Review by: Walt Kneeland (firstname.lastname@example.org )
The CVO goes up against a massive zombie outbreak...and the battle turns against them. Will they be able to salvage the situation, or does this begin the end of the multiverse?
Written by: Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning
Art by: David Messina
Inks by: Gaetano Carlucci
Colors by: ScarletGothica
Prologue Art by: Elena Casagrande
Art Assist by: Claudio Balboni
Lettered by: Robbie Robbins
Assistant Editor: Bobby Curnow
Edited by: Chris Ryall and Tom Waltz
This issue is allll setup. I don't know these characters...I don't really care about these characters...and yet, there's a real sense of history, even if one has never read any of these characters' stories before. And scattered throughout are footnotes referring to key stories that have come before, that shaped them and their team. These two elements alone contribute greatly to the classic feel of the story.
We open with military folk dealing with a dimensional gateway (think: Stargate). Having blocked the other side from coming through, they have all sorts of potential uses for access to another world. Of course, there wouldn't be much story if things went according to their plan. Zombies break through and overrun the place. When the CVO (Covert Vampiric Operations) team is sent in to assess the situation, they lose one of their own. And as we all know...when battling zombies: our loss is their gain. These zombies have a hive mind, so gain even more by the addition of a crucial member of the CVO. When another CVO member is corrupted, the threat expands beyond global and becomes a multiversal danger. By issue's end, there's a new mission for the CVO: visit the parallel Earths the zombies gained access to...and try to save them.
Though I know only what the inside-cover intro tells me about these characters...as said above, there's a real sense of history here, knowing there are prior comics starring these characters. The footnotes are great, referencing the stories, and I myself may eventually make use of them to seek out more information. As-is, the characters don't come across with much depth...but somehow feel perfectly in line with something I'd expect from a silver age book, though with a darker, more modern slant. Figuring this to just be setup, the story flows just fine, introducing the situation and characters, providing an epic, world-spanning story...which itself kicks off this Infestation event.
The art has a style to it that has often reminded me of animated series, though it somehow specifically puts me in mind of a TMNT adaptation from Dreamwave a few years back as well as a Street Fighter comic I picked up years ago. There's a dark tone to the work overall, and the linework sometimes looks slightly sketchy--but sets the atmosphere for the story. The coloring gives a sort of "shiny" feel to the visuals that I've never been much a fan of...but I think that's more noticable due to the high quality/glossy paper that makes up the physical pages of this issue.
All in all, the only thing that actually disappointed me about this issue--which I'd been looking forward to since this event was announced--is that the various licensed properties involved (G.I. Joe, Star Trek, Transformers, Ghostbusters) don't actually appear in this opening chapter (except as preview pages for all four tie-ins in the back of the book). As this issue is all set-up, really...providing the necessary catalyst for involving the tie-in properties...I'd recommend this as one to contextualize any of the 4 upcoming mini-series if you're planning on picking any of them up. And of course, this is highly recommended for anyone specifically interested in following this event.
Beginning with this issue, it looks like the Infestation event--by way of 4 separate biweekly minis and a closing bookend chapter--is a ten-week thing, with a new chapter weekly. I'm on-board for the entirety of this particular ride.
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