Every month, Takara's youtube channel uploads videos showcasing the transformation for their upcoming monthly releases (loaded with sound effects). This month is no exception and features a the long awaited release of a voyager figure of Grimlock. Check it out below and let us know if you spot any differences in its transformation from the original FOC mold. The videos found on the channel this month are:
JETFIRE and KUP lead a team to investigate the mysterious ONYX system. Meanwhile, GALVATRON… well, GALVATRON just doesn’t like anybody.
There is a web being woven, in which each piece of the puzzle so far seems to slot, slide, slip and get trapped. SkyLynx, Kup, D.O.C., Jetfire, Soundwave, Galvatron, the Onyx system, Blackrock, Faireborne, even Thundercracker and Buster. How does it hold together? Perhaps it doesn't.
John Barber, a long while ago now, talked about what was then Robots in Disguise as being the intrigue, thriller, Rome/Borgias/Game of Thrones-esque counterpart to the sitcom/space opera of MTMTE - and if anything were to prove that point further, it's this issue, with no doubt. The main plot carries on the workings of devious Blackrock mostly...
Evil Steve Jobs is still evil
...but also those of Galvatron - perhaps even more so - as the Autobots are used for purposes that are still not entirely clear at this point. In fact, they seem to be the flies of that web. Galvatron's goals are shrouded in what comes across as pure cruelty, almost for the sake of it, if we are to take the example of Skywarp's function in his eyes - a repeated, ongoing agonising torture.
What Barber is setting up is big, very much so, and informed by Combiner Wars in more ways than one, but giving some really emotive aspects to the lesser used characters, while keeping the spotlight pointed just to the side of the key players of something even bigger about to go down.
Andrew Griffith continues a very strong stretch of regular work with this series - though I sometimes still find myself wondering at some of the human jawlines. His Galvatron is magnificently terrifying, and the way in which the art is laid out just ensures that, yes, he is in control of the space he inhabits. Not to mention some splash pages that...
...with the addition of Josh Perez's colour-work, really drive the 'point' home. A lot of the action, if not all of it, takes place in a strange, ethereal locating of spaces that are both inside and outside - and then you have the snow scenes. So much snow. So much.
I snow, right?
Tom B. Long is busy on this one, for pages and pages, in a sequence that I do not want to spoil for anyone reading, but the fontwork gives a fantastic sense of the scale of it all, and of what is at stake in the longer narrative of the upcoming issues. As for covers, the Griffith and Perez take on the main variant, while Casey Coller and Joana Lafuente add their own spin to the Autobot crew (thumbnailed). And of course, we have seen the Kei Zama and Yamaishi incentive variant Galvatron, being diplomatic.
Thoughts Spoilerish ahead
If you were paying attention to other aspects of the Transformers universe, not just its fiction, you might start spotting some patterns emerging that were not there initially. Barber's weaving is intricate, logical, underlying a slower pace than MTMTE at times - but this month, this is definitely the book that delivers the most punches, in my view.
I'll.. just wait shall I?
There are several moments - stunningly and darkly rendered by the visuals team - that feel not too dissimilar from major game-changing episodes or scenes in those same shows that stand as inspiration, and no one is really in control of their fate or condition, except for whoever is actually pulling the strings. Read this.
As the finishing touches are added to the review for issue #45, iTunes has offered the first sneak preview of the first three pages of next month's The Transformers #46 from IDW Publishing - check out the synopsis and images mirrored below!
CONQUERORS part 1! OPTIMUS PRIME struggles to find his place on CYBERTRON where half the population hates him and the other half worships him. Meanwhile, on Earth, GALVATRON doesn’t care what anybody thinks.
Another IDW Transformers artist will also be taking part in the New York Comic Con at the Javits Center over the 8-11 October weekend next month: Andrew Griffith, current regular on The Transformers! Check out below his table number, and nice Optimus Prime image too.
If you're coming to New York Comic Con come see me in Artist Alley! I'll be at Artist Alley Table I-18. Oct 8-11.
IDW Transformers artist and Seibertron.com friend Ken Christiansen has dropped us a line informing us of his presence at New York Comic Con 2015 - taking place the weekend of 8-11 October - with a whole bunch of artwork and new prints, including the Prowl one you can preview below, plus an exclusive process image of the print! Find out more at Ken's blog, and make sure to say hi in you're in the neighbourhood.
I'll be appearing at New York Comic Con, October 8-11! I'll be in the Artist Alley, at table BB-7.
I'll be selling Prints, Sketchbooks, Lots of New Original Artwork, and taking commissions at the con. Commission Pre-orders are OPEN - contact email@example.com, or visit the Art of Ken Christiansen on Facebook.
Commission Pricing for NYCC: $100 for B/W Half Figure, $150 for B/W Full Figure OR Color Half Figure, $200 Color Full Figure.
I will have two new prints with me - check out these preview images!
Some more Takara Tomy Transformers Adventure official stock images come from fellow Seibertron.com member Sabrblade, taken once again from Amazon Japan, show the versus/and double pack featuring Drift and Jazz - not only tweaked deco on the latter, but entirely new, IDW-accurate head and paintjob on the former. Check out the mirrored images below!
Takara Tomy's Tranformers Masterpiece MP-25 Tracks has been peeping its head prior to the release date for quite a while now - in some local markets and distributions anyway - but we also have a new addition via Seibertron's podcaster ScottyP in the form of a video review (in Chinese) of the new figure and mold! Check it out embedded below.
Were you looking for a proper good look at the upcoming Takara Tomy Transformers Adventure TAV33 Supreme Optimus Prime? You're in luck, as this batch of images has just been sent our way from Seibertronian podcaster ScottyP, directly from Amazon.jp! The figure is set for release by November 2015, but you can check them out mirrored below for now.
SWINDLE LIVES! While we have seen the upcoming Combaticons from the Combiner Wars line in-hand, we have not seen their international packaging close-up - and from the latest notification via the Facebook group Transformers Addicts, it looks like at least they will be only carded again - with lovely artwork by Ken Christiansen. Check out below the mirrored images for Brawl, Blast Off, Swindle and Vortex, and let us know what you think in the Energon Pub!
The One Where Grimlock is Possessed by Unicron (Spoiler free-ish)
Make a list of every single DECEPTICON. Remove the warriors, the high-rankers, the loyal foot soldiers, the over-achievers, and anyone who’s ever made even a modest contribution to The Cause. You should now have five names left. Welcome back, guys.
IN STORES NOW!!!
Let's leave aside the storylines being run so far in More Than Meets the Eye, and dip into the lives and troubles of the bunch of misfits introduced all the way back when the DJD was still just a name. In issue #45, MTMTE brings back the Scavengers, Grimlock, and their ship - the Weak Anthropic Principle. Has anything changed? Read on and find out.
James Roberts knows these characters, and the Scavengers are in fact one of the best example of how he operates as a writer, giving the spotlight to minor, lesser-known faces, in order to (sometimes) address a wider narrative. That has been the case for MTMTE, but Krok, Spinister and the crew show it even more.
Sounds.. sensible (goodie?)
There is a narrative, obviously, though it will feel really quite distanced from everything else currently happening in the IDWverse for the Transformers - at least until much later in the book. What I find both a positive and negative here, are the parallels with the group's first introduction to the readership, in terms of plotlines.
Some parallels are wonky, fine
Nevertheless, the read is extremely enjoyable, the humour is plentiful, the characters all have their voices, and we do circle back in time for tea to the wider plots left dangling in season 1, while also exploring the single characters along the way. More thoughts overall included below.
Alex Milne and Brian Shearer team up for some slick linework (layouts, pencils and inks), and the initial pages are an excellent nod to the regular ongoing issues with a Scavenger spin (check out this article, too). The flexibility and dynamism of the different styles condensed in the opening alone are enough to reinforce the rep of the visual team of the book - and it only continues strong from there.
Just a matter of..
The visual team, of course, also features the excellent work that Joana Lafuente brings to the colours, complementing and complimenting the lines and inks that the artists provide. Shading, mood, tone, and the same dynamism of layouts are accentuated and made even more lush to look at throughout.
There is a specific running gag relating to the Scavengers, too, and Tom B. Long's work is the only means of achieving it - which is a nice recognition of the importance of lettering in the medium, even to convey humour. As for covers, the main recurring group shot by Milne and Josh Perez stand triumphant, as Nick Roche and Josh Burcham take on cover B (thumbnailed) a little less seriously. We've seen Kei Zama and Yamaishi's take on MTMTE's big baddies of the past too, but still pretty, yes?
Thoughts Spoilerish ahead
This issue is definitely filler material, until it's not. Not entirely, at least. But until that point, a lot of what you're reading is predominantly Roberts enjoying his own writing skills with a bunch of misfits, and their interactions, dragging in popular culture references and callbacks (though much less so than the Swerve issue from a couple of months ago). It's a fun romp, with exceptional visuals, and both good characterisation and well-placed twists.
However, and I realise this may just be me, so far it just sort of hangs there, at the periphery of the wider story, much like the first time we came across the WAP and its crew. The next issue will undoubtedly fill us in more, given that last sequence and last page, but I kept finding myself thinking about the overall relevance of the issue in terms of narrative. Think of it as a bottle-episode, with a twist, if you will. It may be more your thing.
. ½ out of
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