Transformers Infiltration 03
Verity holds up the sm-40 to a camera and yells at it threatening to delete whatever is on it, as she Jimmy and Hunter are in a holding cell in the ark 19.
We see the current earth bound Autobots, Sunstreaker, Jazz, Bumblebee, Ironhide, Wheeljack, Prowl and Ratchet, as Prowl reads Ratchet the riot act in a rather prickly manner.
Telling him to get whatever information is on Verity's computer then getting rid of the humans, while refusing Ratchet's request to contact Optimus Prime.
Prime has bigger concerns then a infiltration unit going rogue.
After Prowl leaves, Ratchet implores to Ironhide that whatever is going on right now is big. Wether the infiltration unit has gone rouge or not is irrelevant, whatever is going on it means that Megatron sooner or later will put his house in order.
In Tucson Arizona, a police officer investigates the dead man's circumstances which lead him to a trailer park, where he has rented an old heap under the name Finklerock. Just then a couple of planes appear out of nowhere, destroy Finklerock's trailer and disappear again.
Down in the ark 19 Ratchet appears in front of Verity and convinces her to hand over the palmtop, so they can finally get it to divulge its secrets.
In the meantime Ironhide makes his mind up and sends a pulsewave to Optimus Prime
The pictures on the palmtop turn out to be persuasive, not to mention damning and Ratchet explains what siege mode is exactly.
It is phase five of the infiltration protocol and nothing good.
While phase six is armageddon.
The pictures backtrack the Decepticons steps back to Oregon, where they are now and to Nebraska. But the evidence is inconclusive and Verity wonders, why did they leave ?
In the mean time, a plane and a tank destroy the remnants of Jimmy Pink's garage and the bus Verity and Stoker rode on.
Back in the ark 19 Verity, Jimmy and Hunter insist Ratchet takes them to Nebraska to give Prowl the proof he needs for countermeasures.
Ratchet is only partially swayed but finally agrees to action when Bumblebee shows up, having skulked in the shadows.
In Oregon, Starscream orders his men to destroy the Nebraskan bunker.
Credits :Writer : Simon Furman,
Artist: E J Su,
Colors by : John Rauch,
Letters by : Tom B Long and Robbie Robins.
Editor : Chris Ryall.
Notes : There is more then one ark.
Verity seems to like Volkswagen beetles.
Bumblebee's holomatter avatar is female.
Finklerock is an alias and a combination of two G1 names, Donny Finkleberry, the robot master and GB Blackrock.
GB Blackrock played a prominent part in Furman's G1 arc.
And this is where Infiltration starts to sag and spin its wheels.
For all the merits of issue 3.
A break in the action of issues 1 and 2.
Introducing new concepts and new characters, including the fact that there is more then 1 ark and the crew of ark 19, ( mostly 1984 G1 autobots ) issue 3 is a holding pattern.
Not helped by the fact that Ratchet tells Prowl, things we the reader already know, including a handy little recap.
But depsite this, there are a few characterizations.
Ratchet is depicted as a rule breaker, dedicated to save lives.
Vainglorious according to Prowl.
Prowl himself is a stickler for the rules, which is the characterization he has always been given per his original toy bio, but this is the first time we actually get to see this.
Another new detail in Infiltration is that Optimus Prime and Megatron are very hands off in this cold war. They let their Infiltration units fend for themselves, while they have bigger fish to fry.
Or at least, to cope with the on going war.
Which is once again a huge divergence from all that has gone before, where Prime and Megatron where far more hands on in their commanding.
Or, as far as G1 goes disappeared for millions of years
We also finally learn the name of the dead salesman, Finklerock, but I wouldn't put too much stock in to that.
As the Decepticons clean up their mess behind them, blowing up Finklerock's rented trailer.
And Jimmy's half trashed garage, all in front of the eyes of bemused and horrified onlookers.
Including a news crew who didn't get the scoop and some more humor, which was actually somewhat funny this time around.
And the bus that carried Finklerock before his untimely demise.
The majority of the issue however is devoted to Ratchet talking to Verity, Jimmy and Hunter.
And despite it being all talking heads, we do learn a few things.
That this is the ark 19.
That it's at the bottom of lake Michigan and that the human avatar ratchet uses is a holomatter avatar.
Which is probably why he can be tangible.
It also finally tells us, what exactly Infiltration mode entails. ( Slowly destabilising geo political infrastructures. )
But all this, is an overly long way to move all the pieces to Nebraska.
Including, introducing Bumblebee, whom along with the mostly 1984 cast so far and a focus on Ratchet, might have been used to give G1 fans an anchoring point in this new continuity.
Coming of Dreamwave however, where Bumblebee also had a large focus, it does feel a bit like a retreat.
It does it's job, but its so slow and ponderous that all the momentum is slowly sucked out of the story.
Including a single page of the same panel of Ironhide, staring at a screen before making a move and sending a pulsewave message to Optimus Prime.
One panel and a close up of the send message panel would have been enough.
I cant help but feel that even with all this, the story is stretched beyond its breaking point.
That issue 3 is overlong and that the story could have been shorter.
Now if Furman wanted Infiltration to be 6 issues or if IDW editorial dictated it. Because they were and still are fond of easily packaged for the trade 4 or 6 issue arcs, I dont't know about the reasoning behind it.
But Infiltration would have worked better as a 4 or 5 parter instead of 7.
Having said that and despite the fact that issue 3 puts the breaks on a reasonably paced storyline, it's still an essential issue showing the length and breath of how different this new continuity will be.