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Video Review for Takara Transformers MP-30 Masterpiece Ratchet

Transformers News: Video Review for Takara Transformers MP-30 Masterpiece Ratchet
Date: Sunday, April 24th 2016 8:18am CDT
Category: Reviews
Posted by: william-james88 | Credit(s): optibotimus

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Views: 19,114

Fans are already getting their Masterpiece Ratchets in the mail, have you received yours yet? What do you think about it? Optibotimus got his and shared his thoughts in this video review below.

optibotimus wrote:Enjoy guys!

IDW The Transformers #52 Review

Transformers News: IDW The Transformers #52 Review
Date: Wednesday, April 20th 2016 9:57am CDT
Categories: Comic Book News, Reviews, Site Articles
Posted by: Dr Va'al | Credit(s): IDW, Dr Va'al

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Views: 24,416

More Like Optimus Prick
(Spoiler free-ish)

ALL HAIL OPTIMUS part 3! OPTIMUS PRIME has declared the Earth to be his territory… but even he can’t go it alone. Now he reaches out across the galaxy to form a coalition—of old friends and older enemies.

Transformers News: IDW The Transformers #52 Review


We continue the ride of All Hail Optimus, in the third chapter of this fairly long arc, as positions and setting start shifting around, after the immediate fall out - in last month's issue - of the annexation of unwilling Earth to the Council of Worlds. And that means Starscream gets to do some things too, and he does them with words.

Transformers News: IDW The Transformers #52 Review
And others listen

What is particularly pleasing in the issue, is how John Barber uses the actions of Starscream - from whom we've come to expect manipulative behaviour - to comment upon those of Optimus himself, as he just sort of casually wanders over to other potential allies and audiences. Being all complex-y and stuff.

Transformers News: IDW The Transformers #52 Review
*tiny violins playing*

There is another fairly intense narrative strand running alongside Optimus' manipulations - one that we might expect from the main cover, and that sees once precarious collaborators Arcee and Galvatron, airing some concerns with each other. Think of it as a very heated (heh) conversation, with some more excellent writing for the former.

Transformers News: IDW The Transformers #52 Review
Well done, Barber

The scene above is also the main source of action for the book, so enjoy it if that is your dish. For the more politics and sleight of hand and tongue inclined readers, this is a full course meal, with weaving, waving, twining and a bit of a kick to the side - and some intriguing seeding happening in between.


Art duties are brought back to Livio Ramondelli, after a long break, and I have to admit I had some difficulties this time round. The linework is what we have come to expect, and I am aware some readers are not fans. We do get some interesting cinematic layouts though, and clarity in more dynamic sequences - never a bad thing.

Transformers News: IDW The Transformers #52 Review
And Buster!

Where I had some issues was in the colouring, which, while lightening the usually fairly heavy look of Ramondelli's pages, has somewhat reduced my enjoyment of the art overall. This is not the case across the board, though, as there are some scenes that still work really quite well even in the lighter hues - but something struck me as different from the usual.

Transformers News: IDW The Transformers #52 Review

While there is little of prominent display for the lettering of Tom B. Long, sometimes that is just the mark of skill you need as a reminder of the craft. The covers, on the other hand, do something flashier, with Andrew Griffith and Josh Burcham covering Galvatron vs Arcee, Burcham all alone playing around with Age of Extinction and Skylynx, Casey Coller and Joana Lafuente homaging 'The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living' for Art History month, and the thumbnailed Phase6 exclusive sees a collaboration between Griffith and Naoto Tsushima, with Josh Perez on colours, as a tribute to Drift.

Spoilerish ahead

If the visual side of things had me distancing myself, on first read, from appreciating the story as such, but going back to it there are some really good advancements from both a contextual and world-building perspective, and for the narrative at hand itself, too. The political intrigue of early RID is back once again, though a lot more is clearly at stake at this point in the game.

Transformers News: IDW The Transformers #52 Review
That's just... Primes

In fact, think less Game of Thrones and more House of Cards, in how the various parts move around on the table, with some of the best Starscream and Arcee around (you know what I mean) and, I reluctantly say this, given his character, even some of the best Optimus writing for a while. To me, he never held any appeal as a leader - now, this new layer of whatever is going on with him? Yes, I want to see how far he'll go.

. :RUBSIGN: :RUBSIGN: :RUBSIGN: :RUBSIGN: out of :RUBSIGN: :RUBSIGN: :RUBSIGN: :RUBSIGN: :RUBSIGN: Review - Hasbro and Sony Transformers 'ROLL OUT' Album

Transformers News: Review - Hasbro and Sony Transformers 'ROLL OUT' Album
Date: Tuesday, April 19th 2016 4:04am CDT
Categories: Reviews, Site Articles, Media
Posted by: Dr Va'al | Credit(s): DecepticonFinishline, carytheone

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Views: 19,669

Seibertronians! Lend us your listening devices - as fellow Energon Pub dwellers carytheone and DecepticonFinishline bring us a review of the Hasbro/Sony Transformers 'Roll Out' album, released just last week. Have you been listening yet? Read our reviews - two for the price of one - and head here for iTunes or here to stream on Spotify!

DecepticonFinishline wrote:The new “Transformers: Roll Out” album exemplifies what the last year of Transformers has been all about. With the inclusion of up-and-coming artists Born Cages and Crash Kings; well-established rock acts like Mew and Bush; and fresh musicians like Elle Rae this compilation album parallels one grand theme: Giving the veteran fans what they’ve been asking for (i.e. Combiners) while making it accessible to new fans of the franchise.

Transformers News: Review - Hasbro and Sony Transformers 'ROLL OUT' Album

Allow me to explain. Devoting an entire year to Combiners seems to be Hasbro/Takara’s way of giving the veteran fans what we’ve desperately wanted. However, to the dismay of many veteran fans, this year has seen many repaints and remolds. I see this as a way to cut costs, making it easier for younger fans to join the franchise with the characters the older fans know and love.

In a similar fashion, “Transformers: Roll Out” is a compilation of music meant to appeal to older fans while at the same time not taking too many risks; making it accessible to as many fans as possible. By sandwiching the most unique tracks like “Count to Ten,” “Modern Man” and “Into the Fire” in between the likes of the more general rock songs “Roll Out” and “Our Revolution” you allow for a listening experience that draws you in and allows you to leave satisfied while also being exposed to uncommon sub-genres of music in the middle that you may not have pursued otherwise.

You’ll notice that the lyrics of these songs can be clearly linked to the Transformers franchise, but are also general enough to be played in other situations without sounding out of place. The one exception, or course, is “Exiles” which drops the name Cybertron. Some may be disappointed in the absence of specific Transformers lyrics but I would point to the famous songs already a part of the Transformers franchise such as “The Touch” and “Dare to be Stupid” which follow the more universal lyrical composition.

So what’s the point? The missing part of the aforementioned parallel is that no one really asked for “Transformers inspired music.” Maybe it’s to provide a voice for artists like Darby! whose song “Modern Man” uses a unique mix of the vocal singing style of glam-rock stars like the late David Bowie infused with a Sgt. Pepper-composition style. Cynics will say it’s a typical cash-grab. Maybe there was just an ambitious Transformers fan at Sony. Who’s to say?

I personally recommend using “Transformers: Roll Out” as hunting music. We all know that this is a full-time hobby, and so it’s appropriate that it has an official soundtrack. Starting with Mount Holly’s (formerly Nick Perri) “Roll Out,” the song says it all. Roll Out for a successful hunt. Then, depending where you live, Mew’s “Count to Ten” times out well with leaving your first stop empty-handed; “Close your eyes. Count to ten,” cool down and then get revved up for your next stop! The compilation is largely a high-energy experience with two mild cooldowns.

Coming from someone who listens to and judges music for a living, it’s easy to say “Transformers: Roll Out” played it a little too safe resulting in some tracks that sound a little too homogenous. Metal and E.D.M. fans will probably be disappointed. But, with compilation albums like this it is important to try your best to appeal to as many people as possible, and this album does that very well. Alternative rock fans, like me, are provided with music by Born Cages and alternative Danish superstars Mew. There are songs that I don’t much care for, but I’ve already seen praise for those songs, here, on Seibertron. That is the point. This album is for all of us to enjoy the songs we will like and still appreciate the musicians that contributed their art to the Transformers franchise we all love.

Most importantly, it’s not “21 Guns” four times in 2 hours…

carytheone wrote:Roll Out is a fun, cheesy and seemingly random album. The overall feel is that of a movie soundtrack and is a little awkward without one.

The album opens with the titular song Roll Out; an appropriately cheesy, driving rock track. A hard hitting, get your blood pumping, kick some Decepticon butt rock song. The song that seems the most out of place, This House Is On Fire by Bush is a serviceable song, but feels like it was pulled off the B side of another album (and in fact, it is, and just repurposed -- Va'al). Gigantik is our first deviation from the more contemporary rock vibe the album started on. This track is more in line with my tastes in the indie rock genre. A fun bouncy track that would feel right at home on a road trip playlist. Count to Ten is a perfectly placed cool-down track. A light airy uplifting track that makes a lovely ascent to one of the albums best bangers.

Into The Fire by Elle Rae is definitely the strongest track on the album and worth a stand-alone purchase. If the last track brought us to the apex of the roller coaster; this track takes us on a fast ride to the loop-the-loop. After the excitement of Into the Fire and a couple repeats we coast into our next cool-down, Exiled. My first listen gave me a Nickleback vibe, but then I came to appreciate the lead singer's later career Chris Cornell voice. This song is clearly written with Transformers in mind and makes a few fiction name drops. This is probably one of the cheesier tracks, but has easily become one of my favorites.

Just a Spark seems like a weak follow up to Exiled, almost feels pandering and is just screaming to be used during a montage. Stronger starts slow but really vamps up very quickly. Another driving modern rock track, Muse fans will be pleased. All this leads to the album's weirdest track, Modern Man. A trippy indie-rock Bowie-esque track that wouldn't be out of place on "Space Oddity". Totally up my alley and a great palate cleanser that ends with a little synth-funk. And that leads us to our closer, Our Revolution. A celebratory driving rock track. Again, I feel like all these emotionally charged tracks are missing the scenes to motivate me to feel attached. I can honestly see the credits of a movie scrolling by while I listen to this track.

Roll Out is a perfectly serviceable album and depending on your tastes is worth the asking price of $10. I can't help but feel that I should be picking this album up on my way out of the theater after watching Transformers 5. I feel that this is one of the biggest challenges for this album; it just doesn't have a real good reason to exist. It's a good collection of music and is a fun ride.

I fired up Transformers: War for Cybertron after my first listen. The album fit the on-screen action perfectly and all the cheesy rock tracks paired great with my WfC wine. I'd recommend giving the album a listen to and cherry picking the tracks that speak to you, especially Into The Fire!

Review - #BotCon16 FunPub / IDW Dawn Of The Predacus Comic

Transformers News: Review - #BotCon16 FunPub / IDW Dawn Of The Predacus Comic
Date: Wednesday, April 6th 2016 9:58pm CDT
Categories: Comic Book News, Reviews, Event News, Site Articles, Collector's Club News
Posted by: Dr Va'al | Credit(s): Dr Va'al, IDW, FunPub

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Views: 23,897

Live from a hotel room in Louisville, Kentucky, this slightly jetlagged reviewer brings you a fresh update frome the 2016 BotCon event, in addition to the stellar work the news crew are doing in updating on the ground situation: a review of the event exclusive 'Dawn of the Predacus' comic - read on below!

(Spoiler free-ish)

In the last 48 hours of the Great War between Decepticons and Autobots, new measures are taken, paths chosen, fates decided, and acts of sacrifice kickstart a whole new saga...

Transformers News: Review - BotCon 2016 FunPub/IDW Dawn Of The Predacus Comic


A comic which is clearly, undoubtedly, obviously, a pack-in story with a set of toys. A big toy advert. A narrative tying together toys that share a theme. Easy to get wrong. And yet, John-Paul Bove in his first official IDW Transformers writing gig, delivers a story that works on a number of levels.

Transformers News: Review - BotCon 2016 FunPub/IDW Dawn Of The Predacus Comic

Much as anticipated in the interview we conducted with him, the comic contains a very good balance of fictional universes, setting up threads between G1 and Beast Wars which we both know the developments of, and others that could still yield something very very different - time will tell if we'll get an exploration of the latter, I suppose.

Transformers News: Review - BotCon 2016 FunPub/IDW Dawn Of The Predacus Comic
I laughed for a good minute, here

What works particularly well is the blend of lighter-hearted humour to what is, effectively, a fairly dark chapter in the history of the two narratives, and the end of a war in general - once again as a testimony to the two universes, with the G1 gravitas (resulting silly at times) and the BW intentional silliness.


Corin Howell fits this melange excellently, too, with artwork focusing on the fraught, tired, elated - and wonderfully skeptical and sarcastic - emotions that are running amok across the different factions, not just two as we might think. The simpler, cartoony style fits the tone set by the script, and still delivers some great pages with a grim undercurrent.

Transformers News: Review - BotCon 2016 FunPub/IDW Dawn Of The Predacus Comic
(Wanted: rubber ducky!)

Both of which are undoubtedly helped by Bove returning in his role as colourist on the book, injecting his own authorial perspective of tonalities and emotive hues to the visual side of things, helped out by letterer Chris Mowry from the IDW stables. The lighting definitely heightens that contrast pointed out above, with contrasting, but not jarring, results.

Transformers News: Review - BotCon 2016 FunPub/IDW Dawn Of The Predacus Comic
What maniacal laughter?

Visual and verbal together, you might ask? Read some thoughts below, and make sure to look closer at the two covers available for the comic at the event, variant by Sara Pitre Durocher and string pulling, and 'regular' cover with all the souvenir characters by Robby Musso (both in thumbnail).

Spoilerish ahead

Having read this in-hand, on-site, as soon as I possibly could, I feel odd giving a review and a mark to the book but you know what? It's good, and not just as a 'let's featured all the new toys and some old ones and sorta mash them together' way. Compared to previous releases from the BotCon team, we are several notches higher here, even with the full reveal of the souvenir figures in its pages - and even the main cover.

Transformers News: Review - BotCon 2016 FunPub/IDW Dawn Of The Predacus Comic
The Knights of Ren Prime

That may very well be Bove's writing, and the control he has over the art with colouring Howell's work, but the synergy between the two is palpable, as the overall tone of the book is set well by mixing light and heavy, positives and negatives, humour and gravitas, past and future. If you get a chance to read the issue, please do. It's truly enjoyable.. in fact, it's just Prime.


IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #51 Review

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #51 Review
Date: Wednesday, March 30th 2016 12:59am CDT
Categories: Comic Book News, Reviews, Site Articles
Posted by: Dr Va'al | Credit(s): IDW, Va'al

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Views: 27,755

Always Two There Are...
(Spoiler free-ish)

"If you want to break someone—mentally, physically, emotionally—wait until they're happy. Let them live and love and thrive. Once they recognize the value of a life well lived... THAT'S when you move in for the kill. Because you can't take anything from someone who has nothing to lose." --Tarn

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #51 Review


There is one big story being told here, and it's quite clear who the main character is - despite what Rodimus may think, what the various pairings have brought, this is now Megatron's tale, and his relationship with the Decepticon credo, its precepts, its inception, its ultimate corruption and downfall, and how all that reflects back onto him through his greatest admirer and follower: Tarn.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #51 Review
Sorry Rodders

If the main story concerns Megatron, his decisions and his past and present colliding, there are so many other spotlights allowed across the entire cast, especially on the Lost Light/Team Rodimus side. Swerve and Ten, in particular (but not just them), get some excellent advancement in their own personal arcs, especially the latter.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #51 Review
Ten, ten ten, Teeen

And then we have the other side, the freakily, scarily, horrifyingly charismatic leader of the DJD, and the expression of what Megatron has been in the eyes, minds and lives of innumerable lives across the galaxy: Tarn. We begin - begin - to see what will be coming soon in the arc, and the tension is really just kept to build and strain.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #51 Review
Ooh, morbid!

The moments are heartfelt, there are tough choices and decisions, and even tougher talks to be had. The tension is still building up, and there is no resolution as yet of course, but this issue takes the story into some heavy territories, while drawing on some narrative beats we have encountered before in James Roberts' writing, and this series in particular.


Alex Milne brings some excellent composition to the table, for the issue. We have several shots of ensembles, but the solo poses are probably some of the best in a while in this run, and not just for the major players in the game. We get magnificent layouts, linework, plus strained cheerfulness for Swerve, some actual affection shown among the crew, and some of the saddest/most mortified Megatrons around.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #51 Review
All together now!

The emotional turmoil running through Megatron and the Lost Lighters, even with Swerve and Whirl, is particularly highlighted by the impressive colouring and lighting contrasts, deftly deployed by Joana Lafuente. Once again, and yes, I'm falling into repetition, Tarn and Megatron get some nice specular and parallel treatments, in terms of how shadows fall (and who casts them), and the whole book carries the weight of it.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #51 Review
Ominous shadowwwwsss

While a lot of the action is contained to the initial pages, even just the title page is a wonderful example of what Tom B. Long's good lettering can do to a book. I mean, look at the first image of this review. There are a number of instances where the font and letters make or break a panel, again, still, always. As for covers, I am still wondering where the colourist credit for the Andrew Griffith (gorgeous) Tarn variant, but we also get Livio Ramondelli's first venture in DJD territory (thumbnailed) and the regular, terrifying slot with Alex Milne and Josh Perez.

Spoilerish ahead

You will have noticed, I have used mostly images from the public preview in this review - there are some many excellent pages and panels that I'd rather readers took time and space to enjoy themselves, I didn't want to ruin the experience. One passage in particular is almost moving, and the writing and visuals are a masterful blend to convey the number of emotions (particularly on one side of the spectrum) in the book.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #51 Review
Still not showing - have an explosion

As fellow critical comics reader ScottyP said to me, as I was preparing the review: The Hype Was Real. This is a truly well done, well thought out, well crafted book, touching on all the major themes that the series has explored so far, and venturing into a new one altogether, with some returning elements that were almost left to one side, and some that have been a long way coming.


Transformers Unite Warriors UW-05 Convoy Grand Prime Stop Motion Video

Transformers News: Transformers Unite Warriors UW-05 Convoy Grand Prime Stop Motion Video
Date: Thursday, March 17th 2016 1:44pm CDT
Categories: Toy News, Reviews
Posted by: carytheone | Credit(s): youheidx via YouTube

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Views: 22,542

Do you like Transformers stop motion videos? Good, because fellow Seibertronian Madeus Prime has alerted us to a video that YouTuber youheidx has posted of Transformers Unite Warriors UW-05 Convoy Grand Prime. Which you may already know is Takara's release of Transformers Combiner Wars Ultra Prime.

Convoy Grand Prime consist of Transformers Unite Warriors Optimus Prime, Ironhide, Mirage, Prowl and Sunstreaker and the full gallery can be viewed here.

Remember to keep your browsers pointed to for the latest in Transformer news, the largest Transformers galleries found on the web and the liveliest Transformers discussion this side of a space bridge.

Transformers: Deviations' Subtle Indictment

Transformers News: Transformers: Deviations' Subtle Indictment
Date: Thursday, March 17th 2016 8:16am CDT
Categories: Comic Book News, Reviews, Site Articles, Editorials
Posted by: ScottyP | Credit(s): ScottyP

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Views: 33,017

Transformers: Deviations' Subtle Indictment
(Or: I Swear This Isn't a Site Article)
(Unless Va'al swoops in on Alpha Bravo and makes it so...)
(Which just happened.)

Note: This article is an editorial, and as such, it reflects the views of the authors and the author alone. Much like our reviews, top lists and other articles, it is not indicative of, the site owner, or the staff.

The Transformers: Deviations one-shot came out this week and I was extremely excited about this book. I love the 1986 The Transformers: The Movie with a passion, and any addition to its lore, imagery, and self-contained universe is something I jump at with fervor.

There's a reason this movie has withstood the test of time. It's likely most accurate to say that there are a multitude of extremely good reasons this has happened and not just one on its own. From the iconic music (whether or not you enjoy it ironically being outside the scope of things here) to the sublime voice cast to animation that put the weekly TV series to shame, this movie's lasting appeal is one of a hundred factors responsible for the brand's sustained success. Success which, it should be noted, has far surpassed a majority (though not all) of the 80s and 90s nostalgia act properties that have gone away for a time then re-emerged into current pop-culture awareness. TF:TM as I'll call it a lot from here on out was the first time the brand evolved, and it did so in the most amazing way for me.

Transformers News: Transformers: Deviations' Subtle Indictment

I should really elaborate on some of those points in regards to TF:TM a bit more. First, to get it out of the way since I've already brought it up perhaps somewhat pointlessly, the music in TF:TM is a time capsule of everything 80s movie soundtracks did, for better or worse. This helps give the movie some lasting appeal. Since the ultimate point of this article is about a comic book which inherently doesn't get a musical element, that's all that will be said about that.

The voice cast for the original movie was comprised of a great mix of the talents from the Sunbow cartoon, interspersed with Hollywood stars such as Judd Nelson, Leonard Nimoy, Eric Idle, Orson Welles, and even the pop-culture star John Moschitta - the "Micro Machines Guy". Some could say it's odd to bring this up when setting the frame for why a comic disappointed me, and there's some merit to that. This said, the "voice" of a comic is found through elements such as the art, coloring, scripting, and even the letters. More on this later.

Same goes for the animation of TF:TM and the merits of bringing that up as a comparison element in this writing. While a comic is by the very nature of its own medium a static entity in visual presentation, recent works have set the bar extremely high for pencil, ink, flat, and coloring work, with outliers in quality usually relating more to stylistic choice rather than, well, any perceived quality.

Hopefully this has so far established the level on which I revere 1986's Transformers movie. If it didn't, hopefully that "revere" word tells you what the last few paragraphs may not have. I really, truly consider TF:TM to be that era's magnum opus for Transformers material, as it hits almost every beat in perfect harmony with what you'd expect out of Transformers while being simultaneously fun, scary, tragic, celebratory, uplifting, depressing, piquing, and imaginative.

Given this, works that have come out over the years which have expanded on or had fun with TF:TM have been both welcome and fantastic. We've had DVD commentaries expand greatly on the production and decisions made through out it. We've had the amazing material unearthed and preserved by Paul Hitchens, whose YouTube channel is the gift that keeps on giving. Then there was the 20th Anniversary's retelling of the movie from IDW Publishing. While more or less faithful to the original work, this gave us something extremely cool: a two-page spread showing Omega Supreme, Superion, and Defensor defending The Ark from a Decepticon attack staged by Menasor and Bruticus. Retcons can be dubious, but this one was quick, effective, and satisfying.

It hasn't all been perfect either. Let's not forget the "Battle in Space" toy pack-in comic from 6 years ago, which had additional canonical material involving Tracks, Grapple, and Warpath, and while that wasn't the best in production either it's also not something anyone wanted me to spend extra money on. The set cost the same as two deluxe toys did at the time anyway, and now I can imagine that those guys had something going on during all that. Autocracy also did some fun stuff with the iconic Optimus v. Megatron battle, though that was more homage (in fact) and Flint Dille apologizing (in tone) than anything else. Even then, that was also only dedicated to a few pages of a work that was setting out to accomplish something completely different.

I could keep listing examples of works inspired in ways good and bad by TF:TM for eons, but that's not what this is for. Suffice it to say that if you need any objective measure of its impact, look no further than the amount of times Transformers fiction will trot out lines such as "One Shall Stand, One Shall Fall."

Transformers News: Transformers: Deviations' Subtle Indictment

This all leads us to the announcement of Transformers: Deviations. Part of a series of one-shot comics for various properties for which IDW has licensing rights, the Transformers iteration of this little side non-canon "What If?" series was going to deal with The Transformers: The Movie and the pivotal battle between eternal rivals Optimus Prime and Megatron. As anyone reading this site is surely aware, Megatron not only defeats Optimus Prime, but kills him, albeit not right there on the spot. Optimus survives on an operating table long enough to pass the Autobot Matrix of Leadership on to Ultra Magnus. All the while, Hot Rod, the Autobot that many Transformers fans "blame" for Optimus' death just because he failed at run-in interference during that fateful battle, stands by observing.

The rest, is silence. Er, the rest is history. Sorry, Beast Wars Anniversary and all that on the brain.

Deviations' premise is set to have fun with history and imagine what would have happened had Optimus Prime lived through this encounter. This is immediately where disappointment started to creep in upon publication of the book's standard preview pages released online in advance of its print publication today. The most predictable thing to do is to say "well, guess Optimus would have killed Megatron if he hadn't died himself, right?" That's ok though, predictable stories can still be entertaining and there's still a whole world of interesting paths to take beyond that with the rest of the movie's material. Still, from the outset the book pigeonholes itself into path B leading to path C, when instead path B could have lead to paths D, E, F, G, 42, Z, Primax 1023.1 Alpha - really anything at all.

If you can't tell, my biggest gripe with this book is the story. I'll come back to it to wrap things up, but let's get the production elements out of the way.

The colors, letters, and in fact most all of the art is fantastically done and lives up to the legacy of TFTM to which it will be compared. These parts of the book's "voice" are, generally, very good. The disappointment sets in with a handful of pages/panels where the pencils and inks are just not the quality one would expect from a real talent like Tramontano. The inconsistency is even more glaring when I think about how really, truly beautifully done some other parts of this comic are. If this is due to deadlines happening then I can forgive.

Let's pause to consider some of the worst offenders in inconsistent style such as:
  1. Leaving off Astrotrain's wing upon takeoff on Page 6
  2. Ultra Magnus' downright weird looking glare on Page 7
  3. The entirety of pages 20 and 21
  4. The downright goofy looking Rodimus Prime in the last two panels of the book
If these were stylistic choices, then in my opinion they were poor ones. I could find more, but again, the production of the book outside of plot/story and dialogue really aren't the big issues that led to my disappointment.

It's the story. It's the characterization. Deviations stopped being a fun "what if" and turned into the worst kind of parody, and it did so in one glaring moment: the first time Ultra Magnus speaks. This is where the voice of the comic got overridden despite many of its other elements being sound. The message behind the voice wasn't of reverence, it wasn't of disregard for one factor (big as it may be) of the original story, it was one of bitter disregard for what had otherwise followed Optimus' death in TF:TM.

Transformers News: Transformers: Deviations' Subtle Indictment

If you're going to change an existing story based on one element, in this case Optimus Prime and Megatron's fates being swapped, and then choose to start things out en medias res then you better approach the setting of the rest ceteris paribus. Or at the very least, honor the little bit that came before that was not re-written. Magnus' first words to Hot Rod felt wrong. Off. They just weren't a thing this Ultra Magnus would say. Would Kup? Yes, so why didn't he?

Changing gears to paint my disappointment another way, I'll admit, I really did enjoy Megascream. I really wanted to like this book and I really tried to have fun with it. I kept trying to have fun with it when the Dinobots pre-emptively attacked the Sharkticons, or when the Decepticons combined just like Trailcutter told us they would for no reason, or when Unicron just sort of snacked on dead Decepticons such as Thundercracker and Skywarp instead of reformatting them.

Yet this is where the disappointment mounted and the book started to spiral into a bad place for me. For every Megascream there was cringeworthy dialogue meant to evoke TF:TM that instead bastardized the original intent of the words. For every Dinobot attack there was the underlying pointlessness of their presence on Quintessa and a potentially super fascinating storyline with Kranix of Lithone (which couldn't even get spelled correctly - and it was done twice so tell the wiki folks to put that one under "errors") that was dropped like a hot potato. For every Decepticon combiner there was confusing scene building accompanied with overly busy layouts. What Moon Base got eaten? One? I think? For every Unicron snack, there was the realization that this "What if" was not a well-informed, "pick up the ball and run with it" dream engagement for the author, it was an indictment on the movie I love so dearly.

"Indictment" is a rather strong word, and maybe it isn't the right one since I don't think there was any ill intent, but that's really how it came across to me emotionally. Clever dialogue turned shallow. Alien worlds humming with the otherworldly imaginings of Floro Dery instead used as mere set pieces for your Action To Come After These Messages. Fascinating, fun new characters like Springer and Arcee thrown into the Planet Junkion in a flaming, doomed Autobot shuttle, barely to be mourned. At least they got to show up at all, and at least then without having their characters assassinated.

That's the other part where I felt like this book was an indictment of its forebear: the complete and gratuitous character assassination of Hot Rod.

Transformers News: Transformers: Deviations' Subtle Indictment

If you didn't like Hot Rod as a kid, I understand. If you don't like him now, I understand. Hell, my wife doesn't like Hot Rod. "Hot Rod's a punk bitch" is probably what she'd tell you, or something to that effect. All the same, the best versions of Hot Rod through the years all make you "love him or hate him" but they keep one factor pretty consistent: he's competent and brave. While Deviations hits the brave factor, it does so while putting Hot Rod into the part of The Fool. The Hot Rod one should expect here is the one that yes, indeed, shot at the attacked shuttle carrying the Decepticons into Autobot City, but that Hot Rod knew what he was shooting at. That Hot Rod had a plan when trying to help Optimus while he fought Megatron, even if it backfired. That Hot Rod had a semblance of leadership skills, and could bank a shuttle into a safe crash onto Quintessa then regroup and find his friends, "And then save Cybertron!"

This Hot Rod insults fallen comrades, makes shuttle damage worse to the point where the thing explodes, has to be told to get Daniel to safety, then runs in and saves the day at the last minute by a stroke of luck and not of guts and will like the Hot Rod that defeats Galvatron within Unicron's innards. Then he dies so he can personally redeem his earlier failure, because he's so incompetent this time that he can't escape? What even happened there?

At the end of my reading of the book, I felt the tinge that every geek like me into any Sci-Fi property does from time to time of what's colloquially known as "nerd rage". I had to take a few hours to calm down from this to collect my thoughts on what exactly I didn't like, because I could certainly "nerd rage" for hours and not do anyone any good in the process.

But after some days of processing it and then re-reading my paper copy today, I was able to distill my disappointment and find its source. The author of this book was well intended, and was clearly just trying to have fun, but ultimately penned an indictment on one of the Transformers franchise's most important works. If you're going to just have fun, go hire Tom Scioli to do the art and go absolutely crazy, then I can follow the intention. The accompanying poor dialogue choices, inconsistent art, and sometimes positively confusing scene building makes this a book I won't look back fondly on, rebuy three times, and pine for years for more like Last Stand of the Wreckers, it makes it something I'll file away and never read again like Continuum.

Transformers News: Transformers: Deviations' Subtle Indictment

There's a certain subset of Transformers fans that will love this book. Some of them are on this site, hell even in this very thread. Enjoy it. This is your G1, the version that basically doesn't exist after early 1986. This book is for you and this post is my last word on it, because no one likes a hater.

But for me? I enjoy the rich history of all soon-to-be 32 years of The Transformers. Ups and downs alike, I can find something to enjoy. I found some things to enjoy in this book that I never want to read again! While I can appreciate the idea of Deviations, the execution of the book left me so bitterly disappointed that it led to a realization. That is this: the creative team behind The Transformers: The Movie all those years ago realized that the brand had to evolve or die. Optimus dying wasn't a choice, it was a necessity. Since it's NCAA Tournament season, we'll say the franchise had to "Survive and Advance". IDW has helped some of our favorite Generation One characters survive, by advancing and evolving the narrative scope and quality of their ongoing books. Deviations is an indictment on this progress as well, and looking on social media, the loud corner that wants "G1 back", despite it being here all along, often twice a month for the past decade, wants you to go buy this book in triplicate so you can vote with your dollars.

Do that if you want, but also realize the subtle indictment it implies.

IDW The Transformers #51 Review

Transformers News: IDW The Transformers #51 Review
Date: Thursday, March 17th 2016 3:59am CDT
Categories: Comic Book News, Reviews, Site Articles
Posted by: Tigertrack | Credit(s): IDW, Tigertrack

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Filling in for Dr. Va'al--news crew and admins have been working very, very hard to get everything back to speed--is me, the old review guy. Here's my take on the 'How can I follow up issue #50?' follow up issue, Transformers #51. *Cracks knuckles* Here we go! Sorry, it's a little tongue and cheek... Va'al will be back.


Last issue dropped the literal and figurative bomb that we’ve been waiting for. Optimus Prime is freeing Earth from itself. Actually it’s a bit more along the lines of trying to repair the damage that the Cybertronian war has done to the planet, and at the same time, to give the Earth and its people a volun-told invite to being a part of the Galactic community, establishing a new presence on Earth. Details to be determined. It seemed like a good idea, right?

Transformers News: IDW The Transformers #51 Review
Sure you are big guy...

And to no one’s surprise, the puny earthlings still don’t like being told what to do. WE RULE!

Excitement abounds as the most important thing to know from this issue is that Superion separates and we have not just an Alpha Bravo sighting, but actual dialogue! Dr. Va’al is pleased, right?

Transformers News: IDW The Transformers #51 Review
I AM faster than a speeding bul... guess not.

The continuation of the Autobot presence on Earth is our main story point (although Alpha Bravo) and how ‘we the people’ react. The response by Earth’s governments has not been to reach out with the olive branch and doves and welcome with man hugs and high fives.

But the Autobots will not let Optimus’ vision fail. For some reason they love to follow the big galoot… Trying to show the people of Earth that they are not here to just take over, the Autobots head out to do many things of good and right many wrongs despite danger to themselves-- taking special care to harm no one--. Good stuff, right? Sorry no, humans are like elephants…long memories, and we’ll take care of our own thanks. ‘Cause we were smart enough to befriend Decepticons, a few times, and that did not go badly at all…at least until those Autobots showed up.

We're good, we got this...

Transformers News: IDW The Transformers #51 Review
EXTRA! EXTRA! Read all about it!...WIFI to cure disease next!

Aileron, while not entirely new, has really been stepping forward to make herself known. The little Camien has done a lot of work in a little bit of time to ‘drive’ the story (and the spaceship). Giving us an outside perspective and insight to all of this, she also doesn’t quite understand it all, but that doesn’t stop her from going a little Evil Gobot Renegade Crasher and being pretty much the opposite of helpful this time. Her growth has been exponential and more than acceptable. A nice compass for ‘The Prime’.

Transformers News: IDW The Transformers #51 Review
*Clearly did not get the memo*


Transformers News: IDW The Transformers #51 Review
Why so serious?

What is up with these humans? I’m having a hard time understanding some of their actions. Faireborne’s on the Autobot’s side—- oh no, she’s not— wait she’s sticking up for them— no wait she’s shooting them… And the Earth coalition don’t/can’t/won’t see or believe the obvious message. It's like someone did something to make them mistrust all aliens and transforming robots forever. If only the humans would ever find themselves in a position to actually realize there are some robots, like people, who are good-natured, altruistic, and trustworthy... maybe some day.

Transformers News: IDW The Transformers #51 Review
I got an idea on how we can get our message across to humans...I saw it in a movie once.

The art is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G throughout the issue. Superb, wonderful, and a slew of other positive adjectives! Andrew Griffith really has a hold on drawing Optimus,and other bots like Victorion and Jazz.
Transformers News: IDW The Transformers #51 Review
There are examples all over the issue of beautiful, well-drawn and expressed panels of action and emotion. The robots' and vehicles' details are so well done--not extraneous, and not lacking--. The colors work flawlessly to help convey the mood and setting in every section-- despite having three different colorists working through the book, not a beat was missed--. Excellent story-telling through the art.
Transformers News: IDW The Transformers #51 Review

I’m not sure if I've decided if it was over-the-top, or well done, but the use of many relevant real world issues for the Autobots to help resolve was interesting--and somewhat off-putting for this DETROIT-er for one particular choice of action--. I feel like we are coming back to the 'been there done this' part of the show. Autobots have been on Earth before, they have been scorned by the humans, but helped the humans despite themselves, then they have left, and come back again and helped the humans in spite of themselves, yet again. They've tried to play nice with the humans and things go south. They leave again and come back again. Clearly the destinies of Earth and Cybertronians are intertwined, but I feel like I’m starting to watch a re-run here.

A good issue that expands on Aileron a bit more, but ultimately doesn’t do much more than show that the humans still hate and mistrust the Autobots...they’ll still shoot ‘em, just like yesterday, and last week, do whatever it takes to show that humans DO NOT need Cybertronians. Prime's plan doesn't seem like much of one yet...maybe he needs to spend more time on the re-charge slab to get some more guidance from his dreams. More like, I need to be patient and let the story develop.

4 :BOT: out of 5 :BOT: (the art!)

Mr. Tigertrack, what you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

See, told you..

Video Review Botcon 2016 Tripredacus Council Figures

Transformers News: Video Review Botcon 2016 Tripredacus Council Figures
Date: Tuesday, March 15th 2016 12:52pm CDT
Categories: Toy News, Reviews, Collector's Club News
Posted by: Hellscream9999 | Credit(s): optibotimus

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Views: 21,333

Fellow Seibertronians, fellow Seibertronian Optibotimus has released a video review of near-final production samples of the Botcon 2016 box set figures Seaclamp, Ramhorn, and Cicadacon, otherwise known as the Tri-Predacus Council from Beast Wars. They, along with Ravage and Tarantulas will combine to form Tripredacus, but for now, Optibotimus only has the members of the Tri-Predacus Council. Seaclamp is a recolor of Combiner Wars Scattershot, and sports a new head, based on his appearance in the show, as well as the new Tripredacus head, which Optibotimus kindly shows off in the video. Ramhorn is a recolor of the Combiner Wars Technobot Nosecone, complete with the new drill weapon and new, show accurate, head; while Cicadacon is just a recolor of Combiner Wars Skydive, he still looks accurate to his show appearance. Are you excited for this Boxset? Check out the video and leave your comments below.

Video Review TFSS Ramjet

Transformers News: Video Review TFSS Ramjet
Date: Tuesday, March 15th 2016 12:40pm CDT
Categories: Toy News, Reviews
Posted by: Hellscream9999 | Credit(s): Hellscream9999 from

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Views: 12,156

Fellow Seibertronians, following our own recent gallery, fellow Seibertronian Optibotimus has released a video review of a near-final production sample of the TFSS Ramjet figure. Ramjet is a retool of Generations Armada Starscream, retooled with a new head and recolored to look like his counterpart, Universe Ramjet. So check out the video and leave your thought below.

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Transformers Podcast: Twincast / Podcast #144 - Don't Touch That Dial
Twincast / Podcast #144:
"Don't Touch That Dial"
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Posted: Sunday, May 15th, 2016