Review: Infestation #1 by DnA and David Messina

INFESTATION #1 (of 2)
Written by: Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning
Art by: David Messina
Published by: IDW
Cover Price: $3.99

I have always had a great love for quirky crossover series. The stranger the better. I loved Punisher Vs Archie, I loved Gen 13 Vs Maxx (which is one of the trippiest stories I have ever read), and Wildcats Vs Aliens is one of the best comics, crossover or otherwise I have ever read. On top of that, I am a huge fan of Star Trek, GI Joe and Ghostbusters. So when I heard about a crossover pitting these three licenses and the Transformers against zombies, I was immediately excited!

But does Infestation live up to this excitement?

Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning are two of my favorite writers in comics, but they seem to have a weird obsession with zombies (or at least the undead). They first came to my attention on Resurrection Man, a book about a guy who keeps coming back from the dead with super powers. Then they wrote the brilliant Legion story “Legion of the Damned” featuring a zombifying force called “The Blight.” Next they used the Phalanx in Annihilation: Conquest. This time, they get to use zombies in five universes at the same time. They are like the George Romero of the comic industry!

I actually enjoyed this book quite a bit. I thought the nexus of portals was a great way to set up the four tie-in titles in a convincing way (at least as far as comic book logic is concerned). The hive mind utilized by the zombies was a really cool touch, and seeing vampires fight zombies worked great.

David Messina (Star Trek: Countdown) was a great fit for this book. His art gave a frantic energy to everything that was going on, and just the right level of gore. I hope Issue 2 gives him a chance to draw some of the other characters in this crossover event. GI Joe characters drawn by David Messina would be poster worthy!

My one big gripe about the issue is that DnA were a bit too knowledgeable about IDW series and expecting the readers to be the same. I was drawn in by the idea of Ghostbusters, Transformers, Star Trek, and GI Joe all fighting zombies. I have never read Zombies Vs Robots or CVO (Covert Vampiric Operations).

The quickie one sentence entry on each CVO character told me very little. They do manage to sneak in some solid characterization moments, but I had no connection at all to Britt, so when she’s taken over by the Undermind, it lacked the impact it should have.

Also, none of the big licensed characters showed up in the first issue, so I can see that as turning off people who bought this expecting to see Peter Venkman team up with Snake Eyes to kick some zombie ass. Admit it, we’ve all written fan fics similar to that, and it is a bit of a fan boy’s wet dream to see it play out in comic form.

That said, the book was still a great setup, and I can’t wait to read the tie in series. Actually, by the time I was able to sit down and write this review, I had already read Infestation: Transformers 1. That review should be coming later in the day.

Final Score: 8.0 Well-written and well drawn, a good setup for the series. Probably could have been a little more accessible, but that shouldn’t turn interested readers away.

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