Thanks to Ben Yee over at his website BWTF.com, we've got a review of a brand new scout class repaint. The figure happens to be Scout Class Backfire, who's a repaint of Revenge of the Fallen Knock Out. Backfire is a red and white motorcycle, and is the third repaint of Knock Out, following Reverb and Trenchmouth. You can check out the biography of Backfire and some of the images below, while the review in all of it's entireity can be seen over at BWTF.com.
Many battles between TRANSFORMERS happen at high speed, but few are as spectacular as those between robots trained to use the traffic around them as a weapon. BACKFIRE is a master of zipping between moving vehicles as if they were standing still while keeping his sensors trained on his target. OIL PAN may be famous for his ability to disappear in plain sight, but there's no way he's getting away this time.
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G4tv has kindly posted a video featuring the first level of the new upcoming Transformers video game - War For Cybertron. This level kick offs the Autobot campaign. High Moon Studios Matt Tieger goes the details within the game. Beware the video contains spoilers! You can check out the video here, or embed below!
TRANSFORMERS: NEFARIOUS #3 continues the story set up in the previous issues, focusing on HASBRO’s possible next candidate for it’s robot HALL OF FAME, SOUNDWAVE (the movie version though).
NEFARIOUS is also the ‘official’ continuation of the movie-universe, taking place after the box office blockbuster movie, TRANSFORMERS Revenge of the Fallen.
As is often the pattern with middle issues in longer mini-series, not a lot happens to further reveal plot points, or add to the mysteries in this issue. It kind of holds the status quo.
In this issue we see Optimus Prime and Lennox at odds over N.E.S.T. related issues:
“Right now I’d rather face a dozen Megatron’s, than one Major William Lennox...”
Bumblebee, Jolt, Dune Runner, and Knockout lead the N.E.S.T. convoy to move Soundwave to a safer, more secure location.
Soundwave realizes further that he has lost control of Ravage and is not sure to who, or how he will regain Ravage into his strikeforce. But, he still saves some of his thoughts for his Autobot captors.
Speaking of Soundwave’s strikeforce, although imprisoned, Soundwave enacts measures to free himself from the N.E.S.T. convoy before he is moved into his ‘more secure location’ that Optimus and Ironhide are preparing for his arrival.
Bumblebee starts to feel the pressure of leadership, reminiscing on the loss of Breakaway in issue #1, and the fact that he has responsibilities to not only N.E.S.T., and Optimus Prime, but to the Autobot rookies under his command. This growth from Bumblebee has him making command choices that he may not have made previous to the events in issue #1.
A quick and ugly battle is fought again, as Soundwave’s mini militia returns to stage a rescue operation, first taking down the airplane transporting the prisoner guard force, and then working to destroy each accompanying guard member.
Bumblebee has to make a quick decision...keep Soundwave imprisoned or save his Autobot friends. What would Prime do?
Galloway, the man who now wants to shut down N.E.S.T, is angry that he is no longer allowed access to Hoover Dam, and pulls a Lennox, as he disobeys orders to continue to check it out. Enter a new toy-based character’s introduction to repel Galloway’s helicopters.
Oh, and the faux Allspark the INITIATIVE is making may blow up at any time, destroying life as we know it. Be cool though, the INITIATIVE is not worried at all.
What I like:
The art is still pretty darn good. Magno and Carter combine for a nice team, creating realistic, and true to movie and toy versions of the robots for the most part. The humans while excellently rendered, are not quite as faithful to the previous materials representations of them...but that doesn’t bother me in the least.
The introduction of characters who were ‘off-screen’ in the movie was nice, but we need to start seeing more of the fan favorites to help keep my interest. Let’s bring on some bigger names than Dune Runner, and Knockout...
What I don’t like:
Well, it’s a movie-verse comic, so it already has that going against it. The design of the robots bothers me, and the overabundance of human interaction bothers me.
And you know what is getting really old, overplayed...whatever? Bumblebee’s song/radio voice. It’s kind of nifty to see his inner dialogue compared to his vocal exposition, but having him only talking in songs and radio DOES NOT translate to the comic medium well.
Fix him already Ratchet, please.
The fact that nothing really unpredictable, or new happens in this issue pretty much makes this a stale issue story-wise; unless you really like movie Soundwave, or Bumblebee, or must see the ROTF toys coming to life in the comics.
So making your own Allspark is a good idea??? This plot point seems a bit contrived even for comic books, but I suppose, seems to fit quite well in the movie-verse.
TRANSFORMERS: NEFARIOUS #3 is released onto your local comic book shelf tomorrow, May 5th.
A review has been posted and sent to us by G1COLLECTOR on YouTube. The video entails his opinion of the figures and show's us these rare item's from the World's Smallest Transformers series. To view the video, click here or scroll down:
You can look forward to Seibertron.com's galleries of these figures in the near future!
The final issue in the first story arc of IDW’s Transformers Ongoing comic series does pretty much what you would hope it would do. Motivations are revealed, and we have an ultimate climax of situations as we follow up last issue’s cliffhanger of good ol’ Swindle ready to have Menasor... CRUSH ALL THE AUTOBOTS!
Credits for this issue's creation go to:
Written by: Mike Costa
Art: Don Figueroa
Colors by: J. Brown with Andrew Dalhouse
Letters by: Chris Mowry
Editor: Andy Schmidt
Associate Editor: Denton J. Tipton
The stunticons were reunited, Ultra Magnus confronts the Autobot/Decepticon group, and Spike has a heart to heart with Optimus Prime about why the giant robot surrendered to Skywatch.
The relationships and growth of characters that has happened in the IDW books seem to really become evident as recent events in Spotlight Prowl, TRANSFORMERS Bumblebee, and of course, TRANSFORMERS Ongoing have finally come to fruition.
What I liked:
The action is fun. Pure and simple, metal-mashing robots. Lots of gunplay, and some nifty dialogue make this, if nothing else a fun read. If that’s why you like Transformers, pick this issue up to see some ‘SMASHING’ being done.
...But there is more...
Thundercracker makes an important step that I think many will find helps his character to grow even further toward what IDW has set up for him. But does it seem a step too far? Will he be allowed to be a Decepticon anymore? Does he even want to be?
Bumblebee goes Goldbug and grows up...Bumblebee Prime??? The BUMBLEBEE miniseries dragged us through a painful four issue process of Bumblebee becoming more confident, and better able to lead the Autobots. He steps even further into this role thanks to Optimus Prime, Ultra Magnus, and Rodimus, but now seems to embrace it.
Optimus Prime, even though confused himself, still uses his reputation to inspire and build confidence in the other Autobots.
The humans finally wise up. Well, Spike as a leader wises up. I actually like the human element realized in this issue. Spike comes down from his pedestal a moment to reflect upon his actions and how his immaturity has cost others. The idea that not everything is black and white finally hits him, and he also grows from it, realizing that he perhaps has a greater duty than he has been taking responsibility for previously.
And FINALLY they realize that there are good Transformers and bad Transformers, and they might be able to work with good ones to help them in their efforts to stop the BAD ones.
The art was very well rendered and images were excellent in quality and detail. Great movement and emotion shown in the figures in the pages, Don really shows his stuff with fantastic detail.
What I didn’t like:
SPOILER!!!!Optimus Prime has to save the day SPOILER!!!
(Even though he gets the ideas from another person who gets them from someone else). It seems to come about too easily. But you know, it’s fiction, so things like that can happen. It also seems just too easy of a choice for Spike to make to get Optimus back in the mix.
Rodimus the cry baby. Okay it’s harsh to say that, but of the characters who have grown and changed the most over this story arc, I think his character has taken the biggest step backwards. It seems inconsistent with where he was in TRANSFORMERS SPOTLIGHT HOT ROD, the -ation series, and even in MAX DINOBOTS...what happened? Why ignore the treatment that you had set up for a character to totally change him into another? What purpose do the writers have for him? Some will like how Hot Rod has been written, and others won’t.
Some would also say the same thing for Optimus Prime. His character perhaps has taken a step backwards as to what he started out portrayed as in the IDW-verse. But is it to show just how complicated this new situation is, and just how much it DOES effect even the 'great' leaders? That answer is coming, hopefully.
Thundercracker seems a bit too goody-goody. Again, is it a change for the better, or worse? Will readers be happy with it, or not?
The art style still has me wondering. It is beautifully rendered most of the time, but the faces still are at times hard to accept, read, or recognize. The humans seem to be to me, the opposite...not very detailed or realistic looking in their features, most of the time.
I also wonder what in the world they are going to do with such a large cast of robots now that the rosters of Bumblebee and Ongoing have merged. Will the Season 1 robots still tend to take the spotlight as they usually do, or will we see others stepping up and being used and explored more?
Pick this issue up for yourself as it wraps up the first TRANSFORMERS story arc, and sets the table for what will be happening next in the series. Check out the five-page preview here!
Back in the latter half of 2009, fans were going nuts over the world's first repaint of Revenge of the Fallen Optimus Prime, Takara's Buster Optimus Prime. To this day, Hasbro has yet to reciprocate Takara's hit Leader class release. The main differences between the original Prime and Buster Prime has to be the heavy chrome job, and movie-accurate gun. Site sponsor TFsource puts Buster Optimus Prime under the spotlight with their unique style of reviews. Check it out on Youtube or embed below!
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We've got a new video review from site sponsor TFsource. TFsource video reviews are well known for being of high quality, and they just happen to be reviewing a high quality figure - Mastermind Creations' Knight Morpher Commander. The figure takes after Hearts of Steel Optimus Prime, and will likely not be Mastermind Creations' last product. Knight Morpher Commander has been generating some buzz in the fandom - find out what it's all about in this video review on Youtube or embed below.
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Is this comic series guilty of fanwank? Bringing in characters, and ideas of old to simply make us hardcore fans cryout on message boards how awesome issues are? Many have labeled it as such, which in the text that I have heard the slang fanwank used, likens it to being worse than stealing candy from babies (babies don’t get candy by the way--sad wikitron fan fact). Being talked down upon for being unoriginal, and only liked due to its yank at our gut... is that what this series means to us?
By now you know my feelings about the art, and the much more enjoyable story in this compared to other recent IDW Transformers offerings. Pick any RECENT issue of an IDW Transformers series...got it..good? Wreckers is better in all aspects, any issue of the mini beats any issue you could choose.
So it’s time to start nit-picking Mr. Roche’s story. He’s starting to wrap it up. We have the ‘penultimate’ issue of the series here. Penultimate series issue means--SOME ANSWERS. Unlike ABC’s LOST (in it’s final season), we get SOME answers to our WRECKERS questions, even though they may seem about as satisfying as many of the answers to the mysteries on said show (NOT SATISFYING AT ALL) are.
What do we get answers to?
-what Wrecker(s) spark is extinguished
-what ‘aequitas’ is
-how Ironfist ‘made’ it on the Wreckers
-how totally ‘bad’ Springer really is
-how many OMG moments can Nick Roche put in one series
-how lame Pyro is/is not
-what the black smoke is (oops, wrong fiction)
-how the Wreckers will probably get out of this whole thing
-what was the choice Overlord offered
This question bugged me since the beginning. And like the answer to the statue on LOST, this one left me disappointed. We were right that aequitas had to do with judgement (google search definition, it’s there). We were right that it was big. But as far as I know, the rest of our ideas we had were all wrong. The biggest let down of this issue is probably this whole plot point’s revelation. Such a pity. Unless you are happy that it was not the obvious. Seeing this one play out in the final issue will determine my happiness with this answer. Fanwank critics should rejoice though...as in this does not feed our wankiness.
At least one spark is extinguished on the good guys side in this issue, and it relates to the above disappointment. To be expected with so many cons headhunting them on Overlord’s orders (last issue).
We find out a whole lot about Ironfist/Fisitron this issue. We knew from last issue that some strings were pulled to get him in, ie he skipped tryouts and was appointed to the team. Who might do this? None other than the high-ranking Autobot subject of our other review this month. On top of this we find out Ironfist is credited with making some of the most memorable weapons in certain Transformers’ arsenals, as well as, countless other WMD’s used in the Cybertronian War. Plus, he seems to get +10 in the brains department based on events in the final few pages of this issue. But he also may be upping his insanity +2. Lots going on with this character.
"A brilliantly designed piece of firepower is a work of art to me."
-SIDE SLIDE- finally we get the return of the Autobot Wiki in this issue’s end, and this entry is none other than our befuddled, hero worshiper, IRONFIST. Great, you guys (IDW) forgot to do this in two other issues. Maybe you’ll put something in the final issue about Overlord that takes three pages or something...
--SIDE SLIDE 2--I love how they use the older looking pages, colors, etc., for the flashback pages. What a nice touch from the artistic side, and I never mentioned it before.
SPRINGER = BAD@$$
While looking a crazed torturer in the face plate, Springer manages to have a conversation with Impactor about his feelings. We get to see part of the reason Springer is the leader of the Wreckers, as the two soldiers wax philosophical about the situation that landed Impactor in Garrus-9. This flashback is why Springer should be everyone’s favorite character. Oh my god, behind enemy lines type stuff here. Gritty, grimy, and so Wrecker like. Wait what about Topspin, aww sh--, no way! Stalker is quite good at his job, but someone seems to be a bit better.
Umm...so everyone was saying something about fun, and fanwank right? Wrong. This series has turned psychological, brutal, and dramatic. This issue revs it up a notch for some things that you were probably not prepared for. Sure there is fanwank type stuff here, but there is more that is just downright gut-wrenching, unexpected, and mind-boggling. Fun has turned into crazy, we’re talking messed up Joker crazy. Disorders upon disorder. It is somewhat tough to swallow at times, because of the dramatic change. But it seems to work for the story.
Okay, some wankiness... a Legion of Doom version of the Wreckers... really? C’mon...
Lame, lame, lame. People are going to want to take their Botcon versions and firecracker them after seeing this coward called out, and how he responds. He needs to be drummed out, assuming he survived. Somewhat predictable...probably with all his he’s Optimus Prime Jr. talk.
THE BLACK SMOKE It’s bad Locke. It’s the opposite of Jacob, and it wants off the island. And if you cross it, it can kill your @$$.
Once again, it is present, and once again, it may just save the day. Obvious, and easy, it better not be the ‘way out’. Boo to you Perceptor for offering it. Did you hate how the Magnificence made everything ‘too convenient’ in the ‘tion’ series wrap up? Perceptor had better have hated it enough to not use the one present here. Unfortunately, he voted YES.
“Fight me, or die...” Not much choice. Same result.
What’s old is new again...
Springer and Impactor UK #167
Where are these guys?
Springer, Sandstorm, and Broadside UK #88
No surprise that you will enjoy reading this one, and probably have to read it a few times . Then you will still be saying, “what the slag just happened?”
Obviously, I do not want to spoil everything for you, but our thoughts about Grimlock are addressed to a degree. I tried to review the plot in this issue without giving up exactly what happened. Hard to do with this and the next issue being the series wrap.
No matter what I say, you’ll be first in line tomorrow to buy it. You should. Buy two. One for each eye. It’s that enjoyable. And it has been that long since we have had something to look forward to this much.
“The evaluation is self-evident: one of their lives is not worth one of ours. That’s what the math dictates.”
Let me get this off my chest first and foremost. I am a Prowl S-L-A-P-P-Y. He was one of the first toys I owned as a child. From the TV show, he was also not everybody’s favorite robot, but he did see plenty of screen time, so I felt comfortable having him as a favorite that nobody else did. Man did I hate seeing him go down like he did in the movie.
In the Marvel comics, he was forgettable until the final issues of the series (“An 80- issue miniseries!”), mostly because in the span of the first 10 issues, he and a band of other Autobots were put down for the count early on by Shockwave, and then put into storage until they could be repaired. When Grimlock found the nucleon and repaired all the wrecked Autobots (wikitron fan fact- causing them to no longer have alt modes), Prowl came back to lead the Autobots as Bludegon led the Decepticons...and of course, Prowl led the Autobots into a Decepticon trap that just about destroyed them. Can’t catch a break. Grimlock dispised him as a weak leader as well.
So, I think you get the picture. Prowl’s claims to fame have been...
-right hand robot to the leader
-unfeeling, logic driven cad
-incompetent leader and soldier
-overall ‘party pooper’ of the Autobots
He did have a shining moment, at least in this Prowl fan’s eyes.
The episode Roll For It in Season 1 was the closest we’ve seen to an independent Prowl who does more than think, or act as a ‘yes man’ to authority. Unfortunately, he needed Chip Chase’s help to be this remarkable a warrior.
The TakaraTomy Binaltech fiction saw the reemergence of Prowl as a character, but again, needing Chip Chase as his more human side.
Prowl has been in every re-imagining of Generation One continuity you can name. His importance, as already stated, has never really gone past that of strategist relying on facts. As you can imagine, when the Transformers Spotlight Prowl was announced I was really excited ('Starscream fangirl' excited, no, excited, yes) that we might get something more about this underrated character.
The return of E.J. Su. Through the hazy mists who is it that we see reappear to light our darkest hour? None other than Transformers artist E.J. Su, back at work with IDW drawing Transformers.
“Hi, I’m EJ Su, you may remember me from such previous Transformers stories as Transformers: Infiltration, the hiding, and Transformers: Escalation, the slow build.”
Oh, and remember when we didn’t like E.J’s new designs on our 'Precious'? Many of us would love to see him come back and give Transformers Ongoing pencils a go.
His art does create a familiar, happy feeling to return to though. E.J. calls upon his ‘-tion’ style mostly, and brings us simpler, blockier designs based on each character’s Classics and Universe toy (for those that had one).
The work is gritty, and energetic, and yet, it fits like an old glove. Textures are handled, but not in an overly complex way. The inks and colors work well with the pencils to create an effect that many of us have missed in our Transformers comics lately.
What I really like though are the uses of the large, dark, shadow spots. They work well, and as a style, allow the artist to use less detail, and think more about the inter-workings of the negative and positive spaces these dark shadows cause. It also allows for more attention to be brought to the parts that are bright, which are usually the most important to helping us see the story.
I am sure that the art is going to cause some wincing among fans, but I find it refreshing, nostalgic, and interesting to look at. It has a certain Mike Mignola Hellboy feel to it (with less hell, more boy) that works well with Transformers.
Since All Hail Megatron Coda #15, Prowl has been left out of things. We’ve seen him helping Rodimus Prime’s bunch trying to get off of Earth in the Transformers Ongoing series (wikitron Fan Fact: Prowl got captured by humans as he was baited into trying to save Breakdown then **edit** rescued, in the battle for his rescue, Ironhide was lost). We’ve seen him pulling some strings as a high ranking Autobot leader to get certain people into certain places (See Spotlights Kup, and Ultra Magnus, and Last Stand of the Wreckers #4).
All this has led us to think is that Prowl is pretty much the Autobot equivalent of Shockwave, albeit less powerful of a fighter. Always calculating the math, and making decisions based on logic and numbers, never using instincts, or feeling to make his decisions. Prowl supports the Autobot cause to no end, and really does not question authority, as long as logic, and the numbers, support it.
This 'attempting to save Breakdown' incident in TF Ongoing #1 was a step in a new direction for Prowl. For those who may have thought, ‘What the hell?’ when Prowl made that somewhat uncharacteristic move, you’re about to be enlightened. This story tells the tale of Prowl between All Hail Megatron, and Transformers Ongoing #1. It gives us insights into the character that we perhaps have not given much thought to, or thought that the writers had given much thought to either.
This spotlight also helps fill in some pieces (like AHM Coda did), it is a fairly necessary read for anyone trying to make sense of the continuity that IDW is placing together.
For fans of Generation One characters that transform into police cars that are not named Streetwise, Siren, or Stakeout, this is written for you, as well.
Finally, Prowl fans can feel good that their guy is not just a logic driven, uncaring, strategist. We saw some passion in the Marvel series, and on the old cartoon, but until now, have really only seen him giving, and receiving orders.
In this issue Prowl has some intense inner dialogue where he is calculating the effectiveness of what they are doing on Earth, making suggestions, and feeling the command structure fall to pieces around him. He is caught up between his emotions and the logic, and this is what drives the story.
And then we see the heart in the tin man...
The entirety of the issue is either Prowl ‘debating’ with himself, self-narrating the story, or dialogue where he interacts with others. It fits very well. It is well written, and Mike Costa deserves praise for this issue's success because he is sure getting enough people contesting his writing/pacing in Transformers Ongoing.
This issue allows us to get into Prowl’s head, and heart, and finally feel he’s...something.
Long time coming, long overdue, and well executed. Prowl fan happy. Enjoy.
Check out the 5-page Prowl preview here, the issue hits your local comic shop somewhere near tomorrow.
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