After the extreme disappointment I felt reading Infestation #1 last week, I was actually a little hesitant to pick this one up. The actual amount of Star Trek in the first issue was limited to about two and a half pages which is a goddamn rip-off when your cover has prominent Spockage. Infestation: Star Trek #1 has at least one thing going for it. It is all Star Trek. No leather-bound vampires or characters you’ve never heard of. Well, unless you count the disposable red shirts but why start now?
If you missed my review of Infestation, the concept is dirt simple. Zombies escape into through a dimensional portal into various realities that feature famous properties from the 80s. These include GI Joe, Transformers, Ghostbusters and Star Trek. The missed opportunity of a Jem vs Zombies comic is a rant for another day. Anyway, I: ST starts post Motion Picture, pre-Wrath of Khan, so everyone is wearing ugly brown uniforms. Kirk, Spock and Bones are shuttle-bound to the planet of Calibus VII for a ceremony honoring Dr. McCoy for his works in curing a recent plague outbreak. The Enterprise is heading for a Star Base to resupply and will be meeting them at the planet in a few days. The landing crew quickly discovers that the colony has been overrun by the undead. This includes a great little moment when Bones is examining a corpse, speaks his usual line “He’s dead, Jim” when the colonist comes back to life. The crew quickly realize that the stun settings on their phasers don’t work on the undead (I’m pretty sure there’s a canonical reason for this but I don’t know it off the top of my head.) and Kirk is hesitant to use the Kill setting on what he believes to be innocent civilians so the crew takes the traditional Shaun of the Dead defense procedure of wailing on the zombies with shovels. The red shirts (actually brown shirts in the hideous world of late 70s Starfleet.) are quickly killed and turned and Kirk realizes that their rudimentary instincts may allow the zombies to still pilot a shuttle. The crew destroys the shuttle stranding themselves until the Enterprise can pick them up. The issue ends with Kirk, Spock and Bones surrounded and Kirk deciding to switch to Kill.
As far as zombie comics go, this one’s pretty standard. The plot’s something we’ve definitely seen before as Kirk, Spock and Bones attempt to make their way from point-A to safety. In fact, if I had any real complaints about this one, it’s that it doesn’t explore any of the unique ideas that zombies in the Star Trek universe could give us. None of the colonists are aliens, obviously none of the main characters are going to die and we don’t even see the Enterprise. I found myself reading this and just thinking of the missed opportunities. The virus is stated to affect non-humans but even then all we see is a zombified deer. What would the virus do to a Klingon or a Vulcan? Or Christ, what about something completely unhuman like a Tholian? How cool would a zombie outbreak on the Enterprise be? An enclosed space with no place to run to? Perfect.
I’ve talked quite a bit about how well Classic Trek does horror and that’s certainly true. Space is scary because you have nowhere to run to. While there is a little of this in Infestation, it could have certainly been a lot better. As for the actual writing, it was fine. The characterization of the main characters was fine. I particularly enjoyed Bones’ complaining about receiving the award simply for doing his job. The art too was fine, the characters all looking like they were supposed to. All in all, Infestation: Star Trek certainly is in no way a bad comic. It’s just that, as someone who has read and seen a LOT of zombie stuff, there’s really nothing here I can’t get anywhere else. The Star Trek universe is huge and fascinating and it could bring a lot of new ideas to a zombie story but none of that appears here. I’m hoping that’s something the next issue will explore more of. Or any of.
After all, you should always remember: