YouTube reviewer peaugh has uploaded yet another review, this time of Transformers Generations Voyager Class Sandstorm, the highly anticipated triple changer, remold and redeco of Voyager Springer. Check out his review embedded below!
Well known toy reviewer peaugh has uploaded his review for Transformers Generations Legends Class Starscream with Waspinator. Starscream comes in his tradition G1 appearance with a dash of IDW flavor plus a tiny Waspinator who transformers from robot to insect to weapon. Check out his review embedded below.
Forum member Transformermegazord (aka YouTube reviewer Benscollectables) has dropped by with a video showing off Auto Assembly's first ever official t-shirts, with exclusive artwork done by Ed Pirrie. The t-shirts are available here, and feature four different designs: Prime Starscream, G1 Bumblebee, RID Optimus Prime and the All-star, showing off a number of different characters, including the previous three.
YouTube reviewer felzbug has posted a review of the Transformers Prime Beast Hunters Voyager Sharkticon Megatron, which apparently is his official name. The somewhat lighthearted review is embedded below.
The figure's instructions also mention a previously unknown novel, Transformers: Retribution, which Random House will be publishing later this Fall.
THE WORLD BELOW! Deep beneath the surface of CYBERTRON, the last vestiges of life struggles to survive. Their only protectors: GRIMLOCK and his loyal DINOBOTS — who find themselves at the center of a dark mystery!
So dark, it's mostly shadows
The first issue of this new series introduced us to some new characters and settings, all very different from the other IDW ongoings, and even from the Prime animated series. The Dinobots are in charge, Grimlock leading them, energon is scarce, and there are a lot of issues to be dealt with - including the piles of bodies found by Last Spark inhabitant Firestar.
Even though the synopsis talks about Grimlock, it's Sludge that is the real protagonist here - and a well deserved spot it is - with Snarl in tail (ha! Tail!). Mairghread Scott seems to take some cues from Barber's style, working with previous continuity issues and patching them up, and also by having a running internal monologue through captions.
He didn't die!
The tone of the issue, and the series so far, is a fairly dark and gritty one. A lot of deaths (though several off-panel), including quite graphic ones, talk of cannibalism and vampirism, betrayal and extreme survival. It's really quite engaging.
Killing, not eating. Oh that's ok then.
I am very pleased with the attention given to minor characters in the Dinobot ranks, and it was time for Sludge to shine. Dealing with the Last Spark Autobots is also a really good idea, as it allows to work outside of the usual cast (who are currently engaged on Earth, as part of the animated series).
The artwork is also really good, though at times it can look a bit overcrowded. Agustin Padilla, who also worked on Spotlight: Hoist as well as Rage of the Dinobots, does a nice job of adapting game designs to comics-style, in my opinion, and they all really fit the tone quite well. As I said, there is the risk of some panels feeling overcrowded, but overall, the result is good.
And I mean good
The colours are faultless, but I was expecting nothing less from the likes of Priscilla Tramontano. They really help out those parts where the art may have been a little hard to manage. And Tom B. Long's lettering does its usual amazing things, too, with some really nice soundwords and font matching.
The artistic team works really well with the storyline, and I think Padilla, while still having room for improvement, is definitely the best bet for the series. I would like to see him on other titles again, too. Colours and letters really help out too, in a complementary ensemble that conveys the full range of the story. The covers by Ken Christiansen are excellent, too!
Thoughts Spoilerish ahead
I really enjoyed it. I have yet to properly read its predecessor, but Beast Hunters has me intrigued to the point that I'm adding it to my must read list for the coming months. There are hints at the past, with the games, and hints at the present/future, with the animated series, but still lives and works perfectly well by itself.
All in all, a very pleasant surprise. There are some minor flaws, but they can be overlooked in view of the full experience, and they really do not detract from the enjoyment of the issue. If you haven't read issue 1, pick it up as soon as you can, and sink your teeth into this well fleshed-out new series.
CRISIS ON CYBERTRON! A whole society, wounded and reeling after SCORPONOK’s genetic manipulations, teeters on the edge of anarchy and uprising, a situation SOUNDWAVE is only too happy to exploit! When the newly recovered BLASTER uncovers the truth, he finds himself on the endangered species list—courtesy of the all-new, all-deadly MAYHEM ATTACK SQUAD.
You know, these guys
We left issue 91 with shattering revelations about everything ever in the universe in its totality and more. We've had Jhiaxus show up, we've had Grimlock die with Scorponok, we've had all sorts of chaos. So the set up looks pretty promising, but it has a lot to live up to.
So let's start with unrelated things, shall we?
The first storyline we encounter is a bit of an abrupt start: Optimus Prime being attacked by Spike Witwicky/Circuit Smasher, then he isn't, because he has something to say, but the humans don't like him anyway, but maybe they do, oh it's confusing, but maybe not. Anyway, let's skip to Cybertron, shall we?
Oooh, will they fight?
The second, however, is the one that takes up the focus of the entire issue, for once abandoning the multi-plot device for the length of the issue - though repercussions of other narratives are clearly at work here. This is the Nucleon-infused bots' time to shine, as something seems to keep affecting everyone in Cybertron. And Blaster is with no doubt the main player here.
And then there's these guys
As I mentioned, the focus on just one storyline gives it more time to work, but I'm no sure it does that much in any case. The issue at hand is resolved pretty quickly, and the Mayhem Attack Squad are disappointingly introduced for the sole purpose of a fight, it seems. Though I will not say anything as to how it resolves.
This is Wildman's final issue on the series for now, and he has not confirmed whether he will be back or not before issue 100, or the rumoured issue 0. The artwork, inked by Baskerville, is the usual goodness, and by now we've come to recognise the style - it'll be interesting to see what Guidi will do with it. Some of the characters are really well done too, and Bludgeon has yet to be replaced as my top pick from Wildman's work.
He ain't half bad
I apologise for repeating myself every time, but I really do like (Bradley-)Bove's colours in this series, and I will pretty much always gush a little about them. Especially skies and backgrounds. In addition, there is a lot to be said for various aura-like details, such as Spike's glowing energy, the 'red mist' and Blaster's sonic er.. stuff.
Op op gadget Sky Lynx arms!
The artwork is good, as always, and the colours are still my favourite part of the series. It just makes everything looks so much prettier. Or darker. Or whatever it's supposed to look like, even in the midst of heavy action fights, such as in this issue. And the final page is stunning.
Thoughts Spoilerish ahead
You might guess that I wasn't that much of a fan of this issue, again, and mostly because not that much happened. It felt very similar to the previous one, but without the kick at the end - though there is a minor, if a tad confusing, bringing-in-a-character-we-hadn't-seen-yet moment.
Oh, yeah, they're still doing stuff too
The artwork is as good as usual, and it is the saving point of an otherwise enjoyable but not crucial issue. It addresses the Nucleon issue, and furthers the Earth plot, brings in various spacecraft to Cybertron but seems to forget the revelations from 91. The action is quite nice though, and we get some interesting looks at some of the neglected characters this far.
ChErikS of fellow Transformers fansite TFW2005 has managed to get a hold of the highly anticipated Transformers Generations Titan Class Metroplex with Scamper and posted a written review with images. A couple of interesting things to note, he comes packaged with his arms detached and a large sticker sheet. We've mirror a few of the images below, for the full review and more images click here.
I, shamefully, was disappointed that this issue did not continue the Shockwave story that we were introduced to in the last issue of RID, but instead went on to continue where the story left off in RID ONGOING #16. Starscream had rejected all group affiliation badges, and was forcing Cybertronians who would not give up their previous allegiances to leave and go out to the wild of Cybertron making the city a place without war and factions.
This issue picks up a few minutes before the moment of exodus presented at the end of RID 16, when choices are still being made as to who wants to leave Iacon and who wants to go in the Autobot group. Bumblebee’s injuries from the huge battle are brought to the forefront, and as those who will not take off their Autobot badges (or Decepticon insignias) leave the city under guarded watch (seems a little hypocritical, no?) and start to travel to a new location, Bee’s injuries worsen...
Since the action all happened the last few issues, we see more of the ramifications of the Decepticon sack of Iacon amongst the jettisoned Autobot wagon train.
As the preview pages showed us, many Autobots are trying to figure out where and how they belong now, and what they are about. Prowl, Arcee, and Bumblebee seem to be the main focus because there are trust and or confidence issues in these three from most of the rest of the Autobot group, each of them having played some major part in the previous chaos and ultimately led to this unfortunate situation.
Of note in the story: We have Arcee trying to find out how to be an Autobot, and trying to fit in with a group that she clearly stands out from not only in appearance, but also because of her insane experience on Gorlam Prime with Jhiaxus, and as Jhiaxus’ experiment before that. Barber works hard to get across that Arcee is really struggling with being part of a group, and understanding the ‘sane’ real world and the social dynamics involved.
Prowl is dealing with being left out of the group--the group he is used to being in the inner circle of, the organizer of, and sometimes defacto leader of. Somewhat coerced into isolation by the rest of the Autobots in the camp because of an admission by Arcee about Prowl’s involvement with Ratbat’s death pre-cerebro shell, Prowl has seen his acceptance back in due to ‘Decepticon mind control excuse’ be cut short by Arcee’s inability to the tenuous relationship and acception. No doubt in his isolation Prowl is calculating how to regain acceptance, and yet coming to terms with all that he has experienced. As he tries to shed the previous horrors, there are those amongst the Autobots who are constant reminders of what happened, and his involvement.
Bumblebee failed to keep the peace in Iacon, and to lead the Autobots to victory. And in that failure he has lost the Autobots’ faith in him as a leader. They still need him and want him around, but as a leader they see him as incapable, it seems. While Bumblebee’s external injuries seem to be causing him the most discomfort at this time, it’s his inner angst and acceptance of his errors as a leader that has been most problematic. The external injuries catch up with the inner turmoil, and Bee takes a very bad turn for the worse.
I felt very uncomfortable at times reading this story. For example, it’s really hard to believe that the Autobots can easily accept the group in their midst that just basically destroyed Iacon, and the community that they had worked to establish--and by ‘the group’ I’m not talking about Arcee, Prowl, and Bumblebee--. In fact, the Autobots have made it a point to be very leery of Prowl and Arcee, but openly SEEM to accept their collaborators-- Decepticons--Decepticons who have killed or seriously wounded their Autobot comrades. Even the Dinobots are ready to just forgive and forget over energon shots. Really? I know Ironhide states he doesn’t trust them, I just hope it doesn’t turn into the Constructicons being repainted white and red. While I do believe the feelings toward Arcee and Prowl are warranted, and that the Autobots will be cautious with the Constructicons around, it seems odd. Sure the Bots can be compassionate, and maybe Ironhide is trying to avoid having ‘the craziness’ happen to the Constructicons and then they pull a Superion at night and beat on the Autobots. Maybe it’s a feeling of it’s better to know where they are and what they are doing rather than not know. And the Constructicons do seem to be being rather amicable with the Autobots, but it seems like a weird move right now. The Autobots are also suffering a casualty of command structure which can lead to poor decision making too. Such craziness.
There are a few more surprises left as the last two pages connect to events in RID #17. The Autobots will have to quickly pull back together some kind of order of command to face this newest occurence, but the issue as a whole, while promising, is a bit hard to read. The art is eye-catching, but in a distracting manner. It’s blocky, and simple, and shows a lot of human like emotion in expressions, but the images seem a step down from the level we are used to in RID. I love reading Transformers fiction, and I surely did find some enjoyment in this issue as characters’ personalities grew, but the crafting of the growth felt awkward. Clearly, I am no writer though, so I trust that the writers who get paid, know what they are doing. I did love the realization about Superion (I didn’t have it until that moment in this issue, and it is certainly a cool new Transformers story point about gestalts!).
All in all, a somewhat slow-it-down-issue, which was to be expected. It has a few surprises, but not many WOW moments this time. I'm hard on this book because I feel like it hasn't quite caught on as MTMTE has with its blend of story and art, but RID has potential, and continues to surprise at times in with some cool and unpredictable plot points. It's still enjoyable as a Transformers series even if it has to live under it's more popular sibling's shadow.
RID ONGOING #18 hits comic book retailers on Wednesday.
Trailcutter is expected to be released sometime this summer. Can't wait to get the figure, gotta know more? Check out the review, feel free to join the discussion and give us your thoughts and comments.
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