MEGATRON'S DESCENT! In the early days of the war on CYBERTRON, OPTIMUS PRIME puts everything on the line to unify the planet—but not everyone agrees that this new Prime should be in charge! Meanwhile, the fallen DECEPTICON leader, MEGATRON, begins a journey that will change everything. Plus—what is the terrible secret of the DINOBOTS?
In an unexpected, unless you read the solicits, twist, IDW have decided to release their digital-first series Monstrosity as a mini-series of four print issues, before issuing the paperback. The series picks up where Autocracy left, and features the same creative team at the helm: Metzen, Dille and Ramondelli.
As seems to be the norm by now in IDW Transformers, there are a number of plots running alongside each other in the same issue (which is, in fact, three digital releases): Megatron has been chucked onto Junkion by Scorponok, who now wants to be the big 'Con, Orion Pax Optimus Prime trying to assert his power as new 'Bot leader, and the Dynobots.. being the Dynobots.
Dai Atlas shows up, Scorponok is bad, Swindle is ..Swindle and there's quite the rounded cast to the whole set-up. Maybe a little too big, at times. There's a sense of wanting to include a lot material in a really short type of publication, and in some aspects, that can detract from the overall enjoyment.
Bulkhead's here too!
So far, I am not blown away by the story. Megatron sometimes borrows some elements (as I see it) from the live-action films, and that is not a value judgement, at all. But he is not particularly original, and I have a bad feeling he may become tiresomely 'tough-bad-guy'. We'll see.
In terms of art, we've all come to know Livio Ramondelli's work, and I think he has definitely improved his technique: where he used to shine particularly in wide shots and splash pages, he now packs a mean punch in terms of close-ups too! The monstrous aspect of some of the characters also works really well with his style.
And I mean close-ups
In terms of colours, it's Ramondelli working on his own, and yes, he does know how to colour. Quite nicely, too. And I am really really happy to see Tom B. Long on lettering here too! He works really well with the art style, and adds some really good soundwords to fight scenes.
So the art is pretty good, the colours are amazing, some of the wideshots are absolutely stunning, the lettering makes stuff really pop. Yes, artistically, this is a good issue. My minor pick is with smiles on some of the characters, that can look a little out of place at times, but it is a minor pick!
Thoughts Spoilerish ahead
There you have it. Artistically, I have very few complaints, and it all looks brilliant. I do, however, have some issues with the story, especially in terms of Megatron's characterisation. I will be looking out for how his story develops from the next issue, and it will hopefully pick up again - there's so much interesting potential in the character.
Like, why does he adore cloaks?
All in all, this is an enjoyable if predictable issue, and I believe it has to live with its predecessor Autocracy and the two current ongoings - especially seeing as it comes out together with the highly well-received More Than Meets The Eye. It's worth a read, definitely, as there are some nice surprises going on in there, and I'm interested to see where they'll be taken.
YouTube toy reviewer peaugh has now posted his review of Transformers Generations Legends Class Megatron with Chop Shop. Megatron comes in his tank vehicular mode and Chop Shop transformers into both an insect and weapon. Check out his review embedded below:
"DON'T LET THEM TAKE SKIDS!" The crew of the Lost Light left CYBERTRON before they could hear those words—part of a message from the future warning of terror and catastrophe and a threat to the entire Cybertronian race. Can the AUTOBOTS do anything to stop the beginning of the end?
Skids, being observant
Rodimus is still telling his story to Ambus, as the crew we know of seem to be stuck in a room, or a cell. And we've reached the point at which we actually start finding out what has happened - at least, as much as Roberts will let on within the span of a single issue.
At the same time, though, the part of the crew left on the ship, all of the parts of the crew left on the ship, are fighting off the legion of Legislators that have invaded The Lost Light. Swerve and Skids, Whirl and Cyclonus, Trailcutter, Dipstick, Hoist - everyone. And Ratchet faces Pharma. Mad Doctor Pharma.
Yeah, that guy
I will not spoil anything about this issue, because saying anything will ruin, in my opinion, the reading experience. I will not hold back on spoilers if this keeps happening though. What I will say is: There is one big reveal, a startling one and silent yet massive one. Oh, and a minor shocking one.
This might be one of them - sort of
There is a distinct feeling that Roberts has been trying to cram a lot of things into this issue, and I think that detracts from the full enjoyment of the story. That said, it's still a fun, fast-paced, swift-turning read, and plenty enjoyable.
Milne is definitely back, since last issue, and his style just shines through. Shearer's work on inks really makes it show, as well. There are some amazing-looking panels, including the Metrotitan graveyard, and there are so many action shots that it's incredible he can keep everything working at the same time. But it works. He manages to drop in some cameos too.
There are some seriously amazing things being done with colour and lettering too. The Metrotitan graveyard shot is nothing short of gorgeous, with Burcham's toned-down grey and brown and the sheer sense of scale of these things. And Tom B. Long gets a double round of applause for his My First Blaster singing-bubbles.
Customisers everywhere go in a frenzy
What can I add, the artistic team on this issue does a fantastic job. Milne and Shearer do great linework, Burcham adds his colour magic and Long rounds it off with amazing lettering. Seriously, I have nothing to say on top of that!
Thoughts Spoilerish ahead
So the issue is well paced, shifting almost seamlessly between narration, multiple action scenes and present-time happenings. It looks gorgeous, and there are some wide shots which are truly breathtaking. Why do I feel there's a but coming, then? Too many revelations.
I bloody well hope so
I know, people will complain because I'm complaining about new things happening, but as I said before, I think too much has been thrown into a single issue, something that had happened already with the Overlord battle. It's a little too packed to score a perfect ten (well, five) but it's an amazing issue, and you'd be a fool not to pick it up.
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.
. out of
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