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Trouble with Comics

Infestation #1

Infestation #1 (of 2)

Writers - Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning

Penciler - David Messina

Inker - Gaetano Carlucci

Additional Art - Elena Casagrande, Claudia Balboni

Publisher - IDW Publishing $3.99 USD

Mama mia, that’s a lotta mediocre Italian artists. This is the first issue of IDW’s first big licensed crossover event, with two bookend issues and then two issues each focusing on a zombie & infected robot invasion of various Earths related to the G.I. Joe, Transformers, Star Trek and Ghostbusters franchises. If you’re going to put together a successful story that somehow works for all these varied properties, you can either get some top talent who are just going to let loose and make it over-the-top, goofy, balls-out fun, or you get some mid-level talent who are going to roll up their sleeves and try to actually make something sensible. Abnett and Lanning are Plan B, always competent, able to make something sturdy out of the materials at hand, but they’re never going to surprise you. It’s kind of nice that they found a way to make the IDW property C.V.O. (Covert Vampire Operations) and some of the Zombies vs. Robots characters and ‘bots into the stars here, but they’re mostly shorthand cliches like the hardass soldier dragged from retirement, ready with B-movie lines like “eat ‘em if you got ‘em.” It’s inoffensive, and it seems like one can only read the bookends and the particular franchise issues one’s interested in and get the basic story without needing all of it. Still, based on the issue itself and the two-page previews of the other first issues, having Kirk, or Optimus, or the Baroness taking on zombies and evil robots should have been a real geekgasm, a lot more fun than what’s on display here.

—Christopher Allen

(advance copy provided for review by the publisher)