The Transformers: Infiltration

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The Transformers: Infiltration
Trade Paperback cover by E. J. Su
Publication information
Publisher IDW Publishing
Schedule Monthly
Format Mini-series
Publication date October 2005–July 2006
No. of issues 7, including a #0
Main character(s) Autobots, Decepticons
Creative team
Created by Hasbro
Written by Simon Furman
Artist(s) E. J. Su
Inker(s) John Rauch

The Transformers: Infiltration is a six-issue comic book mini-series, published by IDW Publishing, based on the Transformers. The series was previewed with a #0 in October, 2005, formally launched with #1 in January 2006 and ended with #6 in July.

Written by long-time Transformers writer Simon Furman, it is a new origin for the Generation 1 Transformers, and also marks the beginning of the Hasbro Comic Book Universe. The element of disguise is a major focus, as the Transformers have been living unnoticed amongst humans for several years. Their first contact with humans on Earth is chronicled in this series. Most of the Transformers have updated alternate modes of current vehicles, although recognizable due to paint schemes similar to their original incarnations. The series is available in The Transformers: Volume 1.

Story[edit]

Characters[edit]

Being a new series and continuity, the Transformers featured in Infiltration are based upon their original characters however with updated modern bodies. Any difference in their personalities is negligible.

Autobots

Decepticons

Humans

  • Verity Carlo
  • Hunter O'Nion
  • Jimmy Pink

Plot summary[edit]

After stealing a high-end palmtop PC from an anonymous businessman on a coach, hitch-hiker Verity Carlo is picked up by an intense man, Hunter O'Nion, who reveals he's an alien conspiracy theorist tracking down reports of giant machines in the area. They soon come across the coach Verity departed, which had been run off the road by a pair of sports cars - the businessman whose palmtop Verity stole is missing.

The pair continue on, but are attacked by a blue fighter jet. Hunter's van is destroyed, but he and Verity are saved - by the smiling driver of a suspiciously well-armed ambulance...

As their mysterious rescuer attempts to evade the pursuing fighter jet, Verity and Hunter start to realize that not only are they being attacked by one of the disguised mechanoids Hunter has sought—but that the ambulance they're sitting in is also one of them. Suddenly, two sports cars, one white, one black, join the jet in pursuit of the ambulance. Deploying sophisticated gadgetry, the ambulance driver manages to lose their pursuers for a while, and Verity finds the fugitives a place to hide—the automotive workshop of Jimmy Pink.

Verity reveals that she and Jimmy are both net-hikers, members of a community of drifters who use the Internet to maintain their mutual-assistance network. Hunter realizes that not only is Verity's palmtop stolen, but that it's the very item that the jet and sports cars are trying to recover. He confronts the ambulance driver with a picture stored on the palmtop, but Verity, sick of conspiracy paranoia, takes it back from them and walks outside.

Within a second, she's back inside, babbling frantically about Decepticons—and the garage door is ripped from its mount, revealing two giant robots, one black, one white, demanding the palmtop.

Confronted by two menacing robots, the stunned Verity, Hunter and Jimmy can only stand and gawp as the ambulance driver disappears in a blaze of electricity, stunning one of the robots - and as it falls into a garage wall, sending concrete everywhere, the ambulance itself transforms into a third giant robot, shielding the three humans from the rubble. As the robot who was a white sports car draws a weapon, the third robot deploys an ink spray, blinding his attacker, then folds itself back down, becoming an ambulance once again, and orders the three humans inside it.

Back in the wilds of Arizona, a police detachment finds the dead body of the anonymous businessman. None of them can identify him - at least, not but one, who secretly calls group of people in a boardroom whose only distinguishing feature is a massive "M".

The ambulance is once again picked up by the blue jet fighter and narrowly avoids a pile-up caused by the jet's sonic boom. This allows the two sports cars - who identify themselves as Runamuck and Runabout - to catch up, partially transforming to deploy weapons. According to the ambulance, this is a very disturbing sign, as Decepticons never break cover, let alone in such a brazen fashion. Some more fancy driving allows the ambulance to shake Runamuck and Runabout, but Verity, whom on top of fleeing for her life has had reality turned upside down on her, gets out of the ambulance and flees.

While Jimmy goes to calm her down, Hunter tries to pry more detail out of the ambulance - starting with its name, Ratchet - but before he can get far, the jet re-acquires them. With everyone back inside, Ratchet goes on the run again, but three more cars with weapons that spring from hidden compartments appear and shoot the plane down. These cars then transform and draw weapons on Ratchet, and the leader - Prowl - informs Ratchet of the statutes of the Autobot Code of Interplanetary Conflict that he has violated. In his defense, Ratchet offers only two words: Siege Mode.

Aboard the Autobot starship Ark-17, located at the bottom of Lake Michigan, Prowl gives Ratchet a through dressing-down for disobeying his orders and breaking cover, then tells him to find out just what's on Verity's stolen palmtop and get rid of the humans, refusing Ratchet's suggestion that Prowl alert Optimus Prime. Ratchet appears to Verity, Hunter and Jimmy in their containment cell and persuades Verity to hand the palmtop over. He shows them the mysterious businessman's photos and explains they show a Decepticon command bunker, mysteriously abandoned (which Decepticons never do) and apparently in Siege Mode much too early than standard Decepticon procedure.

In the meantime, a police officer is investigating the dead body found on an Arizona reservation, tracking him to a caravan park - just as a pair of war-planes, one black, one purple, appear out of thin air and destroy the dead man's caravan, promptly disappearing again. Later, an Abrams battle tank destroys the remains of Jimmy Pink's garage, then transforms into the purple plane and along with the black one disappears yet again. Finally, the coach which Verity and the dead man traveled on is destroyed.

Verity, Hunter and Jimmy insist that Ratchet take them to the Decepticon bunker in Nebraska so that they can locate the proof Ratchet needs to persuade Prowl of the severity of the Decepticon situation. Partway swayed, Rathet makes his mind up when Bumblebee offers to help out. The three humans and two Autobots make their way to Nebraska - just as the Decepticon lieutenant Starscream orders Skywarp and Blitzwing to destroy the bunker.

Verity, Hunter and Jimmy explore the abandoned Decepticon base. In the process, Verity discovers a months-old human corpse and almost has a nervous breakdown. Topside, Skywarp and Blitzwing try to destroy the bunker, forcing Ratchet and Bumblebee into battle. Bumblebee is able to shoot down Skywarp, his processor speed outmatching Skywarp's, but Ratchet is taken out by Blitzwing.

Meanwhile, the Machination prepares to "appropriate" Cybertronian technology, having discovered the location of Ark-19 via the SM-40's homing signal.

Back underground, Verity discovers someone else has entered the bunker - Megatron.

Skywarp and Blitzwing begin to level the Nebraska bunker. Jimmy and Hunter escape, but Verity is still below, paralyzed by fear at the sight of Megatron - who ignores her as irrelevant. As the bunker collapses in on itself, the Autobots and humans risk themselves to pull Verity to safety.

Meanwhile, Starscream and Astrotrain refine the Ore-13 yield at the Oregon base, as Starscream plans to ingest the energy.

Blitzwing and Skywarp survey the new crater, with Blitzwing believing the base and what they did there made them stop being Decepticons and it "deserves to be buried". At which point an enraged Megatron smashes his way out and destroys Skywarp with one shot. Blitzwing engages him and is smashed to pieces. The Autobots flee back to the Ark, knowing Megatron is out of their league.

The Autobots report the data they gained to Prowl - Starscream's cell found a new variant of Energon they could directly apply to their systems. Quickly exhausted the seam, they abandoned the bunker for a new one in Oregon (which had a richer seam) and engaged Siege Mode to protect what they had. Megatron is here to "put his house in order", and nobody can tell how powerful Starscream's cell may have become.

Starscream charges himself up to immense levels with Ore-13, intending to defeat Megatron. While the other Decepticons drop their guns and cease their mutiny upon Megatron simply talking, Starscream unleashes his full, devastating power. However, even Starscream's increased strength isn't enough to defeat Megatron and Megatron beats Starscream half to death. With Megatron now in command of the Earth cell and ordering Phase Two, Prowl realizes they need to call in Optimus Prime. Luckily, he's already arrived.

Unluckily, the Machination have tracked the Autobots to their base.

Analysis[edit]

The biggest difference in this new G1 continuity is that the Autobots and Decepticons only recently arrived on Earth, rather than having been buried here for four million years. They have communications with forces off-world, and Optimus Prime and Megatron are seen in Cybertronian modes. While Optimus upgrades into an Earth-based alternate-mode, Megatron retains his unique tank mode, although he is still familiar looking with his helmet, black arm cannon and silver paint.

This storyline explores more elements of the Transformers hiding on Earth. The Decepticons have multiple bases, with the Autobots discreetly hiding themselves amongst traffic with holographic drivers. Ratchet is also seen deploying a smoke screen. In addition, the Decepticons place more stock in stealth in this continuity, preferring to destabilize a planet's society covertly before striking rather than attacking directly with the arrogant belief that their larger size and technological superiority will triumph over the "puny fleshlings".

Also exploring elements of the Transformers' presence is that there are indeed conspiracy theorists like Hunter looking at evidence of their existence, and indeed the whole plot revolves around the Decepticons attempting to cover up a massive piece of evidence. In particular, focus is given to the mysterious Machination, who represent the potential government interest and exploitation.

Strikingly, the Autobots and Decepticons bases are the reverse of what they are in other incarnations: The Autobots have an underwater base while the Decepticons are based out of a mountain.

Followed by[edit]

Infiltration heralded the start of IDW's new continuity based on the Generation One characters, allowing Simon Furman to finally write his version of the Transformers without any continuity baggage whatsoever.[1]

The story overlaps with The Transformers: Stormbringer and continues directly with The Transformers: Escalation. There are also prequel stories in The Transformers: Spotlight issues on Shockwave and Soundwave.

See also[edit]

References[edit]