Thursday, 24 December 2015

Transformers Infiltration 04 Review

Transformers Infiltration 04


A flash back to  3  years ago  sees a younger Verity  sitting through a lecture while a social worker, discusses her case. 
Present day Verity is  slowly lowering down a chasm in to the  underground Decepticon bunker.  

Before being followed by Hunter and Jimmy. 
Armed with communication patches, light sticks and camera's they all 3  go their own way, to cover the maximum amount of ground possible. 
Ratchet is reluctant to risk their lives, But bumblebee in a show of detached pragmatism  justifies it, that  if worst comes to worst these 3 are acceptable losses compared to  billions.  

In Dallas, Texas a man named drake meets with  the leaders of Epsillon holdings which turns out to be a front for something,  ...more. 
More then meets the eye even. 
Mr Drake is assigned a team and  told to investigate the recent happenings. 
They have also located the  position of the ark 19,  thanks to a homing device in the  sm-40.  

At the former command bunker, Verity deals with the situation by pretending she is a reporter, before coming across  what she describes as a large  tree with metal tubes.
Jimmy has no idea what he is looking for, or at, at his end. For all he knows he  could  be looking at the Cybertronian equivalent of snappy meal packages.   

Inside one of these tubes she discovers a corpse dressed in a military  uniform  and almost breaks down, before she manages to compose her self  insisting to Hunter and Jimmy, that she is fine.
She can do this.  
Above ground Bumblebee and Ratchet wait, while Bumblebee proclaims he is bored now. 
Ratchet is feeling awfully exposed.
Suddenly out of nowhere,  Skywarp and Blitzwing appear bombing  the base. 
The Autobots order the  humans to evacuate the base immediately, but Verity ignores them. Removing her communicator and  digs deeper in to the base.  

Above ground the Autobots  take on the Decepticons. Bumblebee manages to take  Skywarp down, but even though Ratchet manages to shoot Blitzwing down but 
he is NOT out. 

Down below, Verity comes face to  face with Megatron himself. 

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.  

Review  :
And Infiltration is spinning it's wheels again. 
Despite the fact that  this issue brings a lot of new things to the table. 
A glimpse in to Verity's emotional state.
Some of her backstory.
That her  prickly attitude may or may not be a front, to cope with things. 
The introduction of the facsimiles,  which despite a few interesting ideas  and  tangents. Such as  hinting that the Decepticons have infiltrated  the USA government with  facsimiles, unfortunately go nowhere, beyond Escalation and a few spotlights. 
While Infiltration can't be faulted for this, with hindsight facsimiles are  one of the balls that are being dropped.  

This unfortunately is a  problem Furman has always had. 
A hell of a  opening arc, great  build up and then he fumbles it at the conclusion.  (  Target 2006  springs to mind now. The War within  has a awfull conclusion too. )
I can't help but feel that it's once again in a  holding pattern, with the  base part of the story being  overlong  and not adding much  to the proceedings. 
And I feel that  with some editing  and denser plotting,  Infiltration issue 3, 4 and 5  could have been contracted down to two issues. 
It does however end on a hell of a cliffhanger.
Verity stumbling upon Megatron, doing his own investigation as well as hinting that  more is going on here.
Stormbringer which  is up next, runs concurrently with Infiltration. 
Bumblebee gets some unexpected characterization as well. 
That of a pragmatist and concedes, that if something may happen, these three are acceptable losses.
Which  coming  from  the once kid friendly, kid appeal character  comes as  quite a shock.  

The Epsilon holdings part of the book is more mysterious human  organisations,  aware of Transformers or at least extra terrestrial activity.  Which is all fine and dandy but the only new  information the 2 pages give us  are the names of  some of the people in charge
Sending a Mr Drake out to investigate Transformers up close  and  our mystery sales man finally gets a name. 
Must be a Dracula fan. 
Other then that, these two pages tell us nothing we don't know already  and  are mostly wasted. 
The reveal of the dead facsimile  (  or  donor )  is suitably gruesome,  but on the whole  issue 4 is still treading water.
Even Bumblebee lampshades it's extraneous length, by proclaiming, "bored now." 
Followed by a fight scene between two Autobots and Decepticons, but even this bleeds in to issue 5. 
Issue 3 and 4  at the very least could have been contracted together, mostly because they  cover the same ground. 
The fight scene it self is  the usual high standard we can  expect from EJ Su and the  kid friendly kid appeal character is actually capable of holding his own against Skywarp. Which was unthinkable in Marvel G1  or even Dreamwave G1.  

Issue 4 is a  holding pattern with long dreary sections, (  the underground base  parts of the issue  )  repeating the same information or just stalling.
This is  where the slow burn of the story starts to hurt the proceedings, especially when read in monthly installments.
It doesn't work when reading it in a TPB or one go. 
It's a step up  from issue 3, mostly because of the  well  laid out action scene and all the  new information it brings to the table. 
But after issues zero, one and  two,  it's a definitive let down. 
But this last  pages makes up  for a lot.  



  1. You may be on to something about Furman not being great with conclusions. I thought REGENERATION ONE had a pretty bad ending too. Maybe he's just better at open-ended, ongoing series than at finite miniseries. His story arcs on the original TRANSFORMERS comic were usually pretty good, because each tended to end by bleeding into the next one.

    1. I kinda liked the ending of ReGeneration one.
      As depressing as hell as it was it was, at least an ending that made sense.
      The rest of the issue felt utterly rushed though.
      Which was even worse, because the previous four issues felt like such a waste just treading water.
      But that's the whole of ReGeneration One in a nutshell.
      Great idea, poor execution.
      The whole thing is just 4 rigid 5 part storylines and they all have poor rushed conclusions.
      But Furman's tendency to fudge conclusions goes way back to the 80's.
      Let's take one of the biggest stories of TF UK. Target 2006.
      It's 11 parts and the conclusion basically boils down to Galvatron making a ridiculous logic leap, figuring he is in an alternate universe and then buggers off back to 2006.
      And Furman neglects to explain why the Autobots would build Autobot City over Galvatron's super weapon, designed to destroy Autobot city and Unicron in one savage crushing blow !! ...ahem.
      The damn thing isn't even hidden.

      The conclusion for Generation 2 was pretty solid though, and Furman also wrote the last Beast Wars episode, which was also pretty good.

    2. I haven't read "Target: 2006" in some time. I forgot about that ending. You're right; it's pretty bad.

      I liked some of REGENERATION ONE, but I agree that the structure hurt it. Initially it read like an old-style Marvel comic, at least to me, but by the second story arc it became clear what he was doing and I didn't like it as much.

    3. I liked the initial structure of ReGeneration One as well. It read and felt like a Marvel issue and then after the first arc it went off the rails.
      Though personally, I would have preferred if they scrapped issues 79 and 80 and just continued from issue 78.