Me Grimlock say this not happen in these stapled picture squares!
Let's get one thing straight right off the bat when it comes to this final Revolution tie-in one-shot: it's of extreme importance to both the Transformers as well as the shared Hasbro universe being created by IDW. There are stakes, meaningful actions with meaningful consequences, and more snooker references than you can fit in your pocket.
As deadly serious a book as a game of Shoot Shoot Bang Bang
With Prowl hanging out with Cerebros, Fortress Maximus, and Red Alert, that leaves the Scavengers to pick up the plot and go to Earth. Crankcase is getting set to meet up with an online chat room friend, and the Energon Goodies are chalked and ready.
Nothing can ever go wrong when you've got Energon Goodies!
What they find waiting for them ends up being more than they bargained for, closing back in on a plot from the Furman-era of IDW that was long thought to be over, finished. Right on cue, things ricochet in completely unanticipated ways.
Oh, well, I suppose it can.
It can't be understated how significant the main reveal of this Revolution edition of More Than Meets The Eye is. Not only does it bring back a popular but fearsome character, it neatly ties together every aspect of the crossover, closing up plot-holes and nicely calling its shot for the last ball that clears the rack and readies this universe for what's to come.
I guess maybe things never go well with Energon Goodies.
There are more amazingly well placed references to other franchises than you can shake a stick at, with immediate fan favorite G.I. Joe character MP3 being assigned one of the most famous and ubiquitous of Action Force gadgets. It's moments like this one that show how well studied both authors, Nick Roche and James Roberts, are when it comes to the franchises involved in this incredibly well received event series.
One of my college buddies claims to have invented the slang "obvs". To date, he has not been proven wrong since I cannot go back in time to see who else may have said it first.
The tremendous pacing of the issue allows the story time to work, with the scope of events being illustrated effectively in a way that brings some genuine emotion. For the people of Earth, things may never be the same again, especially since this is the first time any city in the United States has ever been destroyed in any way in the IDW Transformers fiction.
This is probably Spike's fault.
Just when things can't seem to get any worse, the power of the crossover comes full force. The organic yet infinitely complex details of the years long build to Revolution pay off in a big way, and in one masterstroke of plotting, the entire purpose of this three month long, 13 issue event becomes as clear as the right angle for a corner shot.
There's a reason this writing team is held in such high regard, and this issue again makes it clear exactly why that is. They'll always be held to the gold standard of their own creation, but will they ever come close to capturing that magic again?
Private messages about this review will be promptly ignored.
I think they did, and they may have even surpassed their past achievements. We won't soon forget this one. Hold on to your butts and call your loved ones - Transformers, nay, comics themselves just changed forever.
. out of
(Actual review: this issue is a fantastic work of comic relief that manages to move along one major Transformers character's story line in a meaningful way. Be prepared going in to have a good time and you certainly will. Readers should also know that this issue stands alone in a way where no prior reading of other Revolution books is required. The paragraph about the art above is genuine, it's really good. 5 out of 5 is also the real score.)
You Want a Revolution? I Want a Revelation (Spoiler free-ish)
LAST STAND IN AUTOBOT CITY! It’s all come to this—TRANSFORMERS vs. ROM vs. MICRONAUTS vs. G.I. JOE vs. M.A.S.K. vs. the ultimate evil! The futures of Earth, Cybertron, and the Microverse will all be changed forever by the decisions made this day.
..or fall together?
Here we are, the final issue of the core storyline for IDW's Revolution. The end of this stretch of the road. The final chance to prove that this could lead somewhere, and do so well. By the timing of this review, you can probably guess how much it lived up to that, really. But let's proceed with order, and constructively, shall we?
First, a recap. Karza has allied himself with the Dire Wraiths to save his universe, then merged with them, and realised that he's about to destroy two universes for the price of one. Everyone else decides to stop him. Humans (G.I. Joe and M.A.S.K.) are still not happy that aliens are doing things on their territory. Miles Mayhem keeps being evil but maybe not but maybe yes.
The good things, writing wise: there are some good interactions, especially when it comes to established group dynamics like between the Transformers or between the Joes, and the Micronauts still have a better edge. Windblade digging at Optimus is always a treat. There is some sort of organic fitting in of the different factions at play, and yes as a crossover it does create a common starting point for stories from here.
On the other hand, personally, ROM has brought nothing to this whole event (sure, it started because of him, but the character is nothing much at all compared to others), both MASK and GI Joe are used very oddly given their potential, and fans of the latter in particular may feel a little under-catered for. Where not having a fixed villain could've been good ground for interesting stories, it fell short of using the various 'antagonists'. But more below on the follow-up.
From the visual side of things, I have defended Fico Ossio's work previously, as there are some good ways of depicting humans, and giving that more organic feel to some robotic designs - more appropriate for MASK and ROM than Transformers, I felt, and better executed overall - but in this issue in particular, a lot of flash covered the undermining problems of the 'too much together' elements of the series.
Tyler, is that you?
And if that was true for the layouts and linework, the colours did not help make things clearer either. Mind you, I am not saying that Sebastian Cheng did not do a good job, but rather that the colours do not clarify what the art is trying to do, opting instead for a DC or Marvel-style visually punchy style with shaky substance beneath the technicolor smoke.
Offered without comment
Similarly, and unfortunately, the lettering could only do so much: with this still being an event trying to draw in new readers, Tom B. Long was asked to fit in name tags and Budiansky pretty much the entire issue, making the most of the space available - not an enviable task, and not one that leads to a result that makes things any clearer either.
The covers, I have to say, are excellent: Tradd Moore and Felipe Sobreiro with the cartoon classic, Ken Christiansen with a part of his composite patchwork, Adam Riches and James Biggie with their signature toy and promo art respectively, Brandon Peterson's take on superenergised Karza, Art Baltazar suggesting the Aw Yeah! issue coming in the new year, Guido Guidi's excellent G2/I Joe mashup (thumbnailed) - and the oddly chosen John Byrne art, with Len O'Grady on colours.
Thoughts Spoilerish ahead
Really, all in all? It was a bit of a mess. The suggested schedule was not helpful, nor accurate, to follow the event in a linear fashion - and the tie-ins were decidedly much better, to varying degrees, than the core story itself - and the events happening within the issues were either too stretched out to begin with, or too condensed towards the end as was the case for this last book, visually and script-wise. It was confusing, or negligible, and just ..sort of happened. And looked inconsistent while happening.
And it only took us 5 issues to remember!
As we've said in previous reviews, it's really a shame: all the series going into this were written by people who actually believed in the books and their characters, from Ryall to Easton to Barber to Bunn, but somewhere along the line, the idea of making a comic book EVENT proves one of IDW's missing achievements, especially one acting as a shared universe catalyst as Revolution was meant to be.
That said, it does not detract from the stories that come out of this, with Revolutionaries sounding like Revolution done right (now that it's out of the way), Till All Are One and Micronauts working on a wider scale, MASK, ROM, and GI Joe continuing the Earth-based sides of the plot, and Optimus Prime sort of shoving people around to sneak in between everyone.
Fellow Seibertronian Cyberpath has sent our way a video review of Takara's Masterpiece MP-33 Inferno. It is from site sponsor The Chosen Prime. They give a very detailed rundown of all the features that come with this toy and an extensive comparison to the other MP-styled Inferno toys out there. Finally they provide a great group shot to show how well this toy scales and looks compared with the rest of the line. If you have received yours already please let us know how you find it!
Today we bring you not one but two new video reviews, by fellow Seibertronians optibotimus and chuckdawg1999, featuring the Leader Class figure of the latest wave of Transformers Titans Return toys: Sixshot! The Decepticon six-changer (including the new 'submarine' mode) is the first official full update of the G1 toy, and you can check out two different opinions on him below!
Six Shot is a fantastic figure, the perfect G1 update. All six modes are represented and are just fun, each mode being solid and hefty. This is a must have figure and a crown jewel of the Titans Return line.
REVOLUTION is over but the danger isn’t over! A wave of undead TITANS threatens CYBERTRON! STARSCREAM will need more than secret police to stop the oncoming horde, but our Fearless Leader finds himself short on friends and firepower. Who can be called upon—and why aren’t they stepping up to the plate?
Like IDW schedules
Rather than tying up what Windblade was concerned with in Revolution (though not disregarding it), the latest issue of Till All Are One brings us more directly to the aftermath of Titans Return, and Sentinel Prime/Infinitus' plan to unleash zombie Titans upon the universe - as they now approach Cybertron, we catch up...
Or News Admins..
We know what's coming. We know the Titans are on their way, even if the story had been set on pause for the duration of Revolution, and we're being brought up to speed just when, just as Starscream is in-story, and probably with similar reactions to the Chosen Supreme Leader of Cybertron and his ghost pal, and the rest of the Council of Worlds.
Mairghread Scott provides a script that allows for a little de-tension before the ramping up of the tension starts again - dotted with some dry humour from the various parties involved - as a planet-wide action is taken to counter the Titans' arrival, allowing for each characters' capabilities to shine...
Oh hi Zetca!
...but it also provides an excellent foil for a discussion around Windblade's role and position in the new society still forming, as worked towards in the Revolution one-shot already. That, and we have some very interesting deal/diplomacy parallels between her, and her frenemy-nemesis (frenemenemenemenisis?) Starscream himself.
After the break, we have Sara Pitre Durocher take on the Cybertronian environments, as well as the layouts and everything else that comes with the artwork - including some seriously impressive work in conveying the tension of the script in the building of the panels and pages, running through the issue all the way to the handful of climax points towards the end.
Nope, not spoiling
The colours are at the hands of not one but two regular artists: Joana Lafuente and Priscilla Tramontano; both work wonderfully in sync with the linework provided, and carry across the latter's work on the Titans Return books as well as bringing some wonderful backgrounds to life in a very tense sequence or seven. Astounding.
Times, they are a-changin
Similarly, both Chris Mowry and Tom B. Long are involved in the lettering and, production wise, the issue has a fair load of different fonts, voices, effects and soundwords - perfectly handled for otherwise distractingly busy page. As for covers, we've seen the excellently slick Sara Pitre Durocher regular cover way back when, Tramontano's gorgeous 'every anime ever' variant in the preview, and now Jack Lawrence (hey, read our interview with him!) on in the thumbnail, with Prime's best couple.
Thoughts Spoilerish ahead
The issue is excellent. That's my thoughts, right there. The constant build is constant, and incessant, not only in dialogue, script and direction, but also through the visual, the angles provided for the action, the layouts of the pages and the panels, and the decision not to rely on larger pages for the actual climax, but rather as a mid-point punctuation mark.
Obsidian just loves good news
I am very interested in those parallels between Starscream and Windblade I mentioned above, and curious to see whether they develop further. Seeing multiple characters from across the franchise's history work together brought a slow smile to my face, and their voices work really well as the interact with one another. As I said, this is great - and the end point is just evil.
After the sighting of these Transformers: Robots in Disguise figures was reported here, we have a video review from fellow Seibertronian chuckdawg1999 for the three-step Hyperchange Drift toy, in its show accurate orange deco - also part of the Weaponizer line. Check it out below!
Drift is the latest addition to the Hyper Change sub-line, of chunky over-sized figures, under the Robots In Disguise banner. Transformation is of course easy, but the addition of the Weaponizer gimmick adds an extra level of play value.
Good friend to the site Ironhidensh has been buying more toys from the Titans Return line than he expected. Even to the point of getting figures earlier than most of us, like Titans Return Voyager Optimus Prime and Megatron. He has put together a pictorial review with a fresh twist: brutal honesty. While having a video review which shows the figure at all angles for one to make up his or her mind can be great, it is also fun to read a review full of the author's personality. It shows another side to the figures as well as an opinion to bounce our own opinions off of. So here below is Ironhidensh's review of these two toys, enjoy!
Lets look at pics of the 3 modes first:
As is obvious to anybody with a familiarity of G1 characters, these are quite obviously repaints of soon to come Blitzwing and Octane figures. While I am no fan of repaints, these two aren't that bad. Prime is actually a very nice homage to his G2 Laser Prime self, and Megatron kinda gives an IDW feel. As I've sais before, these will be excellent figures of the triple changers they are supposed to be.
Prime is actually a very simple figure. The transformation is very basic, and lots of truck kibble shows in plane mode. The truck modes hides the plane parts alright, but looks extremely simple. In robot mode, the wings really stand out on his back:
Not a ton of range of movement for either figure, but this one feels very limited. It also feels cheap. I can't fully explain this, other than it feels very light, and the plastic just feels cheap. I would fear to give this toy to an actual child as it would probably break within a day. Prime looks nice, but is a rather disappointing figure.
Megatron is quite different. This transformation is very satisfying, and very reminiscent of the original G1 Blitzwing figure. While the plastic still feels cheap, Megs feels much more solid than Prime. It would probably take a child 3 days to break it, although the joints are very thin. Megatron is also very much on the loose side. While nowhere near as floppy as Skullcruncher, Megatron will flop over easy, and his arms don't like to stay up. He also doesn't tab in well in jet mode:
You can see on the left side there, that the tread piece does not sit as flush to the body as the same piece on the right side. The tabs simply don't measure up right (tab is smaller than the hole), so it won't hold to the body.
The tank modes holds together very well. The grey color feels off, but its easy to get over.
One thing I'm very happy with on both figures is the ability to hide the shoulder columns. I like the heads as is, with out the side pieces limiting movement. Here are the shots of that:
Of course, as with all Hasbro figures, these two suffer from a criminal lack of paint apps. Prime in particular could have really benefited from some paint apps in truck mode. Then there are the stickers. I really hope this does not become a thing. These are cheap, and the edges were already starting to come up out of the box. These will definitely not last over time. I don't know what Hasbro was thinking.
In the end, while I kinda do like these figures, I can't recommend them at full price. If you can find them on sale, go for it. Otherwise, wait for Blitzwing and Octane.
Reflections of a GI Joe comic by a mostly Transformers comics reader - GI JOE Revolution Issue #1 - by **************
G.I. Book Blurb:
Presently: It’s a clandestine mission to our favorite Transformers playwright’s old hideout… BIKINI ATOLL for an extraction that maybe you wouldn’t predict…
Besides BIKINI ATOLL, and the mention of what has been going on with Optimus Prime, Autobots, and Decepticons, there isn’t much here for Transformers fans except a little gem at the end that I want to hint at with a very vague image below. Next issue of REV should be of much more interest to Transformers readers.
It’s pretty obvious, it’s a REVOLUTION title so it’s going to be about all the main players and continuing that over-arching story-line. It’s the GI JOE ONESHOT though, so mostly, we get Joes. A handful of them to be precise. And a whole island full of zombie-like Dire Wraiths.
AVENGERS ASSEMBLE!!!! Big Hat, Parrot Guy, Nose Man, Darryl, and The Rock
Joe Colton’s death was not a shock to most people keeping up with the series. The fact that he was a Dire Wraith, also not a shock at all. And indeed like the body snatchers of old, and any number of newer horror, sci-fi related movies and materials; this revelation involving several shape changers has sown the seeds of distrust, nervousness, anxiety, and even panic amongst the humans who have been infiltrated: mainly the government and GI JOE.
Who do you trust? How far? With what? The handful of Joes chosen for the mission by Scarlett meant that she could, hopefully, trust her crew and they could trust each other. Whoops…
The only Joes to go on the mission with Scarlett are Rock ’N’ Roll (machine gunner/infantry), Quick Kick (silent weapons), Road Block (Heavy weapons support), Shipwreck and Polly (naval command infiltration/extraction), and Wild Bill (air combat commander/pilot). Seems like a pretty solid group- but to me it does feel lacking-. Seems we have no Mainframe, who featured previously in REVOLUTION and who had ties to ACTION MAN, and the EDC. I think I might need to do a re-read to see if he got lost somewhere and I missed it, but I think, Myles ‘Mayhem’ Manheim may be the culprit, if my memory is doing its thing correctly.
It's really no surprise, when we find out one of this inadequate group is a traitor, a Dire Wraith in disguise, and this traitor looks to take out the group and end the mission tout suite (Who do you take out of that group as traitor? There’s no ‘C” level member, no red shirt, or green shirt...). The result is a nice little bit of horrorfest, which would have been perfect, if distributed about two weeks ago around Halloween. But now is good too.
Friend, Foe, or alien?
It was a somewhat morbid, despairing story that I thought really read well as a tale of deception by the alien Dire Wraith element and the mind-twisting, gut wrenching consequences, with another decent enough twist at the end that won’t pay off until later. Lots of gun play and action, albeit featuring about 6 Joes that have never been listed amongst my personal favorites, but certainly are popular among lots of the Joe fandom. The story becomes most relevant at the end for TF fans, but may not be worth a purchase for those not into GI JOE, or who aren’t collecting all the individual issues of REVOLUTION. Ask your Joe collecting buddy, or REVOLUTION collecting roommate to see the final page, and then wonder about what happens next…
The art was enjoyable, and while a scratchier, lots-of-line-work, somewhat detail-heavy style, it was still pretty slick and appealing. While Scarlett stuck out as seeming a bit to manga/anime-ish at times, and faces lacked eyes or even entire faces in some panels, I did not find it to be off putting or even bad -somewhat adding to the horror and unsettling storyline-. Action scenes were well-executed and very upbeat, if not unrealistic at times (it's a comic, so...). The lettering and colors played well to create the creepy, overall dark feeling that the story pervaded. The dialogue was pretty clear military jargon when it needed to be, but also was able to help you to understand more about their personalities and relationships. Like Rock 'N' Roll is a bit of a jerk.
The comedian or just a jerk?
What does this face mean?
YOUR TAKE (Recommendations, or not)
Skip and borrow for TF fans.
Joe fans**- worth it- certainly if any of those characters are amongst your favorites.
REVOLUTION readers, of course, BUY IT!
No crossbow for this zombie killer!
**GI JOE toy fans might find new reason to buy those new two-packs of Zombie Troopers at TRU, if you can find them. They could make great stand-ins for the Dire Wraith zombie people that are found on BIKINI ATOLL, standing in the way of our heroes and their goal.**
After Titans Return Sawback which is really Lione, fellow Seibertronian chuckdawg1999 has shared with us video reviews for the rest of Wave 3's Titan Masters: Ptero, which is really Swoop, Fangry, one of the original Headmaster Juniors, and Overboard, which is really Overkill! You can check out the three clips embedded below along with a brief comment, and join the conversation in the Energon Pub.
Fangry is an homage to one of the old school Headmaster Juniors. It's a fun figure in its two beast modes, but the weapon mode falls a little short. If you're looking to complete the extended Headmaster line, this is a must.
Overboard is the third use of the Crashbash mold and a homage to the old cassette Overkill. Unlike Clobber, Overboard is a straight repaint of Crashbash, which I really don't mind. This is an easy pass in this wave.
Ptero is Swoop, lets get that out of the way first. Ptero is also a pretty nifty little Titan Master, with probably the most interesting weapon mode. Funny enough, I've been told the vehicle mode looks a bit like Thanos' throne, so hey, crossover!
Fellow Seibertronian CdogCdog4 was able to acquire one of Comicave's Transformers: Age of Extinction collectable Optimus Prime highly articulated and accessorised figure - as we have covered before with promotional material - and shared a video review (plus a written one here) with us. Check it out below!
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