CYBERTRON FALLS! The monstrous NECROTITAN ravages the world—but is there anyone left to save it? Meanwhile, in deep space, ULTRA MAGNUS and the crew of the LOST LIGHT struggle to make sense of what they find in the depths of the scarlet sea!
Or just punch it in the face
And here we are, probably the last set-up issue before the big show takes place, as was teased for the next chapter. But before we get to the clash of titans, let's take a look at what this issue does, the new characters introduced, reveals and building up of some old fr--enemies, shall we?
Figures sold separately
Once again, John Barber and James Roberts focus on multiple plotlines at once, from the Lost Light's crew dealing with Metroplex, Ammonites and newcomers Chromia and Nautica, via Pax and Rodimus in the Dead Universe, dealing with Nova and Kup, to the chaos on Cybertron, with Starscream uniting with Prowl, Soundwave and the other 'outcasts'.
And then you have the three new additions: Chromia, Nautica and Windblade, who play a fairly big role in the issue, and one that nicely sets up what may happen later (mini-series included). They're nicely characterised, and topically enough, there are echoes of other female trios in the three's dialogue lines.
Nicely done, Roberber
I was a little disappointed in Starscream being shunned once more in favour of other key players, though I suppose ReGeneration One is dealing with his more powerful incarnations. Though what is his actual Chosen role? Megatron is mocked, undermined yet ultimately I can't help but like him on the scene, too - and Bumblebee. Plus we get a better look at Rodimus' hand, and his real thoughts, for once.
We still have the three artists working on different sections. James Raiz masterfully pens the new additions and a magnificent Metroplex; Livio Ramondelli decidedly darkens the mood for Rodimus and Orion, and dastardly Nova Prime; Atilio Rojo expertly blends a beaten Starscream, bombastic Megatron and brilliant Prowl. And Bumblebee.
Rodimus and his fetish, again
And then you have the colours, with Ramondelli taking care of his own sections, with a lighter palette this time round, it seems. And Josh Perez on Rojo and Raiz' interiors. He kills it, again, with two very different approaches on each style, but both equally brilliant.
What does the Ammonite say..?
Tom B. Long's lettering is still pretty excellent too, from the flaming title page to the sound effects. Phil Jimenez and Romulo Fajardo Jr offer a nice cover with this issue's Tailgate toy, Casey Coller and Joana Lafuente tower over cover A - and then there's Alex Milne and Josh Perez' mouthwatering RI cover. Look at it. Just. Look.
Thoughts Spoilerish ahead
This issue may placate the ire of some readers who thought the whole Windblade affair was going to be blown out of proportion in the April series, beginning to reveal why and how she and the other two, Nautica and Chromia show up, and their importance to the story. We don't get to see much, but it's enough to make want to read more!
Eye'm definitely in!
There was humour, there were revelations, there was a lot of actual rooting for Megatron, after all. There were Nautica, Chromia and Windblade, Rodimus, Whirl, Ratchet - all good characterisation. There was the beginning of the Necrotitan and Metroplex fight we saw teased a while back. There is good art, and an amazing cover. It was good.
A HERO FALLS—AND ONE RETURNS! The struggle in the DEAD UNIVERSE heats up as ORION PAX—the ’bot who was once OPTIMUS PRIME—and RODIMUS struggle with the legacy of PRIMES! Meanwhile, the Lost Light is under attack in deep space—and SHOCKWAVE and the terrifying NECROTITAN threaten CYBERTRON!
And here we are, halfway through the BIGGEST EVENT OF THE EVER HISTORY OF EVERYTHING, according to the solicits since at least two years ago. And I feel like we've hit a bit of a lull, though not an unwelcome one in the issue itself, rather in the plot - unevitable? Maybe. Let's read on.
Eye eye, cap'n!
We're back to the three storylines, following the Lost Light crew inside Metroplex, the boxed lot in the Dead Universe and Starscream's (barely) Cybertron. While the first two actually advance a little, the latter in particular seems to not do much other than re-establish the threat of the Necrotitan and Starscream's connection to it. And a little bit on the 'outcast' faction, I suppose.
And drop in Tankor! Hi Tankor
The other two plotlines, on the other hand, do a little more, with the biggest parts played out in the Dead Universe, especially towards the end of the section. We get some interesting goings-on with the otherwise static situation of the trapped characters, and exchanges are made between Nova Prime and his (ex?) heir Orion - and other things happen.
No, Rodimus, we're not
The final page brings us a fairly big revelation about one of the other players in the story, though see below for more on this. The lull is expected, at this point in the series, and it realy could be worse, and there are still some good moments of characterisation if not plot advancement. I did like the snuck-in addition on Slug's name-change, too.
We're back to three separate art styles, with James Raiz on the Lost Light/in Metroplex' body, Livio Ramondelli in the Dead Universe and Atilio Rojo on Cybertron. And I have to say, I have no major complaints this time round (bar one)! Raiz in particular really shines in this issue, with thinner inks and some crazy panel work; Rojo's lines are a lot nicer too, and really work with the setting; Ramondelli is suited to the DU, until the last page reveal - it took me a while to figure out what was going on, and it detracted from the reveal itself.
Escher-ing in the new year
Josh Perez does is still doing some pretty amazing work, blending into both Raiz' and Rojo's style, and still keeping in tone with the er.. tone of the story being told. Some of the nuances are really cool, especially tha dark/light fade-ins. Ramondelli's colours are also good, as I've said many times before, really suit the Dead Universe - even with the proviso above.
Hardhead is quite the thinker, clearly
Gilbert Lazcano appears to be the regular letterer for now, and I really like some of his more creative moments, like the issue's title page and the Dinobots' speech. All in all, the issue looks good, but that final page really did not do it for me I'm afraid. The two covers by Phil Jimenez and Brendan Cahill are great though, especially the latter!
Thoughts Spoilerish ahead
As I've been saying throughout, we've hit the plateau, and it was to be expected, really. Some of the characters (Getaway, Astrotrain, Dinobots, Flatline) get more of an occasion to take the spotlight, even if just for a little while, but the introduction of Tankor so suddenly does feel a bit odd, and blatantly a toy advertising device.
Yeah, sounds about right
I wasn't as bothered with the three different styles this time either, except for that final page (OH I was very annoyed for a bit), and the Escher style scenes are excellent, as are some of the bigger splashes and spreads, with the added bonus of really good, mood-setting colouring too. Next?
. ½ out of
PS: What is going on with the Dinobots' names..? Isn't the big one Sludge? Why is he called Snarl? Just bad speech-bubbles? Halp.
NEW CYBERTRON! It’s a brand new day—and STARSCREAM is in charge! But running a planet isn’t as easy as it looks… if BUMBLEBEE couldn’t do it, why does the former DECEPTICON think he can?
] He has a plan!
Remember how last issue was about Orion Pax and Gorlam Prime? And the one before about the factions now residing outside Iacon and Arcee, and before that it was Shockwave and D(r)eadwing? If you haven't read them yet, you're in luck, as issue 20 still does not advance the plot much!
Starscream really does take centre stage with this issue, and with him arguably being the best character to come out of Robots in Disguise, that is definitely not a bad thing. Barber has swapped his monologue by captions technique by coming out and calling the issue 'Three Monologues', allowing him to let Starscream speak, pretty much to himself, the whole time.
And to cameras!
It feels a little better than the usual floating voices, and there are ways of showing a 'silent audience' like Metalhawk's body which almost justify it. But Screamer-fest aside, very little happens in the issue, except for the introduction of upcoming toy Scoop and potential upcoming toy Rattrap.
Who also has a distinct.. er.. voice
The characterisation and hints at future developments aren't bad, and I enjoyed it more than other issues along the same lines. But the story really did not do much, at all. Rattrap is a peculiar choice, in terms of personality, especially when placed next to Starscream, and Scoop felt almost unnecessary.
Visually, though, it works really well. From Metalhawk's body and the other ..incapacitated characters throughout the issue to the newcomers Rattrap and Scoop, and the play between blacked-out Iacon and the city once power is restored - it's all really good looking. And Griffith shows off his skills on page 6, with some excellent panel work.
Boy, does Starscream love that pose
The lighting differences mentioned above really pop out thanks to Priscilla Tramontano's colouring work. The story progresses from complete darkness in the heart of night to the first lights of dawn, via artificial lighting coming back in operation - and yes, you can feel it in the tones and shades.
J.J. Abrams directed this scene
Shawn Lee's lettering work gets a few particularly creative moments too, which is very nice to see. The three artists working on this issue have done a stellar job to make a fairly static story particularly aesthetically pleasing, and if anything, pick the issue up for the look of it.
Thoughts Spoilerish ahead
Abandoning the caption monologue was a good strategy, though I'm not sure how I feel about still having the monologues anyway. On the plus side, they fit the character of Starscream perfectly. The art on the issue, also Starscream-centric, is stunning, and if Starscream Starscream, then Starscream Starscream Starscream. So Starscream. Starscream?
Starscream-fest aside, though, it does little to the plot other than introduce two-three characters and hint at some stuff, and it then tries to make up for it with the final page reveal - which is nice, but the gimmick is getting a bit tiresome. Still, as I said, I enjoyed it more than previous similar issues, and Starscream really does shine in this.
Maybe Univerze Like Wazzzpinator? (Spoiler free-ish)
THE DEATH OF A WORLD! Gorlam Prime—the entrance to the so-called DEAD UNIVERSE—holds many secrets… and now ORION PAX—the ’bot who was once OPTIMUS PRIME—pries its secrets loose. But will it be too late for CYBERTRON?
Guest starring: Waspinator!
We're back to looking at Orion Pax' quest after Jhiaxus and Bludgeon, as started in Syndromica. And we actually get a little more agency from the gruesome truesome, not not to mention a good look at what their plans are actually about. Sort of. But the issue features a small but good cast of old faces, bringing everything together so far.
The gang's all here
In the light of recent BotCon Beast Wars toy announcements, the presence of Waspinator is an interesting addition, and Barber manages quite successfully to give him his own idiosyncratic speech pattern without badly damaging the intelligibility or pace of the dialogue - not a small feat!
I felt like we finally get a connection with the 'Prelude' Spotlights and Annuals, too, linking the Metrotitan plot (and the first appearance of Waspinator and Bludgeon in the series) to the main storylines - though not taking it back to Cybertron, yet.
Because it is Waspinator after all
The use of Waspinator is a good one, as he's not just tragicomic relief, Orion Pax seems to have a vague idea of what is going on, there's a fairly nice battle scene, and we get to find out what might happen next. But the ending really bugs me. Not saying what it is, but I found it disappointing.
The artwork for this issue, deviating from the so far established Ramondelli-Orion Pax combo, is done by Dheeraj Verma, who also worked on the Fall of Cybertron comic. And I have to say, despite a lot of people being quite vocal against it, I really enjoyed it. Yes some characters look different, but that's the whole point of having different artists!
Look at Bludgeon, look at him!
The artwork really shines, though, thanks to the colouring work of Joana Lafuente. The whole issue has a great feel about it, keeping the familiar smokey tones and hues we've come to associate to the Orion Pax issues so far in Ramondelli's own colours - just clearer this time, and working perfectly with the linework.
And that scenic shot..!
The lettering by Chris Mowry is good as usual, and some of the soundwords are really excellently executed. One character in particular has a really good speechbubble, but I will not spoil it here. All in all, I really liked the artwork: it's new, it's different, it works. We'll see if Verma comes back later in the series, but I hope so, personally.
Thoughts Spoilerish ahead
Overall, the story holds together pretty well, as we get back to Orion Pax' personal mission chasing Jhiaxus/Bludgeon, and catching up with Wheelie, Garnak and Hardhead (and others). The addition of Waspinator is a nice touch, and the artwork is great, with some gorgeous backgrounds and colours.
Revelation: Megatron is a petty child
My problem with this issue? The ending. Again, I'm not going to spoil it for anyone, but I felt that the conclusion was disappointing after an otherwise enjoyable read, finally moving away from the usual status quo conflict. Do pick it up though, as it ties up nicely some loose ends, and it just looks beautiful - and it sets up the next step really well.
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.