Monday, March 12, 2012

Comic Review...

Infestation 2: Transformers #1

Writer: Chuck Dixon
Artist: Guido Guidi
(covers by Guido Guidi and Livio Ramondelli)

Summary:  The Infestation threat has broken the boundaries of time and the Lovecraftian monsters invade the world of Transformers: Hearts of Steel! It's a steam-punk world in the grips of panic as terrifying beings from the depths of the ocean corrupt both humans and Decepticons! Only one man knows how to stop the Infestation, and it's up to him to awaken the Autobots in time to prevent full-scale cataclysm!

Comments:  Infestation returns! This time, the Hearts of Steel universe is under attack. To be perfectly honest, I never followed the rest of this sort-of crossover IDW did the first time nor did I read any of this follow-up series. I don't really understand why these Lovecraftian monsters are attacking multiple comic concepts (obviously, to sucker fans into buying them. But I mean, why are they bothering in the story sense? Does anybody ever bother to explain that?)
   Dixon does an adequate job in the comic of explaining what's going on--at least, to a point. Since it's a small cog in a larger story, someone just tuning into this issue specifically has no idea what the broader context is (that would be me). The characters presented here--Bumblebee, Ironhide, Hound, etc. don't get any real characterization and even the humans--Tobias Muldoon and Nikola Tesla predominantly--exist to move the plot along with little development (incidentally, why does Tesla have to get into every damn story set in this era? He's always the mad scientist du jour in these things). Not a lot really happens either. Evil monsters are attacking and the Autobots must stop them before it's too late so they go up to the Artic (or some place cold) and try to resurrect Optimus Prime. End of issue one.
Cover "B" by Livio Ramondelli
   One minor little story note I liked--Dixon picked out a small Quebec town as a location near where the Autobot train is. Saint Felicien, Quebec--where my cousin lives in real life! I didn't think anyone had ever heard of the place other then me.
   The art is competent but not outstanding. So much of the story focuses on the human characters and they're drawn in a cartoony/anime kind of way (a la Dreamwave). I prefer a bit more detail then that and felt it subtracted from the comic's appeal. The "B" cover by Livio Ramondelli (which I got) is a pretty nice picture of Shockwave (who's not even in this issue).

Verdict: Pass.  The whole Infestation conflict is flawed. It dips into several comics but doesn't really focus on the same characters all the time and I feel that hurts the concept. We don't get a good feel for the whole scope of the story and thus don't really care. Also, Hearts of Steel, while conceptually cool was never fully explored like it could've been. It had some neat ideas but the story was shallow and ended up as mostly eye candy. Doing a two issue follow-up that does an even worse job doesn't help it's case.


Cover "A" by Guido Guidi

 (Special thanks to Zavian Sildra for the copy of this issue which I reviewed). 

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