Transformers Infiltration 1
This issue opens on a laptop showing a conspiracy website, with the title Mechatopia, operated by Hunter, who firmly believes that there is alien life out there.
Cut to the present, where he and Verity are stuck in a odd ambulance with a driver who seems to have a frozen smile, careening through the south Californian desert at 190 miles an hours.
It doesn't take Hunter long to realise that he has found what he has been looking for, extra terrestrial life.
Just after his car was blown up by an unmanned plane, and him and Verity nearly with it.
The mystery cars return with a vengeance however and they like to play rough.
The ambulance manages to shake them with some build in weaponry, as the jet turns up again.
It never rains but it pours as they say. The ambulance releases a sticky smokelike substance, which deals with the plane for a moment. But all that this does is buy them a few minutes, they need a place to lie low.
A place Verity can provide, after logging on the ultra portable.
The garage of Jimmy Pink.
Who wastes no time getting under the ambulance and soon figures out that this is no ordinary ambulance, you might even say one that out of this world.
The jet and the cars are prowling around, waiting for somebody to activate the ultra portable again so they can home in on it's signal.
And lo and behold, somebody does activate it.
Hunter is putting his suppositions together and just as Jimmy finishes repairs he throws around his theory.
That the ultra portable was stolen by Verity. That it's the reason why they were targeted and that it contains images that could get them killed.
And according to the smiling driver, it's all true.
Fed up Verity leaves in a prickly huff, before she is back in an instant babbling incoherently.
Something or someone tears the door out of the garage, and we see our first transformers in robot mode.
Runabout and Runamuck.
Credits :Writer : Simon Furman,
Artist: E J Su,
Colors by : John Rauch and Josh Burcham,
Letters by : Tom B Long and Robbie Robins.
Editor : Chris Ryall.
Notes : second apperances of : Ratchett
This issue had 4 variant covers.
Hunter uses Internet explorer apparently.
His page mechatopia isn't just there to fill up his laptop's screen. It's a reference to the upcoming Spotlight : Shockwave.
First full issue of the IDW Transformers series, which is still going 10 years later.
IDW has overtaken Marvel Comics output, whom held the Transformers licence from 1984 till 1994.
And released more Transformers comics then any of the other license holders, bar Marvel UK with it's 332 issues. Marvel UK had a weekly schedule though.
All action, all the time.
Compared to the slowburn of issue 0, issue 1 is like greased lighting.
But when you put the brakes on it, ( yeah I think that's enough speed metaphors ) you realise that there isn't much to the issue, beyond a car chase.
But what a stylish chase it is.
I haven't mentioned EJ Su's art last time, but I would be remiss to do so now. He brings a kinetic feverous energy to the proceedings, which helps translate what are basically snapshots, to a thrilling action pace.
Action is hard to convey in comics, even more so when it's a car chase.
But Su manages to do it with aplomb.
Sadly Su left the comic book industry behind him, and he is now head of R&D for Trident Cases.
But he is on fine form here, firing on all cylinders and makes what could be a very boring issue, a riveting if very shortlived read.
Because outside the chase we don't get to see much, beyond a few flashbacks which issue 0 makes superfluous. But then again we cant really expect that everybody has read issue 0 now can we?
A reiteration of Hunter's alien life form's are real attitude and Verity's ..prickliness.
Hunter also seems to have some smarts, since he twigged out fairly early that Ratchet is not human.
Course Ratchets avatar has a fixed smile, so it's not that hard to figure out.
Then again hunter is smart enough to put 1 and 1 together, in regards to the ultra portable.
Ratchet is mostly understated with some snarkiness, but he is mostly in his G1 Marvel comics mould. An unwilling soldier, who cant and wont sit idly by as long as he can help them, even if that means risking everything.
As for Jimmy Pink, beyond his silly last name he is obviously a throwback to Sparkplug Witwicky, who all the way back in 1984 ( damn that long ago already ? ) had Bumblebee in a similar spot in his garage and also immediately noticed, that this wasn't a normal car. Especially the suspension remark
But the comic is light on the Transformers in robot mode, while this sounds dull it isn't it just builds up the suspense and heightens the subterfuge feel of the story so far.
It's something to look back on, because it wont last.
But right now Autobots and Decepticons are still in full on cold war mode, with cloak and daggers being the name of the game.
Humans don't know they are here and they want to keep it that way, which is why the Decepticons are after the sm40
And because of all the skullduggery, we only get out first real look at any transformer in this series and in the whole IDW- verse, on the very last page
and its a pair of battlechargers no less.
Infiltration 1 is an excellent issue, it might be a bit of a retread after issue 0 but that doesn't hurt it at all
The art is gorgeous, the action fluid and kinetic and the slowburn isn't that much of detriment. The story isn't stretched to it's breaking point or run unnaturally long just to fill 6 issues.
Later storylines will suffer from this.
But Infiltration at the moment manages to balance between intrigue, decompression and speedy storytelling.
It's also reads as a breath of fresh air where the tagline "Robots In Disguise" is actually more then just a spiffy tagline, but an integral part of the storyline.
And all this intrigue comes crashing down because of a few pictures on an ultra portable.
As far as IDW Transformers goes, this issue is ground zero. This is where it all began 10 years ago.
And it's still a great read 10 years on.