The Ghostbusters aren’t afraid of no ghosts. But zombies are a whole different story altogether. When IDW’s Infestation hits the Ghostbusters, will Egon, Peter, Ray and Winston stand a chance? Find out, in Ghostbusters: Infestation #1!


Written by: Erik Burnham
Artwork by: Kyle Holtz
Colors by: Dan Brown
Lettered by: Chris Mowry
Edited by: Tom Waltz
Published by: IDW
Price: $3.99

“Well, we routinely deal with disembodied spirits – it’s only logical to expect the concurrent existence of dead bodies without spirits.”

Previously, at IDW: Realizing that zombies are now big business, IDW decided to inject a little undead action into some of their top properties. Infestation is a crossover that tells the story of the zombie plague from Zombies vs. Robots jumping into the multiverse, thereby infecting robots in disguise, a ruthless terrorist organization, and some redshirts. Oh yeah, and a few guys who wear unlicensed nuclear accelerators on their backs.

Although the Infestation storyline is occurring across four properties, each story has so far been self-contained aside from the bookending narrative. This lets the readers pick up which books they’re most interested in without having to worry about too much about the over-plot. Honestly, the “you got zombie in my Transformers/GI Joe/Star Trek!” experiment hasn’t been totally successful. The zombie element is shoehorned in without much concern for how this should affect the tone of the universe – the preceding stories play the premise a little too straight for it to work.


Since Ghostbusters is the only one of the properties that’s really paranormally oriented, it is perhaps unsurprising that the Ghostbusters segment is the one that works best in the Infestation narrative. But credit must be given to Erik Burnham’s writing. It’s his dialogue and writerly instincts that makes this the most playful and successful entry in Infestation. There are a lot of good lines in this issue, and everyone acts and sounds like I remember from the movies. He even gives Janine a pretty bad ass moment. Burnham also meshes the zombie plague conceit into the overall Ghostbusters narrative much better than his compatriots on the other books by having the characters respond in perfectly in-character ways. Peter wisecracks, Winston takes it in stride, Ray is fascinated and Egon comes up with a novel solution that’s clever from both a reader and in-universe standpoint while being suitably aloof the entire time. And the final page reveal of the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man promises an interesting conclusion.


Kyle Holtz’s art is a little too rubbery for my tastes, with some of his characters’ facial features rendered lumpy and inconsistent from panel to panel. He also sometimes skimps on his backgrounds – it’s not a lot of fun looking at a talking head on a bare panel. But Holtz shines when it comes to drawing the zombies, whether they are exploding head zombies or melty cat zombies or regular run-of-the-mill zombies. The grotesqueries come out great which, when you’re reading a zombie, is what really matters anyways. Since the Ghostbusters proton streams tend to explode their undead antagonists, there’s plenty of splatter for everyone.


The Infestation storyline hasn’t made for must-read comics, but Ghostbusters: Infestation #1 is the best of the lot. It’s entertaining enough for casual fans to pick up, but still isn’t essential reading. And at $3.99, it is priced a little too high. That said, I’m interested enough to pick up the next issue.

Rating: ★★★☆☆


About Author

George Chimples comes from the far future, where comics are outlawed and only outlaws read comics. In an effort to prevent that horrible dystopia from ever coming into being, he has bravely traveled to the past in an attempt to change the future by ensuring that comics are good. Please do not talk to him about grandfather paradoxes. He likes his comics to be witty, trashy fun with slightly less pulp than a freshly squeezed glass of OJ. George’s favorite comic writers are Warren Ellis and Grant Morrison, while his preferred artists are Guy Davis and Chris Bachalo, He loves superheroes, but also enjoys horror, science fiction, and war comics. You can follow him @TheChimples on Twitter for his ramblings regarding comics, Cleveland sports, and nonsense.


    • It’s not an advanced review, though I do think our reviews are rather ahead of everyone else out there, but rather this is a review that is in advance of the release date, which is tomorrow.

  1. I’d been hoping to find an unbiased review of this (the others have been by hardcore GB fanatics who wouldn’t find any fault), so thank you very much. I’m a huge Ghostbusters fan, but with money being tight I haven’t had a chance to grab the comics yet, and I’ve been particularly interested in this story since I’ve heard of the big event (and I still can’t figure out how the TF part is gonna work… Techno-organic zombie virus perhaps?).

    • George Chimples on

      The zombies come from the Zombies vs. Robots series, which was a very surreal miniseries written by Chris Ryell with art from Ashley Wood. It mostly served as a showcase for Ashley Wood’s bizarre art, so the story concepts were just ridiculously over the top and didn’t make much sense (on purpose).

      In that series, the virus can infect the robots pretty much because the plot demands it (as all the humans except for a baby are dead, and it wouldn’t be much of a story if no one else got infected). So…. I suspect IDW used the same “virus” just so they could include the popular Transformers franchise, and the Transformers writers accepted at face value an idea that was meant to be goofy from the start.

    • Hey, you got lucky then, to get on the book that inherently makes the most sense to have zombies. It automatically makes me less skeptical of this one compared to the others (granted that’s more of a zombie/vampire fatigue as of late). I’ll have to pick this up, I love the Ghostbusters and good writing seals the deal.

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