style really shines in his characters’ expressions, which are incredibly animated and emotive. He uses hatching and texture to tease out subtle nuance and make bold statements. His character design is very dynamic and well-considered, which comes to fruition in the brilliant final full-page spread.”

Comic Book University: “Holy crap, this is really good…I don’t think I’ve ever seen this in the Big Two before, where heroes are cast aside, where the main villains aren’t the main thing…I’m reading this comic book and I’m entranced.”

Comic Watch: 9.2/10 “…another fun and funny romp that highlights how gloriously insane Arcade is when he gets to actually do what he always wants to do: kill people in complicated and entertaining ways. Zub and Fawkes are doing an outstanding job telling this story, and the art teams haven’t missed yet.”

Monkeys Fighting Robots: 8/10 “…a fun and entertaining issue. Jim Zub and Ray Fawkes continue to make this series an enjoyable one. No one knows what will happen next, and that’s the most exciting thing about this book.”

One More Comic (Spanish): 10/10 “One of the most daring, intelligent and visually creative series that can be read right now…a chilling and amazing chapter.”

Spider Cents: “Murderworld is a new series that came out of nowhere. It’s easily one of my surprise hits of 2022 and God I’d give anything for an MCU adaption using the actual actors as the LMDs.”

Spider-Man Crawlspace: “…the art team does an excellent job in portraying a large portion of the different wall-crawlers from all sorts of universes.”

Theron Reads Comics: “The big success of Murderworld: Spider-Man is in how it delivers another fantastic spectacle for Arcade fans. The homicidal redhead is only on panel a few times in this issue, but he has no shortage of quippy, pointed, and mocking dialogue on voiceover to the contestants.”

Too Dangerous For a Girl: “…artist Farid Karami produces interesting compositions throughout, always in the service of the story. And the final image is a superb quiet cliffhanger, a tsunami of side-eye. I don’t know Karami at all, but I hope we see lots more from him.”

We Have Issues: “That’s the coolest thing about this book. Arcade’s the main character and everyone else could die at any moment.”

Murderworld: Avengers Reviews

What did reviewers think of the opening salvo of our Murderworld story? Read on and find out…

AIPT: 8/10 “If you were ever interested in Arcade’s awful game and how it functions, give Murderworld: Avengers a shot. You’ll respect the story and its done-in-one arc, even if it’s dark and tragic.”

AR Comics:“This first issue had no business being this good…This was so much better than I thought this was going to be…An action-packed awesome first issue.”

Blerd Without Fear:“I like the fact that Jim Zub was able to come with a way to take the Squid Game formula and upgrade it in a very Marvel way. I think it’s really cool.”

But Why Tho: 9/10 “Murderworld: Avengers is a surprising, unrelenting killing spree. It is jaw-dropping in its bravery, unleashing death on a devastating scale on ordinary people. The slow pace sucks you in before displaying the carnage in front of you.”

Caped Joel: 9/10 “I love how topical it is, bringing in some of the best elements of Fortnite, Squid Game, and everything else in the big Battle Royale trend that we seem to be riding right now. I love its critiquing of internet and YouTube culture, and I appreciate it even more because, well, I am a YouTuber and content creator so this stuff was always going to strike a chord with me.”

Chillmonger: “I recommend getting this comic just so you can go on the ride!”

Comic 8/10 “Murderworld: Avengers #1 winds up being one of the most pleasant surprises of the week in comics, and I look forward to seeing where this particular tale goes from here.”

Comic Book Club: “The reason why they make it work is – Arcade is a fun character, Murderworld is fun, the twist they find by the end there is fun and, as usual, it’s well executed.”

Comic Book Corner: “This is a great, great book. Anything that has Murderworld attached to it for the next few months, you’re going to want to check it out…Go to your shop. Pick it up. It’s absolutely phenomenal.”

Comic Book Resources: “…the storytelling pivots in a surprising direction just when the reader presumes the outcome is a foregone conclusion. In fact, Murderworld: Avengers pulls out all the shocks and stops and lives up to its nefarious name, as it delivers more jaw-dropping moments than Squid Game.”

Comic Book University: “This was a really good story. Can’t wait to see what happens next. The art was fantastic. I really loved this first issue.”

Comic-Watch: 8.5/10 “The enjoyment here is found in watching contestants drop like flies in wonderfully violent ways and getting caught up in how Paul is managing to survive the contest. It’s also fun watching Arcade in full bloom, able to shine as the crazy killer he’s always billed as but rarely gets to be.”

Cranky Comic Review: “I’m a sucker for Murder-Deathtrap books…I dug the ending. The ending was good enough to put it high on the list.”

Geek’d-Out: “I’ve been a fan of Jim Zub’s Marvel work for a while and his script with co-writer Ray Fawkes is snappy fun, while artist Jethro Morales matches the tone perfectly, especially with Matt Milla’s candy-coated colors befitting that of a carnival-like theme park. If you’re someone who prefers small, self-contained storylines, then you can’t go wrong with this one.”

Infinity Flux Comics: “This book is Teen+, but I would still be a little cautious because this is deceivingly adult with the amount of violence and shocking moments…It goes from one surprise to another surprise that’s just crazy.”

League of Comic Geeks: “This book is essentially just Murderworld used to its full potential, none of that plot armor from being a superhero, just purely Murderworld as it should be, and that’s the draw, that’s exactly why it’s so good.”

Monkeys Fighting Robots: 9/10 “Murderworld Avengers #1 offers readers a good script from Zub and Fawkes with a story that makes us believe no one is safe. The art elegantly brings to life the beautiful chaos that is Murderworld. There may not be a more exciting book on the shelves this week.”

Next issue: “This is a really, really fun comic…It has some fun twists and turns and once you think you’re safe, then it comes at you even harder!”

Pop Culture Philosophers: “I loved this book. I thought it was great…It takes unexpected turns and twists and then it has an ending and I’m like ‘whaa~aat?!’ I really liked this book.”

Pros and Cons: “This was a pleasant surprise…It moves at a really fast clip. Call me dark and it is a bit horror-tinged for the superhero world, but I thought it was a blast! I strongly recommend this.”

Theron Reads Comics: “Zub and Fawkes at last give Arcade the chance to do what every fan of the character always wants: kill, kill, and kill some more. Paired with Morales’s art and Milla’s expressive colors, this is a win.”

We Have Issues: “Very cool story. Very cool concept. I really enjoyed it.”

Murderworld: Avengers Launches Today!

June 20, 2004: I teased on Livejournal that Ray Fawkes and I had a cool story idea we were cooking up-

18 years later: MURDERWORLD: AVENGERS launches TODAY at your favorite comic shop!

Some ideas take a bit longer than others to come to fruition.😜

Talking Murderworld with the Traversing the Stars Podcast

Ray Fawkes and I chatted with Jeff at Traversing the Stars all about our Murderworld saga, launching later this month for Marvel. Check it out.

The MURDERWORLD Saga Launches November 16th!

New York, NY— November 3, 2022 — On November 16, Jim Zub and Ray Fawkes put the “murder” back in MURDERWORLD! Teaming up with an exciting lineup of all-star artists, the two writers have penned a pulse-pounding epic that begins later this month in MURDERWORLD: AVENGERS and comes to a crashing end in March’s MURDERWORLD: GAME OVER! Across five one-shots, readers will witness Arcade at his darkest as he unleashes the full terror of Murderworld on an all-new cast of characters.

Two hundred contestants. One hundred million dollar prize. One winner. And to survive, they’ll have to endure a series of brutal tests in Arcade’s brand-new Murderworld. Arcade’s circus-style contests have been a punchline in the past, but this game is no joke and the body count will rise with each twist and turn. Has Arcade finally found success? Enter Paul Pastor, the extraordinary young documentarian who hopes to expose it all but he can’t do it alone. Luckily, the Black Widow has a personal grudge to settle with the Murderworld mastermind – but how many will die before she can put a stop to this wildly violent scheme??

“When I first saw Murderworld in an issue of Uncanny X-Men, I was fascinated by its colorful corniness mixed with deception and violence,” Zub explained. “Many years ago, Ray and I chatted about a twisted thriller-survival story set in Arcade’s deadly playground and now, starting with MURDERWORLD: AVENGERS, we’re finally getting the chance to unleash it!”

“Murderworld is one of those stealthy, ultra-compelling concepts that always made the Marvel Universe so fascinating to me – the gaudy, family-fun veneer slapped over a deadly threat. When Jim and I were discussing it, ideas to make it more and more frightening and exciting just kept coming to us. I’m thrilled to bring them to readers in all their horrible glory!” Fawkes added.

Step right up to the deadliest game in the Marvel Universe when MURDERWORLD: AVENGERS hits stands on November 16! For more information, visit

On Sale 11/16

On Sale 12/28

On Sale 1/25

On Sale 2/15

On Sale 3/1

Murderworld Interview on CBR

Ray Fawkes and I chatted with Dave Richards at CBR all about Murderworld: Avengers and the other upcoming Murderworld specials that tell a wildly unexpected and dark story all about the Marvel Universe’s deadly game show. Check it out.

MURDERWORLD Begins in November!

Announced today at, I’m the co-writer of MURDERWORLD, a series of connected
one-shot issues taking readers through a tense and deadly thrill ride of a story that co-writer Ray Fawkes and I came up with 18 years ago!

Pitched originally to Marvel Editor-In-Chief Joe Quesada way back in 2004, before I had any professional writing credits at all, it’s surreal and exciting to finally see this story concept coming to fruition after so many years. Ray and I are well established writers now able to deliver on the potential of our original Murderworld idea and can’t wait for readers to see the twisted tale we have planned.

MURDERWORLD: AVENGERS launches in November!

Let the games begin! This November, Marvel’s greatest heroes will confront the full terror of Murderworld in a new saga!

Crafted by writers Jim Zub (CONAN THE BARBARIAN, AVENGERS: NO SURRENDER) and Ray Fawkes (ONE SOUL, CONSTANTINE), this five-part series will plunge readers into the darkest depths of Arcade’s Murderworld, the classic location that’s caused mayhem in the Marvel Universe for decades! Overloaded with gut-wrenching twists, unbelievable deaths, and bloodied and bruised Marvel heroes, this unpredictable story will reveal just how deadly Murderworld truly is and uncover shocking truths behind the countless victims that have found themselves trapped there.

Zub and Fawkes will be joined by a murderer’s row of talented artists throughout the series starting with Jethro Morales. The wildly violent ride will kick off in MURDERWORLD: AVENGERS #1 and then continue in one-shots starring Spider-Man, Wolverine, and Moon Knight before exploding in typical Murderworld fashion in a dramatic finale issue!

“When I first saw Murderworld in an issue of UNCANNY X-MEN, I was fascinated by its colorful corniness mixed with deception and violence,” Zub explained. “Many years ago, Ray and I chatted about a twisted thriller-survival story set in Arcade’s deadly playground and now, starting with MURDERWORLD: AVENGERS, we’re finally getting the chance to unleash it!”

“Murderworld is one of those stealthy, ultra-compelling concepts that always made the Marvel Universe so fascinating to me – the gaudy, family-fun veneer slapped over a deadly threat. When Jim and I were discussing it, ideas to make it more and more frightening and exciting just kept coming to us. I’m thrilled to bring them to readers in all their horrible glory!” Fawkes added.

On Sale 11/16

Hundreds are killed every year in an elaborate secret tournament run by a sadistic man with nearly limitless resources at his fingertips.

It’s not an urban legend. It’s not a myth – MURDERWORLD is real! It’s online, and the gruesome truth has been hidden from everyone except its victims – until NOW.

Meet Paul Pastor, the extraordinary young documentarian who’s going to expose it all…with some super-powered help, starting with the Avengers! In MURDERWORLD: AVENGERS, the Black Widow has a personal grudge to settle with Murderworld mastermind Arcade – but can she stop this game before it kills again?

Zubby Newsletter #23: Entering the Uncanny

On social media some fans and creators were recently sharing anecdotes about the first issue of Uncanny X-Men they read, especially if it hooked them on the series, and that pulled me into a bit of a nostalgia vortex.

The first X-Men issue I remember reading was quite the head trip-

Uncanny X-Men #141, first part of the legendary “Days of Future Past” story. As far as I remember, my older brother bought it from a used bookstore in Oshawa that sold comics. The issue was released in late 1980, but I think Joe bought it a couple years later because I must have been 7 or 8 years old at the time.

I didn’t even know who this cast of characters were and they were already thrust into an alternate universe post-apocalyptic future where most of them were dead and their very survival was at stake. It was intense, emotional and incredibly compelling, even if I didn’t understand large parts of the story or had any inkling of the character history at the time. It begged to be explored.

My first point of confusion was the guy on the cover with metal claws. I thought he was “Beast” because he had the exact same haircut as the guy on the poster right behind him-

No one in the story called him “Beast”, they called him “Logan”, but that just added to the air of mystery around him. 😉

Anyways, Joe started collecting Uncanny X-Men a few issues later and I started picking up Amazing Spider-Man and G.I.Joe around the same time.

There was an unexpected joy to dropping right into the middle of the narrative instead of an issue #1 to start things off. Reading and collecting became about filling in holes of the past just as much as it was about engaging the new ongoing stories that arrived each month

Having Uncanny X-Men #141 as a starting point meant that Kitty Pryde was central to the X-narrative and everything Jean Grey/Phoenix-related felt like “history”. I had a similar demarcation point in Amazing Spider-Man – Hobgoblin was the current big bad, so anything Green Goblin-related felt “old” in comparison. (Not bad, of course, just old.)

Marvel Tales and Classic X-Men allowed us to dig into the past and fill in gaps in our collection since we couldn’t afford expensive back issues, especially for “key” moments (first appearances, character deaths, things like that).

It felt like rocket riding through a huge interconnected world that extended way behind us while also zipping confidently forward.

Like a lot of comic collectors, over time we’d start to focus on the creators as much as the characters. Who made the books became just as important as the titles we looked for – John Byrne, Michael Golden, Chris Claremont, Roger Stern, John Buscema, Roy Thomas, Marv Wolfman, George Perez, Art Adams, Ann Nocenti, Walt and Louise Simonson, and a slew of others became names we recognized and work we craved because it seemed to stand head and shoulders over others at the time.

And, through it all, the X-Men reigned supreme.

Uncanny X-Men was the best damn soap opera in comics. Claremont and company kept their big cast moving forward with an impressive amount of thoughtful evolution. The team line-up changed constantly. Romances flourished and failed. The month-to-month narrative clipped along with A-plots, B-plots, and occasionally almost completely forgotten C and D-plots that finally popped back up to surprise and delight. One month the team might be in outer space and an issue or two later they could be in the Savage Land, Tokyo, or just playing a game of pick-up baseball in Westchester, New York.

The heroes, villains and supporting cast were deeply flawed and beautifully human. There’s a reason why the series was an absolute sales juggernaut…and it wasn’t because sometimes a character named Juggernaut showed up to break shit.

I don’t think anyone could or should try to put X-Men back in same mold in the here and now, but it’s valuable to re-read those older issues to try and understand why it was so vibrant and how it generated so much loyalty in its readership over so many years.

In an age of endless new #1’s that act as both jumping on and off points, dozens of variant covers every issue, and near-instant digital access to both new comics and almost every issue of the past, it all feels very different. Some things have been gained and other things have been lost and that’s the way life goes, but hearing that prompt of “What was your first X-Men?” brought back a lot of good memories so I thought I’d lean into that a bit here.

Talking Conan

I know this will seem odd, but I’m still talking about Conan the Barbarian. 🙂

Someone filmed the Conan the Barbarian comic panel from San Diego Comic-Con, so you can check that out on Forbidden Planet’s channel:

This panel was on Sunday morning, so our voices are pretty shot by this point. Other than that, it was a ton of fun and we were really impressed with the turn out and enthusiasm from the crowd.

I also spoke to the team at Geek Hard all about our Conan the Barbarian relaunch. The interview starts at the 7 minute mark of their latest episode and runs until the 36 minute spot in the show.

Current + Upcoming Books

Upcoming Events

Links and Other Things

Marc Brunet is a former Art Director from Blizzard who goes through a variety of drawing and rendering techniques on his YouTube channel. Like many popular YouTube creators, over time he’s become an exaggerated parody of himself as a way to get more traffic, but if you ignore the twitchy behavior and edits his tutorials are solid and well worth checking out. This new one about rendering skin tone shadows is the same method we used at the UDON Studio on our official Capcom artwork, and a great tool to have in your digital rendering toolbox-

That should cover it for this time.

Next week is Fan Expo Canada!

Zubby Newsletter #22: Gen Conquest

A bunch of readers signed up for this newsletter at SDCC and Gen Con, so – welcome!

Zubstack is where I keep people up to date with my creative projects (mostly comics and games) and also dig into things on my mind, recipes I’m cooking, games I’m playing, articles I’m enjoying, and more. For my main website, go HERE and, for an archive of past newsletter installments jammed with info and links, go HERE.

Social media is more mercurial and annoying than ever, so being able to go old school internet and reach fine people like yourself directly is really nice. If you don’t want to read the whole thing, that’s fine, but at least you get to choose instead of algorithms choosing for you.

Okay, on we go~

Flights to Gen Con were annoyingly expensive for such a short hop, so Stacy and I decided to drive down to Indianapolis instead (9-ish hours on the road depending on traffic). It was a bit of a throwback to my earliest convention years racking up kilometers and crisscrossing the border at strange hours.

In my previous newsletter I talked about how much has changed for me at shows like Gen Con since I first started attending 20 years ago, but it’s even clearer when you see Darrin’s incredible booth set-up for Howard and I this time-

Conan the Barbarian comics, D&D Young Adventurer’s Guides, the D&D Ultimate Pop-Up BookD&D comic trade paperbacks, SkullkickersWayward, and so much more. There were several times when I was asked which books I worked on and just motioned to my left and said “All of those”, which felt cool but also weird. There’s no way we can stock everything, but even this cross section of my work feels like a heck of a lot.

Gen Con was sold out every day, which also meant Saturday-style crowds every day. I have never seen the exhibit hall so consistently packed, hour after hour. I stepped out for some meetings around meal times and managed to visit friends after the floor closed, but during show hours it honestly felt better to have the table between us and the torrent of people moving through the aisles.

Each morning of the four day show, here’s how it looked before the exhibit hall opened-

Gamers were back in full force, ready to play and buy. Sales soared and a lot of the other exhibitors I spoke to said it was their best year ever. Most of the new books I brought sold out by Saturday and I ran out of Rick and Morty VS D&D sketch covers long before the end of the show as well.

Like at San Diego this year, I tried to slow things down to enjoy richer conversations with old friends or deeper impressions with new people I met. Tons of nostalgia and appreciation, that’s for sure. Lots of chatter about possible future plans as well.

Cromulent Interviews

I know this will surprise you, but I’ve been talking about Conan the Barbarian. Here are a couple interviews shot during San Diego a few weeks ago:

Speaking of Conan-

The reviews for issue #1 are incredibly kind and I posted a teaser of issue #2 on social media that I’ll include below-

Issue #2 keeps the momentum of our first issue going and then some, my friends.
Line artist Rob De La Torre and colorist Dean White deliver a stunner on every page.

Given how fast issue #1 blew off store shelves, make sure you get your pre-order in for our second slashing attack.

Current + Upcoming Books

Upcoming Events

Links and Other Things

Here’s a quick list of games I picked up at Gen Con, in case you’re interested-

My schedule for the rest of the summer is intense, but I look forward to digging into these when things calm down.

That should cover it for this week.