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Transformers: Robots in Disguise #20 Review

Transformers News: Transformers: Robots in Disguise #20 Review
Date: Tuesday, August 6th 2013 5:40am CDT
Categories: Comic Book News, Reviews, Site Articles
Posted by: Va'al | Credit(s): IDW Publishing, Va'al

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Views: 25,248

Me, me, m-- Rattrap?
(Spoiler free-ish)



Synopsis

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?

Transformers: Robots in Disguise #20 Review]
He has a plan!


Story
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!

Transformers: Robots in Disguise #20 Review
You're welcome


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.

Transformers: Robots in Disguise #20 Review
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.

Transformers: Robots in Disguise #20 Review
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.

Art

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.

Transformers: Robots in Disguise #20 Review
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.

Transformers: Robots in Disguise #20 Review
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?

Transformers: Robots in Disguise #20 Review
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.

. :CON: :CON: :CON: ¾ out of :CON: :CON: :CON: :CON: :CON:

IDW Transformers: Robots in Disguise #19 Review

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: Robots in Disguise #19 Review
Date: Tuesday, July 2nd 2013 4:46am CDT
Categories: Comic Book News, Reviews, Site Articles
Posted by: Va'al | Credit(s): IDW Publishing, Va'al

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Views: 34,274

Maybe Univerze Like Wazzzpinator?
(Spoiler free-ish)


Synopsis

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?

IDW Transformers: Robots in Disguise #19 Review
Guest starring: Waspinator!


Story

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.

IDW Transformers: Robots in Disguise #19 Review
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!

IDW Transformers: Robots in Disguise #19 Review
zzzzZZZZzzzzZzz


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.

IDW Transformers: Robots in Disguise #19 Review
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.

Art

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!

IDW Transformers: Robots in Disguise #19 Review
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.

IDW Transformers: Robots in Disguise #19 Review
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.

IDW Transformers: Robots in Disguise #19 Review
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.

. :BOT: :BOT: :BOT: :BOT: - out of :BOT: :BOT: :BOT: :BOT: :BOT:

Retrospective Reviews - Transformers: Regeneration One #87

Transformers News: Retrospective Reviews -  Transformers: Regeneration One #87
Date: Sunday, April 28th 2013 4:26am CDT
Categories: Comic Book News, Reviews
Posted by: Va'al | Credit(s): IDW Publishing, Va'al

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Views: 21,836

A Key Issue
(Spoiler free-ish)


With volume two of ReGeneration One coming out this Wednesday, we decided to go back and make sure all the issues contained in the trade have been reviewed! Read all the already written ones: ReGeneration One #86, ReGeneration One #88, ReGeneration One #89 and ReGeneration One #90. And now, for the missing one: ReGeneration One #87.

Synopsis
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!

Retrospective Reviews -  Transformers: Regeneration One #87
So. That's the plot



Story

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.

Retrospective Reviews -  Transformers: Regeneration One #87
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.

Retrospective Reviews -  Transformers: Regeneration One #87
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.

Retrospective Reviews -  Transformers: Regeneration One #87
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?


Art

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.

Retrospective Reviews -  Transformers: Regeneration One #87
Percy..?


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.

Retrospective Reviews -  Transformers: Regeneration One #87
Pretty lights


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.

Retrospective Reviews -  Transformers: Regeneration One #87
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?

. :CON: :CON: :CON: :CON: - out of :CON: :CON: :CON: :CON: :CON:

Transformers Spotlight: Trailcutter Review

Transformers News: Transformers Spotlight: Trailcutter Review
Date: Tuesday, April 2nd 2013 12:09pm CDT
Categories: Comic Book News, Reviews
Posted by: Va'al | Credit(s): Va'al

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Views: 22,161

Trail-whatever
(Spoiler free-ish)


Synopsis
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?


Transformers Spotlight: Trailcutter Review
Boooored



Story

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?

Transformers Spotlight: Trailcutter Review
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.

Transformers Spotlight: Trailcutter Review
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.

Transformers Spotlight: Trailcutter Review
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.


Art

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!

Transformers Spotlight: Trailcutter Review
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.

Transformers Spotlight: Trailcutter Review
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!

Transformers Spotlight: Trailcutter Review
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!

. :BOT: :BOT: :BOT: :BOT: and 1/2 out of :BOT: :BOT: :BOT: :BOT: :BOT:

Pictorial Reviews: Transformers Prime Beast Hunters Deluxe Wave 2 Bulkhead and Smokescreen

Transformers News: Pictorial Reviews: Transformers Prime Beast Hunters Deluxe Wave 2 Bulkhead and Smokescreen
Date: Sunday, February 24th 2013 5:04pm CST
Categories: Reviews, Sponsor News, Toy News
Posted by: El Duque | Credit(s): Kapow! Toys

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Views: 36,725

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


Pictorial Reviews: Transformers Prime Beast Hunters Deluxe Wave 2 Bulkhead and Smokescreen

Pictorial Reviews: Transformers Prime Beast Hunters Deluxe Wave 2 Bulkhead and Smokescreen

Pictorial Reviews: Transformers Prime Beast Hunters Deluxe Wave 2 Bulkhead and Smokescreen

Pictorial Reviews: Transformers Prime Beast Hunters Deluxe Wave 2 Bulkhead and Smokescreen

Pictorial Reviews: Transformers Prime Beast Hunters Deluxe Wave 2 Bulkhead and Smokescreen

Pictorial Reviews: Transformers Prime Beast Hunters Deluxe Wave 2 Bulkhead and Smokescreen

Pictorial Reviews: Transformers Prime Beast Hunters Deluxe Wave 2 Bulkhead and Smokescreen

Pictorial Reviews: Transformers Prime Beast Hunters Deluxe Wave 2 Bulkhead and Smokescreen

Pictorial Reviews: Transformers Prime Beast Hunters Deluxe Wave 2 Bulkhead and Smokescreen

Pictorial Reviews: Transformers Prime Beast Hunters Deluxe Wave 2 Bulkhead and Smokescreen

Pictorial Reviews: Transformers Prime Beast Hunters Deluxe Wave 2 Bulkhead and Smokescreen

Pictorial Reviews: Transformers Prime Beast Hunters Deluxe Wave 2 Bulkhead and Smokescreen

Pictorial Reviews: Transformers Prime Beast Hunters Deluxe Wave 2 Bulkhead and Smokescreen

Pictorial Reviews: Transformers Prime Beast Hunters Deluxe Wave 2 Bulkhead and Smokescreen

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.

Overall Bulkhead scores 7/10


Pictorial Reviews: Transformers Prime Beast Hunters Deluxe Wave 2 Bulkhead and Smokescreen

Pictorial Reviews: Transformers Prime Beast Hunters Deluxe Wave 2 Bulkhead and Smokescreen

Pictorial Reviews: Transformers Prime Beast Hunters Deluxe Wave 2 Bulkhead and Smokescreen

Pictorial Reviews: Transformers Prime Beast Hunters Deluxe Wave 2 Bulkhead and Smokescreen

Pictorial Reviews: Transformers Prime Beast Hunters Deluxe Wave 2 Bulkhead and Smokescreen

Pictorial Reviews: Transformers Prime Beast Hunters Deluxe Wave 2 Bulkhead and Smokescreen

Pictorial Reviews: Transformers Prime Beast Hunters Deluxe Wave 2 Bulkhead and Smokescreen

Pictorial Reviews: Transformers Prime Beast Hunters Deluxe Wave 2 Bulkhead and Smokescreen

Pictorial Reviews: Transformers Prime Beast Hunters Deluxe Wave 2 Bulkhead and Smokescreen

Pictorial Reviews: Transformers Prime Beast Hunters Deluxe Wave 2 Bulkhead and Smokescreen

Pictorial Reviews: Transformers Prime Beast Hunters Deluxe Wave 2 Bulkhead and Smokescreen

Pictorial Reviews: Transformers Prime Beast Hunters Deluxe Wave 2 Bulkhead and Smokescreen

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