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!
So. That's the plot
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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?
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?
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?
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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!
Site sponsor Kapow! Toys has provided pictorial reviews for Transformers Prime Beast Hunters Deluxe Wave 2's Smokescreen and Bulkhead. Check out the reviews below.
Beast Hunters Wave 2 Deluxe Smokescreen
This was the one I was most excited about and in hand it doesn't quite deliver. Don't get me wrong, its a nice figure but has some issues, mainly the fact the shoulder assembly is quite fiddly and loose due to the transformation, your going to probably need to apply a little super glue or clear nail polish to get it to stiffen up a little. Rather than design this appears to be down to Hasbro's cost cutting measures which if they keep going this way won't end well.
Looks wise he is a great toy, he's got the whole door / wing thing going on along with a great face sculpt and some really nice articulation particularly in the leg area and a weapon which can be loaded with the missile on its own or with the electro-net accessory. The armour which many people said didn't look nice is actually pretty good in person, its very flexible plastic and not stiff so allows the limbs to move freely and removes any danger of damaging the item when clipping and un-clipping it.
Car mode is superb and a really nice race car aesthetic giving a real Le-Mans feel. The armour looks nice applied or left off and the accessories such as the missile launcher and gun can be mounted on the roof or the armour.
I was hoping to score this guy super high but sadly he only scrapes in at a 7.5 / 10
Beast Hunters Wave 2 Bulkhead
Bulkhead gets shrunk! and he's not too bad for it. Coming in the now familiar Roadbuster colour scheme Bulkhead transforms from him familiar 4x4 mode to robot and back again. He comes with a MechTech style buzzsaw which is activated by pumping a little switch causing the blade to spin round fairly fast. The decoration is also fairly cool with an animal style face imprinted into the plastic. Bulkhead himself could have done with his regular face but instead comes with a Beast Hunters helmet style design like Bumblebee before him, This has made him look slightly like an old fashioned deep sea diver. Articulation wise he lacks waist swivel which is due to the transformation and his forearms could have done with a fist swivel which is sadly lacking and therefore can impact his poses.
There is a lot of good points with regard to old Bulk but probably not enough to attract new fans, if you collected Prime you may have now decided its over for you but if your into Beast Hunters then Bulkhead is a worthy purchase just not an essential one.
Eighty-four (84) is a pretty significant number to Transformers fans. All Transformers fans know 1984 was the year that this roller coaster ride kicked off, and many of us haven’t looked back since. Did you know that D-84 was the number of the rare Japanese Destron Abominus giftset? E-Hobby repaint 84 is the wonderfully fun repaint of the minibots into their similar Gobots likenesses. Do you know who Cybertron number 84 is from the Japanese toy line? His significance cannot be overlooked either, considering the fact that he plays a pretty major role in the new Regeneration series at this time. The question I have for you all is: will Issue #84 of Regeneration be as memorable as these infamous 84s are? I’ll take you through some reasons why you might consider purchasing this comic to read and decide for yourself.
REASON #1 -
The importance of Starscream to the storyline.
Starscream has done nothing yet. We know Megatron is paying him the ultimate snub by taking away his voice and making him a subservient ‘zombie’. All the Zombiecons are supposed to be subservient to Megatron, but Starscream is the only one whom he took the ability to speak from. Can you blame Megs? In a ‘redrum’ sort of way, Starscream starts to show the independence, and self-preservation that he is famous for, and that Megatron worked so hard to take away. Starscream makes a move this issue, although it’s very slow, and hard to understand, by the end of the issue the significance leads to more questions.
REASON #2 -
Megatron is batty.
I mean he is. I suppose some might call him VERY FOCUSED. He’s truly showing that he does not care about anyone else, that his only goal is to make himself feel significant again, and he has worked very hard to make sure that has happened. In this issue, Megs is finally seeing his goal come true as his message is sent and received loud and clear. Unlike what IDW has done in the other modern G1series in which they gave Megatron a fairly noble history with clear motivations for his violent behaviors, and shown a clear brotherhood with Autobots that he then fought against, the Megatron in REGENERATION does not seem to have these motivations, or noble history.
REASON #3 -
Wreck ‘N Rule!
The Wreckers are doing what they do best. Lots of rough and tough, special operations, ‘we may never return’ action. One thing that I loved seeing in this issue was the Autobot helicopters taking on the Decepticon jets in an aerial dogfight!
We get to see and learn more about individual Wreckers characters as they work to complete the goals that their two mission groups need to accomplish. Some are very much out of their league. I mean Springer versus Megatron seems like a great fight, but only if I write it. Here? Hmmm... Sacrifice, and loyalty are both expectations that they are all very willing to give to one another.
Optimus Prime Arrives On Earth
Megatron is happy. Optimus is angry. Enough Said?
REASON #5 -
Kup and Ratchet. Fates intertwined? Or Megatron and Ratchet? You need to read the issue to try to start tying this together.
REASON #6 -
Auntie Will Wipe Out Circuit Smasher
Doesn’t happen in this issue, but couldn’t it? Please?
Overall, there are some great reasons to grab this issue and continue reading this series. More reasons than I gave here (the Hot Rod and Grimlock mysteries...). 84 isn’t that special of an issue for REGENERATION, in my opinion. Not like 1984 special, or Abominus Gift Set special, but it does have Springer in it (C-64), and some great action. The art is consistently as it has been so far...good, bad, workable, refreshing, classic... whatever words you wanted to use to describe it earlier, still apply. There are some really great panels, and then some that are, not quite so great, but the style is consistent. You’ll continue your enjoyment of the series because or in spite of it.
Issue 84 of Regeneration hit stores today. Grab it and continue the blast from the past-iness that we are lucky enough to enjoy.
Blu-ray.com has reviewed the soon to be released Transformers Prime: Season One Blur-ray. Click here to read their full review, we've posted a few excerpts and images below as well as a couple of new promos that we received directly from Shout! Factory. Transformers Prime: Season One Blu-ray is scheduled to release on March 6th. You can pre-order Transformers Prime: Season One [Limited Edition] on Blu-ray and DVD.
Transformers Prime: Season One's 1080p transfer isn't all that consistently pretty. Certainly, there are moments when the animation sparkles, but aside from its flatness, there are some technical bugaboos that drag it down considerably. First, the image is greatly hindered by what is oftentimes intense banding. Huge chunks of the image often suffer through terrible bouts, with entire backgrounds sometimes reduced to large masses of bands of poor color transitions. Unfortunately, many a line are jagged, and aliasing appears with some frequency, too. As noted, the animation is naturally flat and often looks to have a plastic-like texture to it. There's no real flow on anything but the Transformers themselves; human hair and clothes offer no real movement or textures. Such elements are very much flat and stiff, but that's inherent to the original elements, not a fault of the Blu-ray transfer. On the flip side, those Transformers can look quite good in close-ups; the digital artists have taken the time to create some fairly complex elements within eyes, faces, various exposed gears, and the like. Their metallic exteriors are scratched, dented, dirty, and generally well-abused, but that's mostly the extent of fine detailing. Colors, likewise, are very flat and lack much range outside of basic shades. The yellows, reds, greens, whites, and blues that make up the Autobots are bright but monochromatic. The Decepticons are a bit colder, favoring rather flat shades of purple and gray. It's all relatively simple, but it's that intense banding, frequent jaggies, and occasional aliasing that really hurt this one. The banding is nothing short of an eyesore, so audiences sensitive to that might want to rent before committing to a purchase.
Audio Commentaries: "Darkness Rising, Part 1": Executive Producer Jeff Kline, Hasbro Studios Developer Mike Vogel, Animation Producer Therese Trujillo, and Art Director David Hartman; "Darkness Rising, Part 2": Jeff Kline, Mike Vogel, Therese Trujillo, and David Hartman; "Darkness Rising: Part 3": Hasbro Studios Executive Director Brian Lenard, Actors Tania Gunadi and Ernie Hudson, and Art Director José Lopez; "Darkness Rising, Part 4": Brian Lenard, Tania Gunadi, Ernie Hudson, and José Lopez; "Darkness Rising, Part 5": Composer Brian Tyler; "Masters and Students": Production Manager Mathias Dougherty, Animatic Artist Meghan Burleson, and Production Assistants Nathan Johnson and Jacob Rivera; "Scrapheap": Production Manager Sonya Park, Production Coordinator Meredith Rogers, Production Assistant Kathy Cavanaugh, and Post Supervisor Austin Block.
Audio Commentaries: "Convoy": Actor Peter Cullen, President of Hasbro Studios Steve Davis, and Producer Rafi Ruthchild; "Predatory": Director Todd Waterman and Actors Sumalee Montano and Josh Keaton.
Audio Commentary: "Shadowzone": Supervising Director David Hartman, Actor Andy Pessoa, Editor Mike Miles, and Bumblebee.
Audio Commentaries: "Stronger, Faster": Actor Jeffrey Combs, Writer Mairghread Scott, and Director Shaunt Nigoghossian; "One Shall Fall": Writers Joseph Kuhr and Nicole Dubuc, Director Vinton Heuck, and Character Designer/Prop Designer/Colorist Augusto Barranco; "One Shall Rise, Part 1": Nicole Dubuc, Jospeh Kuhr, Vinton Heuck, and Augusto Barranco; "One Shall Rise, Part 2": Supervising Producer/Head Writer Duane Capizzi, Staff Writer Marsha Griffin, Supervising Color Designer Christophe Vacher, and Background Design Supervisor Vince Toyama; "One Shall Rise, Part 3": Duane Capizi, Staff Writer Steven Melching, Christophe Vacher, and Vince Toyama.
Making-Of Transformers: Prime (1080p, 11:02): An all-too-brief look at the creation of the show, beginning with a look back at the older franchises and moving on to examine the presentation for a new generation, the voice acting, the Transformer cast, the human characters, and the animation.
Toy Featurette (1080p, 16:31): A look at continuing with Transformers lore, creating new characters, characters who didn't make the cut, toy design, and the characters the crew would like to see in the show.
Season 2 Teaser (1080p, 0:20).
With a pair of great comics preceding Transformers: Ongoing #24, it's fair to say that this issue had it's fair share of expectations. Not only that, but the comic was the start of IDW's well-advertised arc, Chaos. The previous issues featured flashbacks and art by Alex Milne. Ongoing #24 deviates from that state, with the artwork being the biggest change many will notice. Livio Ramondelli takes the helm for Ongoing #24, as well as three future issues, #26, #28 and #30. While this review is meant to focus on #24, I feel that it's a good time to look at Ramondelli's art. Many have been rather critical on the change of artwork, as this is a drastic change from what we've seen in the previous 23 issues. However, I feel that the naysayers are a bit overcritical. Ramondelli's covers for Best Of Megatron and Best of Optimus Prime are top class. This is his first Transformers issue. There's also the concept that we're finally back at Cybertron. What better way to set a tone than to use Ramondelli's art, which I think conveys the oppressed feelings and melancholy the Autobots would have if Galvatron were in control of their home planet.
Chaos. We're in it. How did we get here? The matrix was given back to Optimus Prime on Prime, who immediately set course for Cybertron. He explained to his troops that Galvatron was still alive and has been amassing an army on Cybertron. Cut to #24. Galvatron and his brethren show up on one of the Autobot's most important facilities, Kimia. By the time the Autobots show up, it's no longer under their control.... the consequences of the capture will be known once you read the issue.
They're scared. Who you might ask? The Autobots. It's been a very long time since the Autobots have been outnumbered. In fact, in the entire Ongoing session, there really hasn't been a massive army versus a massive army. That's seemingly going to change.
What's rather odd about the Autobots first arrival on their birthplace is the selection of Transformers accompanying Optimus Prime. Or to me, maybe it's just one. Yes, Ironhide and Sideswipe were the last Autobots to be on Cybertron. But Drift? I know he's the IDW posterboy, and perhaps it's so that we won't forget that Drift exists, but I think there were much better candidates on the Autobot ship.
It's hard to be highly critical of Transformers #24. Yes, Chaos does look promising, but this issue isn't much of a standalone piece, but more of a setup for hopefully greater things to come.
Seibertron.com's review of Transformers Dark of the Moon: A Fan Perspective
Dark Side of the Moon
I saw Transformers Dark of the Moon tonight. I am not a professional reviewer. In fact, I strongly dislike writing reviews of any sort. Yet from time-to-time I am strongly inclined to share my thoughts in hopes that some of you might want to hear what the owner of one of the largest Transformers fansites has to say. So without further ado, here's what I've been writing for the past 5 hours.
First and foremost, if you don't want to read any spoilers, just stop reading this review. I don't hold back anything in my reviews. It's all here that I was able to jot down since midnight. If you want to be spoiled, please be my guest and read on ...
I'll cut to the chase right off the bat before I go into comments that only us Seibertronians will enjoy reading. If you're looking for the next Academy Award winner or Oscar winner for best picture, go see something else so we don't have to hear you complain about Transformers Dark of the Moon. If you are just looking for a great, fun summer blockbuster with TONS of action, lots of special effects, a pretty girl, some very cool cars (and robots too), and destruction galore -- you should, without a doubt, see this film. If you're a Transformers fan, then this is 100% required watching in my book.
Is this the best film in the world? No. Is it another very enjoyable summer blockbuster? Of course it is. Are there some problems with the storytelling? Yep. But hey … it's Transformers, it's not Revenge of the Fallen, and it was a fun couple of hours watching exciting craziness unfold before my very 3d weary eyes. While Transformers Dark of the Moon didn't surpass the first Transformers film from Michael Bay, it was better than Revenge of the Fallen. However, it shared some of the same flaws from which the previous movie suffered.
As I have said for the past four or five years, I think Michael Bay was the perfect person to be the director of the first Transformers live action film franchise. I liked some of his previous movies such as Bad Boys and Armageddon. Michael Bay is well known for delivering what he promises. He makes larger than life fun movies that appeal to a very large audience. I truly believe that it was his vision that helped introduce our beloved Transformers to people not as passionate about them as are we. The Transformers are a toy line that have overcome many obstacles over the years and have reached the point of becoming a household name and a billion dollar film franchise.
The special effects were absolutely truly amazing. I hope nothing I say in this fanboy "review" plays down the fact that this movie is an amazing feat of technology. The destruction of Chicago is an incredible technological achievement. It looked like they destroyed the city. And it wasn't far away or brief shots like Battle: Los Angeles. It was complex digitally animated (?) extremely detailed and extremely believable mass destruction bestowed upon the city I've called home for the past 9 years. It was truly amazing to see what they did to this city. The Transformers themselves seemed to be more detailed, but in a good way. I didn't have much difficulty telling who was who, even when they were fighting. There even seemed to be some improvements to the facial expressions on some of the robots. There was a moment with Optimus Prime's face that I remember seeing that I thought, hey that's cool that they got him to make that face, and the same with Ratchet in another scene. Academy Award winning movie or not, I think the special effects teams on this movie should get all sorts of awards. Kudos to all of the people who worked on special effects for this film.
If you wish to read the rest of my thoughts, simply highlight all of the text below by using your mouse, touchpad or by clicking "ctrl" + "a" on your keyboard to highlight all of the text.
Houston, we have a problem
A lot of the problems I had with this film was the fact that there was just too much going on. You shouldn't have to read the novel adaptation to understand what exactly was happening during the film. I think the overall story was good. It just needed to be tightened up, and some time that was given to other scenes could have been used to develop some of the characters.
Speaking of characterization, the Transformers continue to serve more as plot devices than actual characters that you know and love. There are few scenes which show the Transformers interacting on their own without humans and many of them get little character development. I love the Transformers characters, I've grown up with them, but without the bond that I have with these characters through three decades of reading the comics, watching the cartoons, and collecting the toys, I don't understand how the general movie going audience is supposed to have a bond with these characters (aside from Optimus Prime and maybe Bumblebee). It is my hope that now that the general world wide audience has been well introduced to the concept of the Transformers brand, that we can movie into a film franchise where the story can be told more from the Transformers' perspective(s) and less from the humans'.
The Chernobyl scene seemed like the they went through a lot of trouble for us, and the Autobots, to find out that the humans had a piece, or pieces, from the Ark on the moon. I get that they were trying to show us that the Russians had tried to harness the power, which caused the 1986 Chernobyl disaster, but it just came across as really forced to me and a very unnecessary scene.
Human Characters and Actors
Overall, the acting was pretty good. I don't recall thinking that anyone had any overly cheesy lines, or poor acting. The only one that really stood out to me was John Duhamel's Lennox. I wasn't a big fan of him in ROTF and I had much the same feeling about him in DOTM. It might have nothing to do with his character and is just how the writers are depicting him. I liked him in the first movie, and I've liked him in other movies that I've seen him in. Tyrese Gibson's Epps was better portrayed in DOTM than ROTF. Shia was much the same … I liked him in all three movies. I think he's a good actor. As much as I love John Turturro's "Agent" Simmons, I just felt his involvement was either too forced or unnecessary. I felt like he didn't really bring anything to the story. Yeah, he wrote a book, yeah, Bill O'Reilly interviewing Simmons because of his new book was entertaining, but not needed. If you felt his involvement was forced in ROTF, you'll definitely feel that way here.
The ever so beautiful Rosie Huntington-Whitely filled her role, and her tight dresses, perfectly. The Transformers film franchise triumphantly shows the world that all you need is some pretty t-and-a to play the out-of-his-league love interest for Sam Witwicky which could've continued to have been played by Megan Fox had she been able to keep her mouth shut. As a fan, I was happy to have Rosie onboard as Carly, who was the love interest of Spike Witwicky in the original 1980s animated cartoon series. I could've done without the gratuitous underwear/butt shot as she was walking up the stairs. Nice to look at in a men's magazine, just 100% unnecessary in a Transformers flick especially in the first ten minutes or so (though I'm sure many would argue that it's the same demographic).
I was both surprised and disappointed at how small John Malkovich's "Bruce Brazos" role was. His eccentric character went unused through the second half of the film. I thought that he and Patrick Dempsey were miscast and should have had the other's role. Malkovich could've played a perfect live action Dr. Arkeville, which would have been a very nice nod to the Transformers mythos. He even looked the part in my book. It would've even fit in perfectly with the whole "humans working for the Decepticons" plot. Patrick Dempsey's "Dylan Gould" was quite the villain surprisingly. Dempsey was definitely "McBadAss" in this film, and not so "McDreamy".
While I always enjoy the onscreen presence of Sam's parents (played by Kevin Dunn and Julie White), I felt the inclusion of Ron and Judy Witwicky was completely unnecessary for the story. Their roles were merely there for the comedic inconvenience and embarrassment that they cause their son.
Pleasant surprise "cameos": real-life Buzz Aldrin, Nixon, JFK, President Obama, and Fox News' Bill O'Reilly.
Toned Down Humor – Smaller Funny Bits
The sexual humor that many found offensive in the previous two films was significantly reduced in this movie. No more lubricating jokes, no more masturbation jokes, no more boxer jokes, no dog humping, no robot humping, no racially degrading comments. There was an oral sex innuendo from Carly to Sam, and a comment from Sam's mom about him being well-endowed, and a brief comment from Brains about Carly's panties or underwear drawer or something, but all of those comments were fairly brief and didn't seem to distract from what else was happening in the scene.
There were no words like "pussy" or "bitch" in this movie, which made me feel a little squeamish in ROTF. Either Wheelie or Brains says "dickhead" if I recall correctly, but it seemed rather appropriate.
The Sound of Music and the Music of Sound
Steve Jablonsky's music score for DOTM continued to please me. Nothing struck me as out-of-place, but at the same time nothing caught my attention emotionally like "The Arrival" from the first film's score. I was glad the "corny" music from the first and second film (cue the music from when Sam arrived at the lake in the first movie) was absent from the third. I'm looking forward to purchasing Jablonsky's score when it becomes available on CD. Linkin Park's "Iridescent" was present in the film if I recall correctly, and I think the Goo Goo Dolls "All That You Are" is as well.
The sound quality of the film seemed great. I don't recall my ears hurting nor do I feel like I was ever having difficulty understanding anything. I don't recall a G1 transformation sound, hopefully someone catches one and can point it out. No complaints here from me about the audio.
Cartoon References or Coincidence
Several elements of Dark of the Moon reminded me of the fan-favorite three part cartoon "The Ultimate Doom". In that story, the Decepticons enslave mind-controlled humans and bring Cybertron into Earth's orbit via a space bridge. In Dark of the Moon, fearful or deceived humans are working for the Decepticons who want to bring Cybertron to Earth in order to use our planet's resources to repower their homeplanet. Very similar concepts.
One other similar concept that seemed pulled from the cartoons, was the Autobots' exile from Earth. While this scene seemed huge, and the Autobot shuttle looked magnificent, I couldn't help but feel that Megatron's Master Plan pulled this exile concept off better somehow … or at least with more emotional attachment. The whole scene should've felt more powerful in my opinion.
My personal favorite character, Soundwave, is still Frank Welker's Dr Claw voice minus the voice processing we all know and love from the original cartoon. Soundwave was one of Megatron's right hand "bots", standing by his side during what will be a very memorable on screen moment that had all three big time Decepticons in the same scene standing side-by-side (Megatron, Starscream, and Soundwave). While I was initially disappointed to hear that he transformed into a Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG in DOTM, his role as Decepticon spy was served just as well by going undercover posing as Carly's car, which her Decepticon loving boss gave her as a "gift". His robot mode looked awesome and he has an awesome moment battling the Autobots before he gets slagged.
Laserbeak speaks, to which I feel indifferent about it. I kept having moments of nostalgia from the Japanese version of the original Transformers cartoons when Laserbeak and Ravage would speak. He's a cool little character that really kicks some butt in this film (albeit mostly humans, more about that later). He transforms into a multitude of objects in the movie. It'd be neat to see Hasbro come up with some other toy versions of Laserbeak. He even transformed into a small human sized red Bumblebee-looking robot to pose as a playmate to a daughter of one of his victims. There was an awesome nostalgic moment when Laserbeak rested/landed upon Soundwave's right arm. While he doesn't look exactly like the Laserbeak of old, I think this is a great representation of this character in live action form.
Mirage was named Dino (pronounced "dee-no"), who looked very awesome. I mean, what Transformers fan doesn't love having an Autobot that transforms into a sexy, red Ferrari 458 Italia? Sucked seeing him share onscreen time with Sideswipe, who's basically the same character, when a red sports car should have been Sideswipe all along.
Wheeljack was named Q (Cue? Que?), who was a very disappointing addition to the Autobot roster. It wasn't so much the characterization (or lack thereof; who's onscreen role could've easily been given to the Autobot weapons specialist Ironhide), but the head design basically looked like a robotic skull with Albert Einstein's facial features and hair. I'm assuming they were trying to convey that this is an Autobot scientist or a really smart Transformer, but I'd like to think that most of the movie going audience is above having things shoved in their faces like that. The original Wheeljack has such a unique head design that it was a shame to not see that translate to the big screen. If you didn't like him either, don't worry, Soundwave executes him later in the film during a rather tense moment when it seems like all is lost to the Autobots.
For as big of a deal as it seems everyone has made about the Autobot subgroup known as the "Wreckers" (Leadfoot, Roadbuster, and Topspin), they really had minor roles for the most part. They were part of the crew working alongside the humans on the Autobots ship which they were exiled in, and the other major part they had was going with Bumblebee into the city when they ripped apart a Decepticon pilot who had crashed, and saving Optimus Prime when he got tangled in some wires after battling the Driller that was attacking the falling skyscraper Sam and the other humans were trapped in. I didn't think I'd like how Leadfoot looked onscreen, but he was easily one of my favorite product placements in the film. While I couldn't pinpoint any connection with the Wreckers voices, I can assure all of you that they did NOT have redneck voices which was a huge relief to me.
Ratchet was in it considerably more than ROTF, however he still had few lines. Same voice actor as far as I could tell from the first film. He also seemed to have a modified face, but I'd have to get another look at it. He was with Optimus when they went to the Ark.
Sideswipe had at least one line, perhaps more. I felt like his onscreen time was replaced with that of Mirage Dino.
Sentinel Prime, voiced by Star Trek's Leonary Nimoy (who also voice Galvatron in the 1986 animated Transformers film), was one of the few Transformers to receive some characterization. His character underwent a harsh transformation from being Optimus Prime's predecessor and hero to being one of the major antagonists in the film. His ideals seemed to align more with that of Megatron and his Decepticons than with the heroic Autobots. He seemed far more concerned with saving the Cybertronian race and planet, which seems like all movie Megatron has wanted. There was no foreshadowing of Sentinel's betrayal. After bringing Sentinel back online, there was a nice moment where Optimus tried to give the Matrix to Sentinel, but oddly Sentinel declined. It seems like if he was inevitably going to betray the Autobots, that he should have taken the Matrix. His death at the end of the movie was very fitting, though I think it sucked seeing the heroic Optimus Prime killing his Autobot mentor.
Sentinel's betrayal wasn't the moment that I wasn't expecting. It was how Sentinel viciously attacked the Autobots, and killed Ironhide! I didn't see that coming. I hadn't even heard any rumors of that happening. It was the only moment during the film that I was shocked at. I was especially shocked since Hasbro has heavily promoted Ironhide by having at least five toys of this character available at retail by the release date of the film.
Still no voice for Bumblebee! If you're wondering why he's holding his hands up to his head in the trailer, it's not because the sound is too loud … it's because his holding his hands up before he's almost executed by Soundwave and the Decepticons. Very tense, cool scene.
Shockwave's character was a waste to me. He looked awesome. He looked evil. But without even a full line (he said something at the Chernobyl scene but I think it was just "Optimus Prime" or something very basic), there was zero characterization. He could've just been another drone for all we know, well, a drone leading other drones. I was hoping for just a couple of lines to Megatron about something being logical or illogical, something that says that this is the character we've known and loved over the past 27 years. He was killed during the Chicago battle.
I wasn't sure what to make of Starscream in this film. His character had been reduced to the worst traits of Starscream. Cowardly, whiny (?). He had two moments in the film that should have been more monumental and awe-inspiring … when he single handedly takes out the exiled Autobots' shuttle and when he takes on the sky divers by the Willis tower in the skies over Chicago. One of my favorite scenes in the Transformers film franchise is in the first movie during the final battle when Starscream takes on the other F-22 Raptors going back and forth between his robot mode and jet mode. That scene is one of the best uses of their ability to transform in the film. I was waiting for that "wow, that's so cool" moment to hit me with either of those scenes but that moment never happened.
The rumors about the cowardly villain Starscream meeting his maker were unfortunately true. Thankfully, he didn't get taken down singlehandedly by one of Epps buddies, which was the rumor we heard last summer. Disappointingly, he was taken down by Sam, who used a grappling hook device given to him by Q. Sam used the weapon to attach the hook to one of Starscream's eyes, which damages it. Starscream is ranting about his eyes and not being able to see. All I kept thinking during this scene is … can't Transformers "see" without their eyes. Seriously … how else would they "see" when they're in their vehicle modes if they didn't have alternative methods to see? If Starscream had just transformed into jet mode, would he have been able to "see" again? Starscream deserves a much better death scene than this. Fortunately, we have his far superior death courtesy of Galvatron in the 1986 film.
Ever wonder what happened to my favorite police car Decepticon Barricade? He went M.I.A., literally, during the final quarter of the first film, was M.I.A. for the entirety of ROTF, but finally makes a miraculous return during the Chicago battle scene. I was very happy to see him return. If I saw correctly, it looks like he received an update or two to his character model. It'd be nice to see some comparison shots of this. My happiness at Barricade's return lasted only momentarily as he was destroyed shortly thereafter.
Skids and Mudflap were indeed missing from the film. I didn't even see them as additional robots during the scene where the Autobots were exiled from Earth. I didn't miss them though I do think they would have served as great cannon fodder.
Optimus Prime gets the movie version of his battle axe that reminded me of the axe he had during the Hoover dam battle against Megatron in a G1 "More Than Meets The Eye" cartoon episode.
Megatron says something to the affect of "what would you be without me" to which Optimus replies "Let's find out." and he proceeds to kill Megatron.
Random Scenes and Thoughts
The scene on the highway en route to Chicago turned out very cool. You might remember this as the scene where the infamous accident happened last summer in Hammond, Indiana that left Gabriela Cedillo, an extra in the film, permanently brain damaged and paralyzed. I meant to see if there was any mention of her in the credits, I'll have to look again tomorrow night. The "Dreads" were a very cool group of Decepticons. I really like their overall look, which is odd because I'm not a big fan of dreadlocks. Their unified and unique look just really stands out to me. I wasn't sure what to make of their "Mexican stand-off" with Ironhide and Sideswipe, but they seemed pretty cool in my book.
I felt confused as to why the Decepticons space bridged to Washington, D.C. then proceed to travel to invade Chicago. Why not either space bridge directly to Chicago or invade D.C. instead? The D.C. scene did give us a nice moment at the Lincoln Memorial where Megatron blows off President Lincoln's head, and the proceeds to remove Lincoln's statue so that Megatron could sit in his chair. One of the Decepticons scans a WM garbage truck after arriving in DC (I want this Transformer!).
Lots of humans get killed in this film. The Decepticons have a weapon that just kind of vaporizes a human after it blasts apart. In one scene, we see a human skull roll toward someone's foot after they were killed. Pretty graphic and intense. Not something I'd recommend for the kiddies to see.
I felt very uncomfortable when the Wreckers tore apart a Decepticon pilot. I just kept thinking "Autobots wouldn't do that!" Kind of reminded me of some of the Abu Ghraib situation a few years back.
The Autobot ship did indeed look awesome. Massive. They missed the opportunity to call the ship something like "Omega Supreme", maybe Hasbro will give us an Omega Supreme toy out of it just yet, but I wouldn't count on it. Someone in the film mentions that there are 9 Autobots, but I can't 11 if you count Wheelie and Brains (Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, Ratchet, Sideswipe, Topspin, Roadbuster, Leadfoot, Dino, and Que) who were aboard the ship if I recall correctly. The shuttle scene was a good scene, it just seemed to lack the emotion that such an important scene should have … especially when Starscream takes out the ship after it launches and apparently kills all of the Autobots aboard.
The whole Cybertron coming to Earth plot seemed a little much to me for the general movie going audience to understand. Without showing the full planet of Cybertron in DOTM, it seemed like it was a lot to ask people to understand that "Cybertron", the Transformers planet which much of the audience has never seen before, was being transported to our orbit. As a fan, I had a very difficult time seeing the large object that was coming through the space bridge portal as Cybertron. It seemed so unmonumental and so unnecessary to a Decepticon invasion of Earth that I felt distracted by that entire plot element (though it's what united Sentinel with Megatron). In addition, I couldn't tell what Cybertron's fate was. It looked as if Cybertron had imploded upon itself when the space bridge was destroyed yet without any dialogue in the film or concern from any of the Transformers, it's fate was left uncertain to me.
After seeing more of the same storytelling problems from ROTF creep into DOTM, I can't help but feel that it's time for Michael Bay, Shia, and the rest of the crew to move onto other projects and make way for some new, fresh ideas to brought into the life of the Transformers films. I'd like to see what someone else can do with the Transformers now that they have proven that it's a successful toy-to-film franchise. I'd also like to see what other types of films Michael Bay wants to make as I can't believe that he would want to be best known for making the Transformers films. I think the movies are very entertaining films for what they are. No one claimed these would, or should, be Oscar award winning movies. The people who have worked on these films have done an amazing job, considering the source material started out as a toy line so many years ago.
No need to stay until the very end of the credits.
Honorable 3D Mention
Why no mention from me about 3D yet? To be blunt: I'm not a fan of 3D. Not at all. I see it for what it is … a ploy to give people something special at the theater that they can't get elsewhere and to make it more difficult for the bootleg "market". I'm looking forward to seeing DOTM in good ol' fashioned 2D. When I watch a 3D movie, I feel like I'm staring at those posters that doctor offices had back in the early 90s where you have to cross your eyes to see the hidden image in the picture. I also can't stand wearing glasses in the theater. It's just not my thing. Did this movie seem like a technical achievement in the 3D field? I can't judge that as I haven't seen any other movie in 3D except for James Cameron's Avatar.
3D doesn't make me feel like I'm part of the movie at all, if anything, it makes me feel disjointed from the film because of how many times I notice the "3D" layers. It's extremely distracting and I don't recall ever thinking when viewing a 2D movie that I wished it had been in 3D. I keep thinking of that Best Buy "buy back" commercial where the girl is calling the guy a "silly head" because he bought a 3D TV instead of a 4D TV. I'm hoping 4D gets here soon because I can't stand this very "forced" 3D craze.
I hope someone important in the movie industry read my thoughts about 3D.
On a personal note, I think I'd prefer seeing a movie like DOTM with a regular audience any day. The press guys didn't laugh or gasp or anything during the movie. Either they thought DOTM sucked or they were all way too busy writing down notes on their pads of paper. To me, a big part of going opening night for a movie, or even some time during the opening week, is to catch the buzz that radiates through a movie theater that is excited about a film. I think it's unfortunate that the press people didn't get to experience this movie with the regular movie going audience. I'm looking forward to seeing DOTM on Tuesday night with family and friends and people from Seibertron.com who I know will be geeked and excited about seeing this film ... and are there to have fun and have a great time.
So you might be wondering exactly what I thought of this movie and what my recommendations are. I know I picked apart a lot of the movie above. I'm very, very passionate about Transformers. I'm also very protective of how we, the fans, see our Transformers. I just want our experience to be shared by everyone else. I want people to know why we like and love these Transformers characters. I gave it a 4 out of 5 on my Netflix account just now. If it wasn't a Transformers flick, I'd give it a 3 out of 5 mainly due to feeling that the story was confusing at times or incoherent. The special effects and technical achievements in this film were simply amazing … stunning even! They should win awards left and right for what pulled off with Chicago and for making huge leaps with the computer animation for the robots which continue to look better and better.
As I said at the beginning of this review, if you're a Transformers fan, you've got to go see this film so that you can tell the rest of us what you think about it. Don't base whether or not you see this movie based on my review. It's a fun movie. Go see it. You be the judge and tell us what you think after you see it.
Galvatron and company are around the ‘live’ universe becoming more powerful and with purpose. The Autobots are in the most disarray that you can imagine them ever being in--- and making choices that lead to serious, SERIOUS ramifications.
Megatron is simply toying with Optimus Prime, and Optimus Prime is showing an extremely frustrated side that one would rarely remember seeing before from the freedom focused noble-bot in even the most dire of circumstances.
But we’re leaving this scene for another corner of the TF-universe. A corner not seen in more than a few issues (at least six!). A section that can only make fans scratch their heads, and imagine what could possibly happen next. Enter Rodimus.
After being ‘ka-boomed’ by Megatron’s super-charged rail gun in the climax of Ongoing issue #13, we catch up with Rodimus floating dead in space with the matrix. He achieves planetfall, and crashlands on a planet that this reader has to say, he didn’t think he would see again with the way events had been going, previous events getting lost in favor of, and sometimes seemingly replaced by newer directions recently.
But in an effort to perhaps reach out to loyal readers, or maybe it was the plan all along, IDW has been returning (finally!) to previously set plot points, and events once again. Plot points that may have been going somewhere in the previous creative crews‘ minds‘ eyes, but were seemingly lost when they left. The newest example of revived plot points, Rodimus landing on the very same planet that holds FAN FAVORITE, should have been First Ballot hall-of-famer, rhyming, wildbot of Cybertron....Wheelie!!!!
*Pauses for cheers to die down*
Last seen stuck on this far away planet thanks to Spyglass, and his Reflector crew, with a 99.999999% chance of never being rescued (fudged that number a little bit), and ominously living near some ruins containing hieroglyphs of a familiar alien race, WHEELIE is once again reunited with a fellow Autobot after quite a long time. The Autobot is fortunately for him, no longer dead ("I feel happy!"), as the matrix is now imbedded into Rodimus’ chest plate like it was always meant to be there, and sparks life back into him.
Rodimus remembers Wheelie immediately upon meeting up with him stating, “You’ve been MIA for almost as long as I can remember. From since just after I got recruited to the Autobots.”
That seems like a long time ago indeed. It’s so long in fact, Wheelie does not even remember being an Autobot.
This issue is otherwise fairly boring. Setting up for the next, much more grand event, where these two young Autobots are going to make their return to Cybertron, and confront a very familiar foe, this issue mainly provides, well, not much. There’s some small piece concerning three other aliens on the planet, but it is quickly put to bed in favor of getting us to the next issue’s ‘will-be-awesomeness’. Yes, Wheelie and Rodimus are going to, thanks to the unlimited power of the matrix and the three disposable aliens, be able to escape the un-escapable planet, and arrive on Cybertron just in time to be a part of this summer’s CHAOS event.
Wheelie rhymes. Rodimus expounds on his injuries, and his new life, and his previous life, vowing to never leave a fellow Autobot behind...again. And Wheelie plays music now. ‘Nuff said?
...Is forgettable. This inconsequential issue will quickly be lost in the excitement of this summer’s huge CHAOS events. The two weary Autobots seem to be a bit less than benevolent in their dealings with the three aliens...a streak that seems to be on par with recent Autobot events.
Some might say this could be one of the most annoying issues ever containing both whiny Rodimus, and rhymey Wheelie, but overall the creative crew handled the two well, making sure to focus more on the positive aspects of each, rather than the more negative pieces of them that the fans have come to on some cases...loathe.
The dialogue is smooth and clean. I really wish if IDW changed something from G1 ‘as we know it’ that they would have kept Wheelie from rhyming. The Wheelie-logue drives me bonkers. Thankfully, it is not overwhelmingly done here. I’m just worried now that Wheelie’s back on cast, that his dialect will quickly make its way to the ‘drives me up the wall when I read it‘ category. But Wheelie calls Rodimus dumb to his faceplate, so it can’t be too bad right?
---Is Phenomenal. But I’m a Guido slappy. He renders and lines like the pro we know here creating some very beautiful portraits of Wheelie and Rodimus. His alien grunts are excellent as well, reminding me of Skeletor’s hench-lackeys from Masters of the Universe. And the alien ‘general’ seems to have a bit of a cthulhu in his family tree at some point. I have to say, I think Guido stepped it up. His lines on the robots seem more angular and straight, his figures more detailed and less cartoonish. HIs backgrounds detailed, and immense.
The inks, and colors are superbly done, as well.
Honestly, I thought the whole creative team did a really nice job with this issue. ‘It is what it is’ as the oft overused phrase goes. A simple re-introduction tale, setting up a lot bigger event. We get some characterization, and exposition, but not a lot of action. It’s cool though, because the excellent art will keep your eyes and mind quite busy.
Transformers Ongoing #19 is in stores Wednesday, May 18th, be sure to check it out yourself. If you still need more convincing, just check out the 7-page preview, and that should be the deal breaker. See you next time gentle-bots.
Credits to Mike Costa, Guido Guidi, Joana Lafuente, Chris Mowry, Carlos Guzman, and Andy Schmidt.
Earlier today we were treated with official images of the upcoming Transformers: Dark of the Moon Voyager Ironhide and Deluxe Starscream, and now popular YouTube reviewer Peaugh has uploaded a video review of Ironhide! He gives us a quick size comparison to the previous Voyager and Deluxe Ironhide figures, and toward the end of the video poses him with the upcoming Optimus Prime and Megatron Voyagers.
To watch Peaugh's video review of the figure click here!
For anyone who has been reading Sector 7, and I’m still not sure why I bother with movie-verse related comics, you know what’s been going on. For those who haven’t, I offer you the blurb review below from issue #4.
I have to say, I am not as much of a detail junky as many (like, oh say, the writer in this series). While the series is a ‘somewhat interesting’ step into the past of what is possibly the ‘most interesting’ new part of what came out of the whole movie thing, it is of the movie, and based on humans, so this series probably did/does not call out to many Transformers fans because...well...it doesn’t feature many Transformers. No Transforming robot appears until page 15. Mechs in the previous pages though, yes. No actual named/known Transformer until the 4th to last page. Not much for a giant sentient robot fan to enjoy there.
And then there are those who will buy anything comics, merchandise, and/or toys with the Transformers name on it. I tend to be that way with comics, mostly because I think I am still looking for that perfect Transformers story. Sector 7 is not that story, but could be of interest to SCI-FI/conspiracy theory/X-Files type fans. But not so much Transformers fans (minus HARDCORE movie fans, you know who you are).
The writing of the series is not entirely bad. It certainly has not stood out to me to be distracting, or entirely ground-breaking, just the writing is doing a good job doing what writing should do... help to clear up the details in the story that the art work does not make clear, using dialogue, setting narration, etc. Except the German parts in this issue have started to irk me. I now find that piece of the writing to be utterly annoying--no translations--you can guess some phrases meanings, but many go unknown or unexplained. German dialogue is a large part of many of the last 10-12 pages.
Gutentag herr doktor. Gib mir all deine Transformers Spielzeug ... JETZT!
Anyway, issue #4 continues telling Sector 7 history as family members of its original 7 continue with ‘the family business’ that founding member Walter Simmons started. This time the story is set during 1944. A new Simmons, Bill or Billy, has been asked to carry on in Sector 7 activities and he is none to happy about it. Currently a soldier, he feels he should be in battles fighting the Nazi threat, not participating in “wasting his life like his mother (Margo)”, who we find out in this issue (Five page preview spoiler alert!!!) has passed since we last left her.
Reluctantly, Bill agrees, convinced by his grandfather (General Walter Simmons, Margo’s father), to join a group of 6 other operatives (Yo Joe!) to go behind enemy lines and destroy an NBE (non biological entity) that the Nazis have gotten their hands on, and have started reverse engineering tech from (We all know the United States is the only country responsible enough to have reverse engineered tech from the Transformers, right?). Who is the new NBE under NAZI control? Somebody we already knew about and I was surprised to see based on the earlier issues. Surprises are good in stories, so consider that a plus.
What struck me most about this comic, it was a decent read, but violent. As soon as the mission starts it basically falls prey to the Nazi’s new tech (human-piloted, transforming tank mechs), and Barber (writer) and Kang (artist) waste no time in adding in some gross out elements. Limbs here, missing limbs there, it wasn’t as excessive as January’s INFESTATION crossover is sure to bring about, but it just seemed...oddly placed or even unnecessary. You’re welcome IDW, I may have sold a couple more copies for you there.
How does a guy get his hand blown off (yes, it cauterized the wound, but pain!!!), and still continue on his mission looking no worse for wear (minus a hand)?
-I'm Simmons, Bill Simmons. Chuck Norris can lick my boot straps.
It is meant to be a suicide mission and for most of the group it is--thus, the violence, but not before Simmons carries out the group’s task, and destroys a large portion of the base, along with the projects and people (at least one, pretty cold-blooded killing) involved. However, for Simmons, the act was meant to be totally selfless for his country, but as the Transformer the Nazis were using to reverse engineer weapons from awakens, it destroys the Nazi tech and monster, deliberates, decides humanity may be mostly okay based on a few minutes with Simmons, and helps Simmons to finish his mission parameters, then flies them both away into the wild blue yonder sunset. Happy trails soldiers. Oops, dropped the spoiler there.
The artwork is pretty well done most of the time. It’s crisp and clear, no cluttery details. All lines have their purpose. The humans are able to emote, without looking like they stepped out of Bugs Bunny. The tech, weapons, and armament are nicely, accurately, and again simply detailed. Overall, an enjoyable presentation. I’m a bigger fan of the detailed work done in ‘Tales of the Fallen’, and ‘Nefarious’, if it has to be movie than make sure to put the details in intended in movie designs, but this is good work.
The colors are more vivid than previously seen in other issues, assuming that this is meant to be a progression through time, and previous art and color were meant to represent the eras they were telling stories about. The colors are still limited though, as most of this takes place in a nighttime operation setting, thus using more muted, dark colors. While aboard the plane we have a lot of red, from the emergency lights. So the colors are effectively used to express the settings.
I do have a problem with both of this issue’s covers though. If you didn’t like the Jazz/Hubcap cover of the last issue, I’m not sure how you can like either of these any better. A pile of scrap shooting something--courtesy of the retail incentive cover--, or a tank with legs chasing some soldiers depicted on the regular cover (meant to connect with the other covers to create a dossier of the NBE/Sector 7 activities). Take your pick. The very realistic and detailed, dirty, painted regular cover is the best of the two, but the tank on legs kind of makes it silly (is there commentary in here?), and ruins the presentation of the rest of a beautiful piece of military art. Probably not going to get many Transformers fans interested in a book with either of those designs.
Something about the mech designs as I flip back through the issue. The transformation from tank to mech is fudged...a lot, and the mech modes seem to retain nothing of the tank-- minus the treads/tracks and the cannon. They also seem faster and more maneuverable than the tanks they were, which for experimental tech, is quite amazing, as tanks were fairly high-tech devices for quite awhile. Where did the the hisstank (G.I. Joe) like cockpit come from?
Ultimately, this issue is, as I stated, an alright to fairly enjoyable fiction. If you could read the German phrases than maybe it is even more fun, or meaningful, but without knowing what they translate to is frustrating. I find the book to be a decent short war story with a little bit of robots in there. Not much “Transformers” though.
I have to say, I’m not sure if others enjoy them or not, but I like the final page of the issue, where Agent John Barber (the writer) has his ‘Field Notes’ and explains ideas, relationships, inspirations, and easter eggs along with artist Lou Kang (Mortal Kombat lover here?). I loved this kind of after sharing when WIZARD did it for DC’s Kingdom Come, and then MARVEL did it for their MARVEL’s series. I really like to be made aware of facts, etc., that inspire work, or are hidden in the work that many of us may never even be aware of.
I have read much more exciting issues. I’ve read a lot worse issues and series. This one works as a stand alone story, and as a part of the Sector 7 mini, making it effective for what it is... a book about a group of humans involved with the Transformers and how they evolve over the decades, but not much of a Transformers comic book.