Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Transformers Infiltration Issue 0

Transformer Infiltration issue 0

Synopsis :  At a bus station in  phoenix Arizona, Verity  Carlo  is picking her targets.  Including a  bus ticket to  Los Angeles  and  a palmtop  by a businessman.
When the  business man  is  taking a much needed siesta, she  lifts  his ultraportable  out of his backpack  and  feigning  motion sickness, Verity  gets of  the  bus  with her latest   loot  in hand. 

She is later picked up in a  VW van, by  a young man  with  the name of Hunter O'nion  ( That's Oh, nee, ohn. )  before  taking a detour to find that  the  bus  Verity  left  not so long ago  was  ram raided by two  sports cars and the business man, disappeared in the desert.
Hunter continues on after the bus driver assured him everything will be fine.
And after some prodding from  both sides,  Hunter  reveals that he believes that there are indeed aliens  on earth. 
Exactly at that  moment a  blue  plane  scans and opens  fire  blowing the  VW van  to smithereens. Before he  can  finish the job however, the  jet is routed  by  a  well armed ambulance, with a perpetually smiling  driver who informs them that if they want to life, they had better get in.  

To be continued. 

Credits :Writer : Simon Furman, 
Artist:  E J Su,
Colors by : John Rauch,
Letters by :  Tom B Long and Robbie Robins.
Editor  : Chris Ryall.  

First appearance  :  Hunter O'nion
Verity Carlo, 
Ratchet,  (  Car mode only. )
Skywarp,  (  Plane mode only. ) 
Runabout, (  Car mode only. )
Runamuck, ( Car mode only.)
Starscream , ( Mostly hidden in shadows. )

Notes  :
This  was  a  preview  issue, that retailed for  99 cents  in October 2005. 
Infiltration 1 wasn't released until Jan 2006. 


For such a  short  issue,  16 pages. Issue 0  is densely packed, a lot more denser then  later issues would be. 

Issue 0 is the first time long time  Transformers scribe, Simon Furman has had the opportunity to lay down the foundation and build up his storyline from day one. 
Usually  he is  brought in to end somebody else's work,  ( Beast Wars. Following up on  Budianksy on marvel  US  )  or midways  through,  ( The War Within miniseries for  Dreamwave,  the Armada series and the Marvel UK series. Where Furman  penned his first story for issue 13. ) 

Infiltration  is as such, the first  time Furman  was allowed to  build it all up himself. 
Which is rather odd, when you think how much if an influence he has had over the years on the mythology as a whole. 
What we get  for a first story, however is  a  very decompressed storyline with  little actual action and even less Transformers. 
The few we do actually see Ratchet Runabout, Runamuck and Skywarp,  do not even transform. 
The focus  is mostly on the two humans.  Hunter O'nion  ( That's Oh, nee, ohn )  and  hitchhiker Verity Carlo, as the  net  around them closes in.  
It 's one of the most human centric  stories  told so far in  Transformers, with most of it taking place from the  perspective of  humans, which will remain a staple for  most of the ation arcs.  

The slow burn is par de course for comics these days, but was still a bit of a novelty back in 2005, and it's hard to believe that this comic is 10 years old already. 
Previous Transformers comics  either got going right away, with  the Transformers bursting on the scene on earth ( Marvel  UK and US  ) or  just picked up  where a previous iteration left, off and assumed  you were familiar enough with the material, to puck it up as they went along. ( Dreamwave.  ) 
Infiltration  is a deliberate slowburn, with a focus on it's two human characters. 
Verity and Hunter's characterisations are both  a bit bare bones for the moment, but  they work well enough. 
Hunter is an alien conspiracy nut, while Verity  is a  hitchhiker loner with  sticky  fingers. Who doesn't really care much about, oh' say  pick pocketing  somebody on the bus.  

Those sticky fingers  are what get her and Hunter in deep  trouble, as this  issue continues. 
Issue  0  is an effective  teaser, as well as an introduction for the series  as a whole. 
It sets up plenty  of  questions  and intrigue and while you can read Infiltration without it. Issue 0  is still  an important piece of set up and characterisation for Verity and Hunter. 

Recommended reading. 


  1. I'm with you; I can't believe it's ten years since IDW got the Transformers license. It's already more than five years since I stopped reading!

    I liked INFILTRATION a lot, though I seem to recall not everyone was pleased with it due to the focus on the human characters and "small scale" nature of the war. But for me, this was what Transformers should be: robots in disguise, carrying out a secret war on Earth. I like this stuff much better than all the grand space opera stuff. I just don't think that fits the concept of the Transformers very well.

    1. Well take it from me, IDW Transformers have become a lot, lot better since the twin disaster of All Hail Megatron and the 2009 ongoing.

      I liked and still like the Infiltration approach. Instead of having earth being the center of it al, it's just another backwater planet, another checkbox in the enduring cold war .
      And I liked that a lot.

      I also liked the human characters, because they have the good sense not to get in the way. ( unlike Prime )

      I don't mind the sprawling space opera approach at times, but when they do it I want it to actually be sweeping with a huge cast.
      Not 6 a side.
      I think Beast Wars and Machines are some of the finest Transformers cartoons ever created, but the small cast whether its appropriate or not, is one of the more unfortunate side effects.
      Prime for example, would have benefited from a bigger cast. ( and less annoying obnoxious humans, that get in the way. )

    2. I never watched PRIME, but I love BEAST WARS. I was less a fan of BEAST MACHINES, but my main beef with that show was that they turned Rhinox, my favorite Maximal, into a raving maniac of a bad guy.

      I don't necessarily mind the space opera once in a while either. I love Marvel's TRANSFORMERS #75, and TRANSFORMERS: THE MOVIE is great too. I just feel that in general, a smaller scale war on a planet like Earth (or Nebulos, if you prefer) is more fun to read about/watch.

    3. I loved Beast Machines, because they turned everything we knew about Transformers on it's head and Optimus Primal became just as much an extemist fanatic as Rhinox and Megatron.
      and he realised that and changed his way.

      Or that everything we knew was wrong. The Beast Wars were lost, Megatron had won and came so close to winning everything.
      It's one of my all time favourite series from the overwhelming odds to the general bleakness.
      Transformers has rarely been better then this