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Seibertron.com Interviews Mairghread Scott

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Interviews Mairghread Scott
Date: Monday, September 30th 2013 9:41am CDT
Categories: Cartoon News, Comic Book News, Interviews, People News, Site Articles
Posted by: Va'al | Credit(s): Mairghread Scott, Va'al

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Views: 42,987

With the animated series of Prime: Beast Hunters now behind us, and Predacons Rising almost here, we are very happy to welcome show and comics writer Mairghread Scott for another interview with the minds and hands behind IDW!

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Interviews Mairghread Scott


Va'al - Thank you for agreeing to do this, Mairghread - you have the honour if being our first writer! My first question, before we jump into your work, is about origins: How did you first become a fan of Transformers?

Mairghread - I actually grew up on Beast Wars, which makes me a bit odd because I never really saw Optimus turn into a truck (although I knew he did) until the Michael Bay films. But in some way, I think Beast Wars really was the best place to start when I worked on Prime. The idea of being outmatched and outnumbered, the shifting alliances; these are all important elements of both shows. Plus, even though our CG technology has come a long way, we still face a lot of the same challenges in terms of characters and sets.

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Interviews Mairghread Scott


Va'al - At last, someone else who grew up in the Beast era! I thought I was the only one, by now. How involved were you with the franchise back then? Did you collect the toys as well as watch the show, or branch out into other aspects of the Transformers like comics or other cartoons?

Mairghread - Neither. Comic books and action figures were 'boy things' and as a little girl I just sort of knew (and I'm sure my friends re-enforced) that I wasn't supposed to have either. I remember I looked for Airrazor a few times, but I could never find her on the shelf. On the bright side, it meant I got to play Beast Wars a lot with just my sister. I was an Osprey (until Jurassic Park, then I was a 'raptor for a while). I upgraded to puma-osprey with rocket launcher wings when everyone went all Fuzor/Transmetal. I feel like my sister was an orca because she was really into whales and I was always harrassing her about how she couldn't do anything in Beast-mode then. I wasn't the best sister.

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Interviews Mairghread Scott


Va'al - At least you played with her, though! I have to ask - were you ever able to track down an Airrazor figure later on in life? A lot of Transformer fans have their personal 'holy grail' toy, or so I'm told; would you say that was, or still is, yours? Or did you just outgrow the toy stage, and never really bothered?

Mairghread - No, although I would take one if I came across it. I tend to collect characters I've written for, so my Holy Grail is a modified Rip Claw made to look like Ser-ket. I just picked up a G1 Sludge at BotCon and would love to give him a sister to play with.

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Interviews Mairghread Scott


Va'al - You heard that, customisers. Be ready to be inundated by offers now! Speaking of writing characters - you're a writer for essentially two parallel stories, one told in the animated series, one in the comics. How do you juggle the different approaches, if they are different? Are there similar challenges in the two media? Do you have a preference between the two?

Mairghread - Well it does help that we have two different casts in each book and that they are both tailored to their medium. The Dinobots aren't nearly as talkative as, say, Optimus, and that works much better when you have the ultra-limited space of a comic. Since the Dinos don't do well in close-up or just talking, I try to think of the comics almost as an 80ish panel haiku instead of a TV script. I'm trying to pick out the best possible moments to suggest the movement, drama and staging that make Prime what it is instead of just transcribing an episode onto the page. When it comes to which I like more, I think I'd have to say comics, if only because I get to really interact with the fans in a way I never could if I just wrote TV. Talking to people who are passionate and nerdy about what you're passionate and nerdy about...it's the best.

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Interviews Mairghread Scott


Va'al - Communities of fans like the one for Transformers are indeed a gathering of multiple backgrounds and views with an extremely passionate dedication to the common interest! You're obviously welcome to join us on Seibertron any time, I know you write on other fansites at the moment. Speaking of fandoms, I was wondering about something. You've always been pretty determined and vocal about the female presence among the Transformers fans, but there are only a few named women creators in your position (alongside colourists Priscilla Tramontano and Joana Lafuente) - do you think the franchise is still a bit of a boys' club, or is that a misperception? Have you ever received criticism, from fans or peer creators, which was more about you as a woman than your work?

Mairghread - It's funny, I used to be really worried about the role my gender played when it came to my writing and how others saw it. So much so that once I was brought in on a non-TF show to write an episode that had a lot of female characters in it and I actually asked point-blank if they'd picked me because I'm a woman. The response was they'd seen Hurt and they picked me because I could write revenge. So 'no' I've never felt that people see my gender as anything other than another aspect of who I am.

That said, Transformers is still thought of by the public, the media and the industry at large as being a male-oriented brand. It's not surprising: the industry category for Prime is called 'boys action,' the toys for Transformers are in the blue-colored section at toy stores and in several TF comic books there are no female characters at all. This obviously makes it harder for women to feel like we want them to be involved in our brand and I want to change that. Everyone should feel allowed to like Transformers. If seeing my name on a comic makes a woman in the store give it a try, that's great. If writing Firestar means someone's daughter will read his Beast Hunter's issue with him -- awesome! But most importantly, if some little girl out there wants an Arcee as badly as I wanted an Airazor toy, I want her to know that she's not weird, or silly, or alone and if my work does that for her, that's the best thing of all.

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Interviews Mairghread Scott


Va'al - That's a great goal, and I agree wholeheartedly with your mission. It's also nice to read that the industry is changing its attitude towards pre-existing ideas, even if slowly. This is a franchise that, as you said, starts by being aimed at a young male audience, even though, in fact, there is a fairly big adult reception already - showing how there is also a good female reception should be next! You mentioned Firestar, a character who for now only shows up in a couple of issues of Beast Hunters - was that entirely your idea (with Mike Johnson), or was it suggested by IDW/Hasbro? How did she come about? And for that matter, how was Zoom introduced too?

Mairghread - Bringing back Firestar was my idea. As soon as we got picked up I decided to start adding female characters until someone told me to stop (and, actually, a lot of the background characters are also female, even though it's not obvious). So far, Mike, IDW and Hasbro have all been fine with it, so I press onward. I'd love to bring back all the pre-existing TF ladies, but we'll see how many I can squeeze in before the end.

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Interviews Mairghread Scott


Zoom is Mike's creation and another good example of IDW and Hasbro giving us a fairly free hand. I'm sure if we tried to remake the book as the Firestar/Zoom show, they'd say something, but when it comes to adding more minor characters, we get a lot of control.

Va'al - I did notice some of the remains in Last Spark were mentioned as being female, actually, yes. You don't seem to have been told to stop bringing in characters so far! Are we to expect any other ones before the series ends? I realise we're only half-way through, and that leaves us with two story-arcs worth of potential new faces.

Mairghread - Well, we just got preview images from Issue 5 and, I don't know if anyone's picked up on it, but they reveal Chromia, the blue Autobot next to Grimlock telling everyone to get under their beds (for protection in an earthquake). But don't worry, she does a lot more than that, but it's been fun to see her sneak into the sneak peek.

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Interviews Mairghread Scott


Va'al - Yes, I did spot Chromia, and I mentioned her (and Scrounge) in the review for issue 5. And speaking of issue 5, we now have the announced point of contact between the animated series and the comics, and we're very close in its placement with the end of the TV series. Will the comics cross-over or spill into the upcoming Predacons Rising epilogue?

Mairghread - While the two lines will merge in 7 and 8, the timeline between TV and comics means that we are following the show and not the other way around. That said, I've very excited at what Mike's cooking up, so you'll have to wait and see.

Va'al - Really not letting anything out of the bag, huh? Well, I think that moment of suspense is actually a good place to stop this time round. Mairghread, it's been an absolute pleasure talking to you, thanks again for doing this! Do you have any last words for the readers on Seibertron.com?

Mairghread - Only to thank them for the chance to play with characters they know and love. Hopefully, we can bring more fans to planet Cybertron. And if anyone has any more burning questions, you can reach me on Twitter at @MairghreadScott or Tumblr at mscottwrites.tumblr.com.

You heard her, readers - head over to the social media to ask your questions, or post them along with your comments in this thread! Stay tuned for another interview soon, we have some really interesting guests coming up.

Transformers: Robots in Disguise #20 Review

Transformers News: Transformers: Robots in Disguise #20 Review
Date: Tuesday, August 6th 2013 5:40am CDT
Categories: Comic Book News, Reviews, Site Articles
Posted by: Va'al | Credit(s): IDW Publishing, Va'al

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Views: 22,098

Me, me, m-- Rattrap?
(Spoiler free-ish)



Synopsis

NEW CYBERTRON! It’s a brand new day—and STARSCREAM is in charge! But running a planet isn’t as easy as it looks… if BUMBLEBEE couldn’t do it, why does the former DECEPTICON think he can?

Transformers: Robots in Disguise #20 Review]
He has a plan!


Story
Remember how last issue was about Orion Pax and Gorlam Prime? And the one before about the factions now residing outside Iacon and Arcee, and before that it was Shockwave and D(r)eadwing? If you haven't read them yet, you're in luck, as issue 20 still does not advance the plot much!

Transformers: Robots in Disguise #20 Review
You're welcome


Starscream really does take centre stage with this issue, and with him arguably being the best character to come out of Robots in Disguise, that is definitely not a bad thing. Barber has swapped his monologue by captions technique by coming out and calling the issue 'Three Monologues', allowing him to let Starscream speak, pretty much to himself, the whole time.

Transformers: Robots in Disguise #20 Review
And to cameras!


It feels a little better than the usual floating voices, and there are ways of showing a 'silent audience' like Metalhawk's body which almost justify it. But Screamer-fest aside, very little happens in the issue, except for the introduction of upcoming toy Scoop and potential upcoming toy Rattrap.

Transformers: Robots in Disguise #20 Review
Who also has a distinct.. er.. voice


The characterisation and hints at future developments aren't bad, and I enjoyed it more than other issues along the same lines. But the story really did not do much, at all. Rattrap is a peculiar choice, in terms of personality, especially when placed next to Starscream, and Scoop felt almost unnecessary.

Art

Visually, though, it works really well. From Metalhawk's body and the other ..incapacitated characters throughout the issue to the newcomers Rattrap and Scoop, and the play between blacked-out Iacon and the city once power is restored - it's all really good looking. And Griffith shows off his skills on page 6, with some excellent panel work.

Transformers: Robots in Disguise #20 Review
Boy, does Starscream love that pose


The lighting differences mentioned above really pop out thanks to Priscilla Tramontano's colouring work. The story progresses from complete darkness in the heart of night to the first lights of dawn, via artificial lighting coming back in operation - and yes, you can feel it in the tones and shades.

Transformers: Robots in Disguise #20 Review
J.J. Abrams directed this scene


Shawn Lee's lettering work gets a few particularly creative moments too, which is very nice to see. The three artists working on this issue have done a stellar job to make a fairly static story particularly aesthetically pleasing, and if anything, pick the issue up for the look of it.

Thoughts
Spoilerish ahead

Abandoning the caption monologue was a good strategy, though I'm not sure how I feel about still having the monologues anyway. On the plus side, they fit the character of Starscream perfectly. The art on the issue, also Starscream-centric, is stunning, and if Starscream Starscream, then Starscream Starscream Starscream. So Starscream. Starscream?

Transformers: Robots in Disguise #20 Review
Starscream


Starscream-fest aside, though, it does little to the plot other than introduce two-three characters and hint at some stuff, and it then tries to make up for it with the final page reveal - which is nice, but the gimmick is getting a bit tiresome. Still, as I said, I enjoyed it more than previous similar issues, and Starscream really does shine in this.

. :CON: :CON: :CON: ¾ out of :CON: :CON: :CON: :CON: :CON:

IDW Transformers: Robots in Disguise #19 Review

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: Robots in Disguise #19 Review
Date: Tuesday, July 2nd 2013 4:46am CDT
Categories: Comic Book News, Reviews, Site Articles
Posted by: Va'al | Credit(s): IDW Publishing, Va'al

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Views: 30,259

Maybe Univerze Like Wazzzpinator?
(Spoiler free-ish)


Synopsis

THE DEATH OF A WORLD! Gorlam Prime—the entrance to the so-called DEAD UNIVERSE—holds many secrets… and now ORION PAX—the ’bot who was once OPTIMUS PRIME—pries its secrets loose. But will it be too late for CYBERTRON?

IDW Transformers: Robots in Disguise #19 Review
Guest starring: Waspinator!


Story

We're back to looking at Orion Pax' quest after Jhiaxus and Bludgeon, as started in Syndromica. And we actually get a little more agency from the gruesome truesome, not not to mention a good look at what their plans are actually about. Sort of. But the issue features a small but good cast of old faces, bringing everything together so far.

IDW Transformers: Robots in Disguise #19 Review
The gang's all here


In the light of recent BotCon Beast Wars toy announcements, the presence of Waspinator is an interesting addition, and Barber manages quite successfully to give him his own idiosyncratic speech pattern without badly damaging the intelligibility or pace of the dialogue - not a small feat!

IDW Transformers: Robots in Disguise #19 Review
zzzzZZZZzzzzZzz


I felt like we finally get a connection with the 'Prelude' Spotlights and Annuals, too, linking the Metrotitan plot (and the first appearance of Waspinator and Bludgeon in the series) to the main storylines - though not taking it back to Cybertron, yet.

IDW Transformers: Robots in Disguise #19 Review
Because it is Waspinator after all


The use of Waspinator is a good one, as he's not just tragicomic relief, Orion Pax seems to have a vague idea of what is going on, there's a fairly nice battle scene, and we get to find out what might happen next. But the ending really bugs me. Not saying what it is, but I found it disappointing.

Art

The artwork for this issue, deviating from the so far established Ramondelli-Orion Pax combo, is done by Dheeraj Verma, who also worked on the Fall of Cybertron comic. And I have to say, despite a lot of people being quite vocal against it, I really enjoyed it. Yes some characters look different, but that's the whole point of having different artists!

IDW Transformers: Robots in Disguise #19 Review
Look at Bludgeon, look at him!


The artwork really shines, though, thanks to the colouring work of Joana Lafuente. The whole issue has a great feel about it, keeping the familiar smokey tones and hues we've come to associate to the Orion Pax issues so far in Ramondelli's own colours - just clearer this time, and working perfectly with the linework.

IDW Transformers: Robots in Disguise #19 Review
And that scenic shot..!


The lettering by Chris Mowry is good as usual, and some of the soundwords are really excellently executed. One character in particular has a really good speechbubble, but I will not spoil it here. All in all, I really liked the artwork: it's new, it's different, it works. We'll see if Verma comes back later in the series, but I hope so, personally.


Thoughts
Spoilerish ahead

Overall, the story holds together pretty well, as we get back to Orion Pax' personal mission chasing Jhiaxus/Bludgeon, and catching up with Wheelie, Garnak and Hardhead (and others). The addition of Waspinator is a nice touch, and the artwork is great, with some gorgeous backgrounds and colours.

IDW Transformers: Robots in Disguise #19 Review
Revelation: Megatron is a petty child


My problem with this issue? The ending. Again, I'm not going to spoil it for anyone, but I felt that the conclusion was disappointing after an otherwise enjoyable read, finally moving away from the usual status quo conflict. Do pick it up though, as it ties up nicely some loose ends, and it just looks beautiful - and it sets up the next step really well.

. :BOT: :BOT: :BOT: :BOT: - out of :BOT: :BOT: :BOT: :BOT: :BOT:

Death's Head is Back, Full-Size, in Marvel Comics IRON MAN #9

Transformers News: Death's Head is Back, Full-Size, in Marvel Comics IRON MAN #9
Date: Thursday, May 2nd 2013 10:35am CDT
Categories: Comic Book News, Rumors, Toy News
Posted by: Va'al | Credit(s): Va'al, Burn, Marvel NOW!

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Views: 65,637

Do you remember Death's Head? The 30-foot tall robotic bounty hunter was created by Transformers godfather Simon Furman during his run in the Marvel UK series, and Geoff Senior's artistic touch. He was soon promoted to more than a one-off character and even got his own series in the late 80s, though reduced to a human-sized robot.

With Furman's blessing, writer Kieron Gillen brought the multi-dimensional mercenary back to Marvel comics, although always as a secondary character. Well, after showing up in the background of Marvel comics for the past year, Death's Head makes his full-on return in Gillen and Dale Eaglesham's latest Iron Man comic, issue 9, and he's in his full size!

Back in 2012, Seibertron.com reported from the Toy Fair that a new Marvel Universe figure of Death's Head had been announced by Hasbro - is this a good sign for its release?

Death's Head is Back, Full-Size!


Leave your opinion and discuss this below!

Retrospective Reviews - Transformers: Regeneration One #87

Transformers News: Retrospective Reviews -  Transformers: Regeneration One #87
Date: Sunday, April 28th 2013 4:26am CDT
Categories: Comic Book News, Reviews
Posted by: Va'al | Credit(s): IDW Publishing, Va'al

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Views: 20,111

A Key Issue
(Spoiler free-ish)


With volume two of ReGeneration One coming out this Wednesday, we decided to go back and make sure all the issues contained in the trade have been reviewed! Read all the already written ones: ReGeneration One #86, ReGeneration One #88, ReGeneration One #89 and ReGeneration One #90. And now, for the missing one: ReGeneration One #87.

Synopsis
WAR CRY! The conquest of IACON begins in earnest, as SCORPONOK’s game-changing strategy threatens the very nature of what it means to be AUTOBOT... Or DECEPTICON! And HOT ROD begins his own personal odyssey to the very heart of CYBERTRON—where ancient forces are stirring!

Retrospective Reviews -  Transformers: Regeneration One #87
So. That's the plot



Story

So Grimlock has accepted Scorponok's offer, and is on his way to Cybertron. After a demonstration of what the Gene Key can do, at least. He's back in his old body, happy as larry, bashing and gnashing, and he has a plan to carry out.

Retrospective Reviews -  Transformers: Regeneration One #87
Grimlock, you scoundrel


Meanwhile, Optimus decides that he'd rather stay on Earth and think things through, thank you very much. I suppose this could have been a worse decision, but it does seem to slow down things a lot. Every other character on the planet(s) keeps asking 'what would Optimus do?' - apparently, nothing. Just go for a stroll. Good to know.

Retrospective Reviews -  Transformers: Regeneration One #87
But you can abandon everyone on Cybertron. Cool, cool.


And of course, Hot Rod tried keeping everything under control back at home. Even though Grimlock is a bit of a trouble-maker, Scorponok's vanguard has arrived, and there's definitely something going on in the basement.

Retrospective Reviews -  Transformers: Regeneration One #87
O hai Primus


The idea of Scorponok changing the moral compass of all Cybertronians is intriguing, but the execution is a bit puzzling. What exactly does the Gene Key do, and why does it even work? If morality is not a black-and-white thing, as they explicitly said in these issues, surely the result would not be this one? Or would it?


Art

Again, it's Wildman and Baskerville on pencils and inks, respectively, and there's quite a wide cast this time round. Some have complained about the three headmasters not looking like their usual selves, or at least previous incarnations, but they do resemble their toys in this form. The usual concerns about expressions do arise, but there's something particularly off with Perceptor.

Retrospective Reviews -  Transformers: Regeneration One #87
Percy..?


Bove really shines in this issue though, especially when the skies are concerned. Something I didn't notice on the first read: the Cybertronian sky progresses through this story arc, from a very very dark night to something else for its conclusion, following the pacing of the events. A nice touch, JP.

Retrospective Reviews -  Transformers: Regeneration One #87
Pretty lights


The artwork seems to work a lot better in this issue! Yes it's Andrew 'Screaming Robots' Wildman, but the human facial expressions have more of a variety this time, and really help convey what is going on in the story. And I like screaming robots, anyway.


Thoughts
Spoilerish ahead

The issue is enjoyable actually, and it does a lot more than the previous one. There are some concerns both in terms of plot devices and artwork, such as the exact functioning of the Gene Key and Perceptor. Poor poor Perceptor. But overall, the story works.

Retrospective Reviews -  Transformers: Regeneration One #87
Contemporary cultural reference!


There are some extra bits I haven't mentioned in the review, about some other characters still on Earth, of whom Starscream is one and the others are ..well, I'll leave it to you to find out. Overall, not a bad issue, a good read, still fairly slow but appropriately so this time. Let's see what Scorponok has in mind for next month, shall we?

. :CON: :CON: :CON: :CON: - out of :CON: :CON: :CON: :CON: :CON:

IDW Star Saber Designs

Transformers News: IDW Star Saber Designs
Date: Sunday, April 21st 2013 5:43pm CDT
Category: Comic Book News
Posted by: Va'al | Credit(s): Alex Milne

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Views: 21,707

Transformers artist Alex Milne has posted on FullMetalHerohis designs for the upcoming Star Saber character from the More Than Meets The Eye comics series! The images are fairly small, but are mirrored below.


IDW Star Saber Designs

IDW Star Saber Designs

Hoist, Magnificus, updated Machine Wars deco and more revealed in TCC #50 (now arriving)

Transformers News: Hoist, Magnificus, updated Machine Wars deco and more revealed in TCC #50 (now arriving)
Date: Monday, April 8th 2013 11:32am CDT
Categories: Collector's Club News, Comic Book News, Event News, Toy News
Posted by: Seibertron

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Views: 43,608

Earlier this morning I received my copy of the 50th issue of the Transformers Collectors' Club The Official Magazine. The cover homages Marvel's Transformers #22 which featured Menasor with various Marvel characters outlining the sides of the cover. This cover features Depth Charge's mug shot front-and-center with all of the Collectors' Club characters outlining the cover.

Inside the magazine itself, the following pages and information are revealed ...

  • Brian's Bytes and Bolts reveals that the Subscription figures have been delayed from China. They are estimating that the figures will ship right after BotCon. I'm assuming this means that the figures are being shipped over with all of the BotCon exclusives to save on transport costs. Because of this delay, they are unsure when the 2nd installment payment will be due for those of you who went with the payment option.
  • First look at Transformers Generations Deluxe Hoist (available 4th quarter). Hoist is a remold of Trailcutter. He features a new head and trades Trailcutters trailer topper/shield for a tow hook that appears to transform into Hoist's gun. No wings but I think we'll all be happy to have Hoist join our "Classics" ranks. I'm assuming this figure will be packaged with his Spotlight book in the upcoming deluxe/comic packaged series revealed at Toy Fair back in February.
  • The next two page spread features updated decos for the BotCon 2013 Machine Wars set. As far as I can tell, the only difference is Obsidian has undergone a major color change. Whereas he was a bright green with orange (transparent?) rotors, he now sports a color scheme that seems much closer to his Beast Machines cartoon counterpart along with (transparent?) red rotors. This should make many fans happy that Strika and Obsidian will be utilizing colors from the cartoon instead of one being from the cartoon and the other being from the toy.
  • Transformers Generations Magnificus from eHobby is revealed as a club exclusive! Pre-orders will be available at http://www.TransformersClub.com/shop from April 15th to May 8th. Price is currently listed at $90.
  • The comic continues the Beast Wars Shattered Glass theme. It introduces G2 Hero Megatron alongside some of Takara's Beast Wars II characters like the Seacons, Dirge, Thrust, and the Autorollers. Scylla is still female. :D
  • After the comic, we get a one page "The Transformers Menagerie - Part 2: The Dinobots"
  • Profile pages for Beast Wars Grimlock (Maximal) and Beast Wars II Dirge (Predacon)
  • The back cover features another installment of David Willis' Recordicons as well as two installments of Transformers I.Q.

Hoist, Magnificus, updated Machine Wars deco and more revealed in TCC #50 (now arriving)

Transformers Spotlight: Trailcutter Review

Transformers News: Transformers Spotlight: Trailcutter Review
Date: Tuesday, April 2nd 2013 12:09pm CDT
Categories: Comic Book News, Reviews
Posted by: Va'al | Credit(s): Va'al

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Views: 20,268

Trail-whatever
(Spoiler free-ish)


Synopsis
STEALTH ATTACK! Trailcutter has a problem: the Lost Light has been taken over by the Decepticons—and no one else seems to have noticed! Can the Autobots’ defense strategist singlehandedly see off an army of infiltrators? And even if he does, will it convince his crew mates that he's got more to offer than kind words and forcefields?


Transformers Spotlight: Trailcutter Review
Boooored



Story

Spotlight: Trailcutter takes place between the events of More Than Meets the Eye 5 and 6 (the Delphi happenings and Fort Max's breakdown-Rung's beheading, respectively). So why haven't we seen any of the events from this issue before?

Transformers Spotlight: Trailcutter Review
Sticking out like a sore thumb


Ok, so everything else was happening at the time, but surely a massive hull breach and a Decepticon invasion wouldn't go that unnoticed, surely. That is the only negative point though. This Spotlight is a lot more successful than its predecessors in weaving in the Metrotitans plot, whilst still having its own private story.

Transformers Spotlight: Trailcutter Review
Don't mind us, we're just titanically hanging here, glowing


Plus, it's Roberts. It's funny, there's good dialogue, Whirl's excellent, there's good humour, Whirl is brilliant. There's an in-story explanation for the change of name for the protagonist, the Insecticons (the coloured ones, not the purple ninjas) show up again, there's a lot of references, plus the return of one of my favourite, spikier kind of Decepticons – you'll be hooked, alright. Did I say Whirl is also pretty good? I think I did.

Transformers Spotlight: Trailcutter Review
NO KNOWN WEAKNESSES


In addition, it's a nice refresher after the last MTMTE issue, where tragedy struck. It's good to see Rewind and Chromedome both happy and Ultra Magnus kind of around, and the general atmosphere a lot lighter, even during the Decepticon incursion.


Art

The artist is Matt Frank, another new entry to the Transformers series and a welcome one at that. The style is fairly “cartoonish”, so if you're not a fan of Roche or Griffith, this one is probably not for you. There is a lot of lip biting, face pulling, jaw clenching and Whirl doing impressions. And a lot of cameos!

Transformers Spotlight: Trailcutter Review
Again, just hanging in the background


Lee's on lettering, and I don't really have much to say about it. That's not to say it's not good, it's just not as popping as the newcomers on the other titles – although some of the sound-words are excellent. Thomas Deer on colour duty. Now this, this one's good. There is some Burcham reminiscence in here, with the lighter, “grainier” colours. And they really shine (though not literally, except for the shiny shiny medals) during Trailcutter's solo adventure.

Transformers Spotlight: Trailcutter Review
Why so blue, guys?


There is something about the comic that can be compared to Nick Roche's work, but as Roche is a one-man-band (including the audience part, at times) I think Frank's artwork really suits Roberts' writing style. So yes, good combination for this Spotlight!


Thoughts
Spoilerish ahead

The story does not take itself too seriously, and it's a nice break from the emotional suckerpunch that was issue 15 (especially now that we've been told that 16 is even worse). Focusing on a somewhat minor character worked out well, and I hope this will work well for the next one, too!

Transformers Spotlight: Trailcutter Review
And team awesome is awesome


Overall a good, entertaining issue. Easily up with Nick Roche's Spotlight: Megatron, and maybe even better. It's nice to see a relatively new artist and colourist working on a title, and successful ones at that. The story works well, except for its time placement (but that may be just me), and it hints nicely at what's to come – Hoist and ...purple reign? A good read, not perfect, but perfectly enjoyable!

. :BOT: :BOT: :BOT: :BOT: and 1/2 out of :BOT: :BOT: :BOT: :BOT: :BOT:

Transformers: Monstrosity Interview - Dille and Ramondelli

Transformers News: Transformers: Monstrosity Interview - Dille and Ramondelli
Date: Thursday, March 21st 2013 11:02pm CDT
Category: Comic Book News
Posted by: Va'al | Credit(s): BadHaven.com

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Courtesy of BadHaven.com we have an exclusive interview with Monstrosity creators Flint Dille and Livio Ramondelli.

Transformers: Monstrosity Interview - Dille and Ramondelli


In 2012 IDW went digital with Transformers: Autocracy, the story of Optimus Prime’s ascent to greatness and leadership of the heroic Autobots. Now the follow-up series is about to be unleashed and once again we travel back in time to a darker, dirtier and altogether more dangerous Cybertron than the one we’re used to… and that’s saying something!

Co-writer Flint Dille and artist Livio Ramondelli give us an insight into Monstrosity!

“The Decepticons are defeated. Zeta is gone. Optimus Prime is in control, but what you realise is that keeping the peace is sometimes harder than winning the war” – trust Flint Dille to find a cloud in every silver lining! It shouldn’t come as a surprise to any longtime Transformers aficionado; this is the man who killed Optimus Prime just half an hour into the original animated Transformers movie, only to oversee his return as an crazed robotic-zombie for a third season episode!


In fairness, Flint was still involved when Optimus Prime returned again in more triumphant fashion towards the end of the animated series’ run;

“Optimus is a great character, but what people tend to forget is that great characters often have times of incredible adversity, inability, unpopularity – how will Optimus hold up? Monstrosity is about what happens after the war – it can go well or it can go badly. It seems like it should go well…”

Seems like, eh?

Parallels are often drawn between Optimus Prime and other real world heroes, and Flint notes similarities between Monstrosity’s stand-up citizen and another great from history, who himself was in the Oscar spotlight recently.

“I recently watched ‘Lincoln’ and I can only speculate on what would have happened if he’d lived, but reconstruction wasn’t pretty. Monstrosity takes place in a world that needs to be rebuilt; not a hopeless world, but a world kind of teetering on the edge of both renaissance and oblivion, kind of like the real world today.”

Transformers comics have been enjoying their own renaissance period in recent times under IDW’s stewardship and artist Livio Ramondelli has certainly played his part in making the stories look as striking as they have done, with Autocracy in particular having a quite distinctive look – chunky yet detailed action-packed panels, with quasi-painted style colouring particularly effective at setting the tone. Explosive reds and dramatic golds, moody blues, contemplative natural greens and soothing, cleansing whites – would Monstrosity continue along a similar vein?

Monstrosity picks up shortly after Autocracy, and so the planet will look very similar to how it did in the previous series, featuring the same sort of colour palettes,” explains Livio.

Although the story will definitely take us to some new locations – the characters will go to areas of the planet we’ve never seen before, and so the design of those environments will certainly look strikingly different, they’re going to discover a side of Cybertron that isn’t just cities. Also, there will be a major location in Monstrosity that is neither Cybertron nor Earth, and it definitely has its own colour palette, amongst other monstrous properties!”


Click here for the whole interview!

Creator Commentary: Transformers: Robots in Disguise Ongoing #14

Transformers News: Creator Commentary: Transformers: Robots in Disguise Ongoing #14
Date: Wednesday, February 27th 2013 4:26pm CST
Category: Comic Book News
Posted by: El Duque | Credit(s): Transformers Facebook Page

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Views: 21,874

The official Transformers facebook page has shared this week's Creator Commentary for Transformers: Robots in Disguise Ongoing #14. IDW Senior Editor and writer John Barber gives us some insight into this issue's first five pages. We've mirrored the commentary below for those of you without facebook access.


Re: Transformers: Robots in Disguise Ongoing #14 Preview
PAGE 1- The rioting Decepticons, as seen in the previous issue, are gone thanks to Metalhawk's efforts. Having introduced the character in the first year of RID, how do you think the character has changed from issue 1 to where we are now?

JOHN BARBER: Metalhawk was away from the action for most of the war. When he came back to Cybertron, back at the start of this series, he didn’t know who was who, who’d done what, or why anybody was acting like they were. He’s definitely learned the lay of the land since then, but he’s still very much an outsider in terms of really understanding the main conflict. He gets it a little more now, but he hasn’t been on the front lines like Bumblebee or the others.

As readers, I think we’ve learned more about him, and what makes him tick, a little more. At first, the idea was that we wouldn’t be able to tell if he was honest or if he had Machiavellian plans going on. Plus, as readers, we’ve been privy to all kinds of details about the Autobot/Decepticon war, and that, combined with Metalhawk’s general demeanor, kinda made him irritating. Now I think we know him a little more—we’ve seen his contradictions and his flaws and he’s a little more human… well, you know what I mean. I know some people don’t trust him yet—fans, I mean—and maybe they’re right.

Whatever the case—he can still be pretty insufferable. But he was able to get most of the population off the streets, when Starscream and Bumblebee’s efforts were fruitless.

Re: Transformers: Robots in Disguise Ongoing #14 Preview
PAGE 2- Metalhawk reports in and Prowl’s deception from the previous issue is revealed. Events have been building up to the next few moments. When actually coming to doing the issue, were any pages like this clearly pre-though out or did they just lay themselves in any surprising ways?

JOHN BARBER: Well, everything with Prowl was planned from the outset, and his actions over the course of the series were very deliberate. I mean, everything he did had to map onto what he was pretending to do, and also what he was actually doing. If that makes sense. Like, if Prowl gave an impassioned speech to Bumblebee to keep Bee going, it had to make sense in terms of what the reader thinks Prowl was doing, not just what artist Andrew Griffith (and editor Carlos Guzman) knew he was really doing.

So, in that sense, everything had to be pretty much thought out. In terms of this scene, and the reactions of characters… Blurr is ready to believe the worst—and not without reason—but even Sideswipe has to admit he sees his point. There are little surprises here and there with how characters have grown over the series, and how they react to events. Like, when Bumblebee ordered that the Autobots open fire on Megatron when he returned—that wasn’t in the original outline, I just realized that that was what Bumblebee would do at that point. And Megatron wasn’t counting on that, either, so events had to adjust. Anyway—Andrew just does such a great job making it all sing and acting the reactions of Sideswipe and Blurr and everybody.

Re: Transformers: Robots in Disguise Ongoing #14 Preview
PAGE 3- Dirge reveals that Prowl has been working with the recently returned Megatron for quite some time. It’s a question of what to do next. With his world collapsing around him, is the focus still going to be how Bumblebee deals with situations as a leader, even in the most dire of circumstances?

JOHN BARBER: Well, Dirge doesn’t say anything about time, or how long anything’s been going on.

Bumblebee… well, it would be nice if Bumblebee figured out what to do here, yeah.

Re: Transformers: Robots in Disguise Ongoing #14 Preview
PAGE 4- Prowl and the Decepticons together, and Megatron requires a new body. How much design work goes into producing these Cybertronian looks for the characters? Are they made with other products in mind?

JOHN BARBER: It’s super-easy for me! I just type their names and say to make them look cool, and boom, there they are!

Seriously, Andrew Griffith knocks himself out on these. He sometimes bases the designs on existing toys or on the video game looks, but always brings a little flair to it. And other times they’re new designs entirely, like Prowl… and you’ll find out why Prowl is like that later this issue.

We don’t really have other products like toys in mind per se, but there’s a lot of back and forth between the comics and the toys, as you might have seen at Toyfair, where Hasbro revealed some new Transformers figures that tie in directly with the comics. It’s all great fun—the guys making the toys are loving what we’re doing; everybody making the comics are loving what they’re doing. It’s a fun time.

Re: Transformers: Robots in Disguise Ongoing #14 Preview
PAGE 5- Bumblebee, Metalhawk and others are pondering about the Decepticons next move. This issue marks a huge shift in the series. Has it always been the intention to explore the facets of peace and how they affect a given society?

JOHN BARBER: Um. Yeah, this is a big change. We’ve been looking at how a society tries to stay together, and rebuild after a war. There are always questions of freedom and security and justice looming over everybody. Sometimes imagined threats, or perceived problems, can give room for bigger, real threats and problems to grow. It’s also about a society trying to change… there are always forces from within that want to stop any change from occurring.

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Transformers Podcast: Twincast / Podcast #91 - History Lesson
Twincast / Podcast #91:
"History Lesson"
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Posted: Monday, April 21st, 2014