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THE TRANSFORMERS: COMICS, BOOKS AND MANGA

IDW Publishing
(2005-now)
Devil's Due
(2003-2007)
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(2002-2004)
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(2001-now)
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CURRENT TRANSFORMERS COMICS FROM IDW PUBLISHING

Transformers: Infestation #2
Reviewed by Blackjack

Issue Review

“We do have a man on the inside.”
Simply a great story. Other than being a crossover that isn’t completely crap, it is fun to read, Galvatron, Kup and Prowl are simply astounding, and as a bonus we get an origin to IDW’s initial plot of the Dead Universe. It’s an unexpected thing, this origin, that I was taken completely by surprise. It’s so wrong, yet so right, to have an extra-dimensional origin for the Dead Universe’s supernatural properties. And it only took, what, three years of pretending to ignore it before the Dead Universe arc is resolved? Things are brought almost full circle, with a suitable origin story for where it came from, showing that you can have something fun yet having great continuity gel at the same time. Although some of the cast didn’t get much screentime… we don’t even get to see Drift hack zombies with his katana! That is the only thing Drift could do to be cool, and they deny him that! Ah, well, no big loss.

Origin to the Dead Universe aside—which justifies why Galvatron is used instead of Megatron and company—the rest of the cast is a lot of fun too. Bumblebee tries to hard to assert his authority, but hey, he’s no Optimus Prime. You don’t get to properly be respected as leader while Optimus Prime is still alive, Bee, sorry. Galvatron has taken a level in badass. He thoroughly enjoys being a crazy awesome wild card, especially in insisting that the Autobots do things his way… which, for once, is the only way that works. The Darkness also makes a comeback, although not as the dark side of the Matrix but rather as just another object of power. Kup and Prowl’s interactions, stemming from Kup’s resurrection in All Hail Megatron #15, is a wonderful, wonderful (if tragic) end for Kup, a veritable exit for the poor old bastard. I mean, just look at his tormented expression when Prowl hacks into his head and he remembers killing the guys during Spotlight: Kup! And Prowl is a veritable jerkass, hacking and using Kup with the protocols he installed when ordering Kup’s rebuild. Although to his credit, he seems to regret what he had done; look at that last panel with Prowl’s face covered entirely in shadow. One of the best Prowl stories out there. Poor Kup has simply lost it, and his determination to atone for his skills is well done. With wondrous, emotional artwork from Nick Roche that alternate swiftly from the conventional art style to the hellhole-through-Kup’s-eyes style, it’s another testament to Roche’s skill. Although not even someone like Roche could make a vampire zombie robot with human features look at any level realistic.

Ah, Britt. The reason this issue got three and a half cubes instead of a four or five. As the guest star and titular villainess, I really don’t get her. She is just banal, a generic ‘big bad’ with a penchant for monologuing. Not having any interest to read the Robots vs Zombies thing, her backstory adequately fills us up on what happens, which doesn’t really make sense. She’s a vampire, which is an undead. Zombie bites her, she becomes ‘undead squared’. And the villain Undermind sends her to the Transformers, Star Trek, G.I. Joe and Ghostbusters universes, with robot zombies at her beck and call, hmm? Although I suppose that little explanation that the Undermind clouds the Autobots and Dead Unvierse robots’ mind with Bayonet’s identity is a smooth touch instead of just pretending that Bayonet has always been part of Galvatron’s crew. Still, she is just a staple, uninteresting villain that really we could do without. Although considering things, DnA made great use of the two issues allotted to them, telling a much interesting story compared to what Furman, McCarthy and Costa couldn’t do with twelve.

Notes

When trying to confuse the hallucinating Kup early on in the issue, Britt says ‘More than meets the eye’, the credo to the Transformers. Again. You know, just because it’s a crossover doesn’t mean you have to repeat that damned line over and over again.

Kup has a wrist cannon under those green arm panels. Who’d thunk it?

The Darkness, the plot device during the Dead Furmanverse era, reappears again here in person after being foreshadowed last issue. Although it is called ‘Heart of Darkness’, and functions like some sort of wacky Holy Hand Grenade that Galvatron can take out and lob at zombies. Galvatron’s eyes glow like they are on fire when he does that. Also, Galvatron’s preferred method of flying is to propel himself with his arm cannon. Nuts.

Continuity again! Britt calls the Cybertron of present a ‘dead world’.

One of the few instances where Transformers leak bodily fluid that isn’t the equivalent of blood. Kup ‘cries’, although his tears look like oil of sorts.

Unlikely as it seems, this issue actually addresses the origin of the Dead Universe, which Simon Furman never bothered explaining other than it being evil, undead and having existed for a long long time. So apparently things come full circle now with Kup sending Britt and the zombies back several gazillion years into the past into where the Dead Universe is now. So now we know how Galvatron and Nemesis Prime got their powers in the Dead Furmanverse series… Zombies gave them that.

Jhiaxus is somehow alive and healthy again, although one could argue that he didn’t die per se at the hands of Arcee, merely cut up for all eternity. One could assume that either Arcee got bored or Galvatron came to the rescue of the crazy scientist.

When Galvatron and company teleport out, there are at least three other silhouetted Transformers standing behind Jhiaxus. No, not Sweeps. This hints that maybe there are more Dead Universe survivors out there.

Unlikely as it seems, it looks like Andy Schmidt was getting ready for Infestation by reviving Galvatron, Scourge and Cyclonus. It’s a fair bet that Kup was the one that was vetoed by IDW from being killed in the Last Stand of the Wreckers in order to appear in this story. (Although it could be just a coincidence on the part of the writers…)

The zombie arc, after Britt’s invasion of the G.I. Joe, Star Trek and Ghostbusters universes are presumably met with failure, would continue in Infestation #2, while Galvatron would have his own adventures in the upcoming four-issue mini Heart of Darkness.

Goofs

The inhibitor that Scourge plucks out and holds in his hand is a little too large compared to the relative sizes of inhibitors throughout last issue or the ongoing.

Following the errors of last issue, Bumblebee calls Galvatron a Decepticon, even though Galvatron isn’t one. Even Galvatron complains about these ‘ancient prejudices’! He’s a former Dead Universe, now independent agent, damn it!

Also, Britt refers to Bayonet as a Decepticon as well.

‘Kimia’, the place where Kup gets remade into a Pretender, is misspelt ‘Kima’.

Jhiaxus’ upper face is coloured the same red as his helmet, when it should be golden-yellow in colour.

Quote/Unquote

Britt: “Your vaunted technology offers no defense whatsoever against that which is essentially necromantic magic.”

Kup: “No! NOOO! You’re inside everything and you must be cut out!”
Britt: “Stop resisting me! Where are you finding the strength to fight, you pile of trash?”
Kup: “Where. I. Can.”

Optimus Prime: “Zombies! Human and robot! All over us!”

Optimus Prime: “Then I’m open to suggestions!”
Galvatron: “How about… you do exactly what I say? Just like I told you in the first place!”

Prowl: “Kup… you were unstable. You lost the cy-gar that was helping to suppress your addiction to solar radiation. I’m using that instability to hack you. To partition your brain.”

Kup: “I’m sending you back to the very beginning of the Dead Universe! An eternity of nothingness where there’s nothing to feed on!”
Britt: “NOOOOO!”
Kup: “You don’t get a say in the matter. I don’t think I do eithe-”

Prowl: “Galvatron was right. Damn, did I just say that?”

 
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