CYBERTRON AT WAR! The giant city-sized Titans, METROPLEX and TRYPTICON, battle on a scale the universe has never seen—and the destruction they leave in their wake leaves CYBERTRON ready for the DECEPTICONS to strike!
Last time we delved in Cybertron's past in Transformers: Primacy, the battle between Trypticon and the Titan Metroplex had only just begun. Issue three of this four-issue mini-series takes us deep into the conflict raging on, above and around the city of Iacon and the entirety of the planet, in a 22-page long series of action sequences.
FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT
The book shows off Megatron's attack as the first proper act of full-out war, involving the big beast, the Junkions and Sharkticons he recruited, his Seekers, Combaticons and appearances from the expanded cast of the Decepticon ranks we're all used to, plus Blackwall (very briefly) - and it's a very Megatron centric plot, too, despite the main action taken over by the titans fighting.
Chin up, huh?
While the action is entertaining, Flint Dille and Chris Metzen's plot itself does not really result in much, and can feel a little cramped in some places and too distended in others, yet oddly still have a nice pacing in the single issue. I was, however, pleased to see the Omega/Nova Prime conundrum solved, if a little heavy-handedly.
The dialogue is still very much a Dille/Metzen product, and there's not a lot to expect from characterisation for the different characters other than what we've seen so far. On the other handm though, the ending has an interesting direction to it, and one that I'll be interested to see played out in the final issue of the series and trilogy.
This is the second helping of Livio Ramondelli this week and month, and it's quite hard not to compare his work here to the one in RID #34. The biggest difference? Primacy is a lot darker, and sometimes the contrast doesn't help with the dynamism of the action scenes. The lighting, given by gunfire, acid rain, optics and explosions, though, does wonders on some otherwise fairly dim pages.
One of the visual highlights of this issue, to me, is the fun that Chris Mowry clearly had with the sound effects pervading the battle scenes. All the punches, crunches, booms, kicks, shooms, and especially the TWERGs, look amazing, and really stand out on the background of Ramondelli's colours, adding extra action hues to the mix.
TWERG TWERG TWERG
And if you hadn't had enough of big page spreads on battles between Metroplex and Trypticon, the variant cover in the thumbnail, by Sarah Stone, gives you a little more of that. Because why not. The third part of the interlocking Ramondelli covers shows off the beginning of the Decepticon faction, and Ken Christiansen gives us another stunning 30th Anniversary collage from the Autobot side. Make sure to check them all out.
Thoughts Spoilerish ahead
As I said above, do not expect too much from the plot of this issue of Primacy, despite some interesting developments towards the end. However, if you're into big blown full-on fighting with virtually all the cast of all the old Transformers characters, with curb-stomping, impaling, slicing, limb-ripping and one-liners - this is the book for you.
As the Autobot resistance takes a bit of a paler shade in their lack of preparation against the Decepticon uprising, I'm hoping we'll see more of an escalation next issue, with the conclusion veering the path of Primacy back onto the main IDW track, tying up some of the sub-plots ran so far, and some extra TWERG TWERG TWERG.
Fellow Seibertronian chuckdawg1999 brings us another Transformers: Age of Extinction video review, taking a look at one of the later additions to the One-Step line of figures with Helicopter Drift. Check out his thoughts and review below!
When I first saw the promo pics I was really excited to see a helicopter Drift figure. First it's better detailed than the car version and the overall design of the helicopter is closer to what we saw in the movie. Unless there's a power battler version coming of this design I can see no reason not to recommend this figure.
Dark Side of Future's Past - The Return (Spoiler free-ish)
THE ENIGMA! At last… the secret origins of CYBERTRON’s golden age are revealed to OPTIMUS PRIME—and what he learns changes everything about the AUTOBOTS’ mission on Earth!
They're off to meet Michael Bay!
After a month's pause to take a look at Cybertron and whatever mess is taking place over there, we return to Earth's orbit to check in with Alpha Trion, Optimus Prime and whatever mess is about to go down here - by looking at what happened a long time ago, in a galaxy far far away... if you're new to the Transformers, that is. Though there is plenty for veteran fans, too. Read on!
Ah, the good old days
The frame of the issue is the conversation between Alpha Trion and Optimus, as they take a wander over the dark side of the moon (oh-ho), to discuss important things of importance, without anyone listening in - and we finally find out the role that Trion has played since forever in the shape of Cybertron and its lineage.
"..and now you tell me you're Professor X?!"
Which leads us nicely into a long flashback of the early days of Cybertron, with Galvatron running around chopping people to bits and decapitating others, stabbing, slashing and generally being his usual killing machine self. The 'twist' however, is that he has a perfectly good reason to do so, and we discover just how far the Enigma teased in the synopsis goes, and what it has to do with Earth and some old frie-- ene-- frenemies.
Plus this guy
John Barber's dialogue and characterisation in this issue are great: from Skylynx' wonderful quips, to characters calling out each other's pompous formalities, to seeds of deception and scheming planted in some key players of the past, to the roundedness of Galvatron and the deceitfulness of Alpha Trion, and that's without considering the source material being drawn upon for the flashback's plot, and really setting the stage for Combiner Wars.
In addition to all of that, Livio Ramondelli is really on top form with the artwork: there's a lighter, cleaner feel even to some of the busier battle scenes (though some make Galvatron look a bit too powerhouse-y, but that's writer's choice), there is a nice use of reference material again, in both toy form and pre-existing fiction, and some great body language deployed.
Also, the lighting and colour used for the contrast between the past and present is switched compared to usual, with dark used for Trion and Optimus' conversation on the Moon, and a lot of light shining over Galvatron's battles. Combine that with some great panel layouts, a cinematographic style of composition, angles and shots, and you have a visually pleasing issue indeed.
Keeping things in perspective
Tom B. Long returns on lettering, choosing some very well placed addition contrast in caption boxes and dialogue bubbles, with a smattering of great sound effects throughout the book. All serves to further identify the separation and similarity of the different stages, and it all works perfectly. The two main covers by Andrew Griffith and Josh Perez, and Casey Coller and Joana Lafuente also do a great job of hyping up the Galvatron element, and it is a great part of the issue - but don't miss out on the stunning Ken Christiansen 30th anniversary variant (thumbnail).
Thoughts Spoilerish ahead
I have tried hard to not give away any of the major plot points, names of key characters, storylines or references, as I think this issue needs to be enjoyed as a new exploration of Cybertron's past in the comfort of personal reading. But I also believe fans of different Transformers continuities will really enjoy the various parts of fiction that are touched upon, and how Barber brings them all under the one issue.
Without leaping to conclusions
Ramondelli's art does some great things with Barber's writing, too, and accomplishes some nice visual clarity and dynamism needed for the warrior 'king' Galvatron. It also gets closer in its shading and hues as the past and present become darker and darker as they converge, with a great final sting tying us back to the running thread of RID so far. As we get ever closer to the beginning of Combiner Wars, this issue does great things to actually make me look forwards to it. Well played.
The Transformers: Age of Extinction One-Step line seems to be going nowhere - but some late comers to the plastic party may still interest some collectors out there. And fellow Seibertronian chuckdawg1999 provides us a new video with a look at another figure from the line, High Octane Bumblebee, below!
Utilizing the "Butterfly" style of transformation Bumblebee, as it appeared early on in Age of Extinction, is represented here. Basically the toy is a re-shell of Drift with new arms and a new head. A fun figure that could make an excellent desk toy. Highly recommended.
Seibertron.com member, Podcaster, and Professional voice talent jON3.0 is back with his Prime reviews in a brand new Channel Ravage Insult! Watch Optimus Prime review himself, I mean the new Rescue Bots Epic Optimus Prime in his usual awesome Optimus Prime voice! Check out the video we've embedded below and remember keep your optics tuned to Seibertron.com for the latest in news and updates, plus the best galleries around!
Youtuber RocketPunchArmy brings us a review that is not your typical Takara or Hasbro figure. The subject of this review is Fewture EX Gokin Alpha Trion. The figure has diecast content and includes extra hands and a stand. The figure can be displayed as Alpha Trion or his younger version A3. The video has been embedded below.
Courtesy once again of fellow Transformers fan from Australia, Tober, we get an in-hand look of Generation Arcee's wave-mate: Generations Deluxe Chromia! Tober has also provided his thoughts on the Camien bodyguard, which can be found here, and some of the images have been mirrored below - check them out.
Not too long ago we reported a sighting of the Hasbro One-Step Stinger at US retail, but Seibertron.com user chuckdawg1999 got his hands on the Takara Tomy Lost Age version, and share his video review of it - check it out below!
While many collectors turn their nose up at the various simplified figures released for Age Of Extinction, Takara/Tomy have really put in a lot of effort making these same figures interesting for everyone. With premium paint jobs and comically strange commercials to match the Lost Age line really stands out. Stinger makes for a fun desk toy while making one hope for a Deluxe version of the character
Remember those Optimus Prime/Convoy styled transforming pens, produced under license from Takara Tomy by Sentinel? Thanks to a tip from fellow Seibertronian Autobot Genocide, we get a look at a video review of the main Optimus Prime version from YouTuber peaugh, embedded below
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