NEW CYBERTRON! A massive corkscrew-shaped space ship has drilled into Earth, bringing with it a surprising disruption to OPTIMUS PRIME’s plans. Meanwhile—ARCEE fields a dangerous offer that may be too good to resist!
also, cameos and digs
A giant corkscrew spaceship lands in the Alps. Robots with apparently, arguably, perhaps not some screws loose pop out of it. Hilarity and hijinks (your mileage may vary) ensue. And we bring back a lot of loose threads from a long, long, long time ago in this new issue of Optimus Prime. Resolutions? No, just dangling. Like bait.
What I really enjoy about the two new characters we encounter - Junkions Rum-Maj and Wreck-Gar - is that while the latter carries across a lot of his canonical characterisation, they both also sport some sinister undertones to their easily dismissed comedy relief. Much like charming cannibalistic psychologists, perhaps, but with Eric Idle's voice stuck in your head.
A point of contention, elsewhere at least, is the inclusion of GI Joe teams in the book. But this is the status of the universe, and the book does some more steps towards acknowledging the wider status of it all. Not just American settings, not just American teams, not just Americans. This feels part of that pseudo-post-colonial shift that started way back when with the colonies being rediscovered.
only took about 15 years
John Barber is doing pretty much what he wants, now that he no longer has the editorial shackles, and he can delve into older Transformers universe, both within and outside of IDW's. This is some entertaining, and successfully so, storytelling with good characters.
I'll admit, I echoed some sentiments I've seen around about Kei Zama's art in this starting to look a bit more cluttered than the first issue, covers or fan art. My initial worries, however, did not last long. There may be a couple of panels which sport heavier inks (or feel that way) but they never jar with the spot-on designs and backgrounds.
That is also thanks to Josh Burcham's colour wizardry, marrying the dark linework of Zama's layouts with his muted (yet somehow still vibrant - see? wizard) palette; I could not have thought of a better choice of team for any selection of Junkions. Where there might've been the risk of too dark, colours light it up. Done.
or don't, but still works
The fears I had about the art were also a little in the lettering, as lots of dialogue means lots of ballooning, means a lot of stuff in the same panel - but I should've trusted Tom B. Long, of course. Both dialogue and sound effects work, and Wreck-Gar's speech pattern is well conveyed visually too. As for covers, we've seen the main Zama/Burcham one, and I spotlighted the Casey Coller/Joana Lafuente variant in the preview. We also have another Zoner piece, featuring Arcee, and thumbnailed with this review, the Andrew Griffith/Josh Perez Rum-Maj centrepiece. Admire them all.
Thoughts Spoilerish ahead
The issue is, overall, thoroughly enjoyable, much more than I initially feared I would feel about the book, from the preview. My biggest misgivings were not about the story as much as the art - as I explain above - but they were easily assuaged once you take in the whole story. There is no clutter. There is no lasting distraction.
What else does it bring, as well as ensuring that the mythos goes forward? Re-evaluation of both Primacy and Monstrosity, old Spotlights and -ations, Budiansky references, G1 references, early days of IDW's Robots in Disguise, i.e. Barber's best output. Until now. This is a series worth keeping at hand and in mind, and it does an excellent job of using those references as complementary, not essential.
Thanks to fellow Seibertronian Nik Hero, probably this figure's biggest awaiter, we have the first English language review (by Primal Sabbath) of the e-Hobby exclusive set of LG-EX Convobat, with Megalligator's head/Titan Master and Ape-X drone - all using Titans Return base molds and figures! Check out the embedded video below, and let us know what you think in the Energon Pub!
A wave of undead TITANS has touched down on CYBERTRON! Even with the help of the massive METROPLEX, WINDBLADE and STARSCREAM can only hold them off for so long. They need help from Elita-1—and they’re going to get it whether she agrees or not. The fate of CYBERTRON depends on it!
Now, where were we?
With the weird time shifts of IDW's release schedules - seriously, even continuity has nothing on them - we're still working in the aftermath of Titans Return, and really quite heavily so. Said aftermath continues to provide an excellent backdrop to the evolving dynamics of the Council, and the whatonearthisgoingon-ness of Elita-1 and her Titan Carcer. How? Read on...
What Sparkstalker said!
An issue which rolls much faster than the previous one, which was more focused on build-up than resolution, we start to see the direct consequence of having called all major players into play, and Elita One still unwilling to lend a hand - because something is up with Carcer, as everyone knows by now.
Though there is plenty of character building in the various scenes across the issue, and Windblade, Ironhide, Starscream, and even Metroplex get a good dose, the one that stood out the most was Obsidian, this time round. We've seen him loving his tiny 'gotcha' screens, being imposing and menacing and lurking and looming - we get to see a very different side of him, now that he's next to his First. She's probably worse things than him.
concerned creepy puppy
Mairghread Scott has also been able to do some subtle characterisation of the various names and faces that appear in group shots - keep an eye out for all of them as you dodge lasers, blasters, missiles. I have some further thoughts on the issue in terms of plot, but more on that below, of course.
There is a lot happening all at once. It's a giant battle with giant Titans, occurring both in space and on Cybertron. It's a big canvas. Sara Pitre Durocher fills it masterfully, using panels, action layouts, character interactions and page breaks to convey the sheer scale of the event and of its impact upon Starscream's current rule, along with the Council.
And if crowd and battle scenes weren't hard enough for lineart, colourist Joana Lafuente blends her skill with equal mastery, and makes individuals in a crowd stand out, from the guards around Ironhide, to the Titans attacking, to the faces appearing between convicts, citizens, dwellers and ex-colonists. That, and we still have some excellent space scenes, too.
And this shot
Tom B. Long, still on letters as we've come to expect, still delivers (as we've also come to expect) in fonts, captions, and interplaying the two and more into a coherent part of the visual storytelling. Metroplex's speech-style is still one of the highlights of this book, and so very nice to look at. We also then have Pitre Durocher on main cover, with a similar, echoing variant by Priscilla Tramontano (thumbnailed), plus a continuation of fan artist spotlights with Zoner taking a turn on RI.
Thoughts Spoilerish ahead
Diplomacy also means strategy. Leadership also means compromise. Both definitely mean tough choices, and the unique mix of Windblade and Starscream's takes on the current situation at hand brings out a definitely intriguing and potentially incredibly consequential storyline revolving yes around Carcer, but also Metroplex, but even more also - and particularly - Elita-1.
One Scary Lady
As I said above, I like Obsidian's 'new' side, I like his interaction with Elita, I like that Windblade and Starscream are collaborating on a difficult task, I like that we have a side-support from Chromia, I like that we have everyone - and I mean everyone - in the issue (Check out ScottyP's spoilery character roster in our database!). I like that I have no idea where this is going. I can only think of other Titans, past storylines, speculate, and mostly, just wait for the evil to unfold. Join me?
Hello, Seibertronians, I hope you all had a good holiday!
I just happened to receive Titans Return Hot Rod for one of my gifts, and thought I'd throw together a little pictorial review for you all! So let's dive in and klook at one of the most anticipated figures of wave three!
Let's start with the figure himself: he is just great looking. He totally encapsulates the aesthetic Hot Rod is supposed to have. That sleek, young look is just perfectly represented. While his robot mode might not have the most accurate colors, (namely on his legs), he is undeniably the Roddy we all know and love.
Although yes, I agree, you can't see his wing enough over his shoulders.
Hot Rod comes with two large rifles, so he can go full Rambo mode
These guns can combine to make another seat for a Titan(head)Master, per the norm with most wave 2/3 figures.
This seems like a cool additional feature until until you realise that, because of the placement of the handles and Hot Rod's articulation, there's no way that I've found for Rod to hold the gun in a fashion so the Titan master sits upright, unless you make him go street gang style.
The other gun-related issue (with mine at least) is the gun's pegs are just slightly too big for his hands (or vice versa), so when you put the guns in his hands, it requires a good bit of force, and with nothing directly under his hands to support that force, it all goes to the little pin keeping his hands on. I could easily see these breaking if not done correctly. Then again, it could just be an issue mine alone has, and others will have nothing to worry about.
Next up: size comparisons. Roddy is actually a bit tall for a deluxe, and not just because of his massive shoulders.
With some other Movie mates of all sizes:
Class of '86
Next, let's cover what is easily the best part of this figure: His vehicle mode, and Good Lord. Perfection. It really is. It feels solid, the transformation is great, everything clips together so well it's almost unbelievable. As many others have pointed out, he also has some cues to the TF: Animated incarnation of this character, which is awesome by itself.
Cruising with some more Cybertronian cars. Hasbro again knocking it out of the park with these.
Before we wrap things up, I wanted to touch on his Titan master: he's unpainted. Yes, continuing with the trend wave 2 started, he doesn't have a lick of paint on him, other than Hot Rod's face. But not only this: He's completely one color. Something even the Wave two figures did was mold the arms and legs in a different color than the rest of the body, just to give it some variety. I'll probably end up custom painting him, but it really is a blemish on an otherwise really good figure.
Other than that (and the limited articulation I didn't really touch on) he's a really, really good figure, and easily the best representation of this character we've ever gotten in a mainline release. I highly encourage picking him up!
Scottimus Prime has reached out to us with his video showing the transformation for Blastwave. You get to see the similarities and changes to Megatronus, which share the same base mold. This is great for fans of the upcoming Bludgeon toy since this is the same toy but in an autobot deco.
Fellow Seibertronian chuckdawg1999 was lucky enough to get ahold of the latest Robots in Disguise warriors, and was nice enough to share with us his review for new Autobot Stormshot! Stormshot is an all new mold which is heavily based on a combiner wars Aerialbot mold, minus only the combiner port and featuring a tighter backpack, and features a pretty good paint job of red, white, and blue. Stormshot is schedule for release along with wavemates Drift and Blastwave at the very beginning of 2017, so stay tuned for those guys to start showing up in stores!
chuckdawg1999 wrote:Stormshot is the first Warrior Class figure I was able to get from the Combiner Force sub-line of RID. Robot mode is very cool looking, with a nice red, white, and blue color scheme. Transformation is satisfying, although I'm concerned about stress marks on some ports. Overall, Stormshot just might be my favorite figure from RID thus far.
REVOLUTION is over—but the danger to Earth is just beginning. As OPTIMUS PRIME pulls Earth into the larger universe, he’s painted a target on Earth… and a new alien incursion begins when a corkscrew shaped craft drills into our world!
Here we go again
What do we have here? A new title from John 'Continuity' Barber? Look at it this way: Revolution is over, Reconstruction is starting, corporate is backing out slightly just for a little bit, and it's time to patch up what's left of crossover events. Enter the same cast, a different title, and a lot of clashing personalities. Welcome back to Earth.
The Status Quo
Barber has a penchant, has always had it, to play with story from an entry point. This series is probably the most promisingly enabling of that, with Optimus Prime being narrator and thread, as his personal story bleeds into his formation and current situation, shaping and being shaped by the context and the players around him.
This is true for the flashbacks, in which we see his young idealist law-enforcer self. This is true for when we switch back to the current events, where those ideals are a little shakier, and other people are more likely to call him out on things, from Pyra Magna (more of her please), to Soundwave, and even to his older allies.
For a reader who's followed RID, Transformers, all the crossovers and events, and even before all that, back to earlier stories with red-blue-bot, some of this may feel familiar, sure. But it's an excellent first issue that doesn't compromise its jumping on point in any way. It has enough new stuff to keep regulars in, and enough grounding to bring new audiences along too. That's a win-win for me.
Kei Zama's work on the pages is something to behold. It's not often that an excellent cover artist is also a truly great interior artist, and when it happens, they deserve all the praise they can get. One of the interviews about her cited a number of heavy influences, from Marvel G2 to 2000AD, but I also see some James Raiz in more TF-friendly terms, and it's definitely her own take on sequential narrative, with bold inks and shading to boot.
LOUD DYNAMIC LINES
And if the lines are gritty, and bold, and heavy without crushing the page, Josh Burcham crushes the work with some of the best colours he's produced in his career. If you thought Sins of the Wreckers was good, this goes in a different, even better direction altogether, and the two styles work oh so very well.
By contrast, simple and effective
With the old style coming back, and a lot of new faces, Tom B. Long has a lot on his lettering plate, but do we really have any doubts that he can make it work, even with new art and busy panels? Not at all. The flow is great, the captions fit, and nothing is sacrificed. Plus, IDW got Paul Pope (with Lovern Kindzierski) to do a variant cover. Sara Pitre Durocher tags the shiz out of graffiti art, regulars Casey Coller, Joana Lafuente, Andrew Griffith are still magnificent, and the Sonny Liew and Tim King are great additions/banes to completists. Nice touch on the UK-variant Zama cover too, with David Garcia Cruz on colours.
Thoughts Spoilerish ahead
We know this by now: Roberts and the MTMTE Lost Light team work best with the fandom they created, Barber and his rotating titles and teams are in charge of the core mythology, lore, and backbone storylines for the IDW verse. Optimus Prime, in this first issue is very similar to the early RID books I loved so much - internal narration devices included - and yes, while full of stuff, leads directly from the general reader that bought Revolution.
..but what about the fun, then?
If this is what Reconstruction is going to bring, I'm quite happy to cautiously join in for the ride, and for one, accept our benevolent diplomatic if ego-inflated robotic overlords. And if they look this good doing it, thanks to Zama and Burcham, it's definitely going to be a swish ride for a little while at least, despite the criss-crossing plotlines that the editorial team will have to keep track of (thanks, synergy - we will achieve Total Brand Awareness).
Somewhat-spoilery review for Lost Light #1. A little spoilery. Spoiler-ish.
Five years ago, Rodimus and a collection of traumatised, lovelorn and/or sarcastic Autobots set off on a quest to find Cyberutopia. So far, they've made a right hash of it. They've misplaced their map. They've lost their ship, the Lost Light, to a mutinous escapologist. Oh, and they're dead.
Well guys, it's been a painful few months with only Fort Max's Titans Return cross-sell and the Scavengers' little mini-issue to tide us over, but finally we're back! Rodimus, Megatron, Ultra Magnus, Ratchet, Drift, Nautica, some dead bodies, a legislator and a whole slew of new and returning characters! The main story! A bunch of lonely losers gallivanting around the galaxy who barely ever transform or fight but we still love for some reason!
Yes, we're finally back to the main focus after that nail-biting cliffhanger at the end of #55 from... Primus above, July. It has been a long time. As more and more details about its continuation came out with each one decidedly confusing us - why the re-branding? They're dead? Why did Rodimus get replaced with his Shattered Glass toy? Who's this new 'Anode' character, why are they partnered with Hosehead's Headmaster and what gender are they? - we finally get all the answers.
Well, most of them.
We know Anode's a girl, at least.
Talking of Anode, she takes up quite a bit of the issue; stepping into the newcomer-for-the-benefit-of-the-reader's-experience role. She's fun, obviously has a lot to her than she's letting on, and is delightfully quirky with a number of one-liners to drop here and there. Her partner, Lug - who, as noted, some might remember as being Hosehead's headmaster in the original G1 toyline and Marvel comics but bears no such role here - plays the straight man were they a comedy duo, but don't fret, they're not simply comic relief. That's as much as I'll say about them though; you'll have to read the issue for the rest. I'm such a tease. But make no mistake, after just a single issue, I'm in love with them.
That's quite a lot about Anode and her not-Headmaster companion, but there's no need to worry - the old Lost Light crew most certainly wrestle the spotlight from them soon enough.
And in a series built around them, it shouldn't surprise you to know that there's a lot of great character moments this issue. The whole gang gets their time to shine with laughs and berating and mourning their companions, but the ones who stands out in particular are Megatron and new addition Terminus; their long-standing intrigue taking center stage. In simply a few panels you really get the feeling this is going to be one of the most interesting dynamics of the book, but all the fuss over the newcomers does not come without an important homage to those lost.
The whole gauntlet of emotional expression is represented excellently partly through aid of a beautiful, elegant flow - one never feels as if one scene stops too soon or goes on longer than it should; nor does one feel the transitions are too jarring. The pacing is just as on-point as it's always been.
This issue is largely a breather and recollection of what happened before we get going again. A pit stop, if you will - but with some new faces among your usual crew of mechanics. As expected, this is very character-driven - not a whole lot moves forward in terms of plot, aside from some very spoilery stuff at the end. And I'll remind you this isn't a very spoilery review, just spoiler-ish.
If you've been following Lost Light news for the past few months, you might have heard tell of the new art duties - Alex Milne is still aboard, but his duties in the art department are now shared with newcomer Jack Lawrence. And it's this issue he makes his debut; both with the comic itself and with the main cover. How does he do?
Well, a better job than Drift. In all seriousness, he's a perfect fit. He manages to bring his own unique flare and style to the issue, yet at the same time it still has that... special feel MTMTE did. That sort of balance between simplicity and complexity that allows for fantastic variety and emotional expression; that balance that allows us to believe these are still giant space robots who turn into cars yet are fluid and human in their motions and activity. There's also one scene in particular that's... rather breathtaking, but it's also very spoilery. And since this is once again, just a spoiler-ish review, I'll simply say the page after Drift & Anode
If there's one particularly good way to sum this issue up... it's by calling it MTMTE #58. Or #59 if you count the Scavengers' little Revolution adventure. It's the perfect continuation of MTMTE and has everything you could want in there with nothing feeling off or awkward or like someone's lost their touch; with only a new art direction perhaps being a tad distracting (though in a delightfully good way; Lawrence expertly captures the simplicity yet complexity of both design and character)... but that wonderful positive is also the issue's biggest negative - and it's something pretty important that needs to be addressed.
It's not called MTMTE #58/#59. It's called Lost Light #1.
This is seemingly through no fault of any of the creative team; as best as I can tell it's a re-branding mandate from someone up high. But no matter the reasons why, the fact is this is an Issue #1 and hence has a responsibility to be a decent jumping-on point for new readers. And were I a new reader? I would be extremely confused. Putting a lot of the issue behind a newcomer's eyes (Anode) helps a lot, but you still feel really lost. Magnus' short explanation of the prior events is hardly enough.
And clearly the Lost Light team felt the same way because there's a massive 5-page summary of the entire MTMTE series after the main comic story. Yeah, this isn't something I mentioned in the review, but it's there and it's huge and it REALLY gives off a vibe of "we didn't want to be an issue #1 but this is here if this is your first issue". For a returning reader this is a good refresher of what happened and helps you catch up in case you forgot anything - though with one notable error; the main villain of Dark Cybertron was apparently D-void, who knew? - but for a new reader I get the feeling it'd be an overwhelming turn-off.
However... this is my only big criticism of the book. It's still the comic, story and characters we know and love (with a few new wonderful additions). It's still arguably the best Transformers comic to have ever been. It's still MTMTE. But because of that last bit, it's not something new readers should start with.
Basically? If you want to continue MTMTE, read this comic; it's wonderful and still the same comic you know and love. If you're a new reader? ... start with MTMTE #1. Then MTMTE #2. Then the rest of the series. If you start here, it's going to be just a little confusing and overwhelming.
Along with the first US sightings of the Transformers: Robots in Disguise Combiner Force figures, two Seibertronians have sent along their reviews of two new figures from the line! First up, Scottimus Prime with frog-like Decepticon Springload.
And next, chuckdawg1999 with fellow Legion class wavemate Starscream.
Starscream is our first look at the Combiner Force sub-line of RID, a scaled down version of the previously released warrior class figure. Transformation is fun, and I'm impressed with how solid the jet mode is. Definitely worth a pick up.
That's right folks, it's time! Fresh off the delivery truck, we bring to you our latest Seibertron.com review: Masterpiece Shattered Glass Optimus Prime! Shattered Glass Prime is a redeco of the original MP-10 Optimus Prime mold and is based on his Shattered Glass self, as seen in his 2008 Botcon toy and in the Fun Publications comics. He is the first of the Masterpiece Shattered Glass characters, and we are set to take a good look at him below!
Included in this review is that heroic Autobot we all know and love, Cliffjumper, who had the misfortune of meeting up with Shattered Prime. He will be used for comparisons, as well as a little fun right at the end.
Firstly, we'll take a quick look at the box, as it features some really awesome artwork of Prime gunning down some poor soul, along with a bio introducing us to this Shattered Prime.
Next up, we will start off with the Truck mode. The truck mode is your standard cab-over that we are all used to, but it has some very nice detailing for the shattered glass version. Shattered Prime's twisted phrase of "Till all are gone!" is printed nicely on the left side right above the drivers door, and it stands out really nice. The silver stripe helps break up the marvelous purple cab nicely along with the side view mirrors.
There are also some very nice green highlights where the roof lights and headlights are, and they stand out against that purple, along with the yellow windows. The broken passenger side window is a nice touch too.
At first, I wasn't too sure about the dull gray used for the grill and smokestacks, but you know what: it works. That muted color gives him a nice "dark" vibe, fitting for the Shattered destructor. The blue used for his legs/back part of the truck is also really cool, and it really stands out with the gray used.
Overall, we have a really strong truck mode that ticks all the boxes save "chrome" but Nemesis Prime covers that better than this guy would have.
Up next, we'll look at that marvelous trailer. Now, Shattered Prime only ever had a trailer in a single lithograph. He never had one in the comics or with any previous toy. This figure, however, decides to include one, and it is a trailer that I really do like.
The trailer itself is cast in a nice rich black color. It is so rich, you can see my reflection taking some of the pictures in it below. The trailer then has a deep purple set of stripes running down the side, the purple of which is beautiful and stands in shining contrast to the black. The giant purple Autobot symbols also really stand out and make the outside of this trailer really pop.
Lest we forget, this trailer, along with the actual figure, have nice chrome wheel rims, and they all stand out so well. That is part of what is making this figure so awesome: the colors all mesh and pop so well, no matter where you go! The underneath part of the trailer uses that same gray that Prime uses for the grill, and it works. Had they cast this in chrome, this trailer would work great for Nemesis Prime as well.
Take a peak!
As this is the first Masterpiece I have ever handled, he feels really big and heavy. There is some good weight to guy! The Transformation is also a blast and a half, with some small bits but so many large bits that flip around in genius style. Definitely one of the best transformations I have ever handled.
And then, we get to the robot mode. Geeze oh man, does this guy rock in robot mode! All the gray is now given the chance to shine, and it does so wonderfully, contrasting against that purple and dark blue and bringing the whole figure together. The yellow windows now seem so muted against that purple, but it only helps bring out the evil in the guy. His new dark helmet and red eyes are also pretty sweet, though I wish they could have made the head a little bit more sinister.
While we're at it, let's get that trailer standing up! The trailer unfolds as the original did, but it feel so much more sinister and cool looking in black and grey, with some silver and dark blue in there to break it all up. The combat deck stands up and the little cockpit area, complete with evil green glass, folds out. This thing looks so goofily hardcore and awesome. I am very glad they included it in the set.
Plus, given how often he gets into fights, Prime needs that repair bay a good bit I'm guessing.
As you can see inside the trailer, there are some accessories that we need to take a look at. First up is the Matrix he comes with, which is die cast and it feels marvelous. The silver, gold, and rich blue center make this matrix a beauty to behold, as seen with some natural light shining through below.
He also contains 2 weapons: his ion blaster and evil ax. The blaster is cast in that gray that Prime's thighs and grill are cast in, and even has a little silver paint in the back. This, along with the head, are the 2 parts that I am a bit disappointed in, as the blaster feels a bit too dull, like they could have done a bit more to it and made it pop more.
Now the ax, that thing is a winner. The green is the same as the canopy on the combat deck, and it really does shine. The shade of green screams "evil" and it is so big and bad looking that I am keeping it on his hand almost all the time. It is perfect weapon that Prime never used but always needed.
Check these things out!
Also to add, we have a size comparison with ole Classics Cliffjumper, along with a slightly different pose of Prime with all his gear:
In conclusion, I love this guy. As my first Masterpiece, he is a joy to behold and own, and I would highly recommend him to anyone who may be interested. Shattered Glass is a special and unique part of the Transformers we love, and hopefully this guy is an indication that there are more Shattered Masterpieces headed out way. He is outstanding and is worthy of being a masterpiece.
And, to wrap things up, check out a few special poses below that those who have seen or read anything Shattered Glass may recognize. Thank you to Transgeek2345 for the video where I was able to obtain these comic images
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