MEGATRON'S DESCENT! In the early days of the war on CYBERTRON, OPTIMUS PRIME puts everything on the line to unify the planet—but not everyone agrees that this new Prime should be in charge! Meanwhile, the fallen DECEPTICON leader, MEGATRON, begins a journey that will change everything. Plus—what is the terrible secret of the DINOBOTS?
In an unexpected, unless you read the solicits, twist, IDW have decided to release their digital-first series Monstrosity as a mini-series of four print issues, before issuing the paperback. The series picks up where Autocracy left, and features the same creative team at the helm: Metzen, Dille and Ramondelli.
As seems to be the norm by now in IDW Transformers, there are a number of plots running alongside each other in the same issue (which is, in fact, three digital releases): Megatron has been chucked onto Junkion by Scorponok, who now wants to be the big 'Con, Orion Pax Optimus Prime trying to assert his power as new 'Bot leader, and the Dynobots.. being the Dynobots.
Dai Atlas shows up, Scorponok is bad, Swindle is ..Swindle and there's quite the rounded cast to the whole set-up. Maybe a little too big, at times. There's a sense of wanting to include a lot material in a really short type of publication, and in some aspects, that can detract from the overall enjoyment.
Bulkhead's here too!
So far, I am not blown away by the story. Megatron sometimes borrows some elements (as I see it) from the live-action films, and that is not a value judgement, at all. But he is not particularly original, and I have a bad feeling he may become tiresomely 'tough-bad-guy'. We'll see.
In terms of art, we've all come to know Livio Ramondelli's work, and I think he has definitely improved his technique: where he used to shine particularly in wide shots and splash pages, he now packs a mean punch in terms of close-ups too! The monstrous aspect of some of the characters also works really well with his style.
And I mean close-ups
In terms of colours, it's Ramondelli working on his own, and yes, he does know how to colour. Quite nicely, too. And I am really really happy to see Tom B. Long on lettering here too! He works really well with the art style, and adds some really good soundwords to fight scenes.
So the art is pretty good, the colours are amazing, some of the wideshots are absolutely stunning, the lettering makes stuff really pop. Yes, artistically, this is a good issue. My minor pick is with smiles on some of the characters, that can look a little out of place at times, but it is a minor pick!
Thoughts Spoilerish ahead
There you have it. Artistically, I have very few complaints, and it all looks brilliant. I do, however, have some issues with the story, especially in terms of Megatron's characterisation. I will be looking out for how his story develops from the next issue, and it will hopefully pick up again - there's so much interesting potential in the character.
Like, why does he adore cloaks?
All in all, this is an enjoyable if predictable issue, and I believe it has to live with its predecessor Autocracy and the two current ongoings - especially seeing as it comes out together with the highly well-received More Than Meets The Eye. It's worth a read, definitely, as there are some nice surprises going on in there, and I'm interested to see where they'll be taken.
NOTE: This issue may or may not be available this week. IDW has it scheduled for this Wednesday, but most distributors list the next as its release date. Here at Seibertron.com we receive our information directly from IDW, and follow their release guidelines, which is why the review is available today.
THINGS FALL APART! The very fabric of the TRANSFORMERS’ universe begins to unravel, as huge and ancient cosmic forces take note of CYBERTRON’s (and the CYBERTRONIANS’) descent into chaos and anarchy. As HOT ROD struggles to hold things together, still reeling from his own game-changing wake-up call, competing destructive forces inch closer to a cataclysmic confrontation. The end begins here.
Dealing with the aftermath
So, Scorponok's gone, Grimlock with him, Megatron's gone, Galvatron's back, Optimus is on Earth worried. Hot Rod is on Cybertron, worried. A lot of bots are also worried, about Hot Rod and Cybertron, but don't worry, there's still ten issues to go.
Worried Hot Rod is worried
As usual, there are several plotlines running through, and Hot Rod's this time is the major one: he has to deal with the revelations from the basement, the new angry Cybertronian population, who may not be Decepticons any longer, but have apparently tapped into other emotions. And that is bad (?).
Angry mob is angry
At the same time, Optimus is concerned about having seen Galvatron flying off towards Cybertron (because, other than Nebulos, there are no other planets in the universe apparently), but can't really do much. And elsewhere Soundwave and Bludgeon are up to no good, preparing the usual ultimate machines of final destruction
Scheming 'Cons are.. oh, you get it
You may have noticed my tone so far, and I'm not too impressed. It all feels like a big recap, a lot of exposition and setting up what is going to happen. And admittedly, it looks like it's going to be big. Especially with the final pages, which are a massive kick. More about that below.
Wildman and Baskerville work their usual stuff, and there's nothing too off this time, either. Hot Rod is understandably troubled, and his expressions show it perfectly. There are some nice parallels between Bludgeon and Galvatron, and some of the flashbacks with Cybertron are stunningly detailed.
I can see my house from here!
All is made even more pleasing to the eye by Bove's magic colours, once again helped out by Stayte. There's a lot of conversations happening in space and in open spaces, and the skies are gorgeous. Mowry on letters does a good job as always, but nothing particularly exciting.
Sponsored by the Iacon Tourist Board
Overall, this issue looks amazing. I have no problems with the artistic team at all. Some of the wider, planetary shots are excellent, the colouring is brilliant, Bludgeon's face is still pretty cool and the final pages are --not going to spoil it, but they're good.
Thoughts Spoilerish ahead
As I've said above, the whole issue doesn't do that much to me. It's not bad, at all, it just really feels like a giant recap of all that has happened so far in both the Marvel run(s) and ReGeneration One. BUT. There are so many references to Furman's previous work, that I could not stop giggling.
Like a vast, predatory bird...
And the final reveals are just.. Ok, I'll admit it. I squealed with delight. The visual references, the in-story references, the convoluted plot, it's an all-round Furman-fest. I am very intrigued at where this will end up going, although it looks like there'll be a lot of planetary exploding. But then it'll all be over-- finished.
FINAL BATTLE! The leadership of Cybertron will be decided once and for all! It’s all-out war against the forces of MEGATRON! Will the Autobots wrest control from their attackers—or will the DECEPTICON flag fly over Cybertron forever? Heroes will fall, and nothing will stay the same.
That cliché inhibitor really was crushed
Everyone's fighting, robots are fighting, there is some fighting and some more fighting too. So far, mostly fighting. And talking. But no Shockwave. Superion's gone, Prowlestator is on a rampage, things look bad for most characters. Did I mention fighting?
Oh, and this happens
Apparently, this is supposed to be the conclusion to the first story-arc, started in issue 1, after the split from MTMTE. And I guess it does do that, after a fashion. There is a sense of closure for some of the storyline's aspects that started with the series' inception, but not really that much, and some aspects of the plot are just left hanging, in my opinion.
The boxes are yellow too!
Bumblebee's voice is the narrative thread running through the entirety of the issue, in the usual Barber caption commentary. I understand the need for something other than pure action sequences, but having the little boxes showing up all over gives me the impression of trying to fit too much into one arc/issue/volume.
Megatron's cliché inhibitor is also awol
Mind you, the writing in the captions is good, but some of the scenes in the issue really didn't do it for me. Either too silly, or predictable, I feel. There are some good points, though, like the legacy of other Cybertronians we've seen so far, and a little resolution, plus a set-up for a promising expansion of the setting for the series in the near future. And a good, if not entirely surprising, conclusion, too.
The artwork, on the other hand, is gorgeous. While I have still some concerns with some of the characters' faces, I really enjoyed the details that Griffith, Shearer and Ketcham added to each of the players in the battle: damage, scarring, cracks, creaks, and so on and so forth – no one is as clean as after a Hollywood movie battle scene, and that is an excellent thing.
See? Battle damage redeco all over
There are some amazing soundwords too, and the lettering for them is brilliant. Lee has really put himself into these! Additionally, Perez' colours, especially in some of the bigger resolution moments – which I will not spoil for anyone – are gorgeous. And I love the tones of the last pages, especially in the final panel.
So yes, the art-colour-lettering jobs definitely bring up the issue a notch, allowing it, in my judgement, to pass. They're not just aesthetically pleasing, they're well done, and convey exactly what this type of situation would entail in a physical scenario.
Thoughts Spoilerish ahead
I wasn't a fan of this one, I have to admit. There was the same sense of prolongued fighting as the previous issue, and it tried inserting some tension relief with secondary characters like Swindle and the Dinobots, which may or may not have entirely worked. The conclusion is not entirely unexpected, but pleasing enough, though!
Er.. can we?
There are some loose ends still to tie up (and where is Shockwave?!), but there are some excellent scenes in terms of artwork, colouring and page-span. There were ups, and as I said, this may lead into something a lot better, but for now, I'm a little disappointed. Here's hoping for better with the next arc.
(Spoiler free, just ask mind-controlled Perceptor)
The Transformers: Regeneration One is nearing its half-point in its twenty issue tenure. Much has happened in the previous issues, unfortunately to the chagrin of the Autobots. Always outgunned and out-manned, the odds are against them as Scorponok's Gene Key has made its way throughout the majority of their forces. RGO #89 is not the most face paced issue of the series, however it helps connect the dots and raise the bar for issues to come. While a handful of characters make their appearances in one page snippets, the issue mainly focuses on Grimlock and Hot Rod.
Grimlock has been a rather overused character in recent months ever since the release of Transformers: Fall Of Cybertron. I appreciate that RGO has shed a different light on the character of Grimlock, as he is more independent and critical of his actions. This is much better rather than being the unintelligent, animalistic one-dimensional goof he has been in other Transformers Media. Sure, he may show signs of that behavior, but it isn't a gimmick. The same could be said about the other Dinobots, as they are not being used as a gimmick, rather I feel that they have a personality that is unique to themselves.
Looking at Hot Rod, he is a character, regardless of whatever Transformers series it is, that I love to follow. All of the action seems to surround him, and that does not differ in RGO #89. This issue he faces a choice between two relics from Cybertron's past. The way that this scene is done artistically, and dialogue wise is a very nice touch and probably the highlight of this issue for me.
In other character camps, we have appearances by Optimus Prime and Shockwave as well as Ultra Magnus and his crew. Scorponok's plans and the events that occure in #89 are setting up the upcoming issues for some intense action.
Transformers: Regeneration One #89 is available today, and if you are a fan of the series, there is no doubt that you will be happy with this issue.
The amount of reveals and surprises in this issue is practically unparalleled. It’s a culmination to about 14 months of build up. The alliances, the backstabbing, the confusion, the rumors, the terrorism...we get a really good sense of what has been going on within the pages of this issue...FINALLY!
And as a fan of the character PROWL in GENERATION ONE TRANSFORMERS lore, I’ve been eyeing this series very carefully, and chiding the writers for PROWL making decisions that while some readers saw them as PROWL being PROWL and it was good character writing, I was in the other camp. I didn’t want ‘my PROWL’ to be like that. So I became less interested in the PROWL piece of the series because every action seemed to lead to something less and less Autobot PROWL like.
Big reveals in this issue to no one’s surprise focus on PROWL simply because last issue he was with a group of DECEPTICONS and working with them which, of course, left that point needing to be explained. And this issue it is. Which is why I had to read it! I had to see if BAD PROWL was going to become WORSE PROWL and why. Is it indeed him, or is there something else going on here? Sure, many people will find the revelations about PROWL’s reasoning for his behaviors obvious, maybe even too predictable, or ‘the easy way out’, but there is a piece of this story involving PROWL that you just... you won’t predict, no, shouldn’t have and couldn’t have ever predicted. It’s that out there of a concept.
Ideas of gestaltism, and the evolution of combination are up front and center, as is Megatron’s return and subsequent new body (spoiled by the cover), and his plans for the Decepticons push to be in control of Cybertron again. The Autobots take a pounding, and one wonders if there is any hope for them at all, until the last page of this issue where some reinforcements arrive.
Not everything that we had questions about in RID has been answered. After reading this though, I did want to go back and re-read everything from the beginning to see if I could pick up the hints, subtle or not, that were there.
I don’t want to spoil too much here, but you SHOULD REALLY GO BUY THIS ISSUE. I feel like it will be one that people look back at and say, “Yeah, you remember when _______ did this in _____________? That was...WOW!” It’s that kind of issue.
It’s also a great lunchtime or break time read. RID Issue #14 came out today, and you should check to go see if your comic store still has it in stock! This is easily a 5 out 5 stars issue. ‘The Fall of the Autobots’ is as bad for the Autobots as it sounds...
The month of February brings an end to the latest IDW four issue Transformers series, Rage of the Dinobots. For those who have been enjoyed the 'of Cybertron' video games series, is a fan of the Transformers Prime universe, or likes the Dinobots in general, then Rage has been decent series. While not exactly at the same echelon as MTMTE or RID, Rage extrapolates the story left behind in Fall of Cybertron, although the series itself has been reminiscent of Movieverse comics.
Enter Shockwave. The Decepticon mastermind has been silent in the past three issues, with his goons doing most of the work to Ultra Magnus and the Dinobots. His characterization is much like the one in FoC, cold, calculated and always having a backup plan up his sleeve.
It is a shame that there has yet to be a signal of the Prime cartoon adding more Autobot characters to their roster, as Grimlock, the Dinobots, or even Ultra Magnus would add an even greater dynamic to the show.
I think one of the bright points of the entire series is the unmasking of Grimlock. Just a really nice touch by the artists.
Overall, Rage of the Dinobots has been a generic series that provides a link between the events of Fall of Cybertron, and to our current cartoon. I think from first glance it is easy to tell whether or not this is your cup of tea - the paperback will be released in May.
Site sponsor Kapow! Toys has shared a video review of Takara Tomy's Transformers Generations: Fall of Cybertron Combaticons. The set is made up of TG-03 Blast Off, TG-04 Vortex, TG-05 Brawl, TG-06 Swindle, and TG-07 Onslaught and feature the line's signature shiny metallic decos. Check out the review by our own Transformermegazord embedded below, and visit Kapow! Toys to order your set.
Site sponsor Kapow! Toys has provided us with a video review of the second figure in Takara Tomy's Transformers Generations: Fall of Cybertron line, TG-02 Autobot Jazz. Check out the video embedded below by our own Transformermegazord. The figure can be purchased from Kapow! Toys at the following link: TG02 TF Generation Autobot Jazz
Site sponsor Kapow! Toys has provided us a video review of Takara Tomy's recently released Transformers Generations TG-01 Optimus Prime, their take on the Deluxe class Fall of Cybertron figure. The video is embedded below, as well as a link to this figure's product page on Kapow! Toys:
Site sponsor Kapow! Toys dropped by with pictorial reviews of Takara Tomy's Transformers Generations TG-01 Optimus Prime and TG-02 Jazz. Check out the images and reviews below:
Transformers Fall of Cybertron TG-01 Optimus Prime
Once again Takara Tomy trump their counterpart in every dimension with the 1st release in their TG series, Optimus Prime! looking a lot more like the game character the figure is exactly the same build wise but where the finish is concerned he is a cut above. Featuring nice thick shiny paint applications the red detail really helps bring out the molded detail on the torso with the head appearing far more vibrant. The thighs are molded in a darker grey which leads into the lower legs which aren't painted but feature a slightly lighter more animated style blue with the purple energy detail being applied in small measure.
Articulation wise most of us now know this figure is pretty awesome but a little on the small side with the same weapon in the form of his black blaster. Is it worth the import pricing ? no, not if you have the figure already unless that is your unhappy with its lack of detail then I would say go for it.
Overall I would score TG01 a mighty 8.5/10 but if you already own the Hasbro version deduct another point due to value for money.
Transformers TG-02 Fall Of Cybertron Jazz
The 2nd release in Takara's TG Fall of Cybertron series and once again it beats out the Hasbro version hands down. Molded in a light grey plastic instead of white Jazz immediately looks better value for money, the bright white of the Hasbro release has had many complaints that it makes the figure feel cheap and nasty. Paint apps are minimal for Jazz with but what is applied is applied very well, the new blue visor really makes his head standout and the purple energy detailing added to the body also compliments and brings out all the detail molded into the figure.
Articulation wise Jazz is not as good as Optimus with no waist swivel and limited leg movement due to the static angled ankle joints, he does however come with the neat transformation which although simplistic is quite fun. The name Jazz would normally imply an essential purchase but sadly in this case not so much, its a much, much nicer figure than the Hasbro version but still suffers from slightly below par design.
Jazz score 7.5 / 10
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