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Transformers: Infestation #2 [Mini-Review]


Full review posted to cxPulp.com
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Rating: 3.5/5

Transformers: Infestation #1 [Review]

Written by: Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning
Art by: Nick Roche
Colors by: Joana Lafuente
Lettered by: Robbie Robbins
Edited by: Andy Schmidt
Assistant Editor: Bobby Curnow
Published by: IDW

Galvatron and his Decepticons battle the zombies that have infested the world. Partway into the battle, Optimus Prime and the Autobots arrive. Galvatron insists they stop fighting each other and focus on saving the world…but by way of the Autobots surrendering to him. Once Galvatron is neutralized, we find out that he’s encountered this threat before. As the Autobots consider their next step, they’re ambushed by someone ready, willing, and capable of giving them all a Really Bad Day.

The story seems really simple–robots vs. zombies. Except these robots are the Transformers…familiar figures likely far more familiar to readers than those that kicked off this “event.” It’s quite amusing–and more than fitting–that the leader of the Decepticons would want the Autobots to surrender to him, rather than throwing himself and his followers at mercy of “the good guys” as would be typical for a story like this.

I’m not familiar with this version of the characters–and I can’t help but wonder if Megatron is to Transformers comics what Shredder is to the original Mirage TMNT run. But as with the Infestation issue that kicked off this event…I don’t feel too lost jumping into this issue. Best of all, I still enjoyed this, even not paying much attention to which characters are which. At only 2 issues…we’re only going to get a glimpse into this world of the Transformers.

The art is strong, and seems to capture a bit of the feel of a cartoon as well as being a sort of adaptation of the “angular” take on the characters that doesn’t seem quite as “boxy” as I would expect. Still, no real complaint here, except that Optimus Prime put me in mind of something from Gundam (though in some ways, one humanoid-shaped robot is gonna remind one of another).

I’d sorta expected to see the CVR in this issue, rather than finding the Transformers in the midst of battle with the zombies. Of course, it actually makes sense that they’re not in this issue–they didn’t discover until after it’d been initiated that the Infestation had made it to other worlds, so they’re bound to show up in the next issue to explain things and deal with the threat to this world.

I enjoyed this issue overall, though I think I’ll enjoy it a lot more once the Infestation event is out in its entirety.

I’m quite pleased that this is its own two-issue mini-series: I can follow Infestation into what I assume is current Transformers continuity, but I’m not having to buy random issues of an ongoing series, tossed into the middle of an already-started story. Similarly, I think it’s probably good that being its own series, readers of the ongoing Transformers series are not forced to read the Infestation event or have the ongoing story interrupted for two issues.

Recommended reading. (For readers of the ongoing Transformers, though, I certainly recommend reading Infestation #1 before reading this.)

Story: 8/10
Art: 8/10
Whole: 8/10

X-Factor #2 [Review]

classicreviewlogowhiteQuick Rating: Good
Title: Star Power

Summary: The fate of Rictor, Madrox confronts his dupe, Layla makes herself useful, and things progress on their course…

xfactor002 Writer:
Peter David
Pencils: Ryan Sook & Dennis Callero
Inks: Wade Von Grawbadger & Dennis Callero
Colors: Jose Villarrubia
Letters: VC’s Cory Petit
Production: Brad Johansen
Asst. Editors: Molly Lazer & Aubrey Sitterson
Editor: Andy Schmidt
Cover Art: Ryan Sook
Publisher: Marvel Comics

Marvel‘s recap page works particularly well here, as it not only recaps the previous issue, but shows (I think full-sized) the central point of the final page of # 1…and though we cut immediately to a "meanwhile," it brings the reader back in enough to have that bit of tension necessary for when we get to the fate of Rictor, who was unceremoniously shoved off the edge of a building by one of Jamie’s dupes in the previous issue.

Layla Miller integrates herself into the team, proving some immediate usefulness, though her explanation for knowing things seems to get on Guido’s nerves. We get a glimpse at the "bad guys" orchestrating some behind-the-scenes events, and a mysterious figure that I’m not even going to try guessing at the identity.

Overall, this issue picks up the threads of the previous issue, and advances the story a bit–resolving a key point of that issue, as well as introducing new elements to the main story, and setting things up for future issues. If the issue seems a bit choppy, it’s from juggling Rictor’s fate, X-Factor HQ, Jamie and confronting his dupe, and other elements of the story in the confines of a single, regular-sized comic. Despite that, fans of these characters–and present writer Peter David–will likely find little complaint other than the next issue not being out yet.

The art works well with the story, keeping a visual/stylistic difference from "standard fare" X-stuff, as well as the noir tone the story carries.

A brief exchange between a couple characters provides an interesting meta-textual commentary on the tile of the "Decimation" event this title is a part of, both addressing reader concerns of no thought going to it as well as providing a jab at the media.

On the whole, this is another fine issue of a fairly distinctive title. If you don’t care about any of the characters or the writer (or the art team), then don’t expect to like it. However, if you enjoy PAD‘s writing, and/or the characters, or even just the art on these particular characters, you will very likely enjoy the issue.
If you’re just curious about things, this is just the second issue–shouldn’t be too hard to locate a copy of the first issue (in whatever print edition) and jump on the ride. Recommended.

Story: 3.5/5
Art: 3.5/5
Overall: 3.5/5

G.I.Joe: A Real American Hero #156 [Review]

Full review posted to cxPulp.com.

Story: 4/5
Art: 3.5/5
Overall: 4/5

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