Tuesday, March 30th 2010 1:18am CDT
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Posted by: Tigertrack
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I would like to officially lobby for a full time comic to follow around Nick Roche’s Wreckers, and/or his new/old baddie Overlord. How about ‘Tales of the Wreckers’
? Last stand be damned.
Last week, we didn't have the opportunity to review LSOTW #3 (of 5)
, but it needs to be discussed. Since it is no secret about my love of that series as opposed to the Transformers Ongoing
, I am going to review each comic, sort of step by step, and you can be the judge. Juxtaposing the plot, characters, and so forth may help me to like TFOngoing more...or less. Hoping maybe it gives you all a chance to sound off on the similarities and differences you like as well.
First of all, Wreckers #3
came out last week. There are not a lot of secrets left about that issue. Transformers Ongoing #5
brings March to a close this week...but does it close in an exciting and stormbringery manner, or just kind of pitter around, quietly going about its business in a petrorabbit like way?
The first six pages are a dialogue between Major Witwicky and Optimus Prime. Spike is trying to find out what is motiviating Optimus Prime and the Autobots on Earth. Optimus Prime is reflecting on his leadership abilities, and reasons through aloud to Spike, why it is that he left the Autobots. Deeply heartfelt, and sentimental, this section contradicts and yet compliments the other section of the book. Spike seems to start to understand that there is more than a war torn leader here, and that Optimus’ actions may not be some strategic ploy. Optimus is trying to learn, but has been both selfish, and selfless at the same time in his surrender to the humans.
“We needed to change. And so I chose to abdicate, and to turn myself upon your mercy for what my leadership has brought to your world.”
“You humans have the ability to learn in less than a single lifetime what it has taken me uncountable generations to grasp.”
But what if Optimus leaving the Autobots has caused an even worse fate to be thrust upon them than what would have been if he stayed?
The first two pages are Overlord freeing Shockwave from Garrus-9, and Shockwave monocularly seeing through Overlord’s ploy, as an attempt to get Megatron’s attention. The phase six robot idea is brought up again...
“Having one eye makes you see the world in unusual ways, Shockwave...”
“Thankfully. You’re not the first phase sixer to bait Megatron, Overlord...”
“True. But I only need to be the last...”
Fantastic dialogue. One can ‘hear’ these powerful robots having this conversation.
They have reached a bargain, and Shockwave is going to remove a virus that Overlord has, a blindspot, that Shockwave himself installed on Megatron’s orders in exchange for a crew, ship, and his freedom. We are led to wonder what this blindspot is or did? And how will Overlord be without it? Could this be like the kill switch that Sixshot had in him that Starscream used successfully in the -tion series?
Then, the next four pages-- Wreckers getting in over their heads, making a crash landing on Garrus-9, and infiltrating in two smaller groups. A very fun part, Fisitron’s Unofficial Wreckers’ Training Manual
narrative absolutely contradicting the actions of said Wreckers’ actions on the pages. A nicely done piece of writing and art there. Very well thought out.
“Bold words Overlord. But you reckoned without one thing... Wreckers combine!”
“Well, I thought it was funny.”
An entertained Overlord ends up delivering the real punchline to the joke, and ending the life of Rotorstorm.
Ultra Magnus proceeds to the Autobot headquarters cave, and decides he needs to deputize some of Bumblebee’s team to help him arrest the offending group (Rodimus’ group offended Ultra Magnus last issue, Magnus made like the Terminator and vowed to be back after he was summarily dismissed by Rodimus PRIME’s, perhaps, short-sighted thinking).
“We’re heading out in ten minutes. Get Huffer to bring me some Energon.”
Witwicky’s new ride (Brakedown) is ‘jacked by Dead End, and Dragstrip with him in it. Spike makes a funny right before he goes for this fateful drive...
“...unless some robot turns up that’s capable of eating the entire planet or something, don’t bother me, I’m heading out for a drive to clear my head.”
Foreshadow? Mr. Costa you do tease.
And the Stunticons true motivations are somewhat revealed as they communicate about the squishing of the pesky human even at the expense of their damaged teammate.
Spoiler and bad news: Spike escapes squashing.
Non-stop action as the Wreckers are in deep doo-doo. Both teams are overrun by cons, but they do not look as sharp, or as powerful as it seems we were led to believe they were in their legendary buildups in Stormbringer and the -tion series.
Jumpstarter fans are rewarded with some cool fan-wank about shared sparks. Turns out these two are like the Tomax and Xamot of the TF G1 Universe. (Don’t know who Tomax and Xamot are? Read G.I. Joe: Cobra II for some insight).
We also get to learn the fate of two Autobots in this issue that we have not heard from since issue #1. Poor Kickoff...You did not choose wisely. Or Overlord is simply sick and messed up.
Overlord issues rewards for the Wreckers’ heads...Decepticons get motivated. Wreckers get sloppy.
Swindle tinkers with the Stunticons...‘fixing’ Brakedown. Bluestreak comments on the sudden overwhelming Decepticon interest in this action and how much time they are devoting to it instead of the ship. FORESHADOW!
Magnus and his Barney Fifes head back to the illegal starship created by Team Rodimus and Team Swindle. Ultra Magnus makes his normal decree about being an officer of the Tyrest Accord, he has a warrant, etc. Rodimus says no leave us alone, Bumblebee tries to step in. Magnus dismisses them both.
Swindle comes over to the negotiations, offers to “take over from here”
almost giddy. Definitely smug.
Rodimus is confused. Swindle’s and the Decepticons’ true colors are revealed as he offers to take the ship, and kill every Autobot here, starting with Magnus.
Guess who’s doing the killing? Swindle’s creation. Must have some illegal tech specs being the arms dealer and all because he sure did make some improvements...robot has skills.
There is a very nicely rendered splash page here to emphasize the awesomeness of this creation’s 1st appearance in the IDW-verse. Nice work Don!
The Wreckers luck upon Fortress Maximus next. Overlord was using his barely online husk to try to pick the lock codes that will let them in to ‘Aequitas’
cell. This mysterious thing (Aequitas) was introduced last issue, but we don’t know anymore about it now than we did then. All we know is it is important, even Prowl thinks so.
Issue #3 ends with one group of Wreckers being tortured and the other group looking to enter Aequitas’ cell...
“At last everyone, this is Aequitas. I don’t think introductions are appropriate, do you?” (Wreckers are looking up into very tall, well lit cell)
Both issues were really solid reads this month. Wreckers is really panel to panel fun, both art and dialogue-wise.
Ongoing, while still the slower of the two stories, has come to a point where there is some good, solid action...that we should see next issue. Of course, being an ongoing series, story arcs can take more issues to build than in the minis.
If you have been reading these issues, you won’t be surprised by what is happening in either. Ongoing is doing its slow build to the excitement we should see in issue #6, where Rodimus’ ideals are ultimately betrayed, and we get some good bot on bot fighting. Fighting like we have been getting from issue #1 of the Wreckers series. The Don Fig TF Ongoing covers are dead giveaways of what is happening next. Looks like it should be a fun time based on the issue #6 wrap-around cover . Don has always been great at his splash pages, and his cover work. No surprise that this issue’s events warrant this ultra-awesome piece.
In the next issue of the Wreckers, we should see the reveal of Aequitas, and somehow, someone should be making a move to help out the Wreckers, or else issue #5 will be it. Maybe that’s why the series is called, “Last Stand of the Wreckers”. *sad*
‘Tales of the Wreckers’ needs to happen. Roche needs to be on it. Just saying.
I am curious as to how Mike Costa and Nick Roche were allowed to choose up characters for their series. Was it like a draft? After ‘All Hail Megatron’ and what we saw as a group that was Wreckers and a few others combined, we get split into groups that have Wreckers long time roster members left on Earth (noticeably Roadbuster, and Sandstorm), and new members joining in space.
The Earth-bound bots in ongoing don’t make sense to me. Why can’t they be extracted? Why didn’t the Wreckers come after Roadbuster, Sandstorm, Drift, Blurr, Hot Rod, Blaster, or any others that were with them before the great team meld of AHM?
I think my sense of time is off here. And I am confused by the end of AHM and who ended up where, and why, and what resources the Autobots have where. Who wasn’t confused by the end of AHM though?
Anyway, Wreckers is worth it, pick it up last week, Ongoing #5 comes out this week Wednesday, and well, same art, same story, slow build, and an exciting issue coming up next month! This issue is okay, and needed for story, but lacks the excitement of last week’s Wreckers. You can enjoy it for some fun puns, the Swindle-ness, or the art...
March’s Transformers comics end like a lamb-bot this week offering us something to get excited about in April anyway.
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Monday, March 8th 2010 11:51pm CST
Categories: Comic Book News
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Posted by: Tigertrack
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In the new lineup of IDW TRANSFORMERS comics, it's really hard to compete with THE LAST STAND OF THE WRECKERS. And then it's also just as hard to not be quite as bad as TRANSFORMERS ONGOING is. This is exactly the kind of book we have here, something in between the fun, and fantastic story of LSOTW, and the overly 'drawn' out and serious TRANSFORMERS ONGOING series. Puns intended always...
So here you have a review of the middle child of the IDW TRANSFORMERS books, TRANSFORMERS BUMBLEBEE Issue #4.
The series has been slow-paced until now. Snail slow. Its art does not lend one to openly love it, or berate it (like its two brother titles), but at least you don't need name drops, or tags everywhere to know who's who. The book's cast of characters is stuck in neutral, not really seeming to grow or change, all hiding from the government now that they have been duped.
And yet with one single issue (albeit, the last issue), we now 'RATCHET' things up a notch, so to speak, as Bumblebee deals with the situation he created in the last issue.
LAST ISSUE SYNOPSIS: SpOiLeRs
Bumblebee feels time running out on his newly found freedom, as Skywatch seems to get closer and closer to discovering his little secret, and thus, putting a quick end to any ideas the Autobots had of escaping this alliance that they so hastily joined.
But wait! We have a savior for Bumblebee and friends, as the creator of the control board for their badges left his spare around for the bots (and cons) to track down to his home.
Ratchet and Wheeljack communicate to Bumblebee that with the right tinkering, the next time the board is activated it can burn out all the control badges! Hooray shouted the Autobots...
Boo shouted the readers as Bumblebee used the poor, lonely daughter of the engineer to procure the control board, offering her false friendship and security for the ability to modify the board, under the false pretense of protecting her father (That statement sounds a lot like one of those, 'your mother tells you what your father always says is a lie, and your father says what your mother states is always true...OUCH!).
Anyway issue #3 left us with bad feelings all around as Bumblebee gets the job done, but at what cost to his conscience?
Enter Issue #4 (which takes place before events in TF ONGOING #5). Since nothing happened last issue something has to happen this issue. It is only a four issue mini-series, right? It's now or never!
In that sense the story in issue #4 does pay off. As I said, something does happen. Something that might make you actually want to pick this book up this month, and not ignore it. Something so spoilerific that I cannot mention it anymore specifically here, or IDW would have my head for ruining the book for everyone.
What I can tell you is expect that Skywarp is FINALLY ready to make his presence felt, as he takes the penultimate step in being prepared for Megatron's supposed return to Earth. His goal is nothing less than Autobot enslavement, and to beat Soundwave, and Starscream out for the spot of Megatron's right-hand lackey. Who knew Skywarp cared for such things? We do now.
The issue mainly focuses around Bumblebee, Skywarp, and the father and daughter that Bumblebee was using/protecting. Credits to Ratchet and Wheeljack for their straight-faced performances as uncaring robots, and to Cliffjumper for his devil-may-care scene stealing attitude.
Be on board as we see humans inside a transforming TRANSFORMER. Whether they are squished or not, you'll have to see for yourself.
Stay tuned as the young, reluctant, heart-on-his-sleeve hero/leaderbot makes some drastic changes to his thinking, and perhaps, makes the ULTIMATE sacrifice!!! (Or maybe something else entirely).
**Story Note** Does anybody else cringe when they see Blaster and wonder why the control badges are even a factor with him around? Seriously, he's the communications dude. He can't 'jam' a little Earthman made signal? Blaster, Blaster, Blaster, one too many Kremzeeks jumping in and out of your chest plate, I guess. Might want to work on that jamming thing if your group is ever set free, even though they probably should not have been duped in the first place. Shenanigans all around!**
Like I said, it is way too easy for me to ruin this comic for you (and thus, the series), so I suggest a purchase if you have been paying attention to the Bumblebee series at all. This one is interesting, and exciting (sort of). Some readers will no doubt still be disappointed, as the story is still revolving around humans, and showing the Transformers as pretty helpless beings compared to the might of the human race! GO EARTH!
If you read my reviews, you know I don't break down every aspect of the book. Mostly I just pick up on story points, and comment some on overall art. These are the two aspects that are the reasons we read the comics, so to me they are the most important to comment on. I'm not a page by page guy, nor am I one who will give away the main 'GOOD' stuff. I want you to still read it for yourself, and make your own conclusions, and maybe even pop back into my review, and think to yourself, "oh that's why he said that comment that made absolutely no sense."
Thanks for reading. Pick up the book if you want, or don't (and wait for the trade), but if you've been waiting, like me, for something to happen in this series, well, you can actually say that something actually did happen in it after reading issue #4.
Check out the five page preview here
, if you want to get a feeling for the book. Then head to your local shop and pick it up this WEDNESDAY, if you're interested in reading the rest before a trade is released down the road.
Written by Zandar Cannon and art by Chee, Cover by Chee and Guido Guidi
When BUMBLEBEE has a change of heart and goes back to help a little girl whom he had used to discover her father’s secrets, he finds himself pursued by the terrifying and unstoppable SKYWARP! BUMBLEBEE’s big adventure as leader of the AUTOBOTS comes to an explosive and thrilling conclusion!
- The Ultimate Transformers Resource!