While we have seen a video review for the upcoming Transformers Titans Return deluxe Hardhead, it was in Chinese - and thanks again to The Chosen Prime, we now have an English version too! Check it out embedded below for your viewing convenience, and let us know your thoughts in the Energon Pub.
Thanks to the YouTube channel for online retailer The Chosen Prime, we have a English video review of the latest Takara Tomy Transformers Masterpiece to appear in the news cycle: MP-25L Loudpedal! A redeco of the Tracks mold, with some changes for the face, as an homage to the Finnish Diaclone version of the toy, and an exclusive in itself - check it out in the video below!
The wonderful lot over at Kids Logic have been generous enough to send Seibertron.com another of their Mecha Nation super deformed figures to review and handle - after Devastator from last time - and we have prepared both a video review and a full gallery for your viewing pleasure!
We jump straight back into the movieverse, or cinematic universe, with MN-11 Age of Extinction Grimlock plus Optimus Prime, a set which replicates one of the iconic scenes from the fourth live-action movie by Michael Bay and Paramount, as the leader of the Autobots rides the dinobot into battle. Both are deformed in proportions, and in equal parts adorable and terrifiying. Click on any of the images for the full gallery and check out the video review below!
Titans Return is out there people! Not only is it available at retail around the world but even online stores are now shipping them out in the US, like Enertainment Earth which now has the Leaders and Titanmasters in stock.
Which ones are you gonna get right away? Are some a bigger priority than others? Let us know. We have reviews up for many toys if your mind isn't made yet, and we have a new one here from StarblightSkylynx featuring Stripes. Remember that this mold will be redeco'd into Ravage later this year.
MASSACRE! The battle between the DECEPTICON Justice Division and MEGATRON's AUTOBOTS reaches its nerve-shredding climax. Pray for your favorites—because not everyone makes it out of this issue alive.
Like I said: Rage, Rage
To anyone who hopes to read this review and not have some spoilers, whether they be major or minor, I would highly suggest reading the comic before this review.
You have been warned. And for space for you to stop, have a battle scene featuring Nautica:
Spoiler Alert: Milne can draw a badass Nautica. And I bet you thought intellectuals couldn't look that awesome
Enough time to stop reading for spoiler fears? Good, cause here we go.
Well, we have come to the end of the road. The Dying of the Light really is meant to be read as a TPB, in the same way Shadowplay was meant to be read as a 3-parter in complete sequence. But in the same way Shadowplay had different parts that were each unique in storytelling and action sequences, so too does Dying shape up that way. 50 was the catalyst, 51 was the hopelessness setting in, 52 was the attempt to stop the inevitable, 53 was the final countdown, and 54 is the war. And a war that is held. But that part was always expected. Just maybe not in the manner that it was played out.
All credit to James Roberts: he can spin an outlandish storyline that can make even the smallest, random act become the all-powerful MacGuffin and it all still make sense. And sure enough, he uses one to give the Autobots that fighting chance they needed. But it is here that I really became fuzzy with everything. It has been really hard to articulate my thoughts regarding the MacGuffin, and honestly, I'm not sure this is what the story deserves. It gave the Autobots the boost they needed to stand a chance, but it really didn't feel like the boost that the story deserved. Now, that is not saying I didn't like it, but it still felt... off a bit.
A similar thing happens with "MacGuffin #2" (term used loosely here), which brings salvation to the now MacGuffin-deprived Autobots in the form of Megatron. But again, it doesn't feel completely right, but at the same time it is good and likable. Both of the above comments lower the storyline a bit for me, but lets face it: the main part of the story this issue is the action:
He really can't deal with your jokes right now
This is where the story truly shines. Action! Excitement! Death! Terrible Swerve jokes mid-battle! This issue excels in the combat. It really did turn into the all out war that was promised, and it did not disappoint. Now, some readers might be a bit disappointed in the pacing, seeing as how quickly the issue seems to go by with all the fighting, but at the same time: "Times flies when you're having fun!" In the moments leading up to the battle, the timing was a bit slow and cumbersome, but after that whole scene inside the Fortress, things picked up. This was what Dying needed, and it provided in spades. Heck, we even got some 1986 movie references and some 2009 movie references (betchya didn't see that coming huh?).
Overall story-wise: I was impressed and adored it. This was a great issue to read and it provided the action needed for the thrilling next-to-last issue in the volume. The only complaints I have would be the slight pacing issue and the Power of being in control all along/super boost, but those are hardly enough to deter the main focus, which leads us right into the next (and for this issue most important) section:
Alex Milne takes this issue entirely by himself, and boy does himself deliver. It is one thing to actually right a whole issue that is a giant battle, but it's a whole other thing to have to draw it. And Milne takes it all in stride. In all honesty, I would love to show off some panels here that show Milne at his absolute best (looking at you Megatron) but alas, you need to get the comic to fully comprehend and enjoy the art. But, for point of reference, have a panel:
Now I will say 2 things about the art: Megatron, Deathsaurus and Skids show off all that can be good with this comic. Those 3 make the art great and show off just how good Milne is. But there is a tiny point of "eh" though: Nickel. This is just the one character the Milne and Sakamoto can't seem to sync up on. Nickel is just a teensy bit weird art-wise, but other than that the art is flawless.
This guy has become my favorite for facial expressions. Easily
Joana Lafuente has once again provided excellent colors to compliment Milne's artwork. Just look at the lighting on some of the images above. And also don't forget those 3 characters I said nicely showed off the art for the story. The colors just shine with those 3 (more or less).
Tom B. Long is joined by Christa Miesner for the lettering duty, and they did not disappoint. Every word appears as you would expect, every scream, every whimper, every howl in pain, every bit of it all. It not only makes the lines gorgeous to admire and the colors gleam with eye-catching visuals with its articulation the of action performed, but it so perfectly articulates the scenes that are taking place, from fighting for your life to letting it slip away.
Pretty much my face for not only several panels, but also just trying to write this
This series truly is best read as a whole, all 6 issues lined back to back for a good couples hours of read time. But this has proven to be an issue worth standing out by itself. If you wanted action, you got it. Easily and a thousand times over (which I admittedly did). If you wanted characters facing hard choices and realizing who they all were and never realized, it was provided. If you wanted characters to see the end of their arcs and finally face then end of their time, you got that as well.
But in addition to those comments, I have a few more to make. The first would be Overlord. Can we please just look at how dark and emotionless he is? There can be no one that likes him. He is cold, his is insane, he is the definition of dark. And all that understandably upsets some people, not that I blame them, but at the same time, having that character who is devoid of any weakness in those regards makes thing all the harder, and it makes him that much more hate-able and only makes me wish harder that he had stayed dead.
The second comment would be the References to previous material. Someone, SOMEONE finally allowed Magnus to say his line in a manner that makes complete sense and is truly befitting the character. Now, no one is allowed to say that phrase for awhile again. The 86 movie and Revenge of the Fallen get some callbacks, as does the Marvel comic run (Megatron and Ratchet make a great pair). Well done on the callbacks. I can respect a book so much when it does stuff like that.
Finally, I long for next issue. I want to finally see the end of the lights' dying. We are at 5 of 6, and we need 6 so the final bookend can be placed. And we are left with such huge questions: the fate of some Autobots, both not shown and very clearly shown, the final panels, the wide eyes, the sense of insanity and loss of respect creeping in. And where the Hell are Nightbeat and Rung???
This issue was a great one, but once again I am left longing for the next. But at least I have some very good material to read over and admire in all its battle glory for the next month.
Fellow Seibertronians, following on from our first set of Titans Return video reviews - and thanks to fellow fan Broadside 92, we get two more video reviews showcasing Voyager Class Sentinel Prime and Astrotrain, both of whom share a triple-changing mold consisting of a Cybertronian train and shuttle. Both video's have been mirrored, so check them out and let us know what you think of them in the comments below.
You can tell that half the world is already experiencing Titans Return. Not only is the first wave out, but we now have reviews for the second wave deluxes Chrome Dome and Highbrow. We had a bunch of in hand images yesterday and today we get Chinese videos showcasing their transformation and features.
Another Titans Return related tidbit that warrants mentioning is the exclusivity of Titans Return Brainstorm. While we knew it was coming first as part of a SDCC exclusive set, there was an assumption that he would also get an individual release. However, an older interview with Hasbro surfaced on our boards with them saying that this Blurr retool was currently only planned to be available in this exclusive box set and would not be sold individually. While this wasn't known for certain, this shouldn't be such a big surprise since none of the rumours and confirmed Titans Return waves for 2017 include Brainstorm as a solo release.
Fellow Seibertronian StarblightSkylynx has a new Titans Return Titanmaster review for us today. Yesterday he had reviewed Crashbash and today it's Nightbeat. This toy makes it the second Generations Nightbeat toy released in 2 years time. The first was not a headmaster while this one is just a head. It is yet to be revealed if there will one day be a body to go with this head. If anyone has any questions about this new toy or other Titans Return products from the first wave, StarblightSkylynx is on our boards ready to answer.
Not only did we see the new Titans Return Titan Masters at retail, fellow Seibertronian StarblightSkylynx has also provided a video review for the purple t-rex monster thing Crashbash, in English, for all to view! Ranging from paint applications, multiple modes, size comparisons and comments, it adds to the images we had seen already, and you can check it out embedded below.
PEACE IN OUR TIME! STARSCREAM and WINDBLADE have given everything to bring together CYBERTRON’s Lost Colonies into a Council Of Worlds. But when the increasingly brutal tactics of STARSCREAM’s secret police increase tension among the former DECEPTICONS… how long can the Council maintain this fragile peace?
By sitting in circles!
We've seen the actions and influence that Windblade, as a character, has brought to the Transformers universe in recent years, from her introduction in Dark Cybertron, the first story arc in the mini, the creation of the Council of Worlds in the second - let's get back to where it started, then and see what the new Starscream-led Cybertron is up to.
Ironhide, actually, is the character getting the most page-time in this first issue, and a fitting choice it is: he's been a constant in the IDW verse, and he's gone through a lot of weird things, and as we know, is now at times a little lost in this new, wider world. Mairghread Scott uses Ironhide's almost neutral status as the pivot for a lot of the story, though sometimes misses his voice, as if unsure what he should be sounding like - which may, saying that now, be intentional given the above.
One of the points I'd question concerns the Combaticon crew, Brawl in particular - whom we've seen up until recent as being a big player for the new Decepticons (both Soundwave and Galvatron's sides), and is now suddenly not really doing much. But with the team being so crucial to the story, there may be more for him to shine again.
Windblade is prominent, of course, though not more than necessary, as the streets of Iacon and their inhabitants are really what's at the fore. The Badgeless, the ex-factions, the factionless, the newcomers from the ex-colonies - something is bound to happen, and something does, and Starscream may or may not know what is what, and who is where. And we get a reference to the big unsolved Chromia moment from the first trade, as a result, too.
Sara Pitre Durocher is on the full art duties for the book (except for Revolution) and we ok - it's phenomenal work. Moving between body language, panel layouts, facial expressions, we get a very unsure Ironhide, a determined Windblade, a nasty Starscream and a truly ominous Obsidian. Each character has their own demeanour again, which is just. great.
Variations on a theme of 'I want to murderkill you'
Priscilla Tramontano comes in with the mastery of colours, perfectly in sync with the linework, and playing wonderfully with tone and lighting, giving different hues and shades to the different locations. They're crisp, they're clean, they're clear, they're wonderfully appropriate. And the glow of the various optics - especially the Badgeless visors - is just great.
And we get some great backgrounds, too
This is probably the first time I will say something negative about the lettering, once more by Tom B. Long: the order of some of the dialogues seems a little off on certain pages (e.g. the first Council session), which through me a little. That said, the rest of the work is its usual excellency! Let's look at the covers, then - not only is Pitre Durocher's main cast piece lusciously triumphant, we also have the more tone-appropriate Tramontano Batman Ironhide one, and Teyowisonte Thomas Deer bring his skills to another Pitre Durocher Metroplex/Windblade (thumbnail); plus, more exclusives from Alex Milne and Josh Perez than you can shake a piston at!
Thoughts Spoilerish ahead
Scott has always had a penchant for the more horrorific storylines, and the start to this new chapter is nothing different: yes, it's a political crime thriller, touching on authoritarian brutality, perceptions of differences and discrimination, the turmoils of an increasingly populated planet - but we're going to chop people's heads on the way too. It's a hook, and it got me.
There, tied in
Pair that, and the rising tension between all the major players, with some excellent art - both in composition and in expression - from Pitre Durocher, and of course Tramontano's colours, and you have a very strong start to a new Cybertronian chapter, and one that I am extremely intrigued and invested in already. Just look at my signature on here. Someone lives.
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