Following the events of “Infestation” #1, which arrives in stores January 26 and begins IDW Publishing’s ambitious multi-license crossover event, the undead hordes of the “Zombies vs. Robots” universe infiltrate four popular science fiction universes. One of the first to bear the brunt of the zombies’ assault is “Star Trek,” where Motion Picture-era James T. Kirk, Mr. Spock, and Doctor McCoy confront a threat unlike anything they’ve experienced before. “Star Trek: Infestation,” written by Trek comic mainstays Scott and David Tipton with art by Casey Maloney, releases its first issue February 9 and concludes with issue #2 two weeks later. CBR News spoke with co-writer Scott Tipton about the series.
With “Star Trek,” there are numerous of series and casts for creators to work with. For “Infestation,” though, Tipton said there was never any doubt which crew to feature. “When Chris Ryall at IDW first approached my brother and I about taking part in ‘Infestation’ and handling the ‘Star Trek’ chapter, there was never any question about it — it had to be classic Trek for this one. Kirk, Spock and McCoy remain the iconic Trek characters, so if anything was going to say ‘Star Trek vs. Zombies,’ that would be it,” the writer told CBR. “The one choice we did make was to use a slightly later incarnation of the Classic crew, as seen in ‘Star Trek: The Motion Picture.’ This was done in part in the hopes of setting the stage for future stories to be told in that period, which has long been a favorite of ours, and also because that 1970s feel that’s found in ‘Star Trek: The Motion Picture’ seemed to be a good match for this more bleak kind of tale.”
Tipton also noted that the Original Series’ Enterprise crew works particularly well boldly going into new contexts and environments. “One of the strengths of ‘Star Trek’ as a concept, and especially the original series, is its flexibility. It could easily go back and forth between an action piece or a comedy or a morality play and still maintain its identity,” Tipton said. “That was the challenge here, to take ‘Star Trek’ in a direction it hadn’t quite tackled before, this kind of a horror background, but still keep it true to itself.”
As to how Kirk, Spock, and Dr. McCoy assess the zombie threat — unprecedented in the “Star Trek” universe, Tipton said, “In the classic tradition of the zombie tale, they meet the situation with a mixture of confusion, panic and desperation. And in the case of a certain Vulcan officer, fascination.”
The nature of the “Infestation” crossover is interesting in that it brings together several licenses, but the different properties don’t cross over directly. CBR asked Tipton about “Star Trek: Infestation’s” role within the larger event. “As events veer off from the conclusion of ‘Infestation’ #1, each property finds itself dealing with its own incursion of the zombie threat, which manifests itself differently in each, although there is a common enemy that can be found in them all.” That threat may be related to the Undermind, a group consciousness that controls the zombie hordes and is seen to influence certain individuals in “Infestation” #1, causing them to join with the undead invaders. “They’ll be dealing with the direct result of some folks’ susceptibility to the Undermind, most definitely,” Tipton said of the “Star Trek” cast. “They’ll also be receiving some help from a surprising source!”
Even with the introduction of a company-wide crossover element — and a horror one, at that — Tipton said that “Star Trek: Infestation” will remain true to the franchise. “It was important to us that this feel like a ‘Star Trek’ story first and foremost, with kind of a creepy ‘Operation: Annihilate!’ vibe,” the writer said. “That being said, we really wanted to give it a moody, dark feel. We’re delighted with the final product — it almost feels like a ‘Star Trek’ book as created by EC Comics…”