INFESTATION: G.I. Joe #1 (of 2)
Written by: Mike Raicht
Art by: Giovanni Timpano
Published by: IDW
Cover price: $3.99

Infestation continues! After attempting, and failing, to overtake the universes that house the Transformers and Star Trek, Undermind turns it’s attentions to the G.I. Joe universe! (Apparently, G.I. Joe and Transformers no longer live in the same reality…)

If this issue is any indication of how this story is going to play out, it probably should have been called Infestation: Cobra.

Cover A

A group of Cobra Eels, lead by the Baroness, are planning to take over a Joe sailboat. Yeah…sailboat, but it’s so out of the norm that Cobra feels there may be something very important, ok?
Anyway, they end up capturing a few Joes, killing others, and get their prize: a robotic arm with bits of flesh on it. The Joes were trying to take it someplace safe, where ti couldn’t do any harm.

While Cobra tries to get some information from the Joe called Psych-Out, we also learn Cobra is in the middle of trying to upgrade their B.A.T.S. which are now referred to simply as Bats. They want their robot soldiers to be more effective in the killing of Joes. This has gone as far as trying to integrate animal abilities and instincts into their programming.
Head researcher, Dr. Zych, has more than just Cobra interests in mind. She’s confined to a wheelchair and hopes her work on the Bats will also help her fix herself. She has partially robotic legs herself, they just don’t respond to what she wants them to do. She has been trying to use the Cobra system to help her program her legs by plugging herself into their systems.

While The Baroness is trying to learn from Psycho-Out about the arm, she gives it to Dr. Zych who hopes to use it for bother of their causes. While she plugs it in to learn what it is and is capable of Psych-Out explains to The Baroness that the arm has a program within it. An aggressive program that almost wiped out the Joe’s systems before they were able to shut it down. He explains it’s danger: If it could get control over the Joes equipment it could do the same to Cobra and use their weapons and systems against Cobra and everyone else.

Zych, while plugged in to the Cobra system, connects the arm and it quickly begins to download into everything, giving Undermind complete control. It figures out how long it would take for help to arrive to stop it, how long it would take to gain complete control of Cobra and also searches for ‘attack bots’ and a host. Zych quickly becomes the host and the Bats become the attack bots.

Cover B

Things quickly go downhill from there as Bats begin to attack any Cobra soldier they see, the Undermind reaches into the system and finds the animal experiments Cobra was conducting. While trying to integrate animal instincts and abilities into the Bats they had them connected to a core system. Undermind quickly takes control of the many animals in the lab and attacks everyone there.

We end this issue with a group of Bats closing in on The Baroness who has yet to realize her systems are no longer hers to control…and Psych-Out doesn’t feel very good about his odds of surviving this.

It’s been a very long time since I’ve read a G.I. Joe comic. I’m familiar with the core characters so Baroness was really the only one I recognized. That said, I didn’t have any problems getting into this story. Mike Raicht, who has some experience with writing zombies having written the 2006 Marvel miniseries starring Simon Garth, Zombie, writes this in a way that’s easy for passerby fans, like me, to enjoy. The pacing is what I noticed right away, it’s starts at a slow jog and quickly picks up it’s pace. By the end of this issue you really begin to wonder if the Baroness can survive. She will, of course, The Baroness is nothing if not resourceful.
Artist Giovanni Timpano is very good at giving you the perfect atmosphere here. The Cobra base feels big yet claustrophobic at the same time. It’s very moody and gives a nice fresh take on G.I. Joe. I’m very eager to see his zombies in the next issue.

This issue also marks the half-way point in IDW’s big event. So far, so good. Star Trek was very well done while Transformers, though entertaining, could have been a bit better but was still entertaining and now we have G.I. Joe, so far a very entertaining entry into this event.

Next week: Who ya gonna call?