For those unaware, Masterpiece Thrust was released at Takaratomymall and online retailers should be getting their Hasbro Asia version stocked soon (if not already). Fellow Seibertronian Optibotimus has made a video review for us, showing what this new release has in store including comparisons with MP 11 Starscream, MP 11R Ramjet and even the G1 toy. He also says that his copy of Thrust does not have the shoulder miss-assembly that plagued the Ramjet release. Enjoy the video below.
Thanks to several Seibertronians over the past few hours, we have yet more Titans Return videos for you to view, this time in the form of the 3 Wave 3 Legends class figures of Gnaw, Kickback, and Bumblebee! Youtuber Peaugh was responsible for the reviews of all 3, which give us a good look at what the new legends class figures are to look like. Check out the 3 reviews below, and stay tuned to Seibertron.com for all your latest Transformers News and Galleries!
Pretty much the entirety of the Seibertron community has notified us of two new video reviews for the Transformers Titans Return toyline, so here they are for your viewing convenience: Wave 3 Voyagers Optimus Prime, with Titan Master Diac, and Megatron, with Titan Master Doomshot!
The new triple changing molds with a land vehicle (truck and tank) and a plane feature, respectively, an homage to Generation 2 Laser Prime (and maybe some Star Convoy), and a probable ringer for Octane, while Megatron is probably a pretool of an upcoming Blitzwing. Check the clips out below!
THUNDERCRACKER AND BUSTER SAVE THE WORLD! A DECEPTICON who wants to be a screenwriter. A dog who wants to, I don’t know, eat stuff and chase squirrels or whatever dogs want to do. A White House under siege by DIRE WRAITHS. And the phone call that brings them all together.
I am still catching up on schedules and timings, so apologies for the slightly late review again! And, with that out of the way, a word of warning: I have not had the easiest time with this comic or its review. I spoke to other staff members, and took a look around other readers to form a better idea of it. I'm still unsure about some aspects, too. BUT - read on for more!
The Transformers ongoing dips its toes in the Revolution pool by letting John Barber bring us back to one of the unsung heroes of the series, Thundercracker - and it's definitely the most apt choice that could've been made for the setting and plot: Earth lover, dealing with Earth issues and truths and things that may not be what they seem.
The device used in the script - using the infamous Josh Boyfriend screenplay as running introspective commentary - is well placed, and nicely executed. Sometimes, however, I felt like some of the action was forced for the sake of a joke or a twist in the words, and it jerked me out of the enjoyment. On the other hand, we also get some very nice Faireborn characterisation, and some good moments with sounboards Buster, DOC, Bob, too.
..and Marissa Faireborn
The plot itself, while obviously not irrelevant, is nothing to write home about, and the book truly is about Thundercracker's place in the conflict, in the story, in the factions, and in relation to the characters around him since we've seen him return in the IDWverse. But for me, sometimes, that doesn't land fantastically. Yet more thoughts below.
It's good to see the other hand responsible for this incarnation of the big blue back in action on the title, and Andrew Griffith brings all of his experience into the visual side of the book, with some great layouts and accompanying presence to the wordings - including some of the human features that I still at times find a little off putting (some of the jawlines, mainly), though never too distracting.
A relatively new colour collaborator joins Griffith on the book: Teyowisonte Thomas Deer. We've seen in on covers and in action on Till All Are One, but the style he uses with this linework is more muted, perhaps a little grittier and definitely fitting the Dire Wraiths plot side of the story - and a pleasure to watch, really. Some of the contrasts in palette are top notch.
Lettering wise, we also have a new name: Gilberto Lazcano. And he really does bring it all: the screenplay captions, the Dire Wraith dialogue, the differences in volume and the sound effects are incredible, and incredibly well balanced, something that is very much needed with this type of issue. And of course, we once more have a whole lotta covers, so you can pick and choose, from Matere to Griffith and Lafuente, to Christiansen to Ramondelli (thumbnailed), to Tyndall and Moss, via Coller and Bove.
Thoughts Spoilerish ahead
The script device, while amusing and introspective as I said above, can also lead to some crowded panels, and the visual team are good at making sure they're not over crowded, but still. It got in the way at times, and I kept thinking something was off - though I still cannot figure out what or why (there are definitely some editing issues, that much is true).
This issue, more or less
The dialogue is good, but the words are busy; the art is busy, but it does everything pretty much right; the lettering, the colouring, the layouts are clearer than what the script might create, and the story is impacting the Revolution plot somewhat tangentially, and it leaves a great hook for Thundercracker from here on. So please bear with me as I try placing my finger on what didn't work for me.
Fellow Seibertronian Carytheone was one of the lucky guys to have scooped up a Titans Return Walgreen Exclusive Brainstorm recently, and he was kind enough to write up a review for all of us to check out! Read up and soak in this figure, which is now available at Walgreens across the United States, and let us know what you think of him in the comments section below.
Whew, that title is a mouthful. Well I was one of the lucky ones that was able to snag a Titans Return Brainstorm this weekend. I picked up TR Blurr pretty early on and was very impressed with the figure. I wasn't expecting much from Brainstorm being a redeco and all, but wowzers what a figure!
If you have Blurr or the SDCC exclusive Brainstorm then you know exactly what to expect from transformation and poseablity, but what you don't expect is the exquisite deco. Brainstorm has a premium deco that truly feels like an exclusive figure. The first thing you will probably notice is the slick use of some spot on G1 tampos. The thing you wont notice in package is the paint apps, because of just how good they are. The nose cone, forearms, half of the upper arms and the bottom torso are painted to an almost perfect color match of the molded plastics.
As you know this mold poses well, but Brainstorm really shines in flying poses.
Brainstorm's Titan Master Teslor got a small slap of paint, which is more than a few of the standard releases.
The remolding (and wings) really sets Brainstorm's alt mode apart from Blurr's. Alt mode is where you can see even more of those lovely tampos and just how well the paint matches the plastic.
The entire look and feel of Brainstorm is that of a premium figure. Spot on satin paint apps and great tampos. The transformation is smoother than that of Blurr's. This is one figure you may want to track down even if you already have Blurr and/or the SDCC Brainstorm.
THEY CAME FROM MICROSPACE! What terror reaches through the tendrils of entropy into our universe—and why does ROM want to kill it? Meanwhile, M.A.S.K.’s MATT TRAKKER makes a startling discovery about the TRANSFORMERS—but will G.I. JOE’s SCARLETT believe him?
..does it really matter?
Is this review a week late? Yes, yes it is, my apologies. I'm sure that whoever was wanting to read the third issue in the core story of Revolution has done so already - if you're a fan of any of the other franchises involved, make sure to check Tigertrack's guide to who this book might appeal to here - but nonetheless, we have a series to follow, a rep to maintain, and finally a spare afternoon to catch up!
DRAMATIC RECAP CONCLUSION
And, admittedly, there's not that much more that can be said as we hectically stumble across the midpoint in the story, really. There was some brief discussion at Seibertron HQ, and the points raised are essentially the same as for the previous two issues: a lot of new material, a lot of old material reused, not enough space, time, or any other dimension to allow it to fit properly.
..or aliens, sure
If, on one side, the Micronauts are finally close to finding out the much larger world out there - i.e. here - the fact that they are now part of that wider universe also waters down the charm that the title had kept while operating more or less on its own. They have yet to properly interact with the rest of the IDWverse, but I'm dreading what might happen at this point.
Like, literally anything
The biggest sore note in Barber and Bunn's script, I'm sorry to say, is still GI Joe - and in particular, Scarlett. They have been proven incompetent, non-existing, pointless, replaceable, and the result? They're all angry, or sassy, or mouthy, or angry caricatures of the already tropey ensemble that they risk to be given the nature of their original characterisation.
Much like the previous two issues, Fico Ossio's art has some wildly swinging reactions, in terms of consistency, in terms of clarity, in terms of getting the newly developed designs (which I still like!) to shine on the page instead of just making them flashier and bolder. Again, it's a shame, because the style can really work if taken at a slower pace and more neutral layouts.
Similarly on the colours: Sebastian Cheng does some excellent work with lighting, and shades of different colours according to light sources, environments, characters and adding some sheen and chrome where it really can work - but I can't help but feel that sometimes it's just a little too vibrant, tripping into flashy for flash's sake.
Best example of *everything* or what?
I also still have nothing else to add to the stellar work - that follows suit from the previous two comments - that Tom B. Long does on the lettering, not only following the visual narrative, but helping out with character and voice establishing too. And as for the covers, there are at least 8 variants (the thumbnailed one by Brandon Easton), and they're all worth a look, for sure! Make sure to check them out where you can.
Thoughts Spoilerish ahead
As I said above, I have very little to add to previous comments that staff have made about the book, in the previous two reviews. If anything, we now have virtually all players on board for the ride, so it can only move forwards from here - with the final two issues, somehow. A lot of story, a lot of characters, a lot of patience to keep up with something that is not as engaging as it really wants to and deserves to be.
Me, keeping up
I am actually going to say, though, that one of our comics readers on staff made an extremely good comment on the boards, and I'll use it to close off this review. Kurona, take it away:
it feels like some sort of labour of love; some well-intentioned fans of these series who wanted to do something awesome and bring them all together in some ultimate universe of great team-ups and diversity and all around fun. But then they had no clue how to do it and hastily ended up writing something really generic and disappointing.
This is what it feels like to me. Like someone had a really great idea and was really excited to do it but fell short at executing it. I can't say I feel rage at the guys behind this; just... a lot of pity, honestly.
Fellow Seibertronian WreckerJack has informed us that Emgo has a video review for Warrior Robots in Disguise Ratchet. You can watch it below. This is a retool of Strongarm so the transformation is not fully new but this still gives you a good idea of the changes to the mold. If you preffer still images, we already have a pictorial review of the figure with comparisons to his mold mate.
After having that awesome pictorial review of Warrior Class Bisk and Ratchet, courtesy of site moderator Cobotron, we bring to you a video review of Warrior Bisk by Youtuber Emgo316. Emgo316's review shows off Bisk's transformation step by step to go right along with more shots of Bisk in both lobster-bot mode and car mode. You can check out the review below, and as always stay tuned to Seibertron.com for all your latest Transformers News and Galleries!
Everyone's favourite Seibertronian, Cobotron, has gotten his mits on the most recent Robots in Disguise toys: Warriors Ratchet and Bisk. He has given us a review of them full of in hand images. Enjoy!
So, I some how stumbled onto Robots In Disguise Warrior Class Wave 9. I found them at a Walmart in suburban Omaha. This wave includes the two new releases Ratchet and Bisk. It also reprises Scorponok, Power Surge Optimus Prime, Drift, and the repaint of Quillfire as Scatterspike.
I picked up Ratchet and Bisk, as well as Scorponok because to the best of my knowledge, Wave 8 has not shown up in my area.
Let's have a look at Ratchet, yeah?
His bot mode is outstanding! This is a great representation of this old stand by. With no knowledge of how he will be portrayed in the show, there is no doubt who he is supposed to be. From the classic windshield chest, to the iconic color scheme and head crest, to the grumpy old expression of his displeased turned down frown. Yup! That's Ratchet!
His articulation is good. Joints are all tight, and his stability is good due to his feet having an enormous surface area. He is as solid as his mold allows him to be. The inclusion of his two pistols is a cool nod to the past while being a really nice modern update in character design.
Hang in there Swipe. You're gonna make it.
His head sculpt is awesome. It hits all those old classic design ques, but keeps up with the current look of the new RID. And HOLY SMOKES! Look at those eyes!
Of course we all know by now that Ratchet is a retool of the Strongarm mold. And a HEAVY one at that.
I would say about 40% of their parts are shared, but at least 85% of those parts have been re-sculpted with new detail. Even the hands and forearms (which are mostly hidden) have been re-detailed.
I should note that I have added some paint to my Strongarm, which is why she differs from the normal Hasbro release.
The only shame in this retooling is that they have done away with those nice posable feet of Strongarm's.
The alt mode is were the lack of paint is most apparent, but the mode itself is fantastic for the old gurney bot. Sure I want to see Ratchet as a van type vehicle, but this truck will do just fine. The retooling has altered the transformation a bit. Mostly in the legs / rear of the truck. The panels forming the front end have some gaps, but everything pegs together nicely.
Decent weapons storage in the under carriage.
All in all he is a really fun update to this classic old bot. I've heard some excitement about this toy working as a good MTMTE Ratchet. Sure! Heck he could even make for a good Classics Ratchet. The cool thing about using the ol' imagination noodle, is anything's possible!
Now for the mold I think people are most excited for.
This is another one of those RID Warrior class figures that just nails it. He captures the funky posture and gesture of this wild character perfectly. His articulation is great. I'm not sure why or where he would need any more paint. The claws work out really well, and although seemingly a tad after thoughty, the way he holds those cool little blasters works just fine.
A face only a mother could love.
His head is molded out of a soft rubbery plastic so it can kind of contort into it's place in alt mode with no risk of breaking.
Bisk's alt mode is all the dope with a spackling of totally RAD!
His transformation is FANTASTIC! Right on par with Thunderhoof and Fracture. I'm sure he will be considered as one of the best of the year from the RID line.
Alt mode weapon integration
Bisk is a great Transformers toy that I highly recommend. Even if your not a Robots In Disguise fan. Who wouldn't want to ad this freaky beast faced bot to their Decepticon ranks?
There is an old Decepticon adage that states: It's better to have lobsters on your piano, than crabs on your organ. They're talking about Bisk.
ROM—A MURDERER?! That’s what OPTIMUS PRIME and the TRANSFORMERS think—and right or wrong, there’s only one outcome: all-out war! Meanwhile, G.I. JOE turns to the one person who can save the world from ultimate destruction—MILES MAYHEM!
See? Absolute Mayhem
If the first issue of Revolution - reviewed by Tigertrack here - showed where the ubersharedmashup universe crossover event would find its flaws, the second issue in the run is still not able to pick up the good bits for long enough to satisfy a regular reader of Transformers. Bear with me...
..as I puma reviewer hat on
As Rom the SpaceKnight provides the catalyst for the event, and even though Micronauts is probably doing a better job at connecting the wider mythology so far, even with just one issue (see my review of the other titles involved here), the insistence on the 'everyone is the bad guy of someone else's story' is really not landing yet. Yes, the Dire Wraiths are creating confusion, and Miles Mayhem is clearly furthering his own goals, but still, something feels very much off.
why can't we all just get along
Where John Barber and Cullen Bunn do have a knack for stories and dialogue - and we know the continuity skills of Barber are second to none, especially with the IDW Transformers-verse, so there is plenty to play around with for the both of them - unfortunately though, there just isn't enough space right now, and where they instead tend to shine is in the other titles that make up the event as a whole, at least at this point in the game.
Kup gets it
With that in mind, some of the interactions, especially between human and non-human factions, feel stilted, sometimes even forced - notable example is the MASK introduction, too short, too contrived and underplaying a potentially meaty development, in concept and story; also, the opening dialogue with the Joe team, and the decimate incident - with the best part of the book only coming towards the very very end.
I do not dislike Fico Ossio's work, in any way at all. The designs for humans and robots, robots in particular, are visually stimulating, intriguing, and a new direction which I approve of for something so flashy like a franchise crossover. They're bold. But therein lies a flaw: the emotive aspect of non-organics in particular suffer from the linework of the rest of the character. Arcee and Windblade, and to an extent Kup, particularly feel this.
The colours still fit that 'HEY YOU LOOK AT THIS BOOK AIN'T IT COOL' vibe that IDW has been relying on for the crossover, in its multiple covers and big previews across major entertainment news sites too, and Sebastian Cheng does very good things with the vibrancy chosen - though I can see how some might find it too 'light' in some scenes.
This, however, is a very cool shot
Regular Transformers veteran letter Tom B. Long has a heck of a job keeping the dialogue and sounds at bay - and that last word is actually a totally unintentional pun for the amount of explosive fontwork that we find in the book: the explosions and loudness are very much present all the way through. Commendable indeed that it is this clear!
As for the covers, there are so many variants offered, as is to be expected from such a wide-scale project, that I am not sure I can master up enough words to mention them all. Make sure you do look out for them though, as there are some true gems in there, from Christiansen and Guidi, to Easton and Baltazar, via toy and minimal variants (see thumbnail by James Biggie), there is bound to be something to appeal to everyone.
Thoughts Spoilerish ahead
I will follow the event through to its end, but what I see so far is not entirely convincing as a way to get older fans of the Joe and Transformers franchises hooked for long enough to warrant the arrival of three new properties. Book-wise at least. Where Bunn and Barber do work well, still, is within the smaller titles that lead into this wider crossover, unfortunately.
Scarlett also gets it
That said, the building of the world around Revolution, both through reusing parts of the more cosmically inclined lore of the Transformers, or the making things align in the Microverse parts of the story. Visually, my issues are outlined above, but it is not a bad looking book, at all! And overall, we do have a slight improvement with the wider cast now fully present in the line-up for the event - here's hoping to the next three issues finally able to lift off the ground in the scale of what the premise has promised comics readers.
. ½ out of
Bonus Content: A handy reference guide from Tigertrack, which still fully applies two issues in!
Who should try this?
Casual 80’s childhood guy or gal all grown up: Hell yeah! You’d probably get a kick out of this with Transformers, GI JOE, ROM, ACTION MAN and coming up… Micronauts, and MASK! My childhood hath been brought back alive again! If only VISIONARIES would make an appearance! Ore-13 won't mean anything to you, but you don't need it to.
IDW Transformers Familiars: You may be a bit more hesitant. 'Our guys' are a focus for sure, but we’re not quite sure how they will come out when this all shakes out, and there was a lot of awesome stuff to like going on before this. They are the elder statesman and most successful comics of the bunch, and readers are not interested in losing the awesome ground that we have gained over recent years. There seem to be inconsistencies with current comic continuity, but not so huge that it can't get cleaned up. AND... we do get this ORE-13 thing to finally seem to finally, finally, shake out in full, so there's that!
IDW GI JOE Familiars: You may just feel good that GI JOE is coming back, again, but are probably frustrated that GI JOE is coming back, yet again, seemingly rebooted, yet again (I’m not as good and up on my IDW GI JOE). I feel very badly for hardcore JOE fans. I really hope this helps to get them the great fiction that they deserve (and hopefully more of a toy line too).
OTHERS: Tons of action! Aliens, robots, human elite army operatives, and end of the planet Earth peril, plus some cool new sophisticated TECHIE vehicles. Recognizable big name characters. Sounds like a try out to me! It reads like the big boys crossovers so far, with satisfactory art, I'd give it a go.
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