It just seemed like not too long ago we received news of a gold reissue of Masterpiece Megatron. Now, Seibertron.com member and renown reviewer optibotimus has his hands on this reissue and gives us his thoughts! The review has been mirrored below:
Is this figure worthy of your collection? Or are you passing in the hopes of a second go at the Decepticon leader! Tell us your thoughts in the Energon Pub forum!
We've seen images of both the Autobots United and Dinobots Unleashed Platinum sets from the Transformers: Age of Extinction line, but the following video notified by fellow Seibertron.com user TF Fan takes a very nice look at the Autobot box set featuring Voyagers Optimus Prime and Hound, and Deluxes Drift, Bumblebee and Crosshairs, with comparisons to the regular retail figures from waves 1 and 2 - give it a watch!
Fellow Seibertron.com user ReinaHW has pointed us towards YouTube reviewer Baltmatrix' recently posted video of Generations Voyager Brainstorm - the first 'proper' Headmaster in the line, with close resemblance to the current IDW incarnation of the character (though no briefcase), and an unfortunate number of quality control issues for this particular figure. Check it out mirrored below!
Almost at the end of the simplified Transformers: Age of Extinction line, fellow Seibertron.com user chuckdawg1999 has shared another video review, hitting the Decepticon-but-not-quite-spot with Galvatron. Check out the clip below, and leave a comment on the line - if you picked any up - in the Energon Pub!
I've gone back and forth but I have to say, Galvatron is the best One-Step changer from the AOE line. It has a really unique transformation that's a lot of fun to work back and forth. The details and paint are solid too. If there's one figure to get from this simplified line it really is Galvatron.
Fellow Seibertronian and voice actor jON3.0 brings us another video review of an older figure, as seen through the eyes on none other than Optimus Prime himself! Check out the video below to find out how to win a Generations Goldfire, as Optimus has his way with the toy first.
Optimus destroys, er, um REVIEWS TRANSFORMERS GENERATIONS GOLDBUG, I mean GOLDFIRE!
WIN GENERATIONS GOLDFIRE! LEAVE A COMMENT AND YOU MAY BE SELECTED BY RANDOM DRAW! MUST BE 18+ OR HAVE PARENT PERMISSION! ENDS NOV 30TH
THE DILEMMA! On a planet dedicated to Right and Wrong, four damaged AUTOBOTS must make an impossible choice: kill or cure? Whatever they decide, their lives will never be the same.
Make no Mistake
Last issue was a gigantic piece of everything happening, in quantum manners, with sonic wrenches, parallel timelines, lost loves rekindled, and purple-soaked betrayals. How does one issue later compare
or stand up to all that, with only four members of the main cast facing an impossible choice and maybe, just maybe, more impossible horrors?
Be happy in your work
Quite cleverly written, James Roberts' script uses the setting of the four Autobots on Ofsted XVII, and Trailcutter's new reading habits, as the frame for his journey into another type of past than Barber's in RID #34 - the origin of Megatron's ideology, body of work and cruelties he had to endure under the mind games of the functionists.
Be grateful for your alt mode
The two stories run quite nicely in parallel to each other, and easily distinguishable with the casts being so different as well as limited. And to keep them as relevant to each other as possible, the Megatron story has some very intriguing snippets from present day Trailcutter's current reading of 'Towards Peace', which somehow reflects onto the bots' situation, and the possibly dying Cybertronian in their care.
Be thankful for the system
What could've simply been a long flashback with some tenuous links to the present turns out to be a much more rounded story in multiple parts, bringing back some old ..er.. friends, from both the distant and the recent past. And thrown in for good measure are politics and some excellent world building, leading into the Days of Deception post-DC phase.
Atilio Rojo takes over from Alex Milne for this issue's setting-up of what's to come in Elegant Chaos. While there are some potential issues with his more rounded style, given the two stories unravelling in the issue, I personally thought it really worked with the more personal themes and touches to Megatron's problematic situation, with some excellent layouts and body language in crucial scenes.
Be mindful of your betters
What really helped Rojo's linework, though, was regular Joana Lafuente's amazing use of colours throughout. Not only is the Decepticon purple used very appropriately in the background of key moments for all the cast involved, the contrast between Messatine and Ofsted XVII, with such limited environments to deal with, and what actually happens on them, is really brought out.
We're locked in
Remember I mentioned those 'key, crucial scenes' in this issue? You can imagine they mostly revolve around Megatron - but it's Tom B. Long's lettering wizardry that makes sure they drive home, and firmly lodge into your reading mind. To visually complete the whole ensemble, the two main covers (A by Brendan Cahill, B by Nick Roche and Josh Burcham) shed different lights on the story, while Ken Christiansen's Anniversary variant continues a great streak of homage pieces - see thumbnail.
Thoughts Spoilerish ahead
Four Autobots relaxing on a planet dedicated to Ethics, and finding more they ever wanted to know about it, with dire consequences for some old friends. A miner struggling against a corrupt senate and segregated control system, and facing the nastiest, most intrusive part of it. What do they have in common? Great writing, one set-up issue, an unsettling last page and, obviously, more horrors ahead.
In truth, it is about control
As I claimed above, the issue is extremely well put together visually too, as we see Megatron's writing taking centre stage, quite literally, as story and art converge into it and use it as source for their progression and layouts. Make sure to pick this one up, as the stage is now wider than ever - just not where you thought they might be.
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.
. ½ out of
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