WHEELJACK REBORN! After months unconscious, WHEELJACK awakens to find a strange, new CYBERTRON! STARSCREAM rules—OPTIMUS PRIME has made peace with MEGATRON—and WINDBLADE controls the city. What’s a scientist to do… but uncover the greatest mystery in TRANSFORMERS history?
In the previous issue, Earth was exposed, Galvatron revealed, Prowl came clean and many many shots were fired, as Thundercracker continues his screenplay. But.. in the previous issue, Starscream retakes control of Cybertron, Chromia comes clean, and Windblade agrees to maintain the status quo just a little longer. Robots in Disguise #33 picks up a lot more from where Windblade ended than #32, and Wheeljack is finally back.
Just in time for MP-20!
And it is with Wheeljack that we rediscover Metroplex, Iacon and Cybertron, touching base with players from earlier stories and plots, re-establishing some of the relationships between the current Cybertronian rulers, personalities and gatekeepers. And we get an interesting look at Starscream from a John Barber perspective, as well as a quite sweet moment of reconnection with Ironhide.
The things he's seen
And you know what? Barber's writing in this issue is a very different tone from previous RID stories - there's a light-heartedness, an empathy and a running streak of humour and positivity, even in the aftermath and stage of what is actually the plotline bubbling beneath the surface, that brought several smiles during every reading of the issue.
After the revelations of #32 and the machinations of Prowl, whose influence is very much still felt on Cybertron, after the horrifying and shocking happenings of MTMTE's latest arc, not only was this issue welcome, it slipped in quite comfortably in the overarching story, cleverly playing a very very long game.
If there is a style that could really suit the tone that Barber took for Wheeljack's view on the world, it is Sarah Stone's. We've seen her big scale multi-panel, multi-page spreads, and those come in very handy with recaps. But we've come to know her work also for the sheer expressivity of teh characters, in body language and facial reactions. Even with faceplates.
And if the tone of the writing can't do the job, then it's down to hues of colour and background work to spruce it up a bit. Stone's rendition of the new Cybertron, something that is constantly pointed at throughout the story, definitely plays with the gritty, grim reality of a war-torn planet which is both relieved and a little at a loss as to what to do with itself.
The lettering, in very subtle touches, works very well with the lighter feel of the issue asa whole ,and Tom B. Long does a commendable job of highlighting what is needed without being intrusive or distracting at all. As for the covers, we have seen the Casey Coller and JP Bove convention exclusive, and spotted the Coller and Priscilla Tramontano variant in the solicits. Andrew Griffith and Josh Perez take over a brilliant Lazarus pit main cover, and Stone offers a gorgeous 30th Anniversary Fisitron treat (thumbnail). Gotta catch 'em all?
Thoughts Spoilerish ahead
Some readers might be put off by the return of the running caption monologues device, even though it is from the perspective of one of the brightest, and nicest, minds of Cybertron. And there is virtually no action to claim that name - except for party-action - as we follow Wheeljack's refresher journey through the last six months (in-universe) and current, Starscream-led, Cybertron.
With him in charge? Yeah
So what does this issue do, then? It does start building a stage for Combiner Wars. It does recap on where we are in the Transformerverse, Earth briefly included, and reaching quite far back. Both of which are big things, yes, but some might complain it's not really that much. But it does it so well, so light-heartedly, and freshly, in both style and art, that it's enough to provide a breath of air between two heavy story arcs for the two series.
Thanks to atip fromfellow Seibertron.com user mesh, we get a look at an early review of Takara Tomy Masterpiece MP-20 Wheeljack! Find out more about the scientist with a beard beneath the mask, and his Lancia Stratos alt-mode, in the embedded clip below.
We posted the official Seibertron.com gallery of Transformers Generations Legends Acid Storm and Venin not too long ago, but you might want to take a look at the figure 'in motion' - look no further, as fellow board member chuckdawg1999 offers a video review of the Starscream and Waspinator repaint set, embedded below!
I'll keep this brief, Venin isn't that great and rather floppy. Acid Storm is gold. Great mold, fantastic colors, why aren't you ordering this figure now?
REVELATIONS! The fate of an entire planet hangs in the balance as MEGATRON races to solve the dark riddle of Sector 113. As unseen forces move in for the kill and old friends reveal their true colors, the AUTOBOTS realize that everything—everything—is a lie. All this...and an open briefcase.
Plus a Swerve recap, of course
Death death death death lunch death death afternoon tea death. Pretty much sums up issue 32, the beginning of the Slaughterhouse chapter in More than Meets the Eye, as the DJD are shown - or rather, their aftermath - to make their way through a slightly different Lost Light. With one single, tiny survivor.
Be ready for some explanations that, while making sense even in the non-text world, might take some time to get around in James Roberts' enjoyment of them and the sci-fi genre. At the same time, Nightbeat and, especially, Nautica are still the mouthpieces for exposition, with some nice chemistry between them and with the reader's projection in Getaway and Riptide.
Doesn't get(away) it
What is also very good to see is a healthy dose of self-criticism, too, as Roberts appears to be aware of potential criticisms from the readership. Mostly humorous, but not only, and scattered throughout the book. And to top it all, we get one of possibly the biggest twists in this series' run so far - and it's pulled off twice!
Spoilers - have some Ravage
So far, one of my favourite MTMTE resolutions, after the issues I had with the Overlord and Remain in Light sagas - though I still have some concern for the denouement reserved to the Rewind plotline, and I do hope it gets addressed again before we get lost in Elegant Chaos. As something else seems to be set in motion, very briefly, in the epilogues, too..
Alex Milne's might alone was not enough for this issue, as two inkers join the lineart team to provide some delineation to different scenes - and both Brian Shearer and John Wycough work wonderfully with Milne's pencils, giving some particularly amusing facial expressions, some of which yet unseen in Milne's work alone. Especially Riptide.
What is definitely not unseen, however, is Joana Lafuente's (still) astonishingly good colouring work: from fading to quantum foam, to space, to interiors, different lights, flashbacks, mood settings, the colours really aid the reader in setting further the tone to the scene, if the lines and er.. lines were not enough already.
I mean, the lighting on that
The letters are once more by Tom B. Long, in a style that I have really come to enjoy, and even though there isn't much in terms of sound effects this time round, the title page and the uses of translucency for certain scenes is just part of the trademark visual quality of this series. Something proven by the variant covers too, from Sarah Stone's to Casey Coller and JP Bove, via the main Milne and Josh Perez haunting Rewind and Nick Roche and Josh Burcham (thumbnail) doing justice to the DJD.
Thoughts Spoilerish ahead
This is a James Roberts Transformers comic script, no doubt about it. There is a lot of unpacking to be done once you read through (and even as you are reading, for that matter), and I'd be curious to see the wordcount for the script before and after the visual rendition - because there are a lot of words in this issue. A lot. And yet some of the better scenes can be completely silent. Especially the sweeter, and the more horrific ones. Be warned.
And that's where the art team come in, from Milne and Lafuente to Wycough and Shearer and cover artists, making everything flow so smoothly you almost forget about the atrocities, quantum mechanics, heart-wrenching tales of survival and general twistedness. Are we back on track, though, if the issue's conclusion is anything to go by? Or are we to face even more horrors on the Lost Light?
Fellow fan and collector, Blacklai, has posted a pictorial review of the soon to be released Autobots Unite figure boxset! The set consists of film accurate redecos of Deluxe Class figures Bumblebee, Crosshairs, Drift, plus Voyager Class figures Hound and (Evasion Mode) Optimus Prime. (The latter features a remolded head as well as a new G1-esque deco.)
Price and release date information has not been released as of yet, but as soon as we know, you will. Until then, let these pics whet your whistle.
We've mirrored a few below, but to see the full gallery and review (in Chinese, so a translator is required), please click: Here @ TFND
Keep your optics tuned to Seibertron.com for the latest in news and updates, plus the best galleries around!
DECEPTICONS ASSEMBLE! The war for CYBERTRON begins in earnest! MEGATRON brings together the deadliest of his troops for an unbelievable assault on the AUTOBOTS—and the TRANSFORMERS’ world is shaken to the core!
So here we are again, in the time before time on Cybertron (and other worlds in the post-Expansion mess-up), effectively a second before the ignition of the the great war that will shape the history of the Transformers as we have pretty much always known them. As envisioned by Chris Metzen and Flint Dille, with input from artist Livio Ramondelli too - issue #2.
Oh, you're that guy!
The biggest thing to take away from the previous issue, as you might remember, was the slight inconsistencies wit hthe established IDW universe, particularly in the role played by newly rediscovered Omega Supreme. Unfortunately, that seems to be the case once again, as not only is Omega's tale cemented and bolted down to the streets of Iacon, but we also get a look at some peculiar takes on pre-Earth stories, as the Decepticon upper echelon round-up their army, preparing for battle.
Above all, the presence of the Predacons on Canis Tor, in their pre-Earth, pre-Stormbringer - but apparently not pre-beast modes. As much as this is a fairly serious continuity blip, it does seem to me that the explanation is simply to feed in to the Combiner Wars stories in which Predaking may or may not feature. A 'recent' continuity if you will, for newer readers. But still.
Nonetheless, the comic is not a bad read! The narrative choice of a big set up run across the universe beyond Cybertron is a nice touch, and it's plenty of fun to take a look at a number of eventually gestalt teams in their daily life before the war hit. It's a fun romp, with a definite G1 feel to it - but you do need to suspend a bit more than disbelief.
Even with the Predacon glitch, Livio Ramondelli's work on the different planets and environments in which the Decepticons find themselves is plenty of fun, and well variegated. From the light, warm jungle of Canis Tor to the grungy, sulphuric Magmara Nine, Ramondelli paints an enjoyably diverse universe populated by the Cybertronians.
Yes, even there
And he does so without losing the darkness of tones over at Autobot command (and in the Presidium, for that matter), both in layouts and colouring, with Optimus realising what decisions he must and must not make in order to ensure the survival and defence of what he cares for. And the brooding begins.
Chris Mowry's lettering, is extremely enjoyable, with some very well placed translucency, and colours mimicking or complementing the artwork beneath and around it. And it's fun, even shrouded in the dangerous terrain of the issue's plot. We've seen most of the covers already (Sarah Stone's variants are here and here), so the thumbnail includes a convention exclusive this time!
Thoughts Spoilerish ahead
I grinned, almost uncontrollably, throughout the entire first part. Yes, it's silly, yes, it doesn't really do much, and yes, it doesn't fit any more in the IDW continuity, there's plenty of name-dropping and some inconsistencies that don't really hold up to the wider universe, and to the story itself (even within the single issue). But I was grinning so hard it didn't really jar on the first read.
If you can get past that, the issue is an enjoyable read, preparing us for a very very big conflict about to burst at the seams, and we get some very nice double-page spreads to help us position the scale of all this. A very difficult issue to place, as, by itself, is perfectly fine, and only encounters big issues once it's placed on the bigger picture - but as I said, it's grin-worthy, with no doubt.
In further Hasbro Transformers Generations news today, we bring you another video review from Seibertron.com board member chuckdawg1999, this time talking us through a Legends figure: Gears and Targetmaster Eclipse! The little guy is a repaint of the Swerve mold, with new headsculpt, while the partner's a simple redeco of Flanker. Check out the embedded clip below!
One of the fun things with the Generation line is seeing how repaints/remolds can get turned around. Case it point, way back when Gears was the original figure while Swerve was the remold. 30 years later with Swerve being a more popular character we see Gears as a repaint of that Legends figure. Surprisingly the joints are a little bit tighter so take care moving them around, other than that this is a fine figure worthy of your collection.
Keeping up with the recent Takara Tomy exclusives for the Age of Extinction line, under the Lost Age title, Seibertron.com member chuckdawg1999 has shared with us a video review of the LA01 Battle Command Optimus Prime figure. One of the most intriguing in this line, designed to interact with the magnets in the smaller figures, comes with a jetwing pack/trailer, and can be viewed below!
Battle Command Optimus Prime is a real throw back to the early 2000's Transformers for me. Ultra class sized robots/vehicles with a chunky heavy feel loaded with gimmicks. I look at this figure as the center piece of Takara's simplified line since all the one step figures can interact with Prime in both vehicle and robot mold. By the way, if someone can explain to me what the heck shaking the toy does I'd really appreciate it.
Fellow fan, Jeremy Boutwell, AKA Ultra Maximus, has provided us another video review via our Facebook page, which you can see by clicking here and his post here.
The set is a TRU exclusive and consists of a redecoed Generations Legends Class Bumblebee, made to look as close to G1 as possible, and includes a repurposed MechTech weapon It wouldn't be an Evolution 2-Pack without the other figure, of course, which is the 2014 Concept Camaro Bumblebee. (Based on his updated design in the latter half of this summer's film, Age Of Extinction.)
Before you watch the video embed below, check out our gallery of the TakaraTomy AD27 Bumblebee! (You'll notice his paint deco is different and slightly more accurate than that of the Hasbro general release version, which is what's used for the Evolution pack.) Also included in that round up of galleries, AD04 High Octane Bumblebee, with film accurate deco.
Without further ado, the review:
Keep your optics tuned to Seibertron.com for the latest in news and updates, plus the best galleries around!
BOOTS ON THE GROUND! The war has begun—and no bars will be held! SCARLETT’s forces go head-to-head with MEGATRON’s hordes—and the most off-beat adventure in comic book history hits a new level of dangerous alliances, deadly invasions, and devastating betrayals!
Flagg: F**k yeah
The introduction to Tom Scioli's world of G.I. Joe and Transformers has really been like nothing else so far, in issues #0 and #1, even with John Barber's vigilant watch. And issue #2 continues the streak of whatever-it-is this comic is doing, with its anachronistically retro style and feeling, toy advertising without the products and general action-packed whimsicalness.
I.. wut.. huh
We headed with Scarlett's team to Cybertron at the end of last issue, and this is where we find ourselves straight away, as the Joe team brings the war begun by the Decepticons to their own turf - and it sets up the rest of the universe, as Autobots are subjugated by the Kirby-esque merciless godhead figure of Megatron, and his minions.
ThanosDarkseid Megatron on his throne
Though the big bad gun is a slow build-up, Scioli does not hold back on the even bigger, if not the brighter, guns: Trypticon and Devastator, all still through the (I guess) military eyes of Scarlett and the other humans, searching for targets in true Earthican foreign policy: stamp on, blow up, then investigate the remains.
There are some amusing references to the nature of all the characters and their plastic counterparts, though as I said, without the toys existing. The dialogue is still completely over the top, and is still not for everyone, along with the thread being very very thin, though a little tighter than last month. But it's also extremely enjoyable if you can buy into the whole premise.
And I suppose, the artwork. Tom Scioli perseveres in his Silver Age style of dotted galaxies, peculiar proportions, referential work (with Flash Gordon also featuring in some scene set-ups, as the commentary expands upon), mirroring what is already present in the dialogue and set-up with the visual style that some readers still consider a hurdle.
How can you not love it..?
Personally, however, I find that not only does the style really work with the aim of the series, it allows Scioli as both writer and artist to place all of his toys across the drawing board, and just go wild with the colours, interactions and the stupidly fun lettering touches, from the titles to the ID cards to explosions and EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE.
I applauded the production of the book last issue as well, but it is nice to see Chris Mowry's work still shaping the final product. I am not a gigantic fan of the exclusive Liefeld and Tyndale covers, but the Ed Piskor Cobra heavy one and the two Scioli versions are perfectly in keep with the tone and content of the book (thumbnail: Retail Incentive cover by Scioli).
Thoughts Spoilerish ahead
If you're not on board with Transformers vs G.I. Joe by now, I'd recommend to stop trying. This comic is clearly not for you, and by no fault of the readership. It is doing what it does unapologetically, and received warm-heartedly by many for very good reasons, and it's little to do with the actual lore of the franchises involved in the crossover, if only maybe as reference material and gags. And Scioli and Barber are clearly having barrels of fun with it.
Pictured: Barber and/or Scioli
What is particularly enjoyable, is that after the rollercoaster up a snake with wings in its nose that is the story, the two creators give themselves almost the same amount of space to talk about what went into the creation of the issue, page by page, panel by panel, deconstructing the whole frame and proving just how not seriously this is to be taken - but also how to, if so one wished. I will stop warning readers about this by next issue, but enjoy some green mean killing machines in #2 for now.
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