In vehicle mode, and I'm not getting specific because I don't know exactly what he is, I think the clear winner is UW Onslaught. The sheer amount of paint apps (even on the guns!) is tremendous. It almost makes Hasbro G1 CW Onslaught look like a prototype. The G2 'Slaught could have a little more bling camo, but he's pretty decent.
Robot modes are all pretty great, each faithful to what they're representing. BUT.
I hate the purple lights on Hasbro's G1 CW knees, TakaraTomy's knee locking tabs (for combined mode) aren't solid, and G2's knees suffer the same problem as Victorion's Pyra Magna. Damn their collective knees! They all look great though.
This fella is a mixed bag. To me UW Vortex has the better copter mode, and CW G1 Vortex has the better robot mode. The wonderful bright colors on Hasbro's really pop, however those popping colors unfortunately detract from the alt mode. On the flip side, UW Vortex looks proper in chopper mode (see what I did there?) but kinda muted by being basically just two colors (although they do go so far as to make his combiner peg two colors which is a nice touch). And G2 Vex, well, he's my bro because I had him as a kid.
Brawl Brawl Brawl... we all know that the mold has drawbacks, but that's not news. Between UW and CW G1 Brawl, he remains the most unchanged member of the team. No one made their decision between the two Brutici based on Brawl. I will say, I appreciate the G2 version more though. The other two just look boring in comparison.
I wasn't sold on him using the Rook mold as I don't see Swindle as bruiser, and that's what that mold says to me. The head sculpt is great, but when I played with UW Swindle I fell in love. The purple paint they used is glorious, and the bits of silver painted details add a surprising amount to him. And he has another two-colored combiner peg as well! As for G2, I wish there was more camo present in bot mode. Otherwise he's represntin'.
There's a lot to say about these figu-
Alright alright, get back in line boys.
Anyways, many people were upset that Hasbro made him a jet, others argued a jet made more sense but wanted a new head. Regardless, most people have made their peace with him because he mans his post as an arm pretty well. G2-Off is alright, but the head is more glaringly out of place in white for some reason.
The from scratch UW Blast-Off... isn't all I expected. I was on his side until he was in hand, but he has some issues. The chest/beer gut isn't bad in hand, but I don't like how high his shoulders are. His neck piece pops off all the time on my copy, and in arm mode his legs just do not want to stay together. Overall, his QC issues bum me out but I do like him.
It's obvious that TakaraTomy was going for cartoon accuracy, but it appears that Hasbro was going for original G1 toy accuracy. Based on those merits, I feel that one is not superior to the other as they both represent something different.
Out of the three, the G2 set is my #1. As a whole, they're unified spectacularly with that shiny purple camo and the chest piece is simply stunning. But my favorite figures out of all three sets is tied between Hasbro CW G1 Vortex and UW Swindle. I honestly think whatever Bruticus you choose, you can't go wrong. The only Combiner I think that could upstage him is possibly UW Computron, but only time will tell on that! Shajaki out!
Peugh has a review that goes through the entirety of the second wave of the Titan Master class.
It includes Clobber, Skytread, Brawn and Apeface (to you and me, Grimlock, Flywheels, Brawn and Apeface). We previously newsed some fun face swaps using that wave which can be seen here.
This second wave is now available online and should be hitting stores long before any other toy from the second wave of Titans Return.
PANIC ON THE STREETS OF CYBERTRON! As STARSCREAM’S secret police continue on their rampage, IRONHIDE is caught between the BADGLESS and a population looking for retribution!
We're back on Cybertron once more, as the second issue of the new Transformers: Till All Are One ongoing series from IDW Publishing hits the stands (be they digital or physical) - and there is little time lost since last month's issue, as the streets boil, the 'law' is questioned, and Starscream looks on, apprehensive.
In his own way
We had already seen Ironhide as being one of the major players in the first issue, but it feels like he's more of an instrument of the new orders trying to establish themselves than anything fully agent - though time will tell on this front. He is charismatic, and his dialogue works better now that emotion runs a little higher, too.
Who really gets the spotlight this time round though, are the Combaticons, with Onslaught and Blastoff in particular hogging all of the spotlight. Mairghread Scott has not only tapped into their 'original' writing, but has given them an extra spin in the new post-colonial, post-war, post-combiner, and the interactions all show their individual voices, in both clash and rapport.
While Starscream is a pleasure to read in this new take on his dry approach to life, the weariness and edge to his voice is palpable, and an interesting way to see where it might all go. Add that to the fact that Obsidian is obviously planning things with Elita One, and you got yourself the political intrigue we were (/I was) looking for. More thoughts below.
In how many ways can one Starscream be depicted as bored, despondent, scheming and trying to feign superiority? Sara Pitre-Durocher manages quite a few, with a truly entertaining and impressive array of facial expressions. That, and some really effectively used cinematographic techniques in the more fraught discussion and scenes, create a palpable sense of underlying tension across the whole book - as there should well be.
Much like last issue, again, Priscilla Tramontano bring some clean, crisp colouring to the linework, and gives some nice depth to the larger crowd scenes, picking out details where needed, and making the mob more mob-like on the other side of the coin. The glow of the various optics is a nice touch, too, and one I keep going back to admire.
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Tom B. Long, despite not having the space to have too much fun with the fonts, does a great job, and my quibbles with last month's issue are nowhere to be found this time. I have also tried showing off the multiple covers in previous stories, with the regular, and powerful Pitre-Durocher Windblade taking the main stage, followed by her collaboration with Thomas Teyowisonte Deer on the ROM variant, and finally, this review's thumbnail variant, by Carlos Valenzuela.
Thoughts Spoilerish ahead
Allow me an excursus: I have some ideological concerns with the direction that some of the story is taking, especially in terms of handling powers and justice systems - trying not to spoil anything here - but am also willing to see how it's employed in the larger picture. The political drama being set up (the multiple stages, even) are promising something fairly big, and I don't just mean another combiner.
While a little slower than the previous issue, this month's TAAO brings the set-up that the new status quo on Cybertron probably needs, from a fictional standpoint, and it does it well; it also manages to sneak in a number of issues that can easily be found in our own reality, and that is where I am really interested in their handling and development, hoping for a critical evaluation of sorts, really. Plus, it all looks So Good.
Robots in Disguise Power Surge Prime has recently hit US shores and if any of you are unsure about getting him, fellow Seibertronian Chuckdawg1999 has reviewed this figure for us fans.
chuckdawg1999 wrote:Here's a little lemon sorbet to cleans the pallet between Titans Return reviews, Power Surge Optimus Prime. The big bot is the central figure in the Weaponizer sub line featuring lights and sounds, that are somewhat hard to control and can go off at random. Transformation is simple, but not simple enough to justify the small sheet of instructions, that are only one sided. Overall the figure looks cool, and thanks to some well placed swivels, can get into some good sword wielding positions. Most collectors will turn their noses up at this figure, but Prime cuts an imposing pose and is a lot of fun.
Fellow Seibertronian Chuckdawg1999 has a video review of the entire first Wave of Titan Master figures:
Crashbash with dragon/dinosaur
Loudmouth with hovercar/hovertank
Nightbeat with jet/drill-tank
Terri-Bull with tank/jet
chuckdawg1999 wrote:The Titan Masters are the bread and butter of Titans Return; the tiny Headmasters are compatible with Deluxe, Voyager, and Leader bodies. Individually each Master comes with a partner drone that can Transform between two vehicles and a weapon for the larger robots. I think these are going to be the stars of the line; since the price point is very inviting, and the cross play pattern is fun.
THE END IS NIGH! Final battle erupts—the forces of G.I. JOE and the AUTOBOTS head-to-head (or head-to-toe, depending on the size difference) with the DECEPTICOBRA alliance! The fate of the universe hangs on every decision!
Lots of contributors listed for this issue:
Welcome friends and board mates, readers and lurkers. Today we celebrate the series that was Transformers Versus G.I. Joe. With issue number 13, this out-of-the-box, discussion causing series, has come to its final Earthly conclusion.
My name is Tigertack, I’ve read Transformers and G.I. Joe fiction (and a lot of other comic book and narrative book fiction as well) since I was but a young lad, borrowing comic books from my cousin Dan’s vast collections when 4-H had ended, and from the libraries that my mother worked at for one of her many jobs. Many of you know me from Seibertron as a former newsie, news admin, and Botcon attendee, sometime podcaster and reviewer.
After TF #54, this is not what I expected under the mask to look like.
Transformers Versus G.I. Joe was a series assigned to me review, mainly I think because Va’al thought that I needed to be tortured, maybe because no one else would do it…but more likely he wanted to challenge me, and as ‘the-resident-active-staff-member-who-is-also-involved-with-comics-and-enjoys-G.I.Joe-too’ it fell to me to try to relate to anyone reading these reviews about the latest iteration of a series that historically has never been what was really desired, but could be relied upon to be very different from the last version.
White haired and short-buzz cut...Race Bannon?
And so we have this interation, written, drawn, lettered, and colored by Tom Scioli all by himself, with John Barber editing and offering advice here and there. A dream come true for a creator who loves both franchises and their toys and comics… and it shows!
The next Billy figure to need an FSS version. Or maybe they could make a whole Scioli inspired set.
The series though, immediately caused a lot of water cooler talk, tweets and posts, as it looked and read like no previous TFvsGIJOE story ever really had. It was Tom’s universe and he was making it what he wanted, all the while paying homage to the people who came before him like Larry Hama, Simon Furman, and Bob Budiansky, and using other media influences that ranged from comics like Watchmen, Kirby drawn and written materials like New Gods and other works, to movies like Rocky and Firestarter.
And what a world it was: Decepticobra alliances, GI JOE and Autobots fighting then working together, Earth getting eaten by Seibertron (har!), Scarlett and Snake Eyes becoming headmasters, Megatron getting a taste for human flesh, drug addicted Autobots, greenery added to Cybertron, robot invasions and government reactions, a general who never wears his cap straight, Cobra La, the Death of Optimus Prime, and Megatron wishing to dissolve the sun for its energy. ENERGY is a fantastic way to describe the series, as there was always something new thing different, something alive about the series, and it always brought a nervous, excited energy to the reader.
I always found it hard to write about this series because most of the time, I felt as many did…there was this imaginary line drawn and you were usually either on one side or the other of it as far as this series was concerned: you liked the creativity, newness and energy involved with the series, or it had the polar opposite effect on you, and you simply hated it. The side I started on was the side that hated it, the art being the biggest turn off to me as a former artist in training, I knew I could do better and it irked me. But as the series progressed it was not enough to just complain about the art and the ‘weirdness’ that was happening. I had to look for something to appreciate, a way to enjoy it. And I did. I liked it for its differences, its surprises, its always making its own way, and telling its own story while paying homage to so many great influences.
"Always in the eye of the beholder, this series has been."
And so, in conclusion, we celebrate the life of this series, and its final issue…which even though it is the final issue, still manages to pack in surprises and homages as it is ending. It’s a double issue and its packed until the very last page. I know many of you either read it and enjoyed its Lord of the Rings ending, its creative use of G.I. Joe Retaliation and Transformers movie references, the use of previous classic Joe and TF comic panels, and its downright original Atlas (it ain’t Unicron!), the always perfect hair of Billy, the use of Ultra Magnus and his white cab, and the marriage that you just could not have predicted. In all its wild ENERGY laden pages it never-stopped, until it had to stop.
This was one of my favorite pages...ever!
Movie Megs ultimate combiner
With these last words, I say that we celebrate the passing of this iteration of Transformers Versus G.I. Joe, and laud its creator and collaborators, its inspirations and its ENERGY. We can truly say that there never was a series like this, and there most likely will never be a series like this again (except in 2025 when we see ‘Shipwreck Space Pirate’). Kudos Mr. Scioli and Mr. Barber.
For the next installment of Transformers and G.I.Joe action we'll see what the new 'Revolution' has for us. Thanks for reading.
’Til All Are One! Yo Joe!
Some random images I had wanted to use until the review went a different way.
THIS IS THE END! Will PROWL get his comeuppance? Will TARANTULAS conquer all? Will any of the WRECKERS survive? It’s wreck and rule one last time, with everything on the line!
Quite the hook
Remember when we last talked about Sins of the Wreckers? Remember how I mentioned that issue #4 felt very much like an ending, and hoped that the actual end would live up to it? Even if you don't, I say it here, again: issue #5 is the ending that the series built to, prepared for, and ultimately, deserves. Let me tell you why.
This guy, mostly
I will not spoil the book, there will be plenty of time for that in the discussion that will follow, I will point out, though, some of the highest notes that Nick Roche has achieved in this brief but in-depth plunge back into the world of one of more messed up teams in the IDWverse. Above all, the scheming and betrayal that runs deep and leads back to Prowl, always Prowl, and his machinations, and his creations - Tarantulas, Kup, Verity, the secret police, is everything his fault?
We found out some of the dirty secrets last issue, but even more comes out this time: feelings of hurt, revenge, coping mechanisms, catharsis, and violence. A lot of violence, and characters forged through that violence and *bad stuff*. What we obtain is the strange mix of strength and weakness, as the two sides of the same coin - with emotion running all along the thin edge, the gut-wrenching type that comes with *bad stuff*.
If you're looking for Overlord levels of manipulation, but with an even stronger psychological connection between characters themselves, and creator and readers, this is the book you should pick up. It's raw, and still edited. It's hard to swallow, but it flow smoothly. It's good. You should read it.
Roche is still very good at the storytelling happening in visual form too, though it should come as no surprise by now. Where the dialogue might risk to overpower the scene, the quieter frames actually allow for a wider scope, and a much deafening, visually speaking, effect. Towards the end, at the climax of the Tarantulas confrontation, you will explicitly see how words are not always needed.
Josh Burcham needs a lot of credit here, as the issue and the series look like nothing before in the IDWverse - even considering previous Roche projects, and Spotlight: Kup, of which we see many references in the series - as his colours are exquisitely apt and decisive for the full spectrum of greys (metaphor) used in the strands of the book. And some of the wider pages would lose a lot of their power without the colours.
And of course, the Noisemaze
The lettering is fantastic, as it has been for the series so far, combining the visual power of size and colour with the fontwork that Tom B. Long can bring to a Transformers book. The silences become clearer, the beastly fonts give voices extra layers, and you can see-hear everything, even in the mess of the Noisemaze. As for covers, not only do we get another Roche/Burcham piece mirroring the first issue, we have the return of two Transformers favourites in E.J. Su (see preview thumbnail) and Guido Guidi (this thumbnail), with their takes on Wreckers past and present.
Thoughts Spoilerish ahead
There have been delays, and they were fully justified - read more by Roche himself here - but even before knowing anything about the author's personal life, the issue, and the series as a result, is a strong, emotional, intense, heartfelt, harrowing, powerful, and most of all human piece of art. It deals with the horrors of emotions, of war, of betrayal, of anguish. It reaches, hard, for hearts and sparks alike. It wrecks.
The conclusion is satisfying without being exhaustive, it keeps threads closed where they should and others open where they can. This was never one story, but a knot in a web of stories: there is no one single thread that would allow for a neat resolution. So it gives many, and does so in words, it does so in pictures, it does so in in ways that only this medium allows. It rules.
Fellow Seibertronian Chuckdawg has a nice new video review for us: Generations Titans Return Blaster. This is part of the very first wave of Leader Class toys to come out of this new line. It also has 3 forms, like all voyagers and leaders in the Titans Return line so far, and turns into a boombox, a robot and a base for smaller bots. Speaking of smaller bots, he is also a headmaster and Chuck will go through the gimmick to show how it works and how the little robot can interact with the base. Enjoy and let us know if you will be getting this toy!
chuckdawg1999 wrote:Titans Return,oh how I'm torn about you. On one hand it's great to see Headmasters once again, but to see the gimmick applied to a character like Blaster leaves me, torn. Blaster is a great figure, it's fantastic to see the 80's style boom box finally. Robot mode can be a bit fiddly from the hips down, but it's worth mastering. Surprisingly base mode works a lot better than Optimus Prime's, featuring several attachment points for Titan Master figures. My opinions on the line are right down the middle for the time being so be your own judge if you want this figure.
Fellow Seibertronian primalxconvoy got his hands on Takara Transformers TAV 50 Hyper Surge Prime and wrote a quick review for us to highlight some points that may not be apparent at first glance. If anyone is interested in this toy, this is a great read to be aware of some problems in order to set your expectations, since this is intended for kids afterall. The short review is interspersed with relevant images from alfes's gallery.
I got this toy the other day. Here are some observations:
- No Autobot symbols in lorry mode (I used Repros for mine).
- No upper arm swivel, which is strange as his upper thighs do. This means that his posability is limited.
- The regular head swivels a bit, but the super mode visor DOES NOT. This means that he cannot look around in super mode.
- The arms, although engineered to have tabs, don't tab together in Alt mode very well.
- the clear sword blade and hilt are detachable, and feature a special peg which fits into only this prime's hands. Not sure why.
- No painted wheels, which is odd for Takara.
- The molded Autobot symbol on the eagle is both unpainted and obscured by the eagle head in super mode, meaning that Optimus has no clear faction symbol on display while in this mode.
- The cab comes unattached in the box, and simply hangs off the attached area. It's tempting to want to pull it down further, causing it to come off.
- the same for the wings, as they appear to fold, but don't.
In conclusion, the toy is perhaps more durable and easier to transform that the previous iteration of super mode Prime, but it's got less details and paint apps.
While we have seen a video review for the upcoming Transformers Titans Return deluxe Hardhead, it was in Chinese - and thanks again to The Chosen Prime, we now have an English version too! Check it out embedded below for your viewing convenience, and let us know your thoughts in the Energon Pub.
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