THE WAR FOR CYBERTRON! Optimus Prime versus Megatron. Autobots versus Decepticons. At the dawn of the conflict, battle lines are drawn and sides are set… now legends will be made. The war that would define a planet begins in earnest—and its revelations will shake the TRANSFORMERS’ world to the core!
Autocracy did some really interesting things by taking politics to a whole other level. Monstrosity brought 'the Quintessons' and Trypticon back into the game. Primacy is supposed to shape the IDW Transformers universe as we know it - so what is the missing link between the fall of Trypticon and the rise of Megatron? It looks like issue 1 starts answering that question.
The focus of Chris Metzen and Flint Dille appears to be shifting between Optimus Prime and Megatron as they both 'recover' from the happenings in the previous two mini-series, with the latter in particular sometimes questioning (?) his actions - and yet, at the same time, we also have some nice interactions between Grimlock and Rodimus, Optimus and Ironhide, Megatron and.. well. You'll see.
There is one major snag in the issue, during Optimus' sections, which I'm hoping will get explained later in the series - but for now it's not too distracting (for me at least), and considering John Barber is editing the work, some kind of patching could always take place at another stage, or there's a better reason for it happening as it does.
All in all, there are some big set-ups for this run, with some nice interactions between the key players, and some past exploration and world-defining, delving into pre-established elements of the franchise and plots hinted at in both Autocracy and Monstrosity, and the wider IDWverse.
Livio Ramondelli resumes his task of showing us the beginning of Cybertron's dark ages, with his trademark darker style and colours, shining on big splash pages and spreads, and I mean BIG. The characters, the scope, the layouts - there's a sense of size and scale that follows from some of the later chapter in Monstrosity sliding into here, and not just in the art itself.
Big city lights
The colours obviously work well with the linework, and there are some nicely contrasting tones in some flashback sequences. The eye differences are a nice touch too, with Grimlock, Optimus and Megatron showing off different optics. And a very nice touch comes from letterer Chris Mowry, helping with giving a voice to the different characters, each in its own slightly unique way, and some great translucent sound effects.
I'll take a little longer on the covers, as the main one by Ramondelli is but a fourth of the series' run, but it is joined by an amazing Optimus Prime revealing the matrix by Windblade's Sarah Stone (a nice echo of one of the moments shown above) and an excellent 30th Anniversary variant by Casey Coller and JP Bove, commemorating the smelting pool and poor Scrounge (see thumbnail).
Thoughts Spoilerish ahead
Metzen and Dille's writing is slightly different from the rest of IDW's current output, but still holds its appeal with both older audiences and fans of the more modern ongoings. And their style fits the tone and time of the story, without any doubt, focusing on the two main players of the beginning of the war. Ramondelli's art returns to complement them, and I very happy to have Barber on editing, making sure it all fits in together - even with Omega's confusing statements.
And so do we
It's an easing into the story again, definitely. Some big stuff went down in what leads us to this point, and with this issue we're discovering bigger things still slowly emerging from Cybertron's past and leading into its future. And there are much much bigger things to come, if the last pages are anything to go by. Big things indeed.
Youtube reviewer and Seibertron.com member IJK Productions just dropped by to share with everyone a video review of Transformers Age of Extinction Voyager Drift. Voyager Drift is a retool of Voyager Skyhammer, transforming into an assault helicopter.
We reported yesterday a sighting of these figure over in the Philippines, but Seibertron.com member chuckdawg1999 was able to get hold of a couple of them earlier across to the US - and has provided us with a second review, this time featuring Generations Legends Cliffjumper and Suppressor!
Sometimes the repaint of a mold can end up being a little better than the original, such is the case with Cliffjumper. Cliffjumper is a straight repaint of the wave 1 Generations Legends Bumblebee mold but I noticed an easier time pegging the arms in for car mode, I freely admit though that the hips felt just a touch looser. Partnered with Suppressor a repaint of Targetmaster Roller Cliffjumper ends up with some serious firepower, unfortunately much like with Optimus Prime, the combined gun ends up being a bit to heavy to properly wield. All in all this is a fantastic set.
Fellow Seibertron.com board member chuckdawg1999 is at it again, sharing a video review with us, and it's an early look at the inevitable black repaint of an Optimus Prime figure into.. Transformers Generations Legends Nemesis Prime! Complete with Targetmaster Spinister, from the Legends Bumblebee pack, check the video out below.
While these are straight repaints of wave 1 figures Hasbro switches things up by swapping Targetmasters. Nemesis Prime gets a repaint of Blazemaster done up like Spinister complete with spinning rotor blade of doom. I've always been a fan of this mold and really like how it pops in black with teal highlights.
Fellow Seibertron.com user and YouTube reviewer optibotimus was able to acquire an exclusive SDCC 2014 G1 Dinobot set, featuring redecos with added chrome paint Age of Extinction Grimlock, Strafe, Slug and Snarl, and posted a video review of the awesome foursome - and the pop-up display by Matthew Reinhart! Check out the shiny goodness in the clip embedded below.
MINDBOMB! The humans have access to a CYBERTRONIAN mind—but whose is it—and why do they want it? OPTIMUS PRIME and GALVATRON race for answers, as JAZZ faces the consequences of his last trip to Earth.
We're on Earth again, still, once more, with humans and Decepticons seemingly on one side, and an Optimus Prime-led team on the other, taking a moment of respite and recalibration since last issue's kerfuffle and almost cover-blowing blow-up. And we get to look at some of the cast's members' past experiences, both further back and closer to the now.
Uh.. yes.. sorry
The narrative did not do too much for me, this time round. It felt too much like the moment to regroup, something that has been complained about previous iterations of the comics - and that work well as a trade, less so as a monthly. The character building, on the other hand, was very mcuh appreciated, and goes some way to explain the distended storyline in the issue, and I am particularly fond of John Barber's Soundwave vision.
I just.. I..
The dialogue is also quite good, with some excellent chemistry between the Autobot team, some mixing, some clashing (and a great moment with Kup and Optimus); even Jazz' internal narration, though some parts feel a little overly drawn, works overall with the 'new' character he's being given in the story - and sets his voice up nicely for the rest of the issue, too.
Prowl, Optimus, the EDA, Jazz, Devastator, Galvatron -- everything keeps coming back to the Witwickys, one way or the other, and not usually in a good way for our favourite team(s) of Cybertronians. But as much as Barber's revisiting of previous plots to comb the knots is a good strategy, I'm not sure my interested is too piqued with the conclusion of this issue. Though having said that, I realise that pointing it out means it piqued something.. More below.
I still really like seeing different artists working together on the same issue, and in this particular case, personal perspectives, with Andrew Griffith lining the present-day twists and turns, Guido Guidi dealing with troubled Jazz and his broken track and Brendan Cahill donning the purple for some Soundwave/Con flashback time (and some cheeky reference material).
Looking.. Unique, there, Galvatron
Colourists Josh Perez and Joana Lafuente do an exquisite job a making the transitions work and stand apart as needed, building on the three different styles present in the issue. Perez has a nice palette of grittiness to contrast Lafuente's multitoned sections, especially the Decepticon flashback with its focus on what everyone (most) really covets.
Tom B. Long has quite a good amount of fun on this issue, with Galvatron's idiosyncratic and melodramatic style: soundwords and effects abound, and there are many individual voices to play around with. The covers also show this, with Jetfire and D.O.C. on the main Griffith/Perez one, a stunning melancholy Jazz by Casey Coller and Joana Lafuente, and Generations Arcee (!) art by Phil Jimenez and Romulo Fajardo Jr (thumbnail).
Thoughts Spoilerish ahead
I am still very pleased with Barber's approach to Soundwave, making him into one of my favourite characters in the RID ongoing, fleshing out background and current environments - and on some aspects, Prowl too, after my concerns with the Bombshell incident pre-Dark Cybertron. Jazz, unfortunately, felt more of an interlude with chance to smoothen out some crinkles from the story as we knew it.
To next month!
As I mentioned above, there are some elements plot-wise that are looking similar to a number of other stories told in the franchise, and I do hope that is not the case for the series - as I know what the creative team are more than capable of. The read is not bad, by any means, though, and is still definitely worth picking up for a (beautiful) look at some Jazz, Soundwave and general bots.
And after some Takara Tomy exclusives in their package, why not take a look at another, this time out of its plastic prison? Thanks to Seibertron.com user chuckdawg1999 Movie Advanced, we have a video review of the EZ Collection Anniversary Exclusive Clear Optimus Prime - one of many repaints of Reveal the Shield Optimus Prime. Check it out below!
chuckdawg1999 wrote:This particular mold has seen quite a bit of use, anyone who frequents dollar stores has probably seen this figure on the shelves once or twice. Done in a smokey clear red and black Takara has decided to re-release Prime once again as a store exclusive for the movie line. If you like the mold you probably already have it.
Have you received yours yet? Considering looking for it? Check out below a video review of TFCC's exclusive Thrustinator repaint, courtesy of Seibertronian Fires_Of_Inferno - and refresh your memory with one of the two Seibertron.com dedicated galleries!
Fellow Seibertron.com user Fires_Of_Inferno has been busy scouring the YouTubes in search of more toy reviews, and brings us reviewer peaugh's look at the final Dinobot we know of from Transformers: Age of Extinction - Voyager Slog! Check out the embedded clip below.
Thanks to a tip from fellow Seibertron.com member Fires_Of_Inferno, we get a nice long look, in the form of a video review by YouTube user Baltmatrix, at the upcoming Generations Leader (first of its class) Jetfire - check out the embedded clip below!
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