INFESTATION #1 (of 2)

Written by: Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning

Art by: David Messina

Published by: IDW

Cover Price: $3.99

While all the eyes of the world were on the Marvel Universe this week, IDW had some problems with death as well. Kind of…sort of…see, in IDW’s Universe they have a slight zombie problem and it’s been going on for quite some time. We’ve had Zombies Vs. Robots and Zombies Vs. Robots Vs. Amazons, we’ve seen military, scientists and even voodoo men and vampires take on the hordes of the undead and yet it all seems to never end.
The epic began in 2006 with the very first Zombies Vs. Robots 2-parter by Chris Ryall and art by the awesome Ashley Wood. It focused on the post-zombie apocalypse earth and a group of robots charged with protecting, and eventually cloning, the last human alive. Turns out the last human was a child and zombies LOVE gooey softness of a baby!
Some great art, wonderful pacing and writing made this one of the best zombie comics in my collection to date, it’s certainly up there with The Walking Dead.

Infestation #1 Cover A

At the end of Zombies Vs. Robots (no, I’m not giving the entire ending away, just the fun part) a lone zombie made it’s way to an island only to be speared in the head by an Amazon! This lead into the follow up: Zombies Vs. Robots Vs. Amazons! Same writer, same artist, same awesome!

After that we got some very nice collections and a prelude story along with some teases of other stories that, sadly, never came to fruition.

Moving ahead even more we get the 4-part Zombies Vs. Robots Aventure (spelling is correct there, folks) which, itself, was told as three separate stories. People who remember the format of Marvel Comics Presents back in the day will know what I’m talking about, three short parts to different stories each month. This introduced a few important characters such as Sgt. Davis Wade, a man protecting his family from the zombie plague along with stories featuring a janitor who ends up leading a group of robots against the zombies and a voodoo man in Haiti who tries to create an army of Zuvemies, voodoo based zombies, to fight the real zombies.

Infestation #1 Cover B

These stories take place before the events of the Zombies Vs. Robots (Vs. Amazons) series so I can only assume Infestation plays a part in the beginning of the end for this world.

Infestation, written by super team Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning, known collectively as DnA and the guys who made Rocket Raccoon awesome in Marvel’s Guardians Of The Galaxy,  is an event spanning 5 realities including 4 franchises over 3 months with multiple 2-part stories making 1 massive event.
Reality 1: IDW’s soon to be Zombies Vs. Robots reality. The trans-dimensional gateway introduced in Aventures has opened a door to Dimension Z (guess what the ‘Z’ stands for) Sgt. Wade is explaining to some important people that this is an opportunity to basically plunder a new world of it’s resources, it’s tech, also a means of dealing with prison overpopulation. They just need to get the whole zombie thing under control. From there things go downhill. Fast.
Somehow the zombies are able to break through the gate and Wade is the first to learn that standing so close to something like that is a very bad idea. As the zombies swarm this new world , eating everyone it their path, a group called Covert Vampiric Operations (CVO) is called in to take care of the situation, apparently they handle stuff similar to this all the time.
This is where the writing of DnA comes in perfect. Even if you’ve never read CVO, like myself, you are given enough to fully understand who and what these people are and what they are about.
The team shows up, quickly loses control and a few of it’s members and discover something very scary about the zombie hordes. They aren’t as mindless as they thought. These zombies actually work as sort of a hive, a collective mind under the control of something called the Undermind. It hungers for flesh and knowledge and uses the zombies to infest different realities, feeding on anything it finds and learning all it can in order to invade other realities.
The CVO are able to save their reality only by launching zombies and robots into four other realities.

Infestation Sketchbook

Reality 2: Transformers. Not Michael Bay’s ‘Formers, these are the original Generation One ‘Formers. I know what you’re asking: Why would the Transformers care about zombies? I wondered that myself. It’s one of the things I didn’t talk about in the first issue of Infestation…I can’t give it all away, can I?

Reality 3: Ghostbusters. If there’s someone eating…on your old Grandma…who ya gonna call? Yup, the Ghostbusters are going to be taking on the living dead. This begs the question: How will the flesh of the undead react to those ever popular Proton Packs? My guess? Not very well.

Reality 4: Star Trek. He’s undead, Jim. Kirk and crew face off against the undead hordes and try to figure out how to stop them before they run out of Red Shirts.

Reality 5: G.I. Joe. It’s Joes and Cobra fighting zombies and robots. My guess is Cobra is going to try to figure out a way to make zombies into weapons. Or perhaps…you know Cobra Commander was killed recently. You think maybe…?

So that’s the set up and the road we’re on for the next few months as Zombies and Robots Vs. Legendary Franchises. Who will survive and what will be left of them? (10 points if anyone guesses what that is from). The way IDW will be releasing these books are as follows:
Infestation #1 and 2 are book ends. #1 is out now, #2 is out on April 6.
Transformers: Infestation #1 and 2 will be released on February 2 and 16.
Star Trek: Infestation #1 and 2 will be released on February 9 and 23
G.I. Joe: Infestation #1 and 2 will be released on March 2 and 16
Ghostbusters: Infestation #1 and 2 will be released on March 9 and 23

This first issue was great, well written, no surprise there really, and fairly well drawn. It sets up this event without being overbearing or beating it to undeath. I know a

Star Trek: Infestation Patch

lot of people are tired of zombie comics but this proves there is still…’life’ in zombies and when you add Ghostbusters, Transformers and the others to the mix, you have one heck of a party! Also, don’t forget, as a special “Hey, Kids!” deal, IDW is also giving away Infestation Patches with these comics. Each will feature the Infestation logo mixed with one of the franchise logos. The first one, the one I got anyway, was Star Trek.
Also, there are multiple covers for these issues. I got cover ‘B’ which hasn’t been shown as much as the first cover. There is also a 16-page Sketch book featuring zombie versions of these popular characters by such artists as Kyle Hotz, JK Woodward, Karl Kesel, Don Figueroa and many others. I was able to get my hands on one of these as well and it’s well worth the $10 (though my LCS, Nostalgia, Ink. was nice enough to let me have it for $5.)
But, even without all the extra stuff that I end up getting, Infestation #1 is a very unique and fun read. I would recommend it to anyone looking for a good time, especially considering how very unique this event actually is. Also, the ending probably won’t be spoiled by the AP (to soon?)

BREAKING: IDW announced on Thursday that Infestation #1 has sold out and a second printing will be available in stores on February 16th! The first printing was release this week and copies may still be available at your Local Comics Shop!