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Old 2006-07-15, 12:35 PM   #301
Denyer
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Arrived this sunny morn.

As expected, things get faster with more characters in the mix. Some bits, notably the Autobots on the ridge and particuarly Sunstreaker, reminded of the Earthforce stories with an ensemble cast -- rarely if ever a bad thing.

For one of the few times in comics, Megatron comes across as a genuine threat -- not the sort of mech others even want to be on the same continent as. The bulk and contrast of his Cybertronian form with the Earthern 'Bots and 'Cons drives home the differences even further.

Most importantly, there's the feel of things being established on Earth. And it's nice to get a forced perspective splash at the end that has a reason, being viewed from Hunter's height.

All in all, very satisfied and I look forward to more, especially if the Machination ultimately doesn't get their hands on Cybertronian tech they can magically understand. (Would be a bit Dreamwave and/or RAAT.) Some solid work on both art and story.

Criticism incoming...

Whatever has to be done to Rauch to get more panels looking like the first few pages, it'd be worthwhile. There are a few problems elsewhere -- his dislike of highlights means some of the metal surfaces look flat. (Sunstreaker on the Ark, for instance -- his leg panels aren't even coloured!) How much effort would it be to give Ironhide in van form the same sheen as the roof of the blue truck two pages earlier? The page after Megatron guts Starscream should be a thing of ruinous beauty, but Megs and the background look like I did it in felt-tip following one of Walky's old tutorials. As a general thing, some colours come out as slightly off-palette or pastel in places, particularly reds and yellows.

All in all, I'm really curious how the 'manga' collected volumes are going to look as lineart, because I don't feel the singles are always being fair to EJ.
 
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Old 2006-07-15, 04:29 PM   #302
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A bit BAH really. The main good point is we were told this was Screamers first ever act of outright betrayal, rather than him having been doing this for centuries without any sort of fallout (that only remains a good thing if he's just forgiven though).

Rather worryingly though the Humans and the Autobots could all have easily been removed from this story to create a nice little Megs/Screamer one shoot- They've ultimately contributed nothing to the movement or resolution of this arc, everything that happened would have happened without them.

Still, we do have at least a solid foundation that future stories can build on, I just hope they do so a little better than this somewhat mediocre first arc.




[Might I suggest BTW, that the combined Infiltration Arc be Junkioned so in a few years (hopefully) we can compare our speculation and predictions in here to what happens?]
 
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Old 2006-07-15, 04:51 PM   #303
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We'll be keeping the big bundled threads, yeah. All tidy-like.

I think for a story that's about a war coming to Earth, humans are kinda essential in some capacity. Having said that, I look forward as well to lots of teh robots and possibly Dinobots!!11!!1one
 
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Old 2006-07-15, 05:17 PM   #304
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I suggest you insert all the posts from the Joe thread at random intervals to confuse people.
 

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Old 2006-07-15, 08:33 PM   #305
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I liked the issue. Lots of good bits, and a genuinely menacing Megatron. I also liked the fact that the 'character' of Starscream was sacrificed to make this point. It's a shame he'll be back, but hopefully he'll be in his place from now on. Aside from the rather pointless human comedy segments, there wasn't much wrong with this.

However, it should have been about #4. We're still not much the wiser, and we've lost seven issues to edging the pieces into place... the plot's still very murky. For sure it's there, but it feels like it's obscured, and whole pages go by largely unrelated to it. That a whole mini-series has built up to a one-sided fight and the appearance of a 22 year old character who was on the cover of the first issue is a bit of a pain (I'll say it again - it's packaged as seven episodes, and will be repackaged as one story shortly - it needs to function on these terms, not solely as Part One of a series of graphic novels which may or may not ever be finished). We've had other bits thrown in, but I'd be lying if I said I was champing at the bit to find out what that hokey black ops squad are really up to.

Even compression won't help if there's not a lot at the end, and this felt like a half-formed story. Infiltration might be building towards better things, but it needed to work in itself as well, and sadly it didn't. #6 was pretty damn good all things considered, but it doesn't work as a stopping point at all. It left me wanting more, but I'm not sure if it did so in a good way...

Stormbringer needs to be genuinely good. Not "an alright starting point for a plucky little company operating out of a shed and giving nice stuff to fans and not run by Pat Lee, gawd bless'em" way. Not promising. Not a step in the right direction. Actually good.
 
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Old 2006-07-15, 09:37 PM   #306
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Quote:
Originally posted by Cliffjumper
However, it should have been about #4.

Really, this is the only major gripe I have with this story (amongst some smaller ones). The acceptance of this story from many fans has suffered somewhat from this.

Stormbringer is four issues, and I'm looking forward to it because of this.
 
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Old 2006-07-15, 09:37 PM   #307
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Quote:
Originally posted by Cliffjumper
That a whole mini-series has built up to a one-sided fight and the appearance of a 22 year old character who was on the cover of the first issue
It hasn't. Ditto for the Megatron appearance. It's about what those characters represent in the new continuity -- Earth's a backwater outpost amongst others, crashing towards being an important territory. If anywhere can be usefully mined, there's no incentive to hang around places where there'll be be disadvantages and possibly even native resistance.

I think I must have had different expectations, because I was expecting something along the lines of the preview and got it. In many ways it's been novel because I didn't follow the Marvel comic from the very beginning, originally -- the fact of TFs being giant alien robots doesn't come across anywhere near as much later on, and certainly rarely did in the animated series. So a couple of issues others might regard as superfluous were enjoyed with the rest (and I've found plenty to spark the imagination, in any case.) Plus, no wanting to hook the humans up to a VVH for being 70s stereotypes I couldn't identify or identify with.

If the Machination capture Bumblebee, I am going to be a little pissy, as it's predictable -- much better that they're repelled at the Ark base and get the remains of Skywarp or Blitzwing, for example. It'd take strong writing for me to accept another "BB should've told somebody where he was going / should've looked both ways before crossing the road" type premise.
 
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Old 2006-07-15, 09:56 PM   #308
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Quote:
Originally posted by Cliffjumper
That a whole mini-series has built up to a one-sided fight and the appearance of a 22 year old character who was on the cover of the first issue is a bit of a pain (I'll say it again - it's packaged as seven episodes, and will be repackaged as one story shortly - it needs to function on these terms, not solely as Part One of a series of graphic novels which may or may not ever be finished).
The weird thing is that #6 holds up better than the previous issues do as individual stories which in many respects, is bad timing; I was hoping the finale would kind of weave the story together and give it more of a purpose other than being a preview especially since many people (Including myself) believed the TPB would be the more favourable format for Infiltration. Having said it was arguably my favourite issue.

Quote:
It left me wanting more, but I'm not sure if it did so in a good way...
Basically I feel the same way I felt way back at #0; could go either way. However judging by IDW's output thus far I do have somewhat of a positive outlook. I know HOS wasn't to your taste and I'm aware that BW has gained a pretty bad rep but I certainly enjoyed them. Neither were classic storytelling and at times were ridiculously flawed Still in terms of being a "Preview" for things to come, I would argue BW did a better job than Infiltration did and furthermore it was shorter; 4 issues of preview is definitely better than 6. If the same quality of writing can be adapted to the supposedly faster paced “Escalation” then it should be a success.

Quote:
Stormbringer needs to be genuinely good. Not "an alright starting point for a plucky little company operating out of a shed and giving nice stuff to fans and not run by Pat Lee, gawd bless'em" way. Not promising. Not a step in the right direction. Actually good. [/B]
There's also an immense amount of pressure on it to be good; the hype, created by both IDW and the fandom, coupled with the constant reminders, advertisements, previews, synopsises and whatnot have undoubtedly raised the expectations of fans. Additionally those who were left cold by Infiltration and subsequently dropped it or plan on dropping the title will still probably give the all-robot action of Stormbringer a chance. Simply from a sales perspective, it's extremely important Stormbringer delivers.
 

-Alex???

Last edited by Aardvark; 2006-07-15 at 09:59 PM.
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Old 2006-07-15, 10:13 PM   #309
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BW seems to generally have a better response from people who were already BW fans, despite the different range of characters.
 
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Old 2006-07-15, 11:06 PM   #310
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I'd agree with that... using an 'obscure' cast was a risky choice sales-wise... I for one was rather put off by the massive amount of characters I knew nothing about, and didn't really care to find out about.

Quote:
Originally posted by Denyer
It hasn't. Ditto for the Megatron appearance. It's about what those characters represent in the new continuity -- Earth's a backwater outpost amongst others, crashing towards being an important territory. If anywhere can be usefully mined, there's no incentive to hang around places where there'll be be disadvantages and possibly even native resistance.
The thing is, the whole series hasn't really been about that. That's a charitable summation of the series, ignoring that half of it's been turned over to long-winded action sequences and banter between the kids. The points you keep mentioning have been relegated to the status of a broad background canvas, drip-fed to the reader for no readily apparent reason. This would be forgivable if there was something happening in the foreground, but too often there hasn't been. It's needlessly enigmatic and obscure. The inconsistencies in the storytelling have been what bugs me - we get a few pages that suggest this is going to be lo-fi storytelling, then a pointless car chase sequence; we get to see a huge amount from the point of view of the Adventure Kids (which looks more wasteful by the page), and then when it suits the writer, we get to see things neither they nor the Autobots know about; we get pages and pages with plot details smuggled in, and then a page of sledgehammer exposition. The pace, on the whole, has been jolting and unsure, like Furman doesn't actually have a clue how he wants to play this thing. He wants to be Mark Millar, but the Chris Claremont in him keeps fighting its' way to the surface.

Quote:
I think I must have had different expectations, because I was expecting something along the lines of the preview and got it.
Well, I was expecting something more than a preview after six months and about £12 of hard-earned. Not total closure, but something beyond "Ooooh, the situation on Earth's got a bit more interesting". I still maintain Infiltration could have been compacted without everyone going "That was a bit short and rushed, wasn't it?". It's self-indulgent.

Quote:
In many ways it's been novel because I didn't follow the Marvel comic from the very beginning, originally -- the fact of TFs being giant alien robots doesn't come across anywhere near as much later on, and certainly rarely did in the animated series.
I'd agree with that... the sense of scale and the alien has been brought across for probably the first time since the original mini (which, for all its' faults, has a wonderfully awkward feel to it). However, this wouldn't have had to have been sacrificed for a more direct storyline. It's not an either/or situation, as I've said before. It's not a case of "So you'd prefer Mad Brick then?" either. I'm judging Infiltration on its' own terms, just like I judge most other things - I haven't said "It's worse than Marvel because _______", and I'm certainly not going to judge it on the possible merit of comics which won't appear for six months (if we're lucky). On its' own terms, I personally found it to be wanting. Readable, interesting, with its' moments, but wanting.

Quote:
So a couple of issues others might regard as superfluous were enjoyed with the rest (and I've found plenty to spark the imagination, in any case.) Plus, no wanting to hook the humans up to a VVH for being 70s stereotypes I couldn't identify or identify with.
Hell, I think we should all have had our imagaintions sparked by the lovely broad canvas of this nice, shiny new universe - the first real "G1" reboot we've had (it's admirable that this has managed to distance itself from what's gone before - a lot is the same, as I've mentioned before, but some isn't, and this gives me the faith to not assume future developments will follow the same old paths).

I'd disagree about the humans, though. They're just as stereotypical in their own way. They just haven't had chance to date yet

Quote:
If the Machination capture Bumblebee, I am going to be a little pissy, as it's predictable -- much better that they're repelled at the Ark base and get the remains of Skywarp or Blitzwing, for example. It'd take strong writing for me to accept another "BB should've told somebody where he was going / should've looked both ways before crossing the road" type premise.
I'm still waiting to see the need for an old DW plot at all, myself.
 
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Old 2006-07-15, 11:59 PM   #311
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Quote:
the status of a broad background canvas
Puzzle pieces. And that does particularly attract a certain type of reader, I know. There were puzzle pieces in DW as well, though the mix of writers fragmented it a lot more, to the point I decided I couldn't give a toss about following along past Unicron to whatever might be made up to follow.

To pick a different example, the mindblowing thing about G2 wasn't the fairly action-packed first issue, it was everything previously assumed about the state of the war across the galaxy being exploded as a false history.

It's time to see the images presented as text in Infiltration, and hopefully Stormbringer will include a fair measure of that.

Quote:
I was expecting something more than a preview
Nah, along the lines of, not just more of the same. Although in one sense a first story arc is always a preview for what's to come.

Everything the characters are working for can be changed by circumstances; with Megatron on the scene, much of the recon work is irrelevant -- it isn't Starscream moving the programme forward, it's him -- although it does give the 'Bots an insight into exactly what the 'Cons were doing. (Incidentally, I do hope the pods won't just be throwaway.)

At the end of things, I think we're all on the same page that around two issues could've been cropped. Personally I wouldn't choose to do so, really quite liking the contrast of normality against the intergalactic civil war reaching into a new territory, but you could take out a fair-sized chunk of chase and a fair-sized chunk of escaping from base.

Quote:
They're just as stereotypical in their own way.
Though much less so than far too many TFs, getting down to it. Squishies really horrified by what they're going through have been in quite short supply over the years.

Whilst I can enjoy a lot of Budiansky's work (and other original Marvel scribes) as harking back to silver age stuff, as a kid it was much harder to do so. It wasn't really pitched at my generation; an X-File geek, smartarse jack-of-all-trades and a sullen younger teen are a lot more recognisable.

Quote:
I'm still waiting to see the need for an old DW plot at all
DW? Bumblebee spent an annoying number of Marvel issues as bait... not because he was busy spying on anyone, because he was a whinging sod. Possibly this wasn't as prevalent as I'm remembering, but he was certainly on enough covers.

TFs being reduced to brain modules controlling small cars, being fit onto (floppy) disks, being remote-controlled yet again... I'm hoping not to see that kind of silliness. Stuff more along the lines of Wildcats 3.0 with batteries and teleporters (and weapons) would be welcome... TF tech should be considerably beyond that of humans, IMO.
 
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Old 2006-07-16, 06:11 AM   #312
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I rather liked Infiltraton. Yes it has some quirks and minor flaws, but all things considered it is pretty good. The story is told to the reader, mostly, from the P.O.V. of the kids. Thats why the whole decepticon plot seemed like just background filler. All the kids realy know about them is that they are "the bad guys." I think a lot of people are assumeing to much.

I dont see anything wrong with the story not wholy wrapping up to a nice little conclusion at issue 6. G2's arc went a full 12 issude before closeing. This is the first arc of an ONGOING series. Hearts of Steel should wrap up nicely, this should have loose ends to wrap up in later arcs.

My only real complaints are that we are haveing to wait four months for issue 7 and that if stormbringer is supposed to be read concurrent to infiltration, why wasnt it published concurrently? Beast wars would have done great as a special summer mini.
 
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Old 2006-07-16, 02:16 PM   #313
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Quote:
Originally posted by Denyer
Puzzle pieces. And that does particularly attract a certain type of reader, I know. There were puzzle pieces in DW as well, though the mix of writers fragmented it a lot more, to the point I decided I couldn't give a toss about following along past Unicron to whatever might be made up to follow.
But it's an approach only really justified if there's something interesting happening in the foreground - something like Angel Season 5, where the big story comes out of nowhere but had been dotted all over the place with small hints. The difference being that the foreground was interesting as more than a curio.

Quote:
To pick a different example, the mindblowing thing about G2 wasn't the fairly action-packed first issue, it was everything previously assumed about the state of the war across the galaxy being exploded as a false history.
That wasn't the only thing, though - the status and ethics of the Autobots, and whereabouts of the 'other' Decepticons are in there as well. And G2 #1 got to the point without padding it into near-submission. And G2 #1 was 36 pages long, or thereabouts. Infiltration is coming up towards 150 pages, and hasn't come close to matching it on any level. Of course, one's a kettle of fish and the other's... erm, a dishwasher full of small hedgerows, but seeing as you bring it up...

Quote:
Nah, along the lines of, not just more of the same. Although in one sense a first story arc is always a preview for what's to come.
I'm not arguing with that, but it should also be a story in its' own right (cf. the opening arc of any comic series worth a damn). It's not an either/or situation. To preview IDW's G1 title, it doesn't need to be a Preview for seven issues.

Quote:
At the end of things, I think we're all on the same page that around two issues could've been cropped. Personally I wouldn't choose to do so, really quite liking the contrast of normality against the intergalactic civil war reaching into a new territory, but you could take out a fair-sized chunk of chase and a fair-sized chunk of escaping from base.
I would either have cut it down, or at least done a couple of double-sized issues, probably for #1 and #6. But then I wouldn't put a four-month gap (if we're lucky...) between #6 and #7, so what the Hell do I know? It's a bit difficult to go through a completed comic and say "that bit shouldn't be there", especially as there's always the chance someone will say "but I liked that bit, what the **** are you doing?". I think if some of the sequences had been compacted or omitted in the first (say, the "Avril's a troubled kid" spelling-it-out counsellor flashback, or the car chase) people wouldn't be complaining about the lack of them. Editing is harder to do once people know what they'll be missing, and now we've read it at ~150 pages we can't really go back.

Quote:
Though much less so than far too many TFs, getting down to it. Squishies really horrified by what they're going through have been in quite short supply over the years.
That's really your take on Avril's little fit in #6? Jimmy and the other one both seem to realise they're in over their heads, and not too keen on getting shot by giant robots. That's hardly terrified, and Buster didn't exactly charge into firefights. They're more sensible than horrified - the only thing that shook Avril was finding a dead human body in a cylinder, and by this issue she's all "Why are we going away from the giant robot war?"

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DW?
The black ops unit stealing knackered Transformers.
 
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Old 2006-07-16, 03:39 PM   #314
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Quote:
Originally posted by Denyer
I think for a story that's about a war coming to Earth, humans are kinda essential in some capacity.
I agree you need humans there, but if you took out the Terrific Three and all the Autobots the only event that wouldn't have happened is the deaths of all those inoccent people in the car chase. Even a bit of a fight with the Decepticons in the last issue would have at least given the illusion they were part of the plot...
 
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Old 2006-07-22, 11:25 PM   #315
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My brother finally got to reading the Infiltration issues. He's not the biggest TF fan and usually reads them when he's caught up on his other titles and when he's caught up on his work as a lawyer.

The verdict?

He finds Infiltration NOT GUILTY of being a bad title.

He thought it was very good, better than anything Dreamwave put out except for the G1 ongoing with Mick and Figueroa. He thought E.J. Su's pencilling was as good as Dons and loved how the Megatron, Starscream battle was done.

He read the first two issues of Beast Wars, to which he was completely confused, but he never followed BW.

Anyway, I consider my bro to be of good taste, and the fact that he thoroughly enjoyed Infiltration in my view is a good sign.
 
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Old 2006-08-03, 12:44 AM   #316
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Default Infiltration #6

Having finally read the issue a few days ago, I feel compelled to:

Who-who-heh-heh-heh-ha-ha-ha-WHOITY-whoity-
HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-heh-heh-heh-heh-ha-ha-ha-hah-HAH!

Megatron is indestructible!

Decepticon rule - for-EVER!!

Oh, and also - thumbs up.

(May get more specific later...if there'sanything left to say...)
 
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Old 2006-08-15, 09:47 PM   #317
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I really liked Infiltration. I have no major problems with how anything was done.

Bumblebee being a "girl" is kind of weird though...
 
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Old 2006-08-15, 09:54 PM   #318
Denyer
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Something that didn't click until someone pointed it out to me...



Tracks. In the old comics, did Sunstreaker and BBee ever have in-car-humans?
 
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Old 2006-08-16, 05:27 AM   #319
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Bumblebee is the yellow one with the dude in glasses in the first panel.
 
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Old 2006-08-16, 05:52 AM   #320
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Looks so close to Blackrock, I didn't read the text above...

Okay, so Bumblebee's updated to fit more with the typical driver of an old VW bug in the intervening years.

I'm curious to see what Prime's will look like, if we get to see one for him.
 
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