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So, what am I doing here?  Infestation dropped this week, but there’s no sign of Duke, Snake Eyes, Cobra Commander, or even Chuckles… so why review it?
The answer is simple…because, like it or not, Infestation will be barreling through every IDW book shortly, including G.I. Joe.  And since I do plan on covering those titles, I figure I might as well review the issue that started it all as well.
Now, I’ve gone on record several times that I’m not really a “zombie” guy.  They don’t really mean anything to me, one way or another…so seeing an over-arcing storyline featuring Zombies isn’t something that really excites me.  However, I am a fan of good fiction.  Does Infestation apply?  Yeah, I think it does.  Read the full review after the jump.

IDW’s Infestation #1
Writers: Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning
Art by: David Messina
A zombie story?  In the G.I. Joe world?  Really?  Yeah, like it or not, IDW’s doing it, but the real question is, how are they doing it, and was it effective?
The story focuses mainly on an IDW supernatural team, the CVO (apparently from IDW’s Zombies vs. Robots universe) which contains Vampires, a sorcerer, and really kind of pushes the realm of realism.  But the issue makes it clear right off the bat that this universe is not the only universe…there are many universes out there, and some secret technology buried in a government installation may be the gateway to travel to these other worlds.
As one would expect, anytime the government is concealing an inter-dimensional gateway shielding them from a “Zombie world”, something is destined to go wrong.  And that something definitely does go wrong.  Needless to say, a massive horde of zombies breaks out, and the CVO is called in to figure out what’s going on.  They get caught right in the middle of it, revealing a secret hidden intelligence that’s controlling the zombies, much like the Gravemind does with The Flood in the Halo universe.
The CVO gets hit, and hit hard, as Bennie, the “Artillica” expert loses his arm and loses an artifact, and Vampire operative Britt gets captured and used to open this gateway to other dimensions.  The massive horde of zombies ends up teleported and scattered to four separate dimensions…and any IDW fan can probably imagine which universes those are.
So, the real question is, how is this issue?
It’s actually really damn good.  Speaking as someone who has absolutely no background in the IDW universe, especially not the Zombies vs. Robots world, but I was able to get wrapped into the story fairly seamlessly.  I would imagine the large scale zombie universe is probably a part of the Zombies vs. Robots world, but this is something I just need to accept.  I was pretty surprised at how viciously the CVO got assaulted throughout the issue, with a loss of limbs, a transformation to evil and resulting explosion…it was some pretty surprising stuff, given that these folks are in an ongoing story.
But what was the most interesting was just how they catapulted the story into the other universes without stretching the boundaries too much.  They make it clear that Star Trek, Transformers, and G.I. Joe all exist separate from each other, and it made sense how they bring it all together, without totally shattering the fourth wall.
The art was another real highlight.  Very crisp pencils, very dramatic action, and an extremely exciting, dynamic style that conveys a sense of impact and animation without being overly stylized.  Zombie brains were prevalent throughout, the style was great, and it worked very nicely throughout the entire issue.
All told, this was a very fun story to read.  Not being a zombie guy, and not having any experience in other IDW universes, I was surprised at how easily I was drawn into this story.  Kudos to IDW’s creative staff for weaving a story that realistically bridges all of the separate worlds and makes a pretty exciting tale in and of itself.  I look forward to seeing how this springboards into the mainstream G.I. Joe universe.

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