Well it's that Tuesday again and you know what that means – idw Transformers Ongoing comic review time!
Just this time with Dead Metal, instead of TT24, that's because TT24 is chained up in my basement, and he shall remain there until idw makes a new Transformers comic I don't hate with a passion so intense that it should be illegal.
So I'll be reviewing The Transformers Ongoing #13, a comic by idw focusing on Hot Rod Rodimus Prime Roddy the Hot Rod, that is HOT,
Rodimus (?), and the role he has in the future of the comic series. Oh looks like TT24's staying in my basement for a while – OR IS HE?!
And just in case you don't know, this review contains spoilers and as the name says, these spoilers spoil the comic for you. I will include the ending in this review, so if you don't mind getting spoilt keep on reading
So idw was very happy to stress to us that this issue took place in SPACE!
and not on earth, but that's not all, they also stressed that this book had Rodimus, in SPACE!
What an exciting brake from all that boring as hell Spike waffling, pseudo political waffling, propaganda, and the most boring and unexciting way Transformers have ever been portrait, seriously, they're giant sentient robots from SPACE!, how can they not be exiting and awesome – oh yea waffling...
I'm going to start by saying something about the art, since that's not just half of a comic but also the half one notices before the story.
The art, well the line art, is done by Nick Roche, the Irish artist who not only harassed idw into hiring him (according to Chris Ryall), but also made a huge impact on the fans with the art and scripting of such titles as "Spotlight: Kup" and "Last Stand of the Wreckers", the later with a great portion of help by James Roberts. He's famous for having a style that is both cartoony and organic, and still very mechanical. He's also, in his own words "Gay for Hot Rod".
And he does not disappoint, the art is very dynamic, expressive and full of character, and still very detailed.
Now on the subject that is always good for controversy in the idw comics since the Launch of "All Hail Megatron", the designs.
Nick Roche uses a mix of character designs, The Master Piece toy design for the Seekers, Don Figueroa's new design for Hot Rod, and the rest are more or less based on the Sunbow cartoon designs, except for a mystery character!
So the art will please Nick Roche-fans and displease those that don't care for his work, and comic character design nerds will probably find something to rage about.
I'll voice my opinion on the story part of the comic at the end of this review.
Now this is where the real spoilers start!
So the issue starts with Rodimus flying with Ultra Magnus's ship (which he stole from Ultra Magnus in #06) through SPACE!
. They didn't lie you guys the story really is in SPACE!
Now I'm not really going to say too much about the first five pages, since if you click here
you can read them in the pre-view.
The pages give us a basic gist of what happened earlier, Rodimus "unexpectedly" getting swindled by Swindle (also #06), oh wow we didn't see that happening back when Swindle showed up in #02, how could you not
trust someone going by that name. Rodimus also goes on about how smart he is, yea Swindle thinks so too, and that Ultra Magnus has a super-duper high security safe which can't be broken by anything short of Omega Supreme, which he doesn't lock. Why Magnus went through the trouble of owning that I don't understand, but I do think it's kind of funny, stupid but funny.
Rodimus arrives at the Decepticons' asteroid base and we see Acid Storm, yes he's even actually referred to as such, and Shrapnel. They lose their cool and shoot the ship, but due to an error the ship crashes and destroys their defences.
Bombshell gets the job of telling Starscream the bad news, who doesn't really care and tells him to go and fix it. Then we have a bit of an awkward moment in which Bombshell kind of suggests he should have The Matrix and tries taking it from Starscream (I guess it's like the "one" ring), who's still wearing it with a chain around his neck. Starscream orders him to "Leave us", which is odd as there is only Bombshell and Starscream in the room, maybe he's going nuts."And one to enslave them all."
We cut back to Rodimus who has survived the crash and gets ready to attack the base. However Acid Storm, Kickback and Bombshell search the wreak for survivors and useful things, and well they find Rodimus, who ambushes them and kills all three of them, well I guess he kills them.I guess a fridge could have also been used for this.
Rodimus himself is then ambushed by Razorclaw, they exchange some dialogue in which Razorclaw reveals he could bite off Rodimus' head and swallow it whole, which is odd since he's a robot, but then again we've seen Transformers do stranger things. Rodimus tells Razorclaw to "Swallow this!" while sticking one of Bombshell's cerebro shells in his mouth, and he does. Razorclaw is now under Rodimus' command, because well roll with it.Razorclaw will swallow anything smaller than his own head without question.
Rodimus then uses Razorclaw to ambush Starscream, who quickly kills him
, yea sorry no Predaking in these comics.
Rodimus attacks Starscream, who tells him that he's impenetrably armoured, but Rodimus shoots The Matrix which knocks Starscream out, or kills him I'm not sure which
. click here for spoilerish image
He then takes The Matrix and goes deeper into the base, where he's surprised by Astrotrain, who's in his cartoon design, Rodimus thinks he's smart and decides to sneak up on him, while thinking to himself he's destined to bring the Matrix back. But surprise! And out of the shadows steps our mystery character! I'm not going to use any spoiler tags since, well it won't work."Out of the Dark, into the light."
The mystery character is Megatron in his new design, marking the first time the design has been used in fiction.
Due to Megatron having a new body, Rodimus panics and shows us that he knows what happens when a character gets a new body and shows it off to the reads/viewers for the first time! Rodimus somehow thinks The Matrix could shield him from Megatron, possibly forgetting Megatron is not Unicron (who isn't even in this universe, but still). "Erm, Rodimus he's not Unicron, but whatever."
It goes just as well as one would think, and Rodimus is back in SPACE!"SPACE! Blacker than the blackest black times infinity!"
Megatron somehow no longer caring for The Matrix, strange, he seemed to have been all over it in AHM, guess it was important enough to start a war over it (if we ignore the fiction prior to AHM) but blasting it with a huge cannon into SPACE!
is OK, guess he thinks his new body is a much better "toy".
Megatron then tells Soundwave to assembly the Decepticons since he wants "To address my followers".And on the last page we see Rodimus floating dead through SPACE!Image spoils the final page of the comic.
So that was it, our space related issue in the ongoing, enjoy it while it lasts as it might take a while till we get another issue set completely in space.
Now I'll get to the story part , which is the most important part of a comic. A comic can be good with horrible art as long as the story is good, just like a wonderfully illustrated comic can be bad due to a bad story and horrible writing.
The comic is written by Mike Costa, who's been writing the ongoing since #01 - poorly in my opinion. Everything's dragged out far too long, characters act weird and the plot seems to be nothing more than Costa's statement of how much our beloved alien robots suck when compared to humans, it's so poor that it overshadows the few pretty good ideas and concepts he brings in."A typical and unedited page of what dialogue in the Ongoing."
However, this issue is different, it's pacing is good, although it kind of feels rushed near the end; it's dialogue is waffle free, something which we usually suffer through when Costa writes dialogue involving humans or Optimus Prime (please die Prime, you suck in this continuity now); Rodimus' internal monologues are pretty good, sometimes stupid and cliché, but overall pretty good; and the best part, no Spike!
However, there are some bad or let’s say week parts to the story, like Razorclaw's part in this, which was pretty pointless since Rodimus' would have had the same effect if he just went and attacked Starscream himself, Razorclaw was basically just there to get killed
. The part about Ultra Magnus' safe, that odd scene with Bombshell and The Matrix, The Matrix in general which seems to be indestructible and Megatron's appearance, while cool is somewhat sudden and not explained. But we might get the explanation in a following issue or heck even a Spotlight, telling us the story, which idw planned from the beginning but wanted to wait, of how and why in a few months.
So yea the story's not that bad, plus the fantastic art by nick Roche, with fantastic colours by J. Brown, make a pretty good and enjoyable comic.
I give it three stars out of five, which means I must have liked it.
"This I recommend!"5 point of cool to who gets this.
Personally I think it's not as good or interesting as idw's earlier output (-tion, Stormbringer, etc.) but not that bad and might be the first sign of the series actually getting better, but then again Megatron might come back to earth and team up with Osama Bin Laden or revive Hitler, which would sadly make sense looking at what happened in previous issues.