Large crossover events are nothing new in the comic book world. Oh sure, once upon a time a book could reasonably assume to exist in its own reality, unhindered by the meddling and logistical problems of other books. But then superheroes started appearing in each other’s titles. Just a hop, skip, and jump to when DC made multiple parallel universes a plot point in its books. Before you knew it, you had huge company-wide crossover events that bent and warped reality (and continuity), destroying universes and forging new ones. And nowadays, a given company is likely to have three or four major events in a single year. It’s not all bad, once you get used to constant events and shakeups.
It’s just…I really never thought IDW would be the one to do a major crossover event. Let alone twice.
A bit of explaining is in order. Most comic publishers find a niche in the market, so as to increase the likelihood of success in an ever struggling market. For DC and Marvel, it’s two brands of superhero comics, each with a guiding philosophy and a cavalcade of iconic characters. With Image and Dark Horse, it’s more experimental and dark books, respectively. And with IDW, the name of the game is licensing. IDW specializes in licensed comics, like Transformers, GI Joe, Doctor Who, and Star Trek. Basically, if it’s a comic based on a pre-existing property, IDW (and to an extent Dark Horse) will probably be the one to license it for comics.
As such, you’ll understand why it’s so odd for the company to create a crossover event involving multiple properties that originally aren’t theirs. Well, in 2011 IDW published a crossover comic called Infestation, followed by an epilogue called Infestation: Outbreak. I don’t know much about Outbreak, but basically the first Infestation revolved around zombies attacking various universes in IDW’s comic line.
At the end of that event, the only way to get rid of the zombies, apparently, was for characters from the CVO comic to call upon the powers of the Elder Gods of Lovecraft fame and get them to remove them.
I wish I could joke about this. I wish I was brilliant enough to come up with something like this.
Not to overly state the obvious, but this seems like a very ill-advised move. Like getting rid of a roach problem by setting the whole building on fire. Which is why we’re here again, one year later, to see how the inhabitants of the various IDW universes deal with the collective eldrich abominations that helped them out last time.
Or something. I never read the first Infestation, so I’m just working off promotional material here.
Anyway, INFESTATION 2 #1. First in a two-part miniseries, this issue introduces us to the characters of CVO as they deal with the sudden influx of Lovecraftian horrors. So far as I can tell, CVO basically amounts to vampires employed by the government to fight evil, and in here they have their hands full. Fish men in Brooklyn, the Blob in San Francisco, a mega slug in Texas, and the worst terror of all: evil cosplayers in Rhodes Island.
Oh, and their super vampire with a heart made of a fusion of magic and science gets mind controlled. Don’t know what that’s about. But it looks thrilling.
I don’t want to be unfair to this book, just because I have no idea who any of these people are. Not to mention despite this being a crossover event, apparently this won’t involve anyone from the various books interacting with each other. The Elder Gods will apparently much around in the tie-in books, which will make up the releases between now and when INFESTATION 2 #2 comes out. In April.
So for the next few months, I get the pleasure of reading a few of these tie-ins I have an interest in (mostly just Transformers: Heart of Steel and GI Joe), while also completely forgetting what happened in this issue. Mark my words, I will completely forget what’s going on by the time this plot thread finally ends. Maybe I’m old fashioned. Maybe I’ve come to expect a story not to take three months to update. Maybe I just don’t see the elegance of the number two. But really IDW, why not make the story a bit longer and stick the middle in between.
At least then you wouldn’t need to make an asinine crossover between an alien and Bat Boy!
Edit: Something I noticed but didn’t have time to work into the text. On the cover and the inside publishing information, the book and the crossover are called “Infestation 2”. But on Wikipedia and even the IDW website, the crossover is called “Infes2ation”.
I…but…guh? Because poor literacy is KEWL? How do I even pronounce that?