Thursday, 31 December 2015

Transformers Infiltration 06 Review

Transformers Infiltration 06

Summary :
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. 

Notes :
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.  

Review :

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. 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. 
Next up:
Spotlights  !
Gold digging !
Green skinned cops, with fins !
And escalations  !


  1. Great work in 2015! I look forward to continuing to read.

    1. Thanks.
      I am currently working hard on the latest batch.
      Especially Transformers.