Now that the craziness for TFC Hercules is over. Let the fervor for Maketoys Giant begin. Here is a chinese language video review for the first two components of the next big Devastator in your collection. Check out the Youtube video below.
Is Infestation 2: Transformers issue 1 a horror from the deep or just a horror?
Steering clear of making direct references to HP Lovecraft's work apart from to drop his name in the adverts, this book is unashamedly influenced by it and, as a cross-over concept, works better than the Vampire/Zombie hybrid theme from the first series. Set in the period created by the sub-series Hearts of Steel its almost as if Chuck Dixon created HoS specifically with this book in mind so seamless is the transition. The story is atmospheric and Guido Guidi's character redesigns are (with one very notable yellow exception) as good as you would expect for the period, rivets, steam exhaust ports, propellers and all. (Although there is one image of Trailbreakerblazer that will be burned into your mind for a very long time, but that's a entirely different style of horror.)
I wonder who that could be..?
Set deep into the steampunk-era, those of you familiar with HP Lovecraft, (and those of you who aren't, get yourselves to a bookstore immediately) will know the art behind his writing was in making the humans the ultimate victims in his stories, unable to resist the flowing tide of horror that engulfs them from the deep... and this has transposed well. Revisiting the life of the now married Tobias & Kitty Muldoon, and making a new famous friend in the form of Nikola Tesla on the way, Tobias is visited by Bumblebee who's concise plot-exposition cues up a week-long trip north on the Trailblazer, Hound, Ratchet and Wheeljack express to visit a sleeping friend where Tesla's historically famous inventing skills are set to be pivotal.
I know! Guard carriage at the front? What were they thinking...
The stronger side of this story however is the unseen antagonist. Guidi's inhuman aquatic thralls of the nightmarish Elder Gods from beyond the stars fuel this Cthulhu-inspired tale as they spread the word of their masters power to all they encounter as they rise from the depths, enslaving human and robot alike, culminating in a scene with returning fishermen confronted by the horror of the creatures evil on the docks, helpless and unable to comprehend the demons before them, before darkness of the sea finally consumes them...
The Ancient Ones are no longer dreaming. Now they are hungry
Their masters keeping to the shadows, the creatures overall mystique is spoiled slightly by the overly simplistic sci-fi explanation given by Bumblebee, however a 2-comic span of a story doesn't allow much room for suspense so, from a Transformers perspective, it sadly fails to really deliver. The Autobots are notable as always, if somewhat lacking in individual personalities, but as a by-product of the Decepticons allegiance change there is little action from them apart from one memorable instance that Ironhide wont forget in a hurry, although a great piece of dialogue from Bonecrusher appears to have been glossed over, hopefully to be realised in part 2. The overall standard of this comic is up there with IDW's other non-transformers titles and I can see this theme working better in amongst their wide-ranging GI Joe and D&D line or their fledgling TMNT series.
As there is only two comics to this sub-arc, I wouldn't expect much to surprise you in the second half of this story, trying to put too much suspense into too little space, however as a wider piece of this latest Infestation picture it has real potential and, from this snippet of a 12 issue arc, if horror comics or the Lovecraft-mythos are your thing I would suggest seeking out the first and last issues at the very least.
Overall, limited appeal for Transformers fans, those into the period, particular fans of HoS and/or Lovecraft will appreciate a lot about the book, but those with a love of the more mundane Transformers series are most likely to be disappointed.
With Transformers Prime "Robots in Disguise" released and the remaining "First Edition" figures beyond wave one in limbo many of you may be asking yourselves, "Do I track down or import FE Cliffjumper, or just wait for the RID version?"
Seibertron.com member Azrail has posted a pictorial review comparing the two versions of the ill fated Autobot. Check out the side by side comparisons below.
No matter which Cliffjumper you get you will enjoy it! They are both really nice figures. Neither are perfect. Hopefully there will be another that combines them into an ultimate version.
IMG #1. He is considerably shorter than the FE version, but that one has large shoulders. I would say the RID version comes up to about the middle of the FE versions face.
The RID is only red and silver/gray now. No black for the body except the fake windscreen.
IMG #2. The back kibble hangs lower on him, if I did it right. You can raise it up a little if you ignore where it locks in. They do both have fake red wheels on the legs. The RID version though is more noticeable.
Also the back of his legs is hollow. Unlike the FE one which is covered by flaps.
IMG #3. I would say the kibble hangs out a bit farther on the RID one. But it fits with the overall style so doesn't detract.
The sides of his arms also have a big gap on it where the wheel arch is. The windows fold down slightly over his arms but really should go down further.
The doors clip together in a U style clip which is ok but can slip a little. The front grill folds down above his elbows.
IMG #4-5. The car mode is only slightly shorter, same width but not as high.
So when next to Bumblebee it looks like a whole different scale. Somewhere between Deluxe and Scout. Not that all scales match in a line.
It transforms much simpler than the First Edition and clips together much tighter with less obvious lines. There is no gap between the hood and the windshield now also. I didn't do a good job of transforming the FE and forgot to flip some windows up.
The windows are now very clear and there are no breaks in the side windows like the FE. What annoys me is behind the windshield. There is all these connector pieces I can't see much of a purpose for except to hold it on?
IMG #6. You can see the fake chest and the head below.
IMG #7. The fronts are very similar but the RID lights and horn are different colours.
IMG #8. Same with the back but no exhaust pipes. Plus added black.
IMG #9-10. There are holes on the top and sides for the weapon. Shame they couldn't have used the trick that DOTM Roadbuster does. Also there is no Autobot symbol anywhere on him.
For some reason I didn't take a pic of his robot mode with the weapon but there are a few of those around.
Some quick robot details:
He has an automorph feature. When you pull his shoulders down his head pops up from it's slight hiding place.
The wrists are on a ball joint but the movement is limited. They can only be moved down or left/right. The doors get in the way of everything else.
The feet are on a ball joint and have very good movement. He stands nice and sturdy.
He has a waist swivel that works well.
Legs are on a ball joint. Knees aren't and only go backwards.
Shoulders are on a ball joint but the wheels can get in the way. There is a swivel joint below the shoulders.
Elbows only bend up as far as the long arms allow.
The head will only move side to side and behind it are the cogs for the automorph. It does have light piping which should be good for the Terrorcon version
Robots in Disguise, (a.k.a. "The one with the Decepticons in it") titles this second comic book series to run parallel with More than Meets the Eye, a catchy title, but is the comic as good as its longer named sibling?
It is the Golden age of Cybertron, and peace has returned... Or has it?
Following the other side of the coin - thrust into leadership of Cybertron, up against it with half his friends believed dead on The Lost Light, this story of the little guy struggling to make huge decisions adds a new twist to a faction that has almost always has its stalwart and dependable leader in the past, so its no surprise that Bumblebee is the focus here.
Turns out the welcome wagon does have that good coffee flavour.
Unlike its longer titled counterpart, Robots In Disguise initially suffers from taking itself a bit too seriously. After the epic-scaled intergalactic nonsense of the Chaos arc, this story begins with a tight focus on the difficult relationship between the Autobots, weary from their millennia-long battle to free Cybertron, and the Nails, those who hold the Autobots equally as responsible for the war as the Decepticons, egged on by Metalhawk. It's an uneasy balance of power where the protectors are regarded as conquerors, and the 'bots decision to use Ratbat's Decepticons as controlled enforcers makes it look worse, even if they are 'contained' under Prowls ever-watchful eye.
Cybertron's finest in action.
Andrew Griffith's art in the book has a 'familiar' feel to it. 'Bee takes on a design those of you familiar with War for Cybertron would be more accustomed to, Metalhawks stick-figure physique is reminiscent of Starscream from transformers Prime, whilst the Nails and the unnamed background characters seem to comprise of everything from the old school cartoon cuboids right up to Beast-era designs (and thankfully, there is little to none of the awful movie-style segmenting of facial features). Lesser-known characters such as Needlenose and Horri-bull can be easily identified to those who may have only seen them from the old Marvel comics, and the wider shots are well drawn and clear, however that isn't to say that all of it is good - one or two members of the Decepticons (I'm looking you YOU here Skywarp) just look plain weird.
But, whilst the art is familiar and easy, John Barber's story is set to be a slow burner. With the high impact climax to MTMTE this was never going to be an easy sell, unable as this is to blast off to pastures anew. Setting a story on a rebuilt Cybertron was never going to be easy and, as is the fashion in domestic-based stories, civil disorder and terrorism is a theme that everyone understands and rarely if ever has a clear 'winner'.
94% if you are really honest, eh Prowl?
In recreating a world in this fashion Barber engineers an unforgiving but oft-explored choice: Exactly how far is Bumblebee willing to go to ensure Cybertron's freedom, and how, if at all, can they prevent the existing ill feeling from escalating further into violence and bloodshed? The Decepticons, as are to be expected, are unhappy with their lot and the Nails themselves, overseen by self-styled ambassador Metalhawk, only add to the volatile situation. As the decision Bumblebee makes at the end demonstrates, civil unrest is never a black and white issue, and although the conclusion to this issue did seem a little predicable, its knock-on effects will hopefully bring this story to life.
Cassettes always have a plan.
This is a longer read. As opposed to the light-hearted jaunt that MTMTE delivers, the long term arc within RID will raise a few eyebrows - and a few hackles no doubt - but with even Cybertron itself fighting its own population one must ask oneself, how much worse can it get for Bumblebee now? Depending on what Ratbat is planning for 'tomorrow night', the answer could well be 'much, much worse.'
Blu-ray.com has posted a review of the upcoming Transformers: Dark of the Moon 3-D Blu-ray, which will be available along with the limited signature edition on January 31st. The full review can be viewed by clicking here, we've posted a few excerpts below.
Video codec: MPEG-4 MVC
Video resolution: 1080p
Aspect ratio: 2.40:1
Original aspect ratio: 2.39:1
English: Dolby TrueHD 7.1
English: Dolby Digital 5.1
English: Dolby Digital 2.0
French: Dolby Digital 5.1... (more)
English, English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese
50GB Blu-ray Disc
Four-disc set (3 BDs, 1 DVD)
UV digital copy
Slipcover in original pressing
Region A (B, C untested)
It took several months, but Paramount has finally re-released Transformers: Dark of the Moon as a full-fledged, feature-packed Blu-ray 3D presentation that's pretty much everything fans could have ever wanted. The film's previous Blu-ray release remains a standard for video and audio excellence, so the question is whether the 3D presentation can improve on perfection? The answer is, not surprisingly, "no," but the added 3D goodness certainly doesn't hurt the Dark of the Moon experience, either. Unlike some Blu-ray discs that see a slight, but noticeable, drop-off in general quality on the way to 3D, Dark of the Moon's general attributes remain as slick and eye-catching as ever. Fine detail is truly exemplary in this go-round, as it was before. Viewers will be endlessly impressed with the complexities evident on both live and digital elements. Human faces reveal nearly infinite textures. Building façades, heavily damaged debris, and most every element in the movie appears so intricately detailed that any scene rivals the finest the Blu-ray format currently offers. Clarity is stunning, too, which only aids in the transfer's ability to reveal incredible visual wonders. On the digital front, the various objects -- mostly Transformers -- take on so much visible complexity that one can only wonder how much painstaking work went into each creation, not to mention the horsepower required to display it all so pristinely for high definition home viewing. The scratches and dents of Optimus Prime and the rusty, worn, and battle-damaged exterior of Megatron are truly a sight to behold in every scene. Colors, likewise, are fantastic. The movie favors a warm appearance by nature, but it maintains that particular balance throughout. Each hue is incredibly vibrant, with Optimus' blue and red paint job particularly evident. Blacks remains strong, grain is retained where the movie was shot on film, and this is in every way the equal of the 2D release.
Transformers: Dark of the Moon offers some pretty amazing supplements, including an enthralling and honest Documentary that explores much of the filmmaking process.
Above and Beyond: Exploring Dark of the Moon (1080p, 1:50:46): This five-part documentary examines some of the more critical making-of elements surrounding the film. First is Rising from the Fallen: Development and Design (22:24), a surprisingly candid piece that features cast and crew discussing the faults of the second film and the filmmakers' search for redemption with part three. They speak on new robot design, character advancement, the absence of Megan Fox, and the addition of Rosie Huntington-Whiteley. Ready for Primetime: Filming Across America (27:50) explores the process of shooting in 3D, the picture's advanced stunt work and filmmaking processes, the challenges of shooting in various locales around the country, set design, stories from the set, a musical conflict between Shia and Michael, and more. Next is Battle in the Heartland: Shooting in Chicago (13:40), a detailed examination of the six-week shoot in the Illinois city. Discussions include the city's cooperation with the filmmakers, the scale of the scenes shot there, the natural challenges of the shoot, and Michael Bay's working dynamic. Attack of the Birdmen: Aerial Stunts (16:08) offers a detailed examination of the challenges of shooting the film's high-flying base jumping scene. Finally, Shadow of the Sentinel: Post-Production and Release (29:30) looks at the hectic challenges of the editing process and Bay's involvement therein, the massive computing power required to construct the film's highly-detailed special effects, the record-breaking sound effects, the film's Moscow premiere, Shia's personal growth through the films, the series' legacy, its future, and more.
Uncharted Territory: NASA's Future Then and Now (1080p, 26:15): As its title suggests, this piece examines the space program, providing an overview of its history, a look at the International Space Station, and the natural evolution of where the program may go.
Deconstructing Chicago: Multi-Angle Sequences (1080p): This supplement is divided into two elements: Previsualizations (17:05) and Visual Effects (18:36). The former allows viewers to watch either the raw previsualizations individually or side-by-side with the final shot. The latter allows viewers to choose between watching "VFX Breakdowns" either individually or alongside the final shot. Previsualizations contains the following segments: Doomsday Plan, Assault on the Humans, Evening the Score, Sam Fights Laserbeak, Brains & Wheelie Left Behind, Osprey Approach, Building Slide, Colossus vs. Building, Sam vs. Starscream, Autobot Capture, Optimus to the Rescue, and Carly Confronts Megatron. Visual Effects contains the following individual clips: Mothership, Assault on the Humans, Laserbeak, Fully Armored, Osprey Approach/Aerial Incursion, Tilted Building, Trapped, Driller Attack, Brains & Wheelie Cause Havoc, Sentinel Prime, City Under Siege, and Carly Confronts Megatron. All Previsualization selections may be played with optional commentary by Director Michael Bay and Previsualization Supervisor Steve Yamamoto. All Visual Effects selections may be played with optional commentary by Visual Effects Supervisors Scott Farrar and Matthew Butler.
The Art of Cybertron (1080p): Still galleries depicting Autobots, Decepticons, Environments, Weapons and Gear, and Ships.
The Dark of the Moon Archive (1080p): Another grouping of extras that branches out into five smaller pieces. First is 3D: A Transforming Visual Art (3:06), a brief conversation with Michael Bay and James Cameron about the value of 3D. Moscow World Premiere (2:29) takes viewers to Red Square and the green carpet for a glimpse into the film's massive premiere. Birdmen Featurette (2:28), another look at the high-flying stunt performers, covers much of the same material as previously seen in Attack of the Birdmen: Aerial Stunts. Next is Cody's iPad (2:07), a brief feature showing Michael Bay helping out one of his biggest fans. Finally, The Sound of 'Transformers: Dark of the Moon' (9:17) explores the picture's incredible and dynamic sound engineering.
The Matrix of Marketing (1080p): This collection offers viewers the opportunity to watch both the film's teaser (2:34) and theatrical (2:32) trailers and browse a collection of Transformers posters, style guides, promo items, and concession items.
You knew it was only a matter of time before someone uploaded a video review of the newly released Transformers Prime Voyager Class Megatron. Check out the video courtesy of YouTube's spiderprime23 embedded below.
From our friend Beno (YouTube's BM8709), who sent us the the video reviews of Transformers Prime "Robots in Disguise" Deluxe Cliffjumper and Bumblebee, has posted a review of Cyberverse Commander Optimus Prime. His review is embedded below, enjoy!
There has also been a variant of this figure found. TFW2005's Moriarty happened across a version with no mouth plate!
Has your brain melted down with all the virtual flood of Transformers Prime toy info from the last couple of days? No? You want more? Well then check out the video review of Transformers Prime "Robots in Disguise" Deluxe Wheeljack embedded below courtesy of YouTube's TheRc203!
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