Fellow Seibertronian Chuckdawg1999 has a video review of the entire first Wave of Titan Master figures:
Crashbash with dragon/dinosaur
Loudmouth with hovercar/hovertank
Nightbeat with jet/drill-tank
Terri-Bull with tank/jet
chuckdawg1999 wrote:The Titan Masters are the bread and butter of Titans Return; the tiny Headmasters are compatible with Deluxe, Voyager, and Leader bodies. Individually each Master comes with a partner drone that can Transform between two vehicles and a weapon for the larger robots. I think these are going to be the stars of the line; since the price point is very inviting, and the cross play pattern is fun.
THE END IS NIGH! Final battle erupts—the forces of G.I. JOE and the AUTOBOTS head-to-head (or head-to-toe, depending on the size difference) with the DECEPTICOBRA alliance! The fate of the universe hangs on every decision!
Lots of contributors listed for this issue:
Welcome friends and board mates, readers and lurkers. Today we celebrate the series that was Transformers Versus G.I. Joe. With issue number 13, this out-of-the-box, discussion causing series, has come to its final Earthly conclusion.
My name is Tigertack, I’ve read Transformers and G.I. Joe fiction (and a lot of other comic book and narrative book fiction as well) since I was but a young lad, borrowing comic books from my cousin Dan’s vast collections when 4-H had ended, and from the libraries that my mother worked at for one of her many jobs. Many of you know me from Seibertron as a former newsie, news admin, and Botcon attendee, sometime podcaster and reviewer.
After TF #54, this is not what I expected under the mask to look like.
Transformers Versus G.I. Joe was a series assigned to me review, mainly I think because Va’al thought that I needed to be tortured, maybe because no one else would do it…but more likely he wanted to challenge me, and as ‘the-resident-active-staff-member-who-is-also-involved-with-comics-and-enjoys-G.I.Joe-too’ it fell to me to try to relate to anyone reading these reviews about the latest iteration of a series that historically has never been what was really desired, but could be relied upon to be very different from the last version.
White haired and short-buzz cut...Race Bannon?
And so we have this interation, written, drawn, lettered, and colored by Tom Scioli all by himself, with John Barber editing and offering advice here and there. A dream come true for a creator who loves both franchises and their toys and comics… and it shows!
The next Billy figure to need an FSS version. Or maybe they could make a whole Scioli inspired set.
The series though, immediately caused a lot of water cooler talk, tweets and posts, as it looked and read like no previous TFvsGIJOE story ever really had. It was Tom’s universe and he was making it what he wanted, all the while paying homage to the people who came before him like Larry Hama, Simon Furman, and Bob Budiansky, and using other media influences that ranged from comics like Watchmen, Kirby drawn and written materials like New Gods and other works, to movies like Rocky and Firestarter.
And what a world it was: Decepticobra alliances, GI JOE and Autobots fighting then working together, Earth getting eaten by Seibertron (har!), Scarlett and Snake Eyes becoming headmasters, Megatron getting a taste for human flesh, drug addicted Autobots, greenery added to Cybertron, robot invasions and government reactions, a general who never wears his cap straight, Cobra La, the Death of Optimus Prime, and Megatron wishing to dissolve the sun for its energy. ENERGY is a fantastic way to describe the series, as there was always something new thing different, something alive about the series, and it always brought a nervous, excited energy to the reader.
I always found it hard to write about this series because most of the time, I felt as many did…there was this imaginary line drawn and you were usually either on one side or the other of it as far as this series was concerned: you liked the creativity, newness and energy involved with the series, or it had the polar opposite effect on you, and you simply hated it. The side I started on was the side that hated it, the art being the biggest turn off to me as a former artist in training, I knew I could do better and it irked me. But as the series progressed it was not enough to just complain about the art and the ‘weirdness’ that was happening. I had to look for something to appreciate, a way to enjoy it. And I did. I liked it for its differences, its surprises, its always making its own way, and telling its own story while paying homage to so many great influences.
"Always in the eye of the beholder, this series has been."
And so, in conclusion, we celebrate the life of this series, and its final issue…which even though it is the final issue, still manages to pack in surprises and homages as it is ending. It’s a double issue and its packed until the very last page. I know many of you either read it and enjoyed its Lord of the Rings ending, its creative use of G.I. Joe Retaliation and Transformers movie references, the use of previous classic Joe and TF comic panels, and its downright original Atlas (it ain’t Unicron!), the always perfect hair of Billy, the use of Ultra Magnus and his white cab, and the marriage that you just could not have predicted. In all its wild ENERGY laden pages it never-stopped, until it had to stop.
This was one of my favorite pages...ever!
Movie Megs ultimate combiner
With these last words, I say that we celebrate the passing of this iteration of Transformers Versus G.I. Joe, and laud its creator and collaborators, its inspirations and its ENERGY. We can truly say that there never was a series like this, and there most likely will never be a series like this again (except in 2025 when we see ‘Shipwreck Space Pirate’). Kudos Mr. Scioli and Mr. Barber.
For the next installment of Transformers and G.I.Joe action we'll see what the new 'Revolution' has for us. Thanks for reading.
’Til All Are One! Yo Joe!
Some random images I had wanted to use until the review went a different way.
THIS IS THE END! Will PROWL get his comeuppance? Will TARANTULAS conquer all? Will any of the WRECKERS survive? It’s wreck and rule one last time, with everything on the line!
Quite the hook
Remember when we last talked about Sins of the Wreckers? Remember how I mentioned that issue #4 felt very much like an ending, and hoped that the actual end would live up to it? Even if you don't, I say it here, again: issue #5 is the ending that the series built to, prepared for, and ultimately, deserves. Let me tell you why.
This guy, mostly
I will not spoil the book, there will be plenty of time for that in the discussion that will follow, I will point out, though, some of the highest notes that Nick Roche has achieved in this brief but in-depth plunge back into the world of one of more messed up teams in the IDWverse. Above all, the scheming and betrayal that runs deep and leads back to Prowl, always Prowl, and his machinations, and his creations - Tarantulas, Kup, Verity, the secret police, is everything his fault?
We found out some of the dirty secrets last issue, but even more comes out this time: feelings of hurt, revenge, coping mechanisms, catharsis, and violence. A lot of violence, and characters forged through that violence and *bad stuff*. What we obtain is the strange mix of strength and weakness, as the two sides of the same coin - with emotion running all along the thin edge, the gut-wrenching type that comes with *bad stuff*.
If you're looking for Overlord levels of manipulation, but with an even stronger psychological connection between characters themselves, and creator and readers, this is the book you should pick up. It's raw, and still edited. It's hard to swallow, but it flow smoothly. It's good. You should read it.
Roche is still very good at the storytelling happening in visual form too, though it should come as no surprise by now. Where the dialogue might risk to overpower the scene, the quieter frames actually allow for a wider scope, and a much deafening, visually speaking, effect. Towards the end, at the climax of the Tarantulas confrontation, you will explicitly see how words are not always needed.
Josh Burcham needs a lot of credit here, as the issue and the series look like nothing before in the IDWverse - even considering previous Roche projects, and Spotlight: Kup, of which we see many references in the series - as his colours are exquisitely apt and decisive for the full spectrum of greys (metaphor) used in the strands of the book. And some of the wider pages would lose a lot of their power without the colours.
And of course, the Noisemaze
The lettering is fantastic, as it has been for the series so far, combining the visual power of size and colour with the fontwork that Tom B. Long can bring to a Transformers book. The silences become clearer, the beastly fonts give voices extra layers, and you can see-hear everything, even in the mess of the Noisemaze. As for covers, not only do we get another Roche/Burcham piece mirroring the first issue, we have the return of two Transformers favourites in E.J. Su (see preview thumbnail) and Guido Guidi (this thumbnail), with their takes on Wreckers past and present.
Thoughts Spoilerish ahead
There have been delays, and they were fully justified - read more by Roche himself here - but even before knowing anything about the author's personal life, the issue, and the series as a result, is a strong, emotional, intense, heartfelt, harrowing, powerful, and most of all human piece of art. It deals with the horrors of emotions, of war, of betrayal, of anguish. It reaches, hard, for hearts and sparks alike. It wrecks.
The conclusion is satisfying without being exhaustive, it keeps threads closed where they should and others open where they can. This was never one story, but a knot in a web of stories: there is no one single thread that would allow for a neat resolution. So it gives many, and does so in words, it does so in pictures, it does so in in ways that only this medium allows. It rules.
Fellow Seibertronian Chuckdawg has a nice new video review for us: Generations Titans Return Blaster. This is part of the very first wave of Leader Class toys to come out of this new line. It also has 3 forms, like all voyagers and leaders in the Titans Return line so far, and turns into a boombox, a robot and a base for smaller bots. Speaking of smaller bots, he is also a headmaster and Chuck will go through the gimmick to show how it works and how the little robot can interact with the base. Enjoy and let us know if you will be getting this toy!
chuckdawg1999 wrote:Titans Return,oh how I'm torn about you. On one hand it's great to see Headmasters once again, but to see the gimmick applied to a character like Blaster leaves me, torn. Blaster is a great figure, it's fantastic to see the 80's style boom box finally. Robot mode can be a bit fiddly from the hips down, but it's worth mastering. Surprisingly base mode works a lot better than Optimus Prime's, featuring several attachment points for Titan Master figures. My opinions on the line are right down the middle for the time being so be your own judge if you want this figure.
Fellow Seibertronian primalxconvoy got his hands on Takara Transformers TAV 50 Hyper Surge Prime and wrote a quick review for us to highlight some points that may not be apparent at first glance. If anyone is interested in this toy, this is a great read to be aware of some problems in order to set your expectations, since this is intended for kids afterall. The short review is interspersed with relevant images from alfes's gallery.
I got this toy the other day. Here are some observations:
- No Autobot symbols in lorry mode (I used Repros for mine).
- No upper arm swivel, which is strange as his upper thighs do. This means that his posability is limited.
- The regular head swivels a bit, but the super mode visor DOES NOT. This means that he cannot look around in super mode.
- The arms, although engineered to have tabs, don't tab together in Alt mode very well.
- the clear sword blade and hilt are detachable, and feature a special peg which fits into only this prime's hands. Not sure why.
- No painted wheels, which is odd for Takara.
- The molded Autobot symbol on the eagle is both unpainted and obscured by the eagle head in super mode, meaning that Optimus has no clear faction symbol on display while in this mode.
- The cab comes unattached in the box, and simply hangs off the attached area. It's tempting to want to pull it down further, causing it to come off.
- the same for the wings, as they appear to fold, but don't.
In conclusion, the toy is perhaps more durable and easier to transform that the previous iteration of super mode Prime, but it's got less details and paint apps.
While we have seen a video review for the upcoming Transformers Titans Return deluxe Hardhead, it was in Chinese - and thanks again to The Chosen Prime, we now have an English version too! Check it out embedded below for your viewing convenience, and let us know your thoughts in the Energon Pub.
Thanks to the YouTube channel for online retailer The Chosen Prime, we have a English video review of the latest Takara Tomy Transformers Masterpiece to appear in the news cycle: MP-25L Loudpedal! A redeco of the Tracks mold, with some changes for the face, as an homage to the Finnish Diaclone version of the toy, and an exclusive in itself - check it out in the video below!
The wonderful lot over at Kids Logic have been generous enough to send Seibertron.com another of their Mecha Nation super deformed figures to review and handle - after Devastator from last time - and we have prepared both a video review and a full gallery for your viewing pleasure!
We jump straight back into the movieverse, or cinematic universe, with MN-11 Age of Extinction Grimlock plus Optimus Prime, a set which replicates one of the iconic scenes from the fourth live-action movie by Michael Bay and Paramount, as the leader of the Autobots rides the dinobot into battle. Both are deformed in proportions, and in equal parts adorable and terrifiying. Click on any of the images for the full gallery and check out the video review below!
Titans Return is out there people! Not only is it available at retail around the world but even online stores are now shipping them out in the US, like Enertainment Earth which now has the Leaders and Titanmasters in stock.
Which ones are you gonna get right away? Are some a bigger priority than others? Let us know. We have reviews up for many toys if your mind isn't made yet, and we have a new one here from StarblightSkylynx featuring Stripes. Remember that this mold will be redeco'd into Ravage later this year.
MASSACRE! The battle between the DECEPTICON Justice Division and MEGATRON's AUTOBOTS reaches its nerve-shredding climax. Pray for your favorites—because not everyone makes it out of this issue alive.
Like I said: Rage, Rage
To anyone who hopes to read this review and not have some spoilers, whether they be major or minor, I would highly suggest reading the comic before this review.
You have been warned. And for space for you to stop, have a battle scene featuring Nautica:
Spoiler Alert: Milne can draw a badass Nautica. And I bet you thought intellectuals couldn't look that awesome
Enough time to stop reading for spoiler fears? Good, cause here we go.
Well, we have come to the end of the road. The Dying of the Light really is meant to be read as a TPB, in the same way Shadowplay was meant to be read as a 3-parter in complete sequence. But in the same way Shadowplay had different parts that were each unique in storytelling and action sequences, so too does Dying shape up that way. 50 was the catalyst, 51 was the hopelessness setting in, 52 was the attempt to stop the inevitable, 53 was the final countdown, and 54 is the war. And a war that is held. But that part was always expected. Just maybe not in the manner that it was played out.
All credit to James Roberts: he can spin an outlandish storyline that can make even the smallest, random act become the all-powerful MacGuffin and it all still make sense. And sure enough, he uses one to give the Autobots that fighting chance they needed. But it is here that I really became fuzzy with everything. It has been really hard to articulate my thoughts regarding the MacGuffin, and honestly, I'm not sure this is what the story deserves. It gave the Autobots the boost they needed to stand a chance, but it really didn't feel like the boost that the story deserved. Now, that is not saying I didn't like it, but it still felt... off a bit.
A similar thing happens with "MacGuffin #2" (term used loosely here), which brings salvation to the now MacGuffin-deprived Autobots in the form of Megatron. But again, it doesn't feel completely right, but at the same time it is good and likable. Both of the above comments lower the storyline a bit for me, but lets face it: the main part of the story this issue is the action:
He really can't deal with your jokes right now
This is where the story truly shines. Action! Excitement! Death! Terrible Swerve jokes mid-battle! This issue excels in the combat. It really did turn into the all out war that was promised, and it did not disappoint. Now, some readers might be a bit disappointed in the pacing, seeing as how quickly the issue seems to go by with all the fighting, but at the same time: "Times flies when you're having fun!" In the moments leading up to the battle, the timing was a bit slow and cumbersome, but after that whole scene inside the Fortress, things picked up. This was what Dying needed, and it provided in spades. Heck, we even got some 1986 movie references and some 2009 movie references (betchya didn't see that coming huh?).
Overall story-wise: I was impressed and adored it. This was a great issue to read and it provided the action needed for the thrilling next-to-last issue in the volume. The only complaints I have would be the slight pacing issue and the Power of being in control all along/super boost, but those are hardly enough to deter the main focus, which leads us right into the next (and for this issue most important) section:
Alex Milne takes this issue entirely by himself, and boy does himself deliver. It is one thing to actually right a whole issue that is a giant battle, but it's a whole other thing to have to draw it. And Milne takes it all in stride. In all honesty, I would love to show off some panels here that show Milne at his absolute best (looking at you Megatron) but alas, you need to get the comic to fully comprehend and enjoy the art. But, for point of reference, have a panel:
Now I will say 2 things about the art: Megatron, Deathsaurus and Skids show off all that can be good with this comic. Those 3 make the art great and show off just how good Milne is. But there is a tiny point of "eh" though: Nickel. This is just the one character the Milne and Sakamoto can't seem to sync up on. Nickel is just a teensy bit weird art-wise, but other than that the art is flawless.
This guy has become my favorite for facial expressions. Easily
Joana Lafuente has once again provided excellent colors to compliment Milne's artwork. Just look at the lighting on some of the images above. And also don't forget those 3 characters I said nicely showed off the art for the story. The colors just shine with those 3 (more or less).
Tom B. Long is joined by Christa Miesner for the lettering duty, and they did not disappoint. Every word appears as you would expect, every scream, every whimper, every howl in pain, every bit of it all. It not only makes the lines gorgeous to admire and the colors gleam with eye-catching visuals with its articulation the of action performed, but it so perfectly articulates the scenes that are taking place, from fighting for your life to letting it slip away.
Pretty much my face for not only several panels, but also just trying to write this
This series truly is best read as a whole, all 6 issues lined back to back for a good couples hours of read time. But this has proven to be an issue worth standing out by itself. If you wanted action, you got it. Easily and a thousand times over (which I admittedly did). If you wanted characters facing hard choices and realizing who they all were and never realized, it was provided. If you wanted characters to see the end of their arcs and finally face then end of their time, you got that as well.
But in addition to those comments, I have a few more to make. The first would be Overlord. Can we please just look at how dark and emotionless he is? There can be no one that likes him. He is cold, his is insane, he is the definition of dark. And all that understandably upsets some people, not that I blame them, but at the same time, having that character who is devoid of any weakness in those regards makes thing all the harder, and it makes him that much more hate-able and only makes me wish harder that he had stayed dead.
The second comment would be the References to previous material. Someone, SOMEONE finally allowed Magnus to say his line in a manner that makes complete sense and is truly befitting the character. Now, no one is allowed to say that phrase for awhile again. The 86 movie and Revenge of the Fallen get some callbacks, as does the Marvel comic run (Megatron and Ratchet make a great pair). Well done on the callbacks. I can respect a book so much when it does stuff like that.
Finally, I long for next issue. I want to finally see the end of the lights' dying. We are at 5 of 6, and we need 6 so the final bookend can be placed. And we are left with such huge questions: the fate of some Autobots, both not shown and very clearly shown, the final panels, the wide eyes, the sense of insanity and loss of respect creeping in. And where the Hell are Nightbeat and Rung???
This issue was a great one, but once again I am left longing for the next. But at least I have some very good material to read over and admire in all its battle glory for the next month.
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