chuckdawg1999 wrote:Legends Rodimus is an interesting figure. Most fans would agree that the original Classics mold has needed an update, well we got that update plus a downsizing. I'm a bit disappointed that the mold wasn't adjusted further to allow the ax weapon to be pegged in, in robot mode thus creating the iconic spoiler. If you're a fan of the character or the mold I can recommend this as a solid purchase.
With Toysrus' Exclusive Hasbro Masterpiece Bluestreak in stock in both the US and Canada, a review was inevitable. Of course, it has been said that the amount of differences between this release and the Takara one are between negligible and non existent but as fellow Seibertronian [url]IJK Productions[/url] puts it :
I just figured that I'd send in the video that I did about Hasbro's MP-06 Bluestreak and point out that it is exactly the same a Takara's MP-18 Streak.
COMBINER WARS FALLOUT! Because you demanded it—WINDBLADE and CHROMIA team up with ARCEE to put an end to the menace of the COMBINER WARS—but will they end each other first?!
The one-shot that unofficially accompanies the SDCC exclusive Combiner Hunters box set, obviously sharing its title, is also the first introduction, and so far only look at, the team of character that form and become Victorion, the first all-female Transformer combiner - and you can sort of place it during the Combiner Wars arc, between Windblade #3 and The Transformers #42. If you want.
And some more Chromehide, obvs
Mairghread Scott takes the helm in this insert issue, really, dealing with some not entirely consequential events (as the title unfortunately might suggest) in terms of the overall narrative - for now, at least - and at the same time, some very well-placed exchanges between the main characters of Arcee, Chromia and Windblade.
Like, whatever, I guess
Specifically, Arcee's reaction to Victorion's appearance/arrival. One panel in particular, which I will not spoil here, makes clever use of her IDW backstory to explain and give an actual, good reason to resist Combiners in general, and actually side with Galvatron on the issue (see The Transformers series), and furthers her development with another big step.
Not pictured here
Of course, not to be forgotten, are the Camien team of Torchbearers, their added piece to the combiner puzzle, and how they deal with the sudden change in their team dynamic - though with not enough time to develop some seriously intriguing stories that emerge from the experience. I do hope we see a lot more of Victorion and her individual components, there is much more to say.
Sara Pitre-Durocher, whom we have only seen up to this point working on some pretty well-received cover variants, is the artist for the issue - and her work is absolutely magnificent, and definitely the highest of highlights of the book. Her expressions and proportions, her poses and layouts, the interactions of the characters are stunning. Truly.
In addition, the way that her line-work and Yamaishi's colours blend so effortlessly, really helps convey the feeling of the general atmosphere of the Sea of Rust, and the lighter pause between the phases of the Combiner Wars. There's the sense of something lifting from the heavy reality of the duties of the characters involved, especially as the story progresses.
Something which is also helped by Tom B. Long's lettering work, as he gives some added voices to the characters varying in sizes, tones, volume and size (again). And he creates a great title page. We also get a slew of cover variants, including the sizable main Casey Coller/Joana Lafuente one seen in the preview, the futuristic Livio Ramondelli B cover, the SDCC Pitre-Durocher exclusive, and the excellently apt James Biggie Pan Cybertronian Spaceways incentive in the thumbnail.
Thoughts Spoilerish ahead
Whatever else this one-shot is doing, it's with no doubt a promotional comic to accompany both the Victorion reveal and the Combiner Hunters Arcee, Chromia and Windblade. And that feels like a bit of a shame, really. I am confident that we will revisit the events at some point in Till All Are One (probably), but right now.. it just sort of happened. Which is unfortunate, given its title.
But hey, Victorion!
That said, some of its scenes were really well-thought and executed by Scott, and what does happen is well done, well drawn, well coloured by Pitre-Durocher and Yamaishi - if anything, overall, I am definitely looking forward to future collaborations between the two, as they clearly work well in synergy, and a freer hand at the plot should yield much higher results!
"America is all about speed. Hot, nasty, bad ass speed."
Eleanor Roosevelt, 1936
Velocitron Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Blurry
Race Against The Light, Which Is Totally Not A Title From MTMTE, We Promise
Remember back about a decade ago, when you first watched Transformers: Cybertron on TV? The first few episodes start with a bang, taking you away on a fast-paced adventure spanning three planets within the span of just the first four episodes. One of these planets was Velocitron, where the heroic Autobots Hot Shot and Red Alert assisted planet natives Override and Clocker in a bid to win races and secure a Cyber Planet Key, thus keeping it out of the clutches of the evil Megatron. To get it, they had to win a race, I think. Unfortunately, the race went on for longer than a Suzuka 8-hour and no one in the fandom remembers the details because why on earth would anyone watch that arc over again? The point here is that most Transformers fans are reminded of one word when thinking about Velocitron: Slow.
This is relevant today because IDW's fifth and latest issue of Windblade Volume 2, written by Mairghread Scott featuring art by Corin Howell and colors by Thomas Deer, brings us back to Velocitron. While doing so, it manages to do a lot of things, but "going slow" isn't one of them.
The pacing really is the stand-out characteristic here, and in fact, events happen so quickly that one has to wonder if the series ending at issue 7 was the original plan. While no one wants a repeat of Cybertron's fourteen episode circular boredom, I can't help but feel like this one takes a well developed premise with a lot of potential and steers off the exit ramp towards the next part of the story a little too quickly.
The art keeps with the implied tone of the narrative, lending a cartoon like quality to the scenes. This works well for most of the scenes, given the sometimes very convenient ways in which our heroes will overcome their external conflicts as the pages progress. Plot aside, the lines for some of the residents of this Velocitron are handled pretty appropriately, and Override in particular (not Nitro Convoy, take that Takara) feels suited to the style.
Deer's colors work very well, helping to lend contrast between locales and offering Velocitron a familiar yet altogether different feel. This isn't Cybertron, and at no point does it really feel that way.
Potential Full On Blatant Spoilers Ahead, Maybe
By the end of the read I certainly wasn't unsatisfied, but I also don't feel like I got the full taste of Velocitron, or perhaps the issue is that it was just a taste. If the sin of Cybertron's old Velocitron arc was being too slow, then this does the opposite and manages to go too fast, at least that's how I can best describe my malaise. Or perhaps, this is a crepe and what I really wanted was something else. They are the really thin pancakes. It's just a French word for them.
The great build to such a simple resolution almost made me forget what happened in between. To use an old theatre adage, "Show, don't Tell". This issue told me a lot about the planet and characters and city, but fell short on showing them to me. An abstract map of the city is cool, but ultimately kind of pointless if only some bits and pieces are shown. Telling me that Override is only tenuously in charge and implying that she's eccentric when given requests is great stuff, but when the chance comes to show it, it isn't taken. The politics of the planet have been played up as rather complicated for a couple issues now, but when you get to the ending they end up being really quite simple with Ransack just sort of doing, well, nothing. The end result is a story that felt complex, but then ultimately just isn't.
That's not to say there weren't parts I liked. Including the aforementioned Override and Ransack, along with Clocker (questionable color scheme aside, but at least it was a toy deco so I'll give it a slide) was a really fun touch. I absolutely adored Cybertron when it came out, and seeing some of these characters get further adventures is quite fun. There's nothing more frightening then driving with a live goddamn cougar next to you.
Our normal reviewer and News Admin Extraordinaire, Va'al, did point out some good stuff to me as well that I mostly agree with, so here are his words (mostly ) unedited:
Va'al wrote:I really liked the scenes with the Titan, both in writing (how Windblade feels about the whole thing, and how she connects with it) and the art, colours in particular. The race was quite good, and just the right length to not become overblown or dragged out. Ironhide and Chromia were also great, though Ironhide in general has and continues to be a stand out. I'm too drunk to taste this chicken.
My kudos to him for the help with this review as he juggled helping me out of my criticisms, all whilst writing up reviews for the other two IDW Transformers releases this week.
So with all that said, if you ain't first, you're last, so this gets the following score:
. out of
I'm just kidding, here's the real score:
"Shake and... eh, that's good enough I suppose." out of "SHAKE AND BAKE, BABY!"
That there Seibertron.com review is trademarked, not to be used without written permission of Ricky Bobby, Inc.
Three years into their quest, and the crew of the Lost Light were starting to think that the universe held no more nasty surprises. And then a planet started chasing them.
There comes a point in a series, be it on television, in comics, or whatever else have you, when a certain sentence is brought onto the picture, featuring an aquatic creature, a certain type of physical effort and usual negative connotations. Do any of those descriptors fit issue 43 of Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye? Find out below (maybe)!
'Why are all these Us in our colors?'
Writer James Roberts has made no secret of his fascination with popular culture, in music, TV series and the wider comics world - and has often woven in MTMTE this passion of his, with multiple results, usually as one-off gags or non-impacting moments. And then this issue happens, where all of those strands come once again together into a truly bizarre read.
As the solicits, previous issue, covers and various previews have shown us, Swerve takes centre stage in the most peculiar of ways, and fans of the last twenty years of anything and everything outside of the Transformers will probably find that the Idol of Millions has indeed something for everyone - even if some readers may find the frequency and awareness grating at times.
And yet, that last point also feeds into the story, and I'd be curious to see the varying reactions to the experience of getting through this new instalment of the series among the readership. Especially as whatever journey we take for 20 pages suddenly screeches, swerves (heh) and slams somewhere very very different indeed. At last.
From a visual side of things, on the other hand, this issue proves that give Alex Milne a direction, and he will dress a world out of a streetname. Both his linework and Brian Shearer's inking collaboration really bring out the individual, non-robotic elements of each character that Roberts' script helps create, however on the nose or in your face, with some seriously on point representations.
And if we needed any more beauty and poignancy to any of the meta-mess that the story develops, Joana Lafuente's colours makes sure we don't miss the emotional stream trickling beneath the apparently farcical surface. Sets, settings, dresses, clothing and texture in general is deftly captured and covered by her tones, ensuring a full surround of no laughing matter.
Also introducing: Bluestreak
Laughter which is instead, where necessary (and unnecessary, given the setting) provided by letterer Tom B. Long, whose efforts are not slight in populating a sign-crowded world with more words than you can shake a boom mic at. There are covers for all flavours too, from the Milne/Josh Perez main Cyclonus one, to the cameo making multi-Swerve by Nick Roche and Josh Burcham, a Texas exclusive Casey Coller and JP Bove G1-esque variant, and the thumbnailed James Biggie ad-style Unicron.
Thoughts Spoilerish ahead
Similar things have been said for other issues of MTMTE, but this one in particular is going to be discussed quite a bit, one expects, not for its impact on the wider story - though it inevitably will on that account too - but for what it's trying to do and how it's accomplishing the A plot, and how far some readers will take it - or leave it.
Wait.. what? What?!
What goes well with the issue, however, goes really really well, from both a writing and a visual perspective, and the latter in particular. Milne and Lafuente are at top form, and all the characters receiving a holomatter avatar, a whole lot of them, are perfect renditions of their personalities, and Shearer and Long provide equally excellent assists.
Fellow Seibertronian chuckdawg1999 was able to grab the third Seeker from the Combiner Wars Legends class line, part of wave 4 of the line overall which has been appearing at retail this month. There are some changes, it seems, so check out the video review below!
Skywarp completes the G1 Seeker trio quite nicely. Sure it's a repaint of Starscream but that was a solid mold, one I think is much better than the Classics Deluxe mold. Finding this online may be tough due to mark ups and scalping so an in-store purchase may be your best route.
GO TEAM ’BEE! BUMBLEBEE leads an all-star team of AUTOBOTS to Earth to find rogue DECEPTICONS… but in this all-new story based on the hit Cartoon Network animated series, they find more than… they bargained for! (You thought we were going to say “meets the eye,” didn’t you?)
After the Free Comic Book Day almost one-off issue by John Barber, new writer Georgia Ball has taken on the task of keeping this series up and going, with a new angle on the almost over first seasons of the new animated show Transformers: Robots in Disguise. And the angle is probably the closest we'll ever get to some continuity with Prime - but how does the rest of the series look with its first issue down? Read on!
Good old days
What readers need to keep in mind is that this comic series is aimed at a very similar target audience as the cartoon, and will not be playing into the wider TFverse that most of the other IDW titles are exploring right now. That said, the vibrancy and humour of the series is deftly transposed from screen to page, even with the monster of the week formula that only worked for so long in the show.
What Ball's writing brings, along with some really silly jokes (which I loved, I won't lie), is also an interesting look, perhaps even better than the show did, at Bumblebee's discomfort with his position as leader, the unruliness of his 'team' - and the feeling of utter betrayal arising from the final scenes in the book.
A lot of the work done by Ball's script, both on the lighthearted and serious sides of the coin, is wonderfully heightened by Priscilla Tramontano's excellent visual rendition, showcasing a variety of expressions, body language interactions, panel dispositions and layouts, and just a general sense of *fun*!
Tramontano's colours, too, are sleek, stunning and fun, the characters are fun, are obviously having fun, and so is the artist/colourist! We get references to the wider IDWverse (with MTMTE's My First Blaster making an appearance early on in the issue), and some always excellent lettering from Tom B. Long, who can play around with a lot more sounds than usual. And two great tone-catching covers, by Tramontano and Travis Sengaus/Josh Burcham (thumbnailed).
Thoughts Spoilerish ahead
Given the target audience, the timescale of the comic compared to the show, and what the FBCD issue had set up, this is an excellent debut for a younger reader series, one that ensures to keep the light side of the dynamics between the characters on the show, pokes some fun around at things, and includes the excellent Grimlock and running gags - including the no-nonsense general recap - without driving them into the ground.
The Decepticon sticker! The Blaster! The teeth!
Ball and Tramontano are set to bring a fresher look at some of the moanings of the older readership, with the ending of both issue #0 and #1 just enough to keep us intrigued while the actual target fully revel in the (I'm running out of words to say) fun! Worth picking up for a new reader, for the art direction and colours, and always worth it for the bouncing dialogue, . And dinobot.
To accompany yesterday's clip of the Transformers Cyber Commander Optimus Prime figure, we also have a video review by Bot Toys, with unboxing, of its wave-mate Bumblebee. As a reminder, these are the larger figures in the line, and come with very few articulation points and transformation steps, but have a certain appealing aesthetic to some collectors. Check it out below, and let us know what you think in the Energon Pub!
The big news today was that the elusive Transformers Cyber Series (which are GIANT simpler transforming figures) are now available at a US e-tailer. However, the price of importing them does make them over the Hasbro MSRP so people aren't sure to go all in or not, understandably. So, to help out those on the fence, here is a review of the Optimus Prime (who we also just got some new pics of).
Neonkiwi sent this Bot Toys video review our way. Enjoy!
COSMOS UNLEASHED! A misunderstood AUTOBOT. A DECEPTICON space station. Cut off from their allies, SOUNDWAVE and COSMOS come face to face… alone.
We have been following the side-adventures of Cosmos, in his new, but not as upgraded as it seems, body, new paintjob, new sass. We have also seen glimpses of what Soundwave is up to on Jupiter, and how it might shape the future of what's left of the Decepticon movement - what happens when the two meet?
Yeah, ok, expected
John Barber takes a very different approach to how the scenario might have unfolded just a couple of years back, with Soundwave in the driving, silent, cunning - even diplomatic - seat of the action. By placing Cosmos as our window into the Decepticon commune, we gain an entirely different, humorous side to the events.
Floaty and Big
And Cosmos is not the only relief in an otherwise potentially establishing-heavy issue of politics and ideologies. Barber has found his stride once again, and this title easily sets itself back to the shared vision of an intrigue-based, backstabbing-driven, turning and twisting to avoid debris, broken promises and head into future settings.
And then, of course, you have the human factor, predominantly with Blackrock, his type of humour, his take on things, and his own, personal scheming - though yet to be confirmed as if working with, for or in spite of Soundwave's plans. There is definitely something afoot, and clues are being sown..
We know Andrew Griffith's skill with imposing characters, statuesque Galvatron, stoic Soundwave - and adorable Cosmos, in his smaller, more compact and contained presence among the bulkier Decepticons. And of course, the wonderfully sharp 'Decepticon bird hecklers' Buzzsaw and Laserbeak in the opening scenes. And of course, just the general design of *everything*.
The scenes taking place in the wider scope of the Solar System are magnificently executed colour-wise by Josh Perez, too, who masterfully balances the inside of the various sets appearing in the issue with the much more vast landscape of space surrounding them.
Lettering duties, once more in Tom B. Long's capable hands, remind us that there is no sound in space, but plenty in spaces within space, Big or Floaty as they may be - and the dialogue is perfectly measured for the different interactions. As for covers, both the main Griffith/Perez and Casey Coller/Joana Lafuente help in capturing the tension between the major players in the issue, while the previously seen James Biggie RI variant is just pretty too look at. Very much so.
Thoughts Spoilerish ahead
Perhaps a slower issue, in pacing and advancement of the overall plot - whatever that may be at this point, because I really have no idea, and revel in this feeling - but one that pits two unlikely characters against each other, only to have a very unexpected, deep, meaningful exchange of power and influence. If anything could make me want to see more of Cosmos, this is it.
It still hurts, doesn't it..?
Barber's writing of Soundwave has always been a personal favourite, and Griffith/Perez's visual rendition definitely adds to the stunning scenarios laid out by the script. The space scenes are wonderfully rendered, in both linework and colours, and the long conversation between Soundwave and Cosmos highlight just how deep the former's ideas run, and how hurt he has been. Heart of gold, indeed. Or is it?
. out of
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