THE LAST AUTOBOT! Once he ruled CYBERTRON with a brutal (and literal) iron fist... left for dead four million years ago, SENTINEL PRIME is back. But in a world where STARSCREAM rules CYBERTON, OPTIMUS PRIME has invaded Earth, and MEGATRON is an AUTOBOT—SENTINEL doesn’t like what he sees!
I'll take revenge murder plot for 500, Alex
The last couple of months (years?) have had a lot of change in the world of the Transformers - since Dark Cybertron ended, Dawn of the Autobots and Days of Deception happened, Megatron had several changes of heart, Windblade erupted into the world, Optimus started his journey to True Prick Prime status, Starscream actually still rules Cybertron, and the ex-colonies have returned. Now, imagine you were left for dead when you were a fascistic despot bent on superweapons and conquest. It's bound to mess with your brain, right?
Even tyrants need recaps
The three-author structure is actually well deployed in the book, allowing us a pre-Dying of the Light look at a flashback under movie night banner from (predominantly, one assumes) James Roberts, and avoiding a talking heads part. Which also means Swerve and Whirl get to annoy Megatron for a bit, as Cyclonus lets the true noble purpleness of his heart shine - plus some smile-worthy social commentary. In fact, the whole section has heaps of it.
The second section has an unfortunate bit of a crossover - though not crucial, the two scenes are more complementary than anything - with the events of The Transformers #55, delayed in its print form to next week, but available on digital, it seems. Looking at the status on Earth after the rise of the Titan, and more Primes than you can can wrap your head around.
The Actual True Primes
Between John Barber and Mairghread Scott, the two heads together prove that they can master the voices of the other, as the third section is also the longest, set on Cybertron with Sentinel doing a lot of stuff. Stuff that shows character in pretty much everyone around him, from Starscream to Ironhide to Windblade, along with establishing him as
Livio Ramondelli is the sole author of the visuals, and - unless you're not a fan of his style in general - he does an excellent job of bringing together a chaotic, hectic, pretty much planet shattering return, even if not of Titanic proportions as such. Between some of the establishing shots, and the lighting games that are being used throughout the book...
...and the more detailed looks at the characters, their interactions, and even some of the battle scenes, we get another strong performance in the G1-esque direction that Ramondelli's art, colouring and layouts has taken in later months. It works for the big bad bot, it works for the Lost Light cast, it works for Ironhide in particular. It works.
Tom B. Long returns to the work he had been doing in books like Autocracy/Primacy/Monstrosity, keeping the fonts more or less simple and clear, but having fun with the sound effects as Sentinel brings on a bit of a rampage wherever he goes or might end up going. And we get some good covers too, in the main Ramondelli one we've seen for a while plus the ROM exclusive, the thumbnailed Priscilla Tramontano encapsulates the story's potential direction, and there's a very fun double cover by Chris Giarrusso for Acme Comics.
Thoughts Spoilerish ahead
The visuals are Ramondelli at its best, as of recent, and it's good to see him in such top shape, and colour, and... The writing, not only of the different characters as pointed out so far, but of Sentinel himself, is very entertaining - as far as a character such as his can be. He will be loved and hated in equal measure, and stands as a dead ringer for certain vocal elements of the fandom at times, too.
Yeah. I said it.
A one-shot that actually does fairly well in bringing together the three coexisting series at the moment, and sets up a stage that doesn't feel to constrained or artificial, with hints in the other books that can be linking bits together for detail-oriented readers, and a callback to a much earlier stage of the IDWverse. This book does good, and it does it well.
Seriously, finding non-spoiler filled images was legitimately difficult.
Here we are, 4 years, 7 months, and a week since The Death of Optimus Prime, which ushered in what has arguably been the best long-form run of Transformers comics in history (that includes Robots in Disguise/The Transformers and all the various one-shots and mini-series within this time period, for the record.) Now that I've read More Than Meets The Eye 55, it feels like the end of an era. Yes, the story is continuing next month, and even once this iteration of the book wraps up with issue 57 there's still the Revolution tie-in book and a relaunch under the moniker of Lost Light, but do you feel it?
It feels like an act is done, the stage set for the next, but the immediate moment finds curtains drawn, house lights brought up, and an audience filing away. They'll mingle and chatter about what's been seen, some will speculate on what's still to come, but when the lights flicker and they come back they're going to know that the immediate next act is not one with the players just seen. Behind the curtains, a director is leaving the chair, costumes are being changed, and new actors are preparing for their debuts.
This drawn out analogy is important, as the content of MTMTE 55 is much more satisfying when considering the perceived feeling of significant change in the universe of Transformers comics. With this preamble done, let's dive into more specifics about this particular issue.
Probably not a good way to get your security deposit back.
While "Season 2" of More Than Meets The Eye has been running since directly after the Dark Cybertron crossover event arc, for this reviewer, there have always been two parts of this "Season": before issue 44, and after. That was the issue where Megatron's journey began to pivot, and it was also the point where the quantitative amount of mysteries that the book held in store seemed to hit a peak. From the last Scavengers two parter and on through "Speak, Memory" and "Dying of the Light", more questions have been slowly answered compared to the amount of new questions that have arisen. With this issue, hold on to your seat - my roller coaster analogy was not just an unusually popular Tweet. This book will hit you with story beats, character moments, major revelations, floods of emotion, and heart pounding suspense in rapid succession without leaving room for much time in between.
A small sample of the intensity that awaits.
Make no mistake about it though, this issue is both the end of and very representative of "Season 2". It's all about the journey, and not every reader, including very devoted MTMTE followers, will be satisfied with every direction taken.
No really, this will be the reaction some of you have. But to which part?
As can be expected of a James Roberts penned book, each turn is clever and well explained within the words and imagery present. If you like "James Roberts clever twists", you'll love this issue to pieces, though the massive amount of content pressed into twenty pages of comic does lead some of these to feel anticlimactic. That's indeed a critique, but the immediate counterpoint is that some things just had to be quickly handled for this story to do everything it wanted to do. Maybe some initial ideas got punted or changed, especially looking back to the solicit for the issue, or maybe they didn't and I just don't fully grasp the solicitation's text yet.
Let's all talk about this in the thread below. I don't think we've got closure on this point.
Some other staff members here on Seibertron have expressed similar laments on this concluding piece of a larger arc, ranging from comments on how the book couldn't quite help "Dying of the Light" top the floor of its reach, to one about some turns not literally being 'deus ex machina' moments yet managing to feel the same way.
To me, this is more of an issue of prioritization and not even pacing anymore. Character moments are, it would seem, purposely given more real estate than answered questions (when they aren't one in the same), and not every fruit borne of promising seeds ends up tasting ripe on the first bite due to this balance. Having had the luxury of time to think a great deal before writing this review, it should be said that while there was some initial bitterness on the palette during the initial tasting, nothing lingered and it's all settled in very satisfyingly. Your mileage may vary, as MTMTE "Season 2", like many delicacies, can be an acquired taste.
I told you - non-spoiler images just aren't abound in this issue!
For the production of the book (full credits may be found here), get ready for Milne, Lafuente, and Long at their very best. Each character looks exactly as your brain tells you their MTMTE iteration looks, complete with super expressive facial features, body language, and movements. These are highlighted by all the 'choom's and 'vromp's you can shake a stick at, with the colors of the characters and environments putting a tidy bow on a beautifully presented package.
Visually speaking, this delivers everything you could want and then some. There are even some visual cues that lead me to believe the events in the latter part of the book may be, well, more than meets the eye.
I think that what is tinfoil may never a'luminate. And I'm sorry.
Hats off to the entire team, even those contributing just in the form of variant covers like Nick Roche, Josh Burcham, Brendan Cahill, and Jean-Paul Bove, and of course to outgoing editor John Barber.
Like the rest of More Than Meets The Eye for the past couple of years, you might read this tomorrow and feel underwhelmed by a few points. If you're someone that's looking for more passive Transformers entertainment and have been highly critical of issues 28-54, you'll be highly critical of 55. If you've enjoyed chewing through every detail, and re-read old arcs over and over looking for clues on where things will go, or if you've just really enjoyed every bit of MTMTE since issue 28 without fail, you'll love this issue.
Ultimately, I found this to be a very satisfying conclusion to a very satisfying arc. The great character work shines, the story moves briskly, and nothing feels to have happened without at least some degree of thought out cause.
Did I like every twist? No, I think at least one huge opportunity for an amazing future story had a big red "abort" button pressed, and some others felt like fanservice that just didn't add anything except for those rooting for certain characters. There were some amazing twists though, and the end in particular has me watching my calendar and eyeing the IDW release schedule thinking only "How could they do this to us?!" Waiting for December is going to hurt.
When reflecting on how long and how deeply I've had to think about this issue, I'm glad to have held off on writing this review until days after my initial read. Thinking back to the moment when I reached the start of the third to last page, and how I was involuntarily at the edge of my chair, heart pounding in anticipation of what was or was not about to happen, the realization strikes that this journey, Megatron's journey, is a story that will stick with me for a long time.
Like Megatron, it isn't perfect, but there's a great deal to love despite a few rough edges.
. & 1/2 out of "Don't Change Back" aka 4.5/5
Bonus! James Roberts' soundtrack suggestions for this issue:
Our podcast star xRotorstormx went wild on these new Alt Modes figures and bought the entire first wave and sent us pictures. While they are blindbagged, there is a small hole in the back where you can try to figure out which character is in the box. A video review after the images will show you how to find the one you want. You will also be able to get an idea of the scale of these when looking at the reviewer handling them. Thse are small 2.5 inch one step figures and the first wave features:
Prowl (who looks super grumpy)
Here are a few words from Rotorstorm regarding her new purchase:
Last night I was able to get my hands on these adorable (yes, I said adorable!) little figures from my local Toys R Us. To me, they are more of a display piece, much like Kreos, as they are simple 1-step figures but I found them quite enjoyable to play with.
They come in blind boxes, similar to the Loyal Subject figures, but much cheaper ($6.99 each). On the plus side, there is a small hole in the back of the box that allows you to see inside a bit so you can try and figure out what character is inside.
In vehicle mode, they look like Micro Machine versions of the G1 vehicle modes and have little wheels that you can drive them around which I got a kick out of. Be careful though with your Starscream nosecone, as I ended up somehow being able to spin him in the wrong direction and scuffed the tip a little.
In robot mode, they are a little top heavy...no surprise there... so it takes a little finagling to get them to stand without any support but it can be done!
and...if you feel compelled...decapitate your prowl to form PROWLASTATOR!
Overall, I think they all look good. Megatron and Prowl could use a little more paint detail but I love that the trucks remind me Micro Machines, Starscream has sparkly blue paint, and how can you not love sad face Prowl?
If you're looking for something simple and fun, I say pick some up. I'm definitely looking forward to wave 2!
//grumpy prowl out
Our other pocastig star, Tigertrack, got Prowl and took some comparison images to giv you a sense of scale.
Lastly, here is a video review of Optimus Prime and a quick quide on how to find the one you want.
After the in-hand images we saw a while back for the two new Warrior class figures in the Transformers: Robots in Disguise line - Scorponok and Windblade - we also have two video reviews for the Decepticon and Autobot, courtesy of tfrWLDNAS on YouTube in his post Roll Out Roll Call haul look. Check them out embedded below!
Fellow Seibertronians, we have been alerted to several video reviews by Chefatron of the upcoming Transformers Titans Return leader class Soundwave figure and his minions legends class Laserbeak, and Ravage. Soundwave is a retool of leader class Blaster - whose gallery you can check out here for a further look at the figure's base mold - but includes an additional gun, in reference to the G1 figures' 'battery' guns, along with a new helmet and a new Titanmaster. Legends class Laserbeak is a repaint of Combiner Wars Buzzsaw, while Ravage is a repaint of Titans Return Stripes, with a retooled head. So check out the reviews, and let us know what you think of them in the comments below.
Seibertronians, quickly after they were sighted for the first time at US retail, our friend and fellow Seibertronian, ChuckDawg1999 brings us a video review for Robots in Disguise One-Step Ratchet and Bisk! Check out his thoughts and the video itself down below!
It's nice to know that even in 2016 collectors can still be surprised. No one knew that Ratchet would be getting a One-Step figure until it showed up on some etailer websites. Ratchet is a retool of the previously released Weaponizer Strongarm so it's a solid mold, but it suffers from balance issues when you try to have it hold a Minicon. Bisk is an all new mold and is the best version of Bisk we've gotten thus far. Unfortunately Bisk has no easily identifiable way to hold a weapon Minicon, if it's meant to at all. Overall these are fine additions to the RID line and make for great desk toys.
Make sure to check out Seibertron's galleries of the other toys in the Robots in Disguise line here, and leave your thoughts in the comments! How do you feel about another one of the main 5 from Transformers: Prime crossing over into the Robots in Disguise show? What do you think about the figures themselves? Have the one-steps gotten better or worse since the Age of Extinction days?
And, as always, keep your optics and audio sensors tuned to Seibertron.com for the greatest Transformers news (and reviews!) on the net!
Seibertron has been providing an image filled written review of each Toysrus Robots in Disguise Exclusive Warrior Figure. We already covered Power Surge Prime and Starscream so last up is Paralon.
While this is a redeco of Robots in Disguise Scorponok, with a new Beast Wars themed head, this one is released first so it's a good way to experience this new Robots in Disguise mold.
Firstly, this mold is making me realize that the real innovation in Transformer design is happening in this line. This toy is unlike any other toy that has come before and has the perfect transformation trifecta: Sleek robot mode with a bunch of new robot specific detail, a sleek altmode with no bot kibble showing and an intuitive and fun transformation. This is surprisingly rare in toys and requires some intense engineering. For a bot to not have too much kibble, it usually reuses a lot of the alt mode. Especially with animals where the limbs are often reused. Every crustacean so far uses the pincers as the robot hands and those that don't, end up with an insane amount of alt mode kibble in robot mode, like Beast Wars Rampage. But here, you get a bot who has forearms, legs, head, and chest that are totally new and different from the beast mode parts. And yet, he is super sleek. Let's start with the beast mode which has minimal to no bot kibble.
His nice painted Scorpion head has an articulated jaw.
While all promotional images have his tail holding the scabbard, I preffer it without, it is more scorpion like. Plus, you can make further use of the three points of articulation found in the tail to pose it to your liking.
The big claws lock the robot elbows and that limits the articulation of the claw arms in beast mode. You can still rotate the shoulders to get some different poses.
Transforming to robot mode is fun and pleasant. There is an odd point though where the pincers end up being loose around the arm. There is nthing wrong with that since you just bring them to the shoulders where they tab in securely but it's just something I am not used to in Transformers. The last time I saw something of this sort was with Ultimate Movie Bumblebee where parts end up loose and flaoting around until you tab them from one mode to the other. This should not be confused with partsforming, which doesnt apply to this toy.
The only back kibble, if you eve call it that, is his tail and you can pose it as you like.
You can even use it for some extra offense.
Speaking of offense, it turns out his stylyzed hands are as functional as any other robot hand out there. Its just an aesthetic but it doesnt hinder any fuctionality or poseability.
Now onto the deco, I have no complaints. There is a nice mix of three different plastic colours and there are quite a few places where dark purple is painted onto a lighter purple plastic which gives the figure a nice blend of two tones with some grey to break it up. This shot below shows the majority of his paint apps which highlight molded detail.
What surprises me most are his robot legs. Those stilt like thin legs have 0 problem holding the figure up. They designed this figure to be perfectly balanced. Those legs can be aranged as you wish to change his height.
Here are some comparisons with other RID Decepticons and deluxes.
What I am realizing with this Robots in Disguise line is that this is where the evolution of the brand is happening. Here is where we can see new designs and new ways to achieve an alt mode. While I can see how the Generations line may be more interesting to some, the real innovation in Transformers designs is happening here and this Scorponok mold is a perfect example of that.
Seibertronians, we've got a new review for you! This time it's of the new Takara Unite Warriors Blast Off figure, straight from Seibertronian Chuckdawg1999!
This is the from-scratch figure included in Takara's Unite Warriors Bruticus box set. Check out Chuckdawg's review and comments down below, and make sure to check out Seibretron's gallery of the Hasbro version here!.
Does this review change your mind on the Takara Bruticus set? Will you be getting it, or the Hasbro version? Tell us in the comments below!
And, as always keep it tuned right here, on Seibertron.com, for the latest and greatest Transformers news!
Leave it to Takara to step up and provide a figure most fans want. Blast Off is an all new mold that completes a vintage style Combaticon team. Transformation is smooth and features the best weapon integration I've seen thus far. If you waited to get the Combaticons like I did, this figure, and the set, is worth the pick up.
Seibertron will be providing an image filled written review of each Toysrus Robots in Disguise Exclusive Warrior Figure. We got the Thunderclash-esque redeco of Power Surge Optimus Prime yesterday and now we will look at the totally new Robots in Disguise Starscream toy.
What I was dreading when I first saw this toy was that it would have a fake chest, with lots of back kibble in robot mode and be a "bot under a jet" in vehicle mode. Turns out this is not the case at all. My problems with this toy are not ones I could predict. While the design and transformation are interesting and new for Starscream, the toy just feels very cheap. The plastic used is not hard plastic like the Power Surge Prime Warrior figure. It bends and the wing has a tendency to pop off during transformation. But it does so much right as well. So let's take a look.
Here is his vehicle mode and I did not catch it from previous photos, but it is not an earth jet. It looks far more like Combiner Wars Cyclonus with a very long and narrow front section that fans out in the back. The design also shares similarities with Windblade who has the legs fold up and become part of the back of the jet. However, this is executed so much better because the resulting gap is very small.
While the shot above might make you think there is a ton of kibble under there, it is not the case. Its just his shoulders which I think the designers were hoping would be flush under the wing to give the illusion that these become part of the wing in alt mode.
As you can see, it is not a bot under a jet.
Everything tabs in really well in alt mode, with some of the loudest snaps I have heard in the line so far. I also like how the hands fold into the arms through a hollowed out design very much like Dark of the Moon Shockwave's hands.
Here are some alt mode comparisons with RID Decepticon brethren and Prime Starscream. He is far beefier than the later.
As I mentioned previously, there is no fake chest here. The transformation is much better than either Cyclonus or Windblade. It is more complex than either and all the robot bits are tabbed in securely and better disguised as well.
The robot mode is also different than previous starscreams with him having his wings folded down to give the idea of a cape. This royalty theme is further emphasised by the large shoulderpads which reference his look when coronated. You can play with the wings ad how they look in robot mode.
What might be the biggest difference between this and other G1 themed Starscream toys would be his accessories. There are no null rays or rockets to tab onto his arms. Instead you get these very straighfrward pistols, which are nicely painted (gun metal over blue plastic). I was hesitant but this change in accessories totally changes the feel of this toy in robot mode. And they plug on his arms as well. I totally went John Woo on this guy!
Here are some comparisons with other wariors and deluxes. I brought in an older WFC deluxe to give an idea of height for those who might not be collecting Robots in Disguise.
Yeah, he did shrink a bit, but the legs are thicker, so it's a give and take
Seibertron will be providing an image filled written review of each Toysrus Robots in Disguise Exclusive Warrior Figure. The first one up is the Thunderclash/Ultra Magnus themes redeco of Power Surge Optimus Prime.
While this is a white themed redeco of Power Surge Optimus Prime, it has been released first, so this is our first experience with the Power Surge retool of the RID Warrior Optimus mold.
For starters, here are quick comparisons between this particular Toysrus Exclusive redeco of Power Surge Prime and the upcoming wider release of Power Surge Prime.
As you can see, he is principally a retool of 2015's Warrior Optimus Prime and when looking at this toy I can't help but feel a bit retroactively jipped. It mostly deals with the paint apps, plastic used, and accessories.
Firstly, this toy uses a lot of clear plastic while none of the other versions of this mold do. Clear plastic is used on the entire torso (both front and back pieces), the two swords/wings and the removable shoulder blasters.
What says clear plastic means more paint and Optimus has a lot of paint on his chest to give the wanted design against the clear plastic. This figure has a significant amount of paint apps. My favourite actually has nothing to do with clear plastic, it's actually his feet which are painted in two different colours (white and silver) and it's a great result.
The last thing that makes me feel a bit cheated about purchasing the original mold are the accessories. All previous released only came with one axe that didnt store anywhere in robot mode. Yet here at the same price point you get two clear plastic wings/swords that can be stored well in vehicle mode (and hide his obvious legs better) as well as in robot mode where they can serve a dual purpose. What is really awesome is that even though the wings can be pegged and unpegged easily, they were designed in a way that you can rotate them simultaneously without unpegging them and they would never block eachother. You also get these boosters/blasters that peg behind his head in robot mode. This clear plastic piece, which does have some pant as well, can also be stored elegantly under his vehicle mode. And to add insult to injury, he also comes with the same axe. Of course, this is all good news since you get way more bang for your buck here, but it really makes any previous release feel cheap in comparison.
Now onto the retooling.
With the legs, it is only the outer flap piece that is retooled. There are no wheels on that piece for this retool. There is also a hook which I am at a loss as to what its purpose is. It makes the legs look different from any side view.
The chest is where most of the retooling is. The chest and back are basically different pieces entirely from the first warrior.
The arms and shoulders, which turn into the cab, are also changed from the previous mold uses. The panels under the arms are smaller with more of the cab piece present on the shoulders, extending them a bit. This makes the hands more evident.In vehicle mode, that just means that the connection between the arms and shoulders is further down the grill. I find it very cool how they fixed a big problem with no change done to the visuals of the alt mode.
While I didn't care much for the initial release of the mold, I think there is very good value here with good paint apps and a great amount of accessories and I love when I see feedback taken into consideration and a toy improved through it. If you don't have the mold yet, I would suggest giving this guy a try.
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