Transformers Infiltration 02
Confronted with Runamuck and Runabout, Ratchet deals with them, ( in a non lethal way ) before going on the run again with Jimmy, Hunter and Verity.
The escape goes badly though, because the Decepticons open break cover either because they don't care any more or because something major has happened.
In the mean time Epsilon holdings and Starscream scheme.
After a narrow escape that waylaid Runabout and Runamuck involving two trucks, Verity has a meltdown and demand Ratchet to stop, before getting out.
Jimmy proceeds to try and calm her down, while Hunter briefly talks with Ratchet. Before Skywarp appears out of nowhere, as he is wont to do.
Ratchet attempts to shake Skywarp off, with a rocket booster no less. But Skywarp is finally waylaid as Prowl, Ironhide and Sunstreaker lie in waiting summoned by Ratchet in the garage.
Before turning their weapons on Ratchet as Prowl throws the book at him.
Ratchet responds with "siege mode."
Credits :Writer : Simon Furman,
Artist: E J Su,
Colors by : John Rauch,
Letters by : Tom B Long and Robbie Robins.
Editor : Chris Ryall.
Ratchet, ( robot form )
All transformers have weapons in their vehicle form.
Verity might be religious. ( She recites a part of the hail mary at least. )
Ratchet has a rocket booster in his ambulance mode.
As slow as IDW comics Transformers stories are accused to be and believe me they do have a slow burn. ( The 2009 series comes to mind now. )
And as slow as Infiltration is often accused of being this isn't entirely true,
as issue 2 will attest.
While its true that the story is a bit slow in getting going and will spin its wheels a few times, issues 3 and 4 come to mind now.
It's clear that the story line is a bit overlong with 7 issues.
4 would have been enough.
But issue 2 opens with a bang.
Not only do we finally get to see Tranformers in robot form, but in action as well.
Ratchet finally transforms and takes immediate action, to dispatch Runabout and Runamuck, albeit it temporary.
And after 2 issues of skulking around and running away, this is quite satisfying to see,
before running away again.
Well it had to happen anyway, Ratchet is a doctor after all.
Ratchet's somewhat purple prose narration also hits on a old comic cliché, "nothing will ever be the same again. "
I'm not sure if this is Furman winking at us, the readers telling us that these Transformers are not like the ones we have grown accustomed too. ( G1 in other words )
Or if its just some purple prose thrown in there.
But the line will prove to be proficient because, for them the characters and the readers, things wont be the same ever again in regards to Transformers.
Certainly when you take in account the shake ups and soft reboots, ( at least four of them ) along the way.
And Jimmy's poor garage gets thrashed in the process, probably not much of a call back to G1 where Sparkplug's garage suffered the same fate, more then once. And more likely, what will happen when huge alien robots come trashing about.
The sales man mystery is touched up on a single page and well, other then finding out that he is dead and some shadowy organisation either was looking for him or had him on the payroll we dont get to find out anything else. Either way, we will see a lot more of these people but not quite yet. considering we wil see variations on this theme a few times it quickly becomes tiresome.
The second chase scene is as usual kinetic and the mystery is peeled back a bit more, but only a bit.
We learn that Decepticons usually operate under a strict blanket of secrecy and to break cover in such a brazen way is unusual.
This is one of the points where Infiltration breaks away with the tradition of Transformers and takes the tagline "Robots In Disguise" to heart.
The previous series right back to G1, ( comic and cartoon ) were never in disguise much, their presence on earth was never give much thought beyond collateral damage.
But here in Infiltration, the stakes are different, they are higher. It's more cold war and cloak and dagger, while skulking in the shadows, which even a decade later is a wholly fresh take on Transformers.
Pity the cold war set up couldn't last, because its an intriguing concept.
Even more a shame is that we only see it on two other planets.
Speaking of planets, we also learn partially what is going on here and why the Decepticons apparently don't care about protocol anymore.
Namely the ore, I will touch upon this later, but I am afraid that despite its initial importance in the first arcs, it's a bit of a red herring and a deus ex machina to boot.
And then comes probably the worst scene in the whole arc so far.
After a particularly intense and narrow escape from the Decepticons, ( involving two trucks ) Verity has a meltdown and demands Ratchet to stop.
....And he does.
.....And she gets out.
While this affords us some insight in to Verity and Jimmy's characters, ( with some forced humor. )
And some more exposure from Ratchet, ( things we the readers already know ) it is wholly incongruous with the escape it self.
Ratchet himself even lampshades it, its just there to devour pages and extend the story.
But all good things come to and end and so does this thankfully, with a rocketbooster no less.
And finally, finally we meet more Autobots, at the end of this issue.
Where we see that the more things change, the more they stay the same.
Prowl throws the book at Ratchet and we have the first glimpses of Prowl's pricklish personality in the IDW Transformers series.
Issue 2 is a great issue. It picks up from the slow burn of issue 0 and 1, finally shows us Transformers in robot mode. Introduces a host of new concepts and ideas
and shows us more new Autobots to boot while giving Hunter, Verity and Jimmy some more characterisation. ( Panic attacks and forced humor not withstanding. )
EJ Su is firing on all cylinders again, from the kinetic energy in the chase scenes to Hunter's body language as he collects himself and then considers something, all with out ponderous narration or thought balloons.
Best issue so far.