Search Results for: Murderworld

Talking Murderworld on Marvel.com

Ray Fawkes and I spoke to Ben Morse at Marvel.com 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 Book.com: 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 Marvel.com.

MURDERWORLD: AVENGERS
Written by JIM ZUB & RAY FAWKES
Art by JETHRO MORALES
Cover by PACO MEDINA
On Sale 11/16

MURDERWORLD: SPIDER-MAN
Written by JIM ZUB & RAY FAWKES
Art by FARID KARAMI
Cover by PACO MEDINA
On Sale 12/28

MURDERWORLD: WOLVERINE
Written by JIM ZUB & RAY FAWKES
Art by CARLOS NIETO
Cover by PACO MEDINA
On Sale 1/25

MURDERWORLD: MOON KNIGHT
Written by JIM ZUB & RAY FAWKES
Art by LUCA PIZZARI
Cover by PACO MEDINA
On Sale 2/15

MURDERWORLD: GAME OVER
Written by JIM ZUB & RAY FAWKES
Art by LORENZO TAMMETTA
Cover by PACO MEDINA
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 Marvel.com, 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.


MURDERWORLD: AVENGERS #1
Written by JIM ZUB & RAY FAWKES
Art by JETHRO MORALES
Cover by PACO MEDINA
On Sale 11/16

READY. SET. DIE!
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?

Zub at Calgary Expo 2024!

After missing last year, I’m back at the Calgary Comics & Entertainment Expo on April 25-28, 2024!
If you’re headed to the show, I hope to see you there.

BIG FOUR BUILDING – ARTIST ALLEY TABLE P-58

In addition to being at my table, I’m also on a panel Saturday:

Saturday April 27th
6:00pm – CONAN vs DEAD ROMANS: JIM ZUB and FRED KENNEDY – BIG 4 COMIC STAGE

Writer Spotlight: Jim Zub is the acclaimed writer of Conan the Barbarian and Dungeons & Dragons, and Fred Kennedy’s first Image Comics mini-series Dead Romans, debuted in 2023.

Zubby Newsletter #44: Pull the Ripcord

Late last week I walked away from an unannounced and unfinished project. I’m pretty sure that’s a first for me.

(No, I won’t publicly say what it was and probably never will. I’m not here to sling mud. There are a lot of wonderful people involved who did great work and they don’t deserve any more stress than they’ve already got.)

In some ways, it’s a good thing – a signal to myself that there is actually a limit in terms of how much I’m willing to be yanked around before the time-money-hassle equation no longer adds up.

Of course, my pragmatic freelancer-fueled brain tried to fight me every step of the way. I had a hard enough time convincing it that I could turn down work from time to time even if a project wasn’t a good fit, the schedule was too tight, or the pay involved was insultingly low, but this…this was different – it was a great fit, the original schedule worked fine, and the pay was in my range…but then the whole thing slid into chaos.

When you contribute to licensed properties, obviously, the licensor gets approval. I know the drill and I work damn hard doing the research and bringing the things I do well into the mix while fitting within the confines of an existing IP. I’ve done it dozens of times on plenty of well known properties.

I’ve also done my fair share of revisions and rewrites. I don’t think my words are sacrosanct or unchangeable, by any means. I deeply appreciate editorial and licensor feedback to make sure we all have something we’re proud of when the finished project is out there in the world.

But, in this case – I was almost done writing, multiple scripts were approved, and there was finished art well underway when we were suddenly told that everything our team had done was now “unapproved” and we needed to start from scratch – That’s just unnecessary, unprofessional, and I can’t trust anything you tell me going forward.

Why even have ‘approvals’ if they don’t mean anything?

It became pretty clear that the people reviewing the work had changed and the licensor no longer wanted this project to exist at all. It was a vestigial limb hopelessly dragging behind a previously agreed upon deal. I had to decide if I was going to pull it all back to the starting blocks and bitterly try to figure out the moving target of their expectations or step away and use my time and effort more productively. I chose the latter and, despite some twinges of freelancer guilt, I’m glad I did. The Zub of 5 or 6 years ago might have made a different decision and it would have been ulcer-inducing.

I don’t know if this is a sign of success, but it’s certainly a sign that I know what I bring to a project and that I’m willing to communicate that more clearly, in any case. Every creative career has highs and lows (and lows, and lows…), and I’m thankful that, at this moment, I have the freedom to make this choice and lean into other projects that engage and challenge me without breaking my brain.


Cover art by Joe Jusko. Logo by Dan Panosian. Pre-order now!

A Savage Story

Speaking of challenges, this week I finalized my prose piece for Savage Sword of Conan #1. Marinating in Robert E. Howard’s famous fiction before I tried to rock out a short story of my own for the Cimmerian was suitably humbling, in all kinds of good ways. Summoning a scene without an artist to make me look good is a much different prospect and flexes a whole different set of creative muscles.

I have never taken any formal writing classes. I did a swack of Creative Writing in high school and learned some script writing when I took a year of Film & Multimedia before I started Classical Animation, but the rest of my ‘training’ has been reading about the craft and putting my own work out into the world; improving story by story and project by project. With my art background, the visual rhythm of animation and comics make the most sense to me. They’re where I feel most comfortable. I love the visual medium and love collaborating with artists.

Stripping everything back to the primacy of prose exposes a lot more of my imposter syndrome. I struggle to quiet that inner critic because I can’t point at the great art and tell it to shut up. It’s just my words sitting out there exposed on the page and either it grabs the reader’s imagination or it doesn’t.

I can write emails, blogposts, tutorials, curriculum, critique, pitches, ad copy, art notes, informal descriptions, and dialogue aplenty but, you know, that’s not ‘real’ writing. That’s not the power of the written word to weave worlds of wonder.

I wrote a Conan short story and, this time, it’s just me.

It’s very pulpy and punchy and I like it, even though it felt strange as a process. (Not bad, mind you, just strange.) People who edit this stuff for a living have read it and liked it and I’m being paid for it, so either they’re all lying because they don’t want to hurt my feelings, or I did okay.

It’s called “Sacrifice in the Sand”, it’s based on Joe Jusko’s gorgeous cover art and, when the big first issue of our mighty magazine hits stores in late February, readers get to decide if it hit the mark or not.

Either way, let me know.


And Yet, More Advice

Despite me exposing my fiction fears, I’m still out here writing advice to people who want to pursue a comic writing career. Ridiculous!

The latest tutorial, added to the pile of over 50 free tutorial posts on my website, is all about starting with “No Experience.

Give it a read and, if you find it helpful, feel free to share it around.


We Sold Out – Again!

Conan the Barbarian #6 arrived in stores last week. Readers seemed to really like it and the pent up demand (it had been delayed two weeks after shipping problems) blew reorders past the overprint, which means there’s a 2nd print coming at the end of the month, with a line art version of the stunning cover art by Jae Lee.

We’re now in the rare position of having sales rise as the series continues, which is an incredible vote of confidence for our team’s hard work. Thank you once again and please keep reading!


More Shenanigans

Despite the fact that I’m a quitter, a sham, quite ridiculous, and a sellout, I also can’t shut up when it comes to talking about my work and the craft.

On the latest episode of the Comic Shenanigans podcast, I spoke to Adam Chapman all about working with Tom Brevoort at Marvel, the comic writing process, and relaunching Conan the Barbarian at Titan.

For Conan fans, the Hyborian chatter starts at around the 22 minute mark. At the 37 minute mark I talk about my Marvel run of Conan issues and reflect on what I did well, things I still needed to learn, and things that were out of our control.

It’s always a pleasure talking with Adam. He’s enthusiastic, well researched, and subtly moves the conversation into some great places. Give it a listen and feel free to check out past interview episodes I link to below-

Episode 368: Thunderbolts and More
Episode 794: Agents of Wakanda, Conan the Barbarian, and More
Episode 986: Conan, Thunderbolts, and Life Of Wolverine


Current + Upcoming Releases


Links and Other Things

• Chaosium has a Humble Bundle going for a huge PDF collection of Call of Cthulhu tabletop RPG material at a fraction of its normal cover price. If you’ve ever wanted to run or play a Lovecraftian RPG, this might be the right time to dig in.
• I can get behind Jon Purkis’ list of 50 Rules For Board Game Etiquette. Lots of great stuff in there.

That should do it for this week.
Jim