Excellent question! Just last week I heard several students talking about radioactive spiders and turning into spiderman, so I think it could be a great tool to connect and engage students. I'm an informal educator based with a parks system, and sometimes people try to have themed topics for programs, which can be interesting but can also be a bit gimmicky. There was a mutants and marvels one for October. Linkages to sci-fi and space are clear. For zombies, I'm thinking of several types of parasitic fungi that attack insects and take over their brains and turn them into spore dispersal units. Hmm, I'm on an insect kick- spiders that mimic ants are an absolute trip, Spiderman and Antman right there!
I had to do theme weeks at a camp where I taught nature programs, and one theme was Hollywood. I struggled with that, but did Batman and Robin (bats and robins), A Bug's Life (insects), Spiderman (spiders), and Transformers (butterflies and metamorphosis). A kid pointed out I should have done turtles for Ninja Turtles. I used the movies as a jumping off point into the topic. Thinking about it, there were a lot of kids super into The Hunger Games, I could have talked about survival mechanisms of different animals and plants.