Thursday, January 12, 2012

Infestation V.2 (comics)

Writers: Scott Tipton, David Tipton, Erik Burnham, Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning
Artists: Casey Maloney, Gary Erskine, Kyle Hotz and David Messina
Collects: Star Trek: Infestation #1-2, Ghostbusters: Infestation #1-2, Infestation #2

So remember what I said about this event having some promise it wasn't quite living up to? You can go ahead and scratch that. This second volume kicks so much ass you could be forgiven for utterly forgetting that the Transformers: Infestation mini from the first volume happened at all.

I'm not even joking. It starts with the Star Trek miniseries, which is a complete jump forward in quality from anything in the last volume save Infestation #1. Kirk, Spock and Bones are besieged by zombies and have to fight them off.

This is a striking mini because the writing is there this time. There are no jarring character moments or tonal shifts here. The Original Series crew feels like they should, right down to their methods of solving the crisis. Normally, your heroes will immediately get to the decapitations when faced with a zombie menace. Not the OS boys. They are committed to finding a solution to the problem rather than just surviving, even if that means setting out to cure the damn zombie virus, which is not a goal you see everyday in zombie media (because, you know, they're fricking dead).

It continues into the Ghostbusters mini. This one made the entire event for me. You know the drill; our favorite boys with the neutron accelerators take on zombies. This one, however, is chock full of great moments, from a zombie Mr. Stay Puft to demon zombie cats to the original and zombie Stay Pufts duking it out in the middle of New York.

Better still, the voices of the character are almost pitch perfect. One of the tests, for me, of getting a character right is if you can hear their voice in your head, saying the lines. If it didn't originate in film or animation, go with an iconic version, like, say, Batman: The Animated Series Joker. I swear I could easily imagine Bill Murray saying the lines given to Venkman. Same goes for Akroyd, Harris and so on for their characters. It's the best part of an already highly enjoyable story.

Even better? Apparently this writer is on board the Ghostbusters ongoing IDW started up after this event. I am so on board for that.

Then, we finish with Infestation #2, which caps off the core plot of this event. I mentioned last time that DnA made that issue work by interesting me in characters I had no prior history with, despite them having been around a while. Nothing has changed with this installment and it's the cherry on top of the rest of the volumes ice cream. I'm interested in reading more of these characters now and apparently there are stories available for me to go to read more about them.

Artwise, all three stories are clear winners. The Star Trek miniseries is cleaner in the linework and coloring than the others. Ghostbusters was the one I had a bit of trouble with, since the style is a bit more exaggerated and cartoonish, but after the two minutes it takes to adapt you realize it suits the story very well. David Messina is still on for the Infestation issue and he does as well as last time.

I'm very impressed by how much the second half turned this event around from just above mediocrity.

The Score: 9 out of 10

This volume made the whole exercise worth it. It's a great read from cover to cover. I'd now recommend both volumes of this event to people, with the minor caveat that the first volume has a bit of subpar or jarring material. This one completely makes up for that, though.

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