This review contains two types of news. The good news is that I’ve already done my “didn’t the Zombie craze peak about 3 years ago?” rant in my review of “Transformers: Infestation” #1, so you won’t have to read it again. The bad news? I probably should have saved it for this review, because “Star Trek Infestation” is a much better comic, and I’m going to have trouble saying anything bad about it without the anti-zombie rant to fall back on.
The story sees Kirk, Spock, and Bones (the real versions, thank you very much, Mr. Abrams) arrive on a planet where the colonists are surprisingly quiet. As you might expect, they encounter a plague of zombies in the colonists’ place when they arrive on the surface.
While there’s little inherently entertaining about the idea of mashing up Star Trek and Zombies, the quality of this comic is all in the execution. The writing perfectly mirrors an episode of the 60s series (though perhaps with a little modern complexity thrown in) while the art completes the illusion, both in terms of the design, colors and likenesses. All you need to do is imagine Shatner’s delivery and you’re done. Even the zombies recall Romero’s of the era. You can almost believe this story could have existed at the time.
Although it’s hard not to groan at the inevitable appearance of the phrase “He’s dead, Jim,” the book keeps itself from becoming too self-aware. Although I criticized “Transformers Infestation” for doing exactly that, I’d argue that the two properties need different approaches. Star Trek requires that you take it seriously for it to work. Transformers, on the other hand, actively resists being taken seriously.
This idea is crystallized towards the end, when Kirk, Spock, and Bones strand themselves on the Zombie planet in order to protect the Enterprise. Obviously, they’re going to make it, but the fact that they’ve placed themselves in the dilemma is believably in-character, and interesting in itself. If you stop to think about it, the idea of zombies flying a shuttlecraft is a stretch, but the work is so good that you can easily suspend your disbelief without too much effort.
In all honesty, if this issue represents the general quality of all of IDW’s Star Trek work then I’m starting to think I’m missing out for not having bought any. There’s nothing new going on here with either zombies or Star Trek, but by executing both perfectly, the Tiptons, Gary Erskine, and Casey Maloney have come up with a winner. Let’s hope that part 2 is just as good.