CURRENT TRANSFORMERS COMICS FROM IDW PUBLISHING
Transformers: Infestation #1
Reviewed by Blackjack
”We found it in the dark…”
Some might argue that Infestation is a rubbish crossover, and that the concept of zombies isn’t that interesting. I respectfully disagree. While it is true that crossovers don’t have a high rate of success—IDW and Marvel’s recent New Avengers/Transformers was certainly a veritable flop—this one had more thought put into it. IDW brought in veteran authors DnA, with excellent artwork from Nick Roche that is, frankly, a nice break from all the monotonous rigid work in the ongoing and the movieverse comics. There’s a hint of Animated in Roche’s art now, what with Galvatron’s massive chin and Optimus’ exaggerated antennae. Sadly, Optimus is portrayed a real moron this issue, although considering his previous encounter with Galvatron and Nemesis Prime, I’d wager he sees Galvatron as the larger threat than a swarm of the walking dead.
The zombies themselves aren’t really that interesting, but the issue itself is wonderful. After two years of ignoring the Furmanverse stories, we get a dozen references to them. The Dead Universe is brought up and acknowledged, Spotlight: Kup gets a payoff, Prowl is back to his wonderful prickly self… while still keeping it within the present-day stuff like having Skywatch and Drift in for the ride. Galvatron and Kup are amazingly characterized, with their dialogue well done. Kup is just gone all crazy right off the bat, something that I suspect Roche had an influence on. Galvatron evidently gets a big kick out of being crazy, with his overblown melodrama a nice mix of BW Megatron and his original cartoon self. It is, in my opinion, a better and more entertaining change than his dour mood while still working for Nemesis Prime. But for some reason he’s got a vague moral compass and wants to destroy the zombies. I hope we do get to see more of this Galvatron, eh? Much more interesting than Costa’s asteroid-hugging Decepticons.
Cyclonus, Prowl and Bumblebee have their moments as well, with Cyclonus being a pretty nice snarker when trying to negotiate a ceasefire with the Autobots. The action scenes are well done, with great pacing and no wasted space. It’s not like the ongoing or AHM where we get, without fail, at the minimum two pages of people sitting down and talking about things that could’ve been worked into a more interesting scene. It’s a nice irony to see Galvatron and his goons discover the zombie mass and then get chase around by them. And Bayonet… well, at first I was furious that they lobbed another random guy in, especially into a group as closed as the Dead Unvierse guys. I mean, if they needed more men they could revive Straxus or whatever, not introduce some new guy- wait, he’s a GIRL? And gets to order Scourge and Cyclonus around? And scares the crap out of Prowl? Oh great, a bad fanmade worse than Drift! No doubt this is Nightbird to Galvatron’s Megatron. But wait, Kup is as good as us! ‘What the hell is this Transformer?’ BAM, she’s a zombie. I got played, I tell you.
It’s a great issue, without the forced gravity that both AHM and the ongoing forces on themselves with varying degrees of success. Enjoyable, and rather fresh. It’s got great action scenes, great continuity, and most of all, it isn’t a chore reading through it.
Infestation is a multi-property crossover by IDW. An outbreak of zombies from IDW’s original Zombies vs. Robots title breaks into other universes, namely Star Trek, G.I. Joe, Ghostbusters, and of course the Transformers. Britt is apparently part of the Zombies vs. Robots universe, somehow transformed into a Transformer, masquerading as the helicopter Bayonet and traveling with the zombies into the Transformer-verse.
Transformer-wise, this issue takes place some time after Ongoing #8, after Skywatch has decided to join hands with the Autobots. Considering stuff, this probably takes place some time after the present-day Ongoing stuff.
Kup was last seen at the end of Last Stand of the Wreckers #5, where he was watching over the injured Springer. Evidently he was pulled back into duty shortly afterwards. Galvatron and Cyclonus were last seen in All Hail Megatron Coda #15, having transcended their Dead Universe limitations.
Galvatron refers to Cyclonus and Scourge as Seekers, a term he attaches to them in AHM Coda #15.
Some of the zombies are Sweeps, but most of them are humans, and giant robots. I think I see a Vulcan zombie, but I’m not sure from which continuities the zombies are culled from.
Optimus Prime references Galvatron’s defeat at his hands, which happens in Revelations Spotlight: Sideswipe.
Galvatron needs three inhibitors to take him down, indicating that they might not have been so absolute in taking out Transformers.
Kup’s vision and remembering of the horrific nightmares happened waaaay back in Spotlight: Kup. The cy-gar that anchors him to sanity was introduced in All Hail Megatron Coda #16. Kup drops it in this issue.
Bumblebee still has command of the Autobots. Optimus Prime even asks permission from him to get the first chance to clobber Galvatron.
According to Galvatron, the frozen zombies have the telltale signs of the Dead Universe, the first time it has been referenced ever since Revelations and AHM #16. Considering that both the Dead Universe and the Infestation are all zombies, it’s fitting. In the flashback scene, Galvatron’s eyes are burning like it was after his rebirth in AHM #16, but for the rest of the issue they are not.
Near the end of the issue Kup screams ‘more than meets the eye’, the Transformers tagline.
Kup refers to Galvatron and his ilk as ‘Decepticons’, when they are not. Spike Witwicky could be forgiven, since humans are unaware of the Dead Universe.
Like Kup pointed out… where did Bayonet come from? Why did Galvatron, Cyclonus and Scourge act like she’s part of their crew all along? Why did even Prowl recognize her? Why didn’t any of the Transformers act as if it’s odd that another female Transformer is around?
Galvatron: “Nothing leaves this area alive… especially if it’s already dead…”
Galvatron: “Get out of your vehicles, humans! They are raw metal I can pound the enemy with!”
Optimus Prime: “We all hear you. You make a lot of noise considering you’re meant to be dead.”
Galvatron: “There isn’t time for debate or subtlety! Surrender command of your forces to me! NOW!”
Ratchet: “The assertiveness training course he took really worked out, huh?”
Galvatron: “There isn’t time to explain… there is simply time to bow down and obey me!”
Cyclonus: “Look. We surrender, right! Great work. Seriously. How long will it take you to grasp the big picture, Autobots?”
Wheeljack: “Vegas is closed for business… for twenty hours until the Energon runs out, that is.”
Galvatron: “You simply have no idea, no idea… this plague… it… it is the darkest of all darknesses. It pre-dates all things. It is the reason light exists. Just to keep it at bay.”
Prowl: “Okay, one more try. This time, maybe you want to put a little… I don’t know… sense into it.”
Kup: “I did this! I’m responsible for this plague! I killed so many, Prowl! So many! I blocked it all out, but now I remember! I remember it all!”
Kup: “Where did Bayonet came from? Eh? Since when was there a Bayonet?”