Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Comic Review: Transformers - Infestation


In 2005 zombies were pretty damn hot in comics thanks to Marvel Zombies and with typical decisiveness IDW decided they wanted a bit of that several years later when it was all very much played out with Zombies v Robots, written by that twat Chris Ryall. In 2011 it was decided to use this as a springboard for IDW's cross-company "Infestation" event, which used their in-house titles CVO: Covert Vampire Operations and Zombies v Robots to launch zombies at their licenced properties, meaning a big crossover between Transformers, Star Trek, G.I.Joe and Ghostbusters that absolutely no-one reading those titles wanted to see. Handling this were Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning, just ahead of writing "Heart of Darkness" but published at more or less the same time (and taking place at around the three-quarters mark of that series). The full crossover included a two-part Infestation series then several cadet series which I will not be reading under any circumstances, apart from the two-issue Transformers - Infestation mini.

This would all be so much easy to ignore generic shit if it wasn't for the fact that IDW decreed the stories would be in-continuity while at the same time featuring each franchise's more recognisable characters so as not to freak out the gigantic amount of new readers the event didn't pull in. Thus the plot involves Galvatron crashing a ship full of various zombies into Las Vegas as he tries to ask Optimus Prime for an alliance against D-Void. With him are Cyclonus, Scourge and the expendable legions of Sweeps that there never seem to be more than half a dozen of but never many less despite heavy casualties. They also bring along Bayonet, who's actually Britt from CVA. She successfully blocks all the Transformers from perceiving her as out of place but this doesn't actually work for readers who can tell she's miles out of place from the start.

There's a typically fitting awkward response as Prime leads a team of Autobots and Skywatch personnel into Vegas to fight them despite Bumblebee still being leader, a fact the writers try to acknowledge and ignore at exactly the same time. Thankfully the Autobots also packed Kup like they haven't done since All Hail Megatron which is great because he knows about zombies and Nick Roche really likes drawing him which is as good a reason as anything else that happens. Thankfully the Autobots can be infected by this plague to avoid it being totally pointless though to be fair their character armour gets them through (IDW, right?) and it's only Sweeps and the non-sentient Skywatch suits (um) that get infected. Tidy. 

Plus points are Abnett & Lanning's handle on this more reasonable Galvatron and that they seem to have let Roche effectively write Kup and guide the pair through his mashed-up IDW bio; if this thing had to be in-continuity it's nice that they use it to tie a couple of things up and Galvatron's actions more or less tally with those of "Heart of Darkness" even if the bauble of the same name once again changes totally to suit the plot. In short while "Infestation" isn't close to good it doesn't do as much damage as something like this might have done, which is I suppose a minor triumph.

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