chuckdawg1999 wrote:Legends Rodimus is an interesting figure. Most fans would agree that the original Classics mold has needed an update, well we got that update plus a downsizing. I'm a bit disappointed that the mold wasn't adjusted further to allow the ax weapon to be pegged in, in robot mode thus creating the iconic spoiler. If you're a fan of the character or the mold I can recommend this as a solid purchase.
Seibertron's very own Kanrabat was kind to snap a bunch of photos providing a more in depth look at Takara's TAV 21 Optimus Prime (get it? because the trailer has depth this time, I am here all week!), which is an exclusive Takara mold. He was released the same time as TAV 23 Jazz, of which Kanrabat also took some picutres.
-Kanrabat- wrote:Here's the pictures I took of TAV-21 Optimus Prime and TAV-23 Jazz.
Despite his finnicky transformation, Optimus is well worth owning and the infamous leg gap don't bother me at all. Also, Takara Jazz is a sight to behold!
With Toysrus' Exclusive Hasbro Masterpiece Bluestreak in stock in both the US and Canada, a review was inevitable. Of course, it has been said that the amount of differences between this release and the Takara one are between negligible and non existent but as fellow Seibertronian [url]IJK Productions[/url] puts it :
I just figured that I'd send in the video that I did about Hasbro's MP-06 Bluestreak and point out that it is exactly the same a Takara's MP-18 Streak.
COMBINER WARS FALLOUT! Because you demanded it—WINDBLADE and CHROMIA team up with ARCEE to put an end to the menace of the COMBINER WARS—but will they end each other first?!
The one-shot that unofficially accompanies the SDCC exclusive Combiner Hunters box set, obviously sharing its title, is also the first introduction, and so far only look at, the team of character that form and become Victorion, the first all-female Transformer combiner - and you can sort of place it during the Combiner Wars arc, between Windblade #3 and The Transformers #42. If you want.
And some more Chromehide, obvs
Mairghread Scott takes the helm in this insert issue, really, dealing with some not entirely consequential events (as the title unfortunately might suggest) in terms of the overall narrative - for now, at least - and at the same time, some very well-placed exchanges between the main characters of Arcee, Chromia and Windblade.
Like, whatever, I guess
Specifically, Arcee's reaction to Victorion's appearance/arrival. One panel in particular, which I will not spoil here, makes clever use of her IDW backstory to explain and give an actual, good reason to resist Combiners in general, and actually side with Galvatron on the issue (see The Transformers series), and furthers her development with another big step.
Not pictured here
Of course, not to be forgotten, are the Camien team of Torchbearers, their added piece to the combiner puzzle, and how they deal with the sudden change in their team dynamic - though with not enough time to develop some seriously intriguing stories that emerge from the experience. I do hope we see a lot more of Victorion and her individual components, there is much more to say.
Sara Pitre-Durocher, whom we have only seen up to this point working on some pretty well-received cover variants, is the artist for the issue - and her work is absolutely magnificent, and definitely the highest of highlights of the book. Her expressions and proportions, her poses and layouts, the interactions of the characters are stunning. Truly.
In addition, the way that her line-work and Yamaishi's colours blend so effortlessly, really helps convey the feeling of the general atmosphere of the Sea of Rust, and the lighter pause between the phases of the Combiner Wars. There's the sense of something lifting from the heavy reality of the duties of the characters involved, especially as the story progresses.
Something which is also helped by Tom B. Long's lettering work, as he gives some added voices to the characters varying in sizes, tones, volume and size (again). And he creates a great title page. We also get a slew of cover variants, including the sizable main Casey Coller/Joana Lafuente one seen in the preview, the futuristic Livio Ramondelli B cover, the SDCC Pitre-Durocher exclusive, and the excellently apt James Biggie Pan Cybertronian Spaceways incentive in the thumbnail.
Thoughts Spoilerish ahead
Whatever else this one-shot is doing, it's with no doubt a promotional comic to accompany both the Victorion reveal and the Combiner Hunters Arcee, Chromia and Windblade. And that feels like a bit of a shame, really. I am confident that we will revisit the events at some point in Till All Are One (probably), but right now.. it just sort of happened. Which is unfortunate, given its title.
But hey, Victorion!
That said, some of its scenes were really well-thought and executed by Scott, and what does happen is well done, well drawn, well coloured by Pitre-Durocher and Yamaishi - if anything, overall, I am definitely looking forward to future collaborations between the two, as they clearly work well in synergy, and a freer hand at the plot should yield much higher results!
"America is all about speed. Hot, nasty, bad ass speed."
Eleanor Roosevelt, 1936
Velocitron Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Blurry
Race Against The Light, Which Is Totally Not A Title From MTMTE, We Promise
Remember back about a decade ago, when you first watched Transformers: Cybertron on TV? The first few episodes start with a bang, taking you away on a fast-paced adventure spanning three planets within the span of just the first four episodes. One of these planets was Velocitron, where the heroic Autobots Hot Shot and Red Alert assisted planet natives Override and Clocker in a bid to win races and secure a Cyber Planet Key, thus keeping it out of the clutches of the evil Megatron. To get it, they had to win a race, I think. Unfortunately, the race went on for longer than a Suzuka 8-hour and no one in the fandom remembers the details because why on earth would anyone watch that arc over again? The point here is that most Transformers fans are reminded of one word when thinking about Velocitron: Slow.
This is relevant today because IDW's fifth and latest issue of Windblade Volume 2, written by Mairghread Scott featuring art by Corin Howell and colors by Thomas Deer, brings us back to Velocitron. While doing so, it manages to do a lot of things, but "going slow" isn't one of them.
The pacing really is the stand-out characteristic here, and in fact, events happen so quickly that one has to wonder if the series ending at issue 7 was the original plan. While no one wants a repeat of Cybertron's fourteen episode circular boredom, I can't help but feel like this one takes a well developed premise with a lot of potential and steers off the exit ramp towards the next part of the story a little too quickly.
The art keeps with the implied tone of the narrative, lending a cartoon like quality to the scenes. This works well for most of the scenes, given the sometimes very convenient ways in which our heroes will overcome their external conflicts as the pages progress. Plot aside, the lines for some of the residents of this Velocitron are handled pretty appropriately, and Override in particular (not Nitro Convoy, take that Takara) feels suited to the style.
Deer's colors work very well, helping to lend contrast between locales and offering Velocitron a familiar yet altogether different feel. This isn't Cybertron, and at no point does it really feel that way.
Potential Full On Blatant Spoilers Ahead, Maybe
By the end of the read I certainly wasn't unsatisfied, but I also don't feel like I got the full taste of Velocitron, or perhaps the issue is that it was just a taste. If the sin of Cybertron's old Velocitron arc was being too slow, then this does the opposite and manages to go too fast, at least that's how I can best describe my malaise. Or perhaps, this is a crepe and what I really wanted was something else. They are the really thin pancakes. It's just a French word for them.
The great build to such a simple resolution almost made me forget what happened in between. To use an old theatre adage, "Show, don't Tell". This issue told me a lot about the planet and characters and city, but fell short on showing them to me. An abstract map of the city is cool, but ultimately kind of pointless if only some bits and pieces are shown. Telling me that Override is only tenuously in charge and implying that she's eccentric when given requests is great stuff, but when the chance comes to show it, it isn't taken. The politics of the planet have been played up as rather complicated for a couple issues now, but when you get to the ending they end up being really quite simple with Ransack just sort of doing, well, nothing. The end result is a story that felt complex, but then ultimately just isn't.
That's not to say there weren't parts I liked. Including the aforementioned Override and Ransack, along with Clocker (questionable color scheme aside, but at least it was a toy deco so I'll give it a slide) was a really fun touch. I absolutely adored Cybertron when it came out, and seeing some of these characters get further adventures is quite fun. There's nothing more frightening then driving with a live goddamn cougar next to you.
Our normal reviewer and News Admin Extraordinaire, Va'al, did point out some good stuff to me as well that I mostly agree with, so here are his words (mostly ) unedited:
Va'al wrote:I really liked the scenes with the Titan, both in writing (how Windblade feels about the whole thing, and how she connects with it) and the art, colours in particular. The race was quite good, and just the right length to not become overblown or dragged out. Ironhide and Chromia were also great, though Ironhide in general has and continues to be a stand out. I'm too drunk to taste this chicken.
My kudos to him for the help with this review as he juggled helping me out of my criticisms, all whilst writing up reviews for the other two IDW Transformers releases this week.
So with all that said, if you ain't first, you're last, so this gets the following score:
. out of
I'm just kidding, here's the real score:
"Shake and... eh, that's good enough I suppose." out of "SHAKE AND BAKE, BABY!"
That there Seibertron.com review is trademarked, not to be used without written permission of Ricky Bobby, Inc.
Three years into their quest, and the crew of the Lost Light were starting to think that the universe held no more nasty surprises. And then a planet started chasing them.
There comes a point in a series, be it on television, in comics, or whatever else have you, when a certain sentence is brought onto the picture, featuring an aquatic creature, a certain type of physical effort and usual negative connotations. Do any of those descriptors fit issue 43 of Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye? Find out below (maybe)!
'Why are all these Us in our colors?'
Writer James Roberts has made no secret of his fascination with popular culture, in music, TV series and the wider comics world - and has often woven in MTMTE this passion of his, with multiple results, usually as one-off gags or non-impacting moments. And then this issue happens, where all of those strands come once again together into a truly bizarre read.
As the solicits, previous issue, covers and various previews have shown us, Swerve takes centre stage in the most peculiar of ways, and fans of the last twenty years of anything and everything outside of the Transformers will probably find that the Idol of Millions has indeed something for everyone - even if some readers may find the frequency and awareness grating at times.
And yet, that last point also feeds into the story, and I'd be curious to see the varying reactions to the experience of getting through this new instalment of the series among the readership. Especially as whatever journey we take for 20 pages suddenly screeches, swerves (heh) and slams somewhere very very different indeed. At last.
From a visual side of things, on the other hand, this issue proves that give Alex Milne a direction, and he will dress a world out of a streetname. Both his linework and Brian Shearer's inking collaboration really bring out the individual, non-robotic elements of each character that Roberts' script helps create, however on the nose or in your face, with some seriously on point representations.
And if we needed any more beauty and poignancy to any of the meta-mess that the story develops, Joana Lafuente's colours makes sure we don't miss the emotional stream trickling beneath the apparently farcical surface. Sets, settings, dresses, clothing and texture in general is deftly captured and covered by her tones, ensuring a full surround of no laughing matter.
Also introducing: Bluestreak
Laughter which is instead, where necessary (and unnecessary, given the setting) provided by letterer Tom B. Long, whose efforts are not slight in populating a sign-crowded world with more words than you can shake a boom mic at. There are covers for all flavours too, from the Milne/Josh Perez main Cyclonus one, to the cameo making multi-Swerve by Nick Roche and Josh Burcham, a Texas exclusive Casey Coller and JP Bove G1-esque variant, and the thumbnailed James Biggie ad-style Unicron.
Thoughts Spoilerish ahead
Similar things have been said for other issues of MTMTE, but this one in particular is going to be discussed quite a bit, one expects, not for its impact on the wider story - though it inevitably will on that account too - but for what it's trying to do and how it's accomplishing the A plot, and how far some readers will take it - or leave it.
Wait.. what? What?!
What goes well with the issue, however, goes really really well, from both a writing and a visual perspective, and the latter in particular. Milne and Lafuente are at top form, and all the characters receiving a holomatter avatar, a whole lot of them, are perfect renditions of their personalities, and Shearer and Long provide equally excellent assists.
Fellow Seibertron.com user SlyTF1 has alerted us to a new article discussing the goings-on at Paramount, and specifically in the writers room for the extended Transformers universe, as IGN caught up with Daredevil's Steven DeKnight on the current situation with Akiva Goldsman's project, and the surprise visit from Steven Spielberg! Read more below, and head here for the full piece.
Taking a page from how a TV show is run, Paramount assembled a big group of experienced writers to help chart out the future of the Transformers film series, under the guidance of Akiva Goldsman, as the studio looks to build more of an expanded Transformers movie universe. I asked DeKnight what the experience was like taking that TV dynamic and using it in film, and he had an enthusiastic reply.
“It's that wonderful thing where features are now taking a page from television and getting people together to really try and plan things out. It was a wonderful experience. Akiva Goldsman was fantastic and Jeff Pinkner, who's co-writing the fifth [Transformers] movie with him was phenomenal. Zak Penn... It was just a room full of brilliant, funny, amazing people. And we spent two and a half weeks in physically the best writers room I've ever seen in my life. Paramount pulled out all the stops. It was phenomenal! We laughed and joked and told stories and plotted out...”
Here are some in hand images of ToysRUs Exclusive Robots in Disguise Clash of the Transformers Warrior Class Optimus Prime and Sideswipe. These are allspark blue infused redecos of Robots in Disguise Warrior Class Optimus Prime and Sideswipe attempting to mirror their deco in the season one finale.
It’s not very often that voice actors make a return appearance at Auto Assembly. Not because we don’t want to see many of our guests come back but with a limited budget for voice actors for the convention we tend to focus on bringing actors to Auto Assembly who haven’t visited the event before so it’s rare that actors make return appearances and if they do it’s not usually for a few years. However, something rather unusual has happened for Auto Assembly 2015 and some may say that it’s something rather fishy…
In 2014 we were joined by Peter Spellos, the voice of Skybyte from Robots In Disguise. Peter made an incredible impact on all of the fans who were in attendance to the extent that immediately after the event we were asked by hundreds of people to bring him back to this year’s convention – the enthusiasm to see his return was unprecedented and something we hadn’t seen before in Auto Assembly’s 15-year history. Unfortunately as we had already booked our two guests of honour for this year’s event we weren’t able to do this but it was clear that there was an incredible amount of affection for Peter and the fans wanted to see him back. But this affection and desire to see his return ran a lot deeper than anyone could have ever imagined…
This desire to see Peter’s return has now become a reality as we are now proud to confirm that – thanks to a massive collaborative effort – Peter Spellos IS making a return to Auto Assembly 2015 as our third guest of honour at the last ever Auto Assembly convention! Peter’s appearance has been made possible because of the determination of the Transformers fan community pulling together and showing how much they wanted to see Peter return to the event and I can’t thank the community enough for making this possible.
Peter’s flight has been provided by the Auto Assembly team themselves in a collective effort and I can’t thank all of them enough for their efforts and generosity here. Peter’s additional travel costs and other expenses relating to the convention are being covered thanks to the incredible fundraiser that had been organised on Facebook by Jamie Harris on The Sharkiest Of Sharks page and I have got to give my heartfelt thanks to all of the amazing fans who have contributed to this. Jamie is also very kindly sponsoring the Skybyte postcard (featuring artwork from Ed Pirrie) that all of you will be receiving at the convention.
Finally, as a convention, we have managed to secure accommodation for Peter in the Hilton to make sure that he will be able to be with us all weekend, enjoying whiskey and ice cream with all of you and as with last year he’ll be taking to the stage for a Q&A Panel, joining Sumalee Montano and James Horan for our script reading and signing autographs throughout the weekend.
I can’t thank everyone enough for making this happen and for helping to bring everyone’s favourite shark back home to all of us here at Auto Assembly next month. It’s going to be a blast!