Transformers Infiltration 06
Starscream is taking a full on hit of Ore 13 in preparation of Megatron's arrival.
While back in Iowa, Ratchet is ferrying Jimmy, Verity and Hunter back to the ark 19.
Prowl decided to sideline them and Ratchet couldn't agree more.
Jimmy and Hunter are onboard with this idea as well, only Verity seems to be the voice of discontent. Until she relents as well and gives in to her post traumatic stress with the whole situation.
The other Autobots in the mean time are heading over to the Oregon bunker where Bumblebee is already situated, just in time to see Megatron orbital bounce in.
When Megatron confronts the Infiltration unit, they all stand down.
Only Starscream has the struts to confront Megatron, but despite unleashing a barrage on him and juiced up on ore 13. Starscream is left wanting, Megatron is not impressed and meters out Starscream's punishment by turning him in to a hole in one.
The Autobots end up being nothing more then bystanders, but are in time to rescue Bumblebee after he has been spotted.
The Autobots make their way back to lake Michigan, where they are spotted by agent Drake.
Down inside ark-19 Prowl thinks its time to get the heavy hitters in. They need Optimus Prime.
Optimus Prime however, is already here.
This cover will be cropped and becomes the cover of V1 of the Premier Collection released in 2007 and collecting 16 issues.
This book was expensive when released and is still expensive on the secondary market.
This cover was reused again for the Phase One Omnibus in September 2014 collecting Infiltration, Escalation and Devastation.
The holomatter avatars for the Autobots are as following:
Wheeljack : a balding white Caucasian male, in the mad professor mold.
Jazz : an African American man, sporting a soul patch.
Sunstreaker : a blonde Caucasian woman.
Ironhide : an middle aged, slightly heavy set greying Caucasian man.
Prowl : a slightly sedentary redheaded police officer with shades.
First mention and showing of an orbital bounce, which is short range teleportation.
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.
So here we are then, the last issue of Infiltration, the end of the arc and of Phase One.
This is the issue where Jimmy, Verity and Hunter more or less become sidelined.
They still appear in a few issues to come, but their headlining days are effectively over
and I am okay with that.
I like them as characters and think they are the best human characters, this side of Buster Witwicky
But it's time for the human characters to step aside.
Something a lot of Transformers series have had trouble with, especially the cartoons. Where gormless idiots just wander on to the battlefield and NOT get squashed.
Or get involved with 20 meter tall alien war robots, which can only turn out very badly for the squishies involved.
Prime and Masterforce are particularly bad in this regard, even if Masterforce turns out to be a mecha show, under the guise of a Transformers series.
Like Buster, Verity Jimmy and Hunter, are only too glad to be sidelined and they do not go looking for trouble.
Trouble comes to them.
And this is a very important distinction. Their association with the Autobots makes them natural targets and not just by the Decepticons.
So them being sidelinded is perfectly natural.
Including their reaction to it all. They are shellshocked, dejected and twitchy, on the edge of a nervous breakdown.
And Verity finally lets her emotional state, which was bubbling below the surface, come to the surface where it cracks.
Amazingly depicted by Su in 3 panels, where Verity goes from rebellious to cracking up, before finally giving in.
The majority of the issue however, is given to the part we have all been waiting for.
Megatron confronting his Infiltration unit and above all Starscream.
And despite being all juiced up, Starscream is the only one who has the struts to attack Megatron.
Who once again takes the attack with out flinching and proceeds to turn Starscream in to a hole in one.
This is a scene I always internally stand up and cheer for.
I don't like Starscream.
I really, really, really don't like Starscream.
I don't like him because his a noxiously nasally voiced annoying usurper that backstabs Megatron any chance he get's and then backpedals when Megatron isn't quite dead.
While Megatron keeps him around for some reason.
Even worse, Starscream has become a cliché of himself, a stereotype of himself.
When he is around you can be sure he will backstab Megatron.
Not if, but when.
Tvtropes.org has a page up called The Starscream, which just drives the point home how much of a cliché Starscream has become.
And it's always refreshing to see him buckle this trend.
Not so much in Infiltration though, but at least here it has a purpose, to make G1 fans feel like this is the Transformers of yore, without being too alienated by the new status quo.
Sadly as the IDW series continue to go it's way, Starscream continues to fall in to his old wellworn patterns. But as I said before Infiltration, can't be faulted for what the series in it's wake do.
Sadly despite perforating Starscream, Megatron lets him live repeating a mistake all Megatron's have done so before him.
However the ease with which Megatron takes down a fully juiced up Starscream does underplay the importance of ore-13 a bit. Even if it builds up Megatron as an awe inspiring supremely powerful being and it really stacks the odds in the Decepticons favor.
One odd scene however is that Megatron lets the 6 Autobots, pretty much all of Prowl's detachment that are literally on the sidelines watching, go.
Maybe he doesn't care about them interfering or wants to secure the base and ore 13. But it is a bit odd that Megatron just lets 6 Autobots go unmussed especially, considering his attitude towards Autobots later on.
But this can be chalked down to his detached demeanour, it's the bigger picture Megatron is concerned with not the small fry.
There is another odd scene with Sunstreaker and some forced humor, where he expresses disbelief that they are going to let the Decepticons go.
It doesn't really add much, nor shed any light on Sunstreakers personality.
Though later on back in the ark 19 we get to see again, that Sunstreaker isn't overly fond of humans.
If he only knew what was in store for him.
The Machination subplot gets some lipservice, but it doesn't really come to the forefront untill Escalation and later arcs.
Regardless, Infiltration is already busy setting up future storylines.
This issue also represent the end of a small conceit I always liked and which will be carried over briefly in to the Spotlights and Stormbringer.
And that is that earth, isn't the pivotal main frontline it is so often depicted as being,
but just another backwater world, in a backwater solar system, somewhere in the galaxy. Just another minor note to be ticked off in a galactic cold war, making the whole conflict feel a lot bigger.
With Megatron on earth and ore 13 making its presence known, this sadly falls by the way side and for the coming years until 2012, earth will be the focal point.
And in this issue we get our first look in this series of Optimus Prime in all his resplendent G1 glory.
And so ends issue 6 and phase 1.
Now Infiltration is often accused of being decompressed and slow moving.
And this is not entirely true or accurate for the series.
While it's true that the series could have been compressed in to a 5 parter easily.
And at times its pace is a bit too leisurely, the action sedate and it repeats it self a bit too often, while spreading things out too much.
It is still a well paced story, with several amazing cliffhangers.
And neither issues 1 nor 2 can be called slow, with the best will in the world.
It's 3 and 4 that let the side down, before 5 and 6 pick up the slack and finish it with aplomb.
It lays down the foundations of the complete and utter IDW verse. Whatever follows next, this is ground zero this is where it all began again.
This is what IDW Transformers is build upon and it's a good solid foundation, whish the series work off for years to come.
Dropped plotlines not with standing.
And so ends Infiltration and my last post for 2015.
Thing have started well enough, but as usual even the best laid plans of men and mice go awry, and things didn't pan out as planned.
Regardless, I did manage to make a decent start of things. Even if you wouldn't say so with all the new issue one's and the paucity of reviews, but all in all I put down 21 reviews.
And at least I managed to end 2015 with finishing up Infiltration and the gold digger mini series.
Gold digging !
Green skinned cops, with fins !
And escalations !