Galvatron and company are around the ‘live’ universe becoming more powerful and with purpose. The Autobots are in the most disarray that you can imagine them ever being in--- and making choices that lead to serious, SERIOUS ramifications.
Megatron is simply toying with Optimus Prime, and Optimus Prime is showing an extremely frustrated side that one would rarely remember seeing before from the freedom focused noble-bot in even the most dire of circumstances.
But we’re leaving this scene for another corner of the TF-universe. A corner not seen in more than a few issues (at least six!). A section that can only make fans scratch their heads, and imagine what could possibly happen next. Enter Rodimus.
After being ‘ka-boomed’ by Megatron’s super-charged rail gun in the climax of Ongoing issue #13, we catch up with Rodimus floating dead in space with the matrix. He achieves planetfall, and crashlands on a planet that this reader has to say, he didn’t think he would see again with the way events had been going, previous events getting lost in favor of, and sometimes seemingly replaced by newer directions recently.
But in an effort to perhaps reach out to loyal readers, or maybe it was the plan all along, IDW has been returning (finally!) to previously set plot points, and events once again. Plot points that may have been going somewhere in the previous creative crews‘ minds‘ eyes, but were seemingly lost when they left. The newest example of revived plot points, Rodimus landing on the very same planet that holds FAN FAVORITE, should have been First Ballot hall-of-famer, rhyming, wildbot of Cybertron....Wheelie!!!!
*Pauses for cheers to die down*
Last seen stuck on this far away planet thanks to Spyglass, and his Reflector crew, with a 99.999999% chance of never being rescued (fudged that number a little bit), and ominously living near some ruins containing hieroglyphs of a familiar alien race, WHEELIE is once again reunited with a fellow Autobot after quite a long time. The Autobot is fortunately for him, no longer dead ("I feel happy!"), as the matrix is now imbedded into Rodimus’ chest plate like it was always meant to be there, and sparks life back into him.
Rodimus remembers Wheelie immediately upon meeting up with him stating, “You’ve been MIA for almost as long as I can remember. From since just after I got recruited to the Autobots.”
That seems like a long time ago indeed. It’s so long in fact, Wheelie does not even remember being an Autobot.
This issue is otherwise fairly boring. Setting up for the next, much more grand event, where these two young Autobots are going to make their return to Cybertron, and confront a very familiar foe, this issue mainly provides, well, not much. There’s some small piece concerning three other aliens on the planet, but it is quickly put to bed in favor of getting us to the next issue’s ‘will-be-awesomeness’. Yes, Wheelie and Rodimus are going to, thanks to the unlimited power of the matrix and the three disposable aliens, be able to escape the un-escapable planet, and arrive on Cybertron just in time to be a part of this summer’s CHAOS event.
Wheelie rhymes. Rodimus expounds on his injuries, and his new life, and his previous life, vowing to never leave a fellow Autobot behind...again. And Wheelie plays music now. ‘Nuff said?
...Is forgettable. This inconsequential issue will quickly be lost in the excitement of this summer’s huge CHAOS events. The two weary Autobots seem to be a bit less than benevolent in their dealings with the three aliens...a streak that seems to be on par with recent Autobot events.
Some might say this could be one of the most annoying issues ever containing both whiny Rodimus, and rhymey Wheelie, but overall the creative crew handled the two well, making sure to focus more on the positive aspects of each, rather than the more negative pieces of them that the fans have come to on some cases...loathe.
The dialogue is smooth and clean. I really wish if IDW changed something from G1 ‘as we know it’ that they would have kept Wheelie from rhyming. The Wheelie-logue drives me bonkers. Thankfully, it is not overwhelmingly done here. I’m just worried now that Wheelie’s back on cast, that his dialect will quickly make its way to the ‘drives me up the wall when I read it‘ category. But Wheelie calls Rodimus dumb to his faceplate, so it can’t be too bad right?
---Is Phenomenal. But I’m a Guido slappy. He renders and lines like the pro we know here creating some very beautiful portraits of Wheelie and Rodimus. His alien grunts are excellent as well, reminding me of Skeletor’s hench-lackeys from Masters of the Universe. And the alien ‘general’ seems to have a bit of a cthulhu in his family tree at some point. I have to say, I think Guido stepped it up. His lines on the robots seem more angular and straight, his figures more detailed and less cartoonish. HIs backgrounds detailed, and immense.
The inks, and colors are superbly done, as well.
Honestly, I thought the whole creative team did a really nice job with this issue. ‘It is what it is’ as the oft overused phrase goes. A simple re-introduction tale, setting up a lot bigger event. We get some characterization, and exposition, but not a lot of action. It’s cool though, because the excellent art will keep your eyes and mind quite busy.
Transformers Ongoing #19 is in stores Wednesday, May 18th, be sure to check it out yourself. If you still need more convincing, just check out the 7-page preview, and that should be the deal breaker. See you next time gentle-bots.
Credits to Mike Costa, Guido Guidi, Joana Lafuente, Chris Mowry, Carlos Guzman, and Andy Schmidt.
Youtube reviewer Peaugh has uploaded his newest Dark Of The Moon toy review. This time he reviews Voyager Class Sentinel Prime. How does it compare to the Leader Class figure? Watch the video which has been embedded below to find out.
So Here we are with our final review for Transformers Dark of the Moon Rising Storm, because today we take a look at Its fourth and final issue.
So let’s get started on Transformers Dark of the Moon Rising Storm #4
Just as always, Spoiler Heavy!
The issue starts out Megatron monologing to an imaginary Optimus Prime – again. And yes it's annoying. While doing so we cut back to The Autobots saving Sam and Company from Club Starscream.
"Life is the right of all sentient beings - except for those I don't like."
Prime then gets a call from his good friend Jolt, how how many adventures they had, and gets to witness first-hand how Shockwave kills him and the rest of the NEST base.
Speaking of which, that's exactly where we're going now. Fearswoop and Shockwave have a bit of a talk about killing Autobots, the former even remarking how unusual Shockwave's Autobot killing style is. And both of them kill, Autobots and humans, if you hate humans in your TF fiction – you'll love this series. Both leave the base.
"Welcome to the Jungle, we've got Fun and games!"
We are reunited with 2/3 the magic threesome as they are fighting Soundwave and his minions. Soundwave tells them just how dead they are. We then cut to the remaining part of the magic threesome, the Elita part and her escape from Astrotrain.
She manages to get into a city, believing that Astotrain cannot follow due to being a train, but he just transforms into his flight-mode. She gets all doomsday and decides that she'll kill him.
Back to Dam and Company, the Club Starscream is getting killed, while trying to run away from something.
Back to Elita and Astrotrain, Elita runs away from Astrotrain.
Back to Optimus Prime, he talks to Wheeljack, while Shockwave pinpoints his location. Elita shows up and tells him that:
“It's a TRAP!”
(If I didn't know this was written months ago, I would say someone's been reading my reviews of this series)
Thinking about it, she does look like General Akbar.
Elita tells Prime that the rest of her magic threesome is in danger, then Shockwave lands and crushes her under his foot.
"Oh My God! Those b@st@rds killed Elita!"
Oh bother, guess they'll have to revive her again, just like the last time she died.
Back to the rest of the magic threesome, they/she/it feels the death of Elita/herself/itself and hurt by this fact. Soundwave gets close to killing them/her/it, but the magic threesome manages to press a button which makes something go boom.
Back to Prime, Shockwave shoots Wheeljack and Mirage to bits, Prime asks him
“Why What Prime? I live to kill”
I love this Shockwave
Fearswoop, swoops in to help Shockwave, but crashes and dies in mid-air. Turns out that Wheeljack generated a force field around Prime and Shockwave. Prime threatens to kill Shockwave.
Back to the magic threesome twosome, they are shown to have survived.
Back to Prime beating up Shockwave. While Prime is just about to deliver the final blow, Shockwave's “pet” shows up bursting through the ground saving him, and then disappearing.
Ratchet states he might be able to save Wheeljack and Mirage, but they might never look the same again.
We end out comic with Starscream demanding to know why he was used as bait by Megatron, who replies with
“Have patience Starscream”
Oh he also finishes his monologue.
Get a Blog, Megatron.
You know, in my previous reviews I kept pointing out how the art looked bad and how the colours where bad, that has changed. The line-work, like I said previously isn't bad at all, it's not brilliant but it's really pretty good, but what about the colours? Well those are actually not that bad this time around. The colours have improved greatly and really show off the line-work now.
Overall the art is not brilliant, but it's pretty good.
I give the art 7 out of 10 stars.
On the writing
The writing is OK. This issue was kind of annoying to read, due to the events being broken up so suddenly, with something different at a different location with different characters happening on every second page, seriously.
So this issue was writing wise not that cool due to, well the distorted scene transmission, if this where a 20 minute long film, the plot-threads would rotate at a 1 minute time frame.
I give the writing 5 out of 10 stars.
This puts the comic at an average of 6 out of 10 stars.
So how’s the complete series? Well I guess I would rate the full story line at about 6.5 stars out of 10. I guess I'll try and get this in TPB form; yes I kind of enjoyed this series.
optibotimus has uploaded a video review of the race car inspired Wal-Mart exclusive Sidearm Sideswipe DOTM repaint. This version of Sideswipe is deco'd in vibrant yellow and blue, and features nods such as 'Sun Bro' and the number 04, G1 Sideswipe's Takara ID number. The review is embedded below.
-Joseph Conrad, 'The Heart of Darkness' circa 1902
While this comic series (#2 in stores Wednesday!) will probably not make it into quite the same literary acclaim that the predecessor novel has, it looks to be exploring a character in a new, deeper and more exciting way. Will this book lead us into deeper thinking and understanding for people’s inner demons and parallel said book’s themes of what’s dark in and around all of us? We’ll have to read it to find out, but from our beginning two issues we can see that Galvatron has taken a very introspective look at himself, and his new relationship to the universe.
Accomplished veteran writing duo, Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning, step into the Transformers universe and take their shot at iconic characters Galvatron, Cyclonus, Scourge, and Arcee in this mini-series about Galvatron’s return to Gorlam Prime and the dead universe, and what he finds waiting for him there. We had a taste of what they could do with our favorite robots in Transformers Infestation #’s 1 and 2, and in Transformers Heart of Darkness they continue their set up of Galvatron as a major mover and shaker in the months to come.
Recap Issue #1 leading into Issue #2 Summary (SPOILERS!!!):
Galvatron feels called to Gorlam Prime and finds it devoid of life forms, as if there were a mass planetary exodus, or some sort of genocide. He and his recently reborn minions (sort of re-establishes what Galvatron did in Transformers Ongoing Coda #14 using the ‘Heart of Darkness’ and what happened to him after Optimus Prime flung him into the nega-energy core thingy).
Returning to where the trans-dimensional portal was found deep below the surface of Gorlam Prime, Galvatron displays new strength, and a narrow determination to find out how Gorlam Prime’s fate ties in with the dead universe, and his newly reconstructed self. This area was a focus for Nightbeat, Hardhead, Jhiaxus, and the micromasters in the fondly referred to ‘-tion’ series (Infiltration, Escalation, Devastation, and Revelation) and a pivotal nexus for crossing between the universe and the dead universe.
The previous portal was a giant lake-like area, but Galvatron and company find it has changed in its state from liquidish lake to a floating energy sphere. And besides the new spherical portal, they have found the tortured, and ruined pieces of Jhiaxus, who Arcee was busy ripping apart the last time we saw her (end of Revelation) to get revenge for Jhiaxus’ experimenting on her and creating her female form (Spotlight Arcee and the -tion series).
Galvatron uses the Heart of Darkness (anti-matrix) to re-create/re-animate/re-power/re-construct Jhiaxus, as he did Cyclonus, and Scourge. Through Jhiaxus he hopes to learn the fate of the people of Gorlam Prime, and how the spherical portal came about.
However, before too much can be shared, an unlikely pair of super-charged Autobots comes out guns blazing to protect the sphere. These two Autobots being none other than Arcee and Hardhead and they beat Galvatron down something fierce!
The series started off with a a pretty big bang, at least in the story development department. Abbnett and Lanning seem to have a pretty good grasp on the direction they want Galvatron to go, and the pace and speed they want he, and the other characters to make their important realizations.
Issue #2 continues this with more Galvatron introspection as he finds his way into the dead universe through the portal. However, the dead universe, heart of darkness, power of the anti-matrix or what not, has become somewhat of a crux for him. He seems to have lost a bit of his own independence in favor of the power that the dead universe has bestowed upon him. In fact, he relies on this power to re-animate himself, and his comrades, and himself again...so he has felt his own mortality, but is granted the power repeatedly to beat death for himself and others.
Speaking of powering up and beating death, Arcee and Hardhead seem to have become super-powered in their stay at Gorlam Prime. A few shots and they take down Galvatron, dealing him mortal wounds before he even blinks. Then they scare the bejeebus out of Jhiaxus, Scourge, and Cyclonus, as they beat them down. Scared s_itless, Cyclonus, Scourge, and Jhiaxus try as they might, seem to have no desire, will, confidence, or strength to beat these two Autobots. Having seen what was done to Galvatron, the ‘deadheads’ basically give up.
And then Galvatron gets better. And he does his best to destroy Hardhead and Arcee. They bear his best shot well, but are weakened, and panicked. Smarter heads prevail and Hardhead sends Arcee to warn her fellow Autobots about Galvatron, the dead universe, Gorlam Prime, and possibly ultimate doom.
Very quickly the cowardly deadites turn into confident soldiers and Galvatron very non-violently probes Hardhead’s mind to find out what has happened to create these changes in Gorlam Prime and the portal. Cyclonus and Scourge chase Arcee into an ancient-er area of Gorlam Prime, an underground city with sculptures of beings with Autobot matrix-like symbols on their chests.
Arcee is quickly overcome and as the chase concludes, she falls (is helped by cannon fire) into the abyss supposedly to her doom.
Galvatron enters the sphere entirely, encountering an entity called... U - N - I...just kidding, it was called D-Void and it is coming to feed on the sparks of sentient robotic beings (Gorlam Prime inhabitants were the appetizer), and finds Cybertronian sparks to be the richest flavor-- the best part of waking up--.
Galvatron vows to raise an army and defeat it. He exits the portal knowing his new goal, crazily trying to blast his new nemesis within the portal. Will the Autobots believe him and help? Will the Decepticons join Galvatron’s idealistic campaign?
My Take on the Writing:
I am intrigued by the series. Let me set this straight, I am intrigued by the characterization of Galvatron in the series, his devotion to finding out what his new purpose is, how it relates to what D-void might actually be, and considering how this will lead into CHAOS!
However, the writing falls somewhat short when dealing with the character formerly known as Cyclonus, and other supporting cast members. It’s true in Galvatron’s AHM Coda issue, Cyclonus felt beaten, and ready to just give in to the dead universe, but Galvatron and the Heart of Darkness cured him of this, and he recommitted himself to Galvatron, and being his ‘seeker’ (along with Scourge).. his lieutenant. But he does not seem to be the confident, adept, and powerful warrior that we saw in Revelation, or briefly in Coda. The character who didn’t bat an eye at single handedly taking on a ship of Autobots, or traveling between the real universe and dead universe to do tasks for Galvatron is absent, replaced by a bot who is unable to deal with dead universe enhanced Hardhead, his new situation, or the new Galvatron.
The dead universe crew seem to all be a bit sniveling and cowardly, more so than I thought we had seen based on INFESTATION and the previous material in the ‘-tion’ series.
However, it is a relief to see events, characters, and plot points re-addressed in this new series. The exposition by Galvatron can seem a bit uncharacteristic at times, but this is probably the best written version of Galvatron we have seen in fiction thus, far. Many times better than the Marvel Galvatron, or the cartoon Galvatron, he is separate from Megatron, and the inevitable meeting has to have other people than me happily anticipating a major throwdown for Decepticon leadership.
Writing has me on board. Abnett and Lanning are doing a good to great job. Galvatron’s internal dialogue is nice to read, and shows the level of introspection he is having, rather than just ‘rah! and crazy’, Autobot destroying, and power hungry, but some of the dialogue seems rather, out of place, or dated (uncharacteristic) sounding.
Artistically, though this series blows me away...in how poor, uneven, and inconsistent it is.
I would be very hard-pressed to find a time when there was such a mismatch in artistic quality with writing quality, although I am sure it has happened. But, and this is going to sound harsh, I feel like you could match Ulises with Shakespeare and people would not want to read the comics because the art was that bad.
There are truly some beautifully rendered pieces in the book like the his cover works. But most of the bots within the pages of the book are simply horrible to bad in their details and proportions. Chain-chin Cyclonus. Piston-Nostriled Jhiaxus. Plier-head Cyclonus. Super-legs Arcee. MP-09 handed Cyclonus.
The artwork is very...disturbing is not the correct word. I guess I just want to know where Ulises got his commission from. He has a web page with his art on it, he’s been hired to do different things, but for some reason, his style, his work just is not translating really well to this form of art. He’s a newcomer to Transformers, but his art seems much better suited to flesh and bloods, rather than robots.
From Issue #1 to Issue #2 he has improved a lot in his consistency, but there is still a lot of room for improvement. Issue #1, I needed to look to see if other artists were credited for doing any of several of the pages, issue #2 I did not feel like that--it was much more even.
I just cannot fathom why there are some fantastic draw dropping pictures of Hardhead and Galvatron, and then there are some of Cyclonus, Scourge, Arcee and others that look like they were drawn by a much, much, much lesser hand.
And who am I to judge? Just a consumer who knows what he likes, has a little bit of art school training, many years of comic book reading and enjoying, and once thought he might illustrate comics. Looking at this, I need to get my portfolio in order, I might be able to find me some work out there.
Keep working Ulises, IDW is giving you your chance and you are making improvements. I hope you make the most of it!
Overall, I believe you, a Transformers comic book fan and reader, should give this series a look. Two issues of four down, it’s very intriguing, and looks to more than likely be leading into the CHAOS which is happening this starting this summer. It also relates itself very clearly to previous story arcs, characters, and plot details, bringing back some things that perhaps you did not know you should care that were still dangling. Some loose ends are getting tied up, which for long term readers is quite a rewarding feeling.
I haven’t enjoyed much in Transformers lately, but I found this to be a worthy read.
The art will be hard to take for many when you first look, but as I stated, there are certainly some gems amongst the rabble, but every series is far from perfect in the creative areas, just as hacks like myself are far from perfect at writing, drawing, and creating items to share with our communities.
The comic starts off at the N.E.S.T. Base, the bots and the humans have a bit of a conversation on how weird and creepy the refugees are. I'm not really going to describe everything in detail because I don't care, the reason comes later.
We cut back to Optimus Prime and co in a plane off to save Sam. Optimus and Elita have a conversation about how dedicated they are to killing Decepticons. Elita gets angry because Prime left them back on Cybertron and she saw Chromia die, and then died herself or something, Prime then says the funniest line any Optimus Prime has ever said:
“Don't forget you you're talking to, I've died too, Elita.”
For some reason that just cracks me up, he's like Stan Lee, pointing out the awesome things he's done whenever he gets the chance, just that Prime is kinda lame while doing so.
Who edits this? Who edits this? Insecticons. Insecticons.
There is one thing bothering me though, until now I've been under the impression that Arcee is the main unit of the three, while the other two are extensions of her but still have a bit of autonomy from one another. But here it looks like Elita-1 is the main unit while Arcee is part of her. You know what, I'm beyond caring at this point, these three are from now on the Magic Threesome to me.
So anyway, the Magic Threesome is thrown out of the plane to do something, it wasn't really stated what they where going to do, just that it had something to do with infiltration (herm, I'd rather be reading that comic to be honest).
We cut back to EXTREAM Sam and company who are still under attack by Club Starscream. In this fight it is revealed that Bludgeon is not based off off the ROTF toy, but has a new different design, or it's just the artist not giving a f**k about what the character's supposed to look like – take your pick (But I have to say I wouldn't mind buying a toy that looks like that). Also Bludgeon kills a Decepticon while aiming at Mirage, who is invisible, I like Bludgeon especially due to his response:
“Sorry, Storm Surge. I always knew you'd wind up as Collateral damage. Now where did Mirage go...”
Better than "My bad".
We also learn that Wheeljack has forcefields, just like Trailbreaker, oh and he's British. I can't help it, but the pages featuring Mirage and Wheeljack sound like a commercial for their toys.
“Hey kids I'm Wheeljack. I have lasers, I do science and I have a Forcefield!” “That's my best mate Mirage, he goes invisible! And look at his awesome Ninja skills!” “BUY OUR TOYS NOW, buy em or go and ask your bloody PARENTS TO BUY THEM!”
Well, then EXTREAM Sam goes out to find Brains, in an EXTREAM way. There he meets Space Case, who tries to kill Carly so he drinks his POWERTHIRST and gives Space Case an EXTREAM wack to the head with a crow Bar, EXCTREAM.
Then Carly saves Sam by shooting Space Case with a gun that looks to be attached to a Transformer lying on the ground, don't ask me which one, they all look the same, so I guess it's Jazz.
Why Carly, is that a gun or are you just happy to.. NO!
Then we go back the the Magic Threesome sneaking up on a large Decepticon, who is talking over a com link with another Decepticon. Stating that the cage is set and the pet is locked up.
It's revealed that the Decepticon is Astrotrain, seriously he's in this comic o_O, so I guess it wasn't Cybertron Thundercracker I saw in the last issue, and the Master is Shockwave. Also the hunt for Brains is just a way of distracting Club Starscream.
There's a tentacle monster in the cage, or is the tentacle monster part of the cage? Also that cage seems useless, because the Tentacle monster can slide it's tentacles through it.
Which idiot designed this?
The Magic Threesome then realizes that the whole thing was a
And are met by Soundwave and his minions, who lay a smackdown on them. Then the Magic Threesome decides to “Kill all Decepticons”, but also tells the Elita part to go get help.
Back to EXTREAM Sam and company and Club Starscream. Starscream finds out that he's been Shockwave'ed and finds himself in the middle of the Autobot reinforcements coming to help EXTREAM Sam.
We then return to Shockwave, who goes to the N.E.S.T. HQ to do what he does best, killing things. Yep, everybody dies,.even humans, but we don't see them die. Their death panels are just the sound effect on a background of random colours.
Feel lucky bud?
So that was it.
On the art:
The art is all over the place, some pages look pretty good while others look freaking horrible. It fluctuates, sometimes parts of a panel look good while the rest of it looks like an afterthought. There are group shots of characters standing behind other characters, where body parts that should be visible are just cut off by empty hippy coloured space. Also sometimes it looks like the art isn't even inked. The colours are a little better than in the previous image but still bad, especially due to the fact that TWO people where responsible for the colours in this comic, TWO and they still look like a comic from the 80's. Seriously, the G1 toon had less colour issues.
Overall, however, I feel that the line-art isn't too bad, it just looks worse than it is due to the colour job. That's the thing with colouring, it can make or break an image.
Oh no, I'm missing body parts! they have been absorbed into the hippy coloured black hole we have here for some reason!
I give the art on the art 3 of 10 stars.
On the writing:
The writing's not that bad, there are a few issues here and there, a few things that don't make sense, and a few things that just seem really really stupid. But overall not that bad, you know stuff is actually happening, characters are actually in character and consistent with their previous portrayals which is more than what I can say of other TF books.
Also I get the feeling that this story will be pretty good once itS' collected in the trade, it's just a shame that the art is so incredibly lazy and god awful.
also I would like to point out that the editing is almost as bad as in Spotlight: Grimlock, just saying.
I give the writing 6 out of 10 stars.
Which gives the comic an average of 4.5 out of 10.
I have only recently gotten back into Transformers comics which gives me a fresher perspective on where they are and where they've come from. However, IDW's latest was not the breath of fresh air I had hoped it was going to be. So without further ado, here is my review of IDW Transformers #18:
Issue #18 picks up where #17 left off... right after Jazz had killed a human in "self-defense," Prime nearly killed Soundwave whom had nearly killed Ultra Magnus.
This issue starts off with Prime checking news reports while an oddly-colored version of Wheeljack is busy trying to repair Thundercracker (a Decepticon POW who is trying to make a deal with the Autobots in order to save his own rusty tailpipe). Thundercracker is asking for Ratchet (because obviously Wheeljack is no medical professional) but he's busy patching up the Autobot wounded. I honestly laughed when he asked for Ratchet. Obviously, Wheeljack even has a bad reputation for blowing things up among the Decepticons. Prime deals with Thundercracker about Megatron's location, knowing he would take Soundwave somewhere to be repaired. Obviously, he gets the information he's looking for because he quickly puts a plan into action.
There's a tender "passing of the Matrix" moment between Prime and the battle-damaged Ultra Magnus who reveals that he had placed a tracking chip on Soundwave... *GASP!* Dun-DUN-dun!!! There's kind of a cool, retro moment at the beginning of page 5 where Prime is checking out his old gun back from Generation 2.
He checks in with Ratchet on Jetfire's ability to go into orbit but NOT to see any combat (which is part of Prime's plan to be revealed later). Then there's some confusion. In the last panel on page 5, an Autobot is begging Prime not to go or at least let him go with Prime to battle to which Prime replies that he is suspended until Bumblebee is healthy again. I'm not sure if this is Jazz or Prowl. I assume it is Jazz based on the last issue, but the very next panel on page 6 shows Prowl from the back. The two characters on page 5 and 6 are almost identically drawn except for Prowl's obvious emergency lights on his back and head color. Personally, I wished they had distinguished the two characters much better and we only get ONE panel of information concerning the mind-blowing shocker from last issue about Jazz killing a human? Anyways, Prowl tries to talk some sense into Prime and is worried that his plan is too rash and based on revenge and anger while Jetfire transforms and heads into the atmosphere.
Cut to my favorite Transformer of all-time: SHOCKWAVE! *applause* Shockwave is busy trying to repair Soundwave at the same time Prime is implementing his plan. Optimus Prime "drops in" on Megatron's party unannounced to "duke it out" mono e mono (although I suppose it should be described as roboto e roboto). There is a really cool splash page on page 7 where Prime makes his heroic entrance. And Optimus basically asks Megatron to "take it outside." There's another cool panel on page 8 while the two mortal enemies head out to do battle with all the Deceptcons following behind including Skywarp, couple of Constructicons, Ravage, Rumble, Frenzy, Dragstrip, and the triple-changers. Megatron is a photocopy of the upcoming War for Cybertron re-paint. Megatron chats about how the humans have started to turn against the Autobots, blah, blah, blah. He has a new weapon that Prime points out is a railgun and Megatron brags about how it doesn't even half to be fully charged to destroy a human city... but it IS fully charged! Then Prime starts talking about how humans have made advancements in weaponry over the years ... I had flashbacks of the original comics where the characters would describe who they were and what their weapons were called and what they could do or what their "special abilities" were.
And FINALLY after 9 pages, we see some ACTION! Prime fires his "kinetic harpoon" which basically "tags" Megatron and sends a satellite crashing down on him from space at mach 10 while Prime speeds away to get clear. Page 12, the bots finally do less talking and we get some BAY-PLOSIONS! Prime is shocked that Megatron survives and there's a weird moment where he grabs Megatron by the throat after BREAKING his own gun across Meg's face and says "Why can't you ever die?" Cut to an epic shot of Omega Supreme and we are shocked by Megatron carrying Prime home all beat up and surrenders himself.
Then we are back to the talking. Megatron and Prime go back and forth for three pages about how Megatron is exactly where HE wants to be and how Spike had Scrapper EXECUTED and that Prime is a traitor to his own kind working with the humans. Prime sets up a secret investigation into the humans' activities and then we are back to the news watching humans slowly turn against ALL Transformers (which again reminds me of the early comics when humans couldn't tell the difference between factions and condemned all giant, alien robots) and on page 20, we get a bunch of panels showing all the loose ends to the different parts of the story... Jazz and Prowl looking tense... Bumblebee and Magnus in the repair bay with Ratchet as well as the humans suits being loaded onto a transport. And we end with Prime pondering by himself in a nice, big one-shot on page 21.
As far as story goes, there's a LOT of talking. It's my opinion that comic books don't require as much dialogue as they are graphical depictions of stories and much of the stories are told through images and not through the text... not the case in this issue, I'm afraid. Talk, talk, talk, talk, talk. Do these bots ever shut up and DO stuff? Most of the dialogue is necessary to move the story along, but this issue was severely lacking in action.
We get to see some of our favorite characters which is always nice, but they have been "Michael-Bayed" into transmutated versions of half-movie robots and half-War for Cybertron. Optimus Prime's chest is OBVIOUSLY based on the movie as well as Bumblebee's paint scheme which is almost EXACTLY the same as it is in the Reveal the Shield action figure. Ratchet looks almost identical to his WFC counter-part as well as Jetfire and the seekers (what little we see of them). Prime's "ears" or antennae seem to move by themselves from panel to panel. They kind of remind me of Justice League Unlimited Batman now. And Shockwave's eye has changed from Generation 1 yellow to Dark of the Moon red.
There were so many subtle advertisements for Dark of the Moon and War for Cybertron that I lost count. I can't tell if the writers/artists were doing it on purpose or not, I mean, I thought we were past this? I thought Transformers comics stopped trying to sell toys a long time ago? I thought they were "focusing on story" and not on advertising for toys? Maybe I was wrong.
But back to the story. There was just too much talkin' and not enough scrappin' in my opinion. I had gotten my hopes up when I read the preview before I got to read the entire issue. It wasn't the story and characters that I had grown up with anymore. Good and bad have become blurred and characters have more depth than they did. All that I'm happy with, but the main reason I read Transformers comics is for the transformin' and the scrappin' and there wasn't enough of either. It seemed that they were trying VERY hard to move the story along with the dialogue and it just didn't move smoothly. It seemed jaded and forced. I mean, I know villains gloat and brag about their plans but Megatron talks more than any other character in the entire issue! He used to be more of a "blow-em-up-now-and-chat-later" kinda' guy.
If I were going to rate this issue on a scale of 1 to 5 stars, I would have to give it a three. There were several cool moments and a few reminiscent retro moments that I really enjoyed, and I ALWAYS love seeing Shockwave, but it wasn't a particularly thrilling or captivating read. Very little important plot points. If you were a casual reader, you could skip this issue and not really miss anything. There just weren't any HUGE "WHOA" or "AHA" moments like the last issue had.
Speaking of last issue, why wasn't there more about that huge moment with Jazz? There was barely a mention of it at all! I guess we will just have to wait and see where the next issue takes us.
YouTube reviewer extraordinaire peaugh has uploaded a review of the highly anticipated Transformers United Rumble & Frenzy. US fans are getting a little nervous about being able to find the domestic versions of these little guys. See what peaugh thought about them in the video embedded below.
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