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Star Trek: Infestation #1

When I first heard about this mini series I thought it was a horrible idea. However, since the last Star Trek mini series I read from IDW was so good I went ahead and gave this one a try. I wish I hadn’t.

SPOILER WARNING This issue begins with Kirk, Spock, McCoy and three security guards in a shuttle on their way to Calibus VII. They are going there so Dr. McCoy can be honored for his work stopping a recent plague on that planet. When they arrive they are unable to contact anyone and no one is present to greet them. As they begin to investigate they start running into colonists who have been transformed into zombies. The Enterprise crewmen soon learn that the stun setting on their phasers has no effect on the zombies. Since, these are the colonists and they don’t know what has happened to them Kirk, understandably, does not want to use lethal force at this time. As they look for answers the three security guards are quickly infected and become zombies (what are red shirts for after all). The remaining Enterprise crewmen are forced to destroy their own shuttle in order to prevent their infected crewmates from taking the shuttle back to the ship and spreading the infection. Since, the Enterprise will not be back to pick them up for at least five days Kirk, Spock and McCoy are on their own. They must search for answers while staying one step ahead of the zombie hoard. END SPOILER WARNING

The problem with this issue, in a nutshell, is the main characters are not in any real danger. Unless all three of them suddenly become stupid if they are ever in a tight spot they can always switch their phasers to full power. A single phaser at full power could easily mow down every single zombie on the planet. I know zombies are supposed to be scary especially in large numbers but that doesn’t work when the main characters have weapons like phasers. Writers Scott and David Tipton really only had two choices. One was to find some way to render the phasers useless or two make this something other then a horror story. They could have made it more of a mystery story with the Enterprise crew seeking the source of this plague and what if any cure there maybe. Then they could have left Kirk and crew with a wrenching moral decision to make in order to stop the spread of the infection. In short, this storyline could and maybe should have been more like the original series episode “Operation: Annihilate!” in both setup and tone. The bottom line is, if you are a diehard Star Trek or zombie fan go ahead and give this issue a try but if you’re not then you can skip this one.

Keith Forney