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Exclusive Review of IDW's Robots In Disguise #1

Transformers News: Exclusive Review of IDW's Robots In Disguise #1

Tuesday, January 24th, 2012 10:18AM CST

Categories: Comic Book News, Reviews
Posted by: Psychout   Views: 40,460

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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?

Obviously, spoilers aplenty ahead...

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Ah, ah, ah, ah staying' aliiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiive!!


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.

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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.

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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'.

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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.

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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.'
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Re: Exclusive Review of IDW's Robots In Disguise #1 (1337683)
Posted by Tigertrack on January 24th, 2012 @ 10:43am CST
Really liking the artwork. Hopefully the story is not as slow as it sounds.

I'm curious to read further to see what is happening with Prowl and his decision-making.
Re: Exclusive Review of IDW's Robots In Disguise #1 (1337686)
Posted by Sabrblade on January 24th, 2012 @ 10:54am CST
Add Bluestreak and Jazz to the WFC-bodied dudes. :roll:
Re: Exclusive Review of IDW's Robots In Disguise #1 (1337704)
Posted by 1111111222233333 on January 24th, 2012 @ 11:37am CST
I really love that the comic is splitting into two separate storylines. That is just so awesome. I kind of think Robots in Disguise will pale in comparison to MTMTE, it just seems like the latter will be way more exciting.
Re: Exclusive Review of IDW's Robots In Disguise #1 (1337728)
Posted by Dead Metal on January 24th, 2012 @ 12:40pm CST
Wait a minute...
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See that long thing sticking up behind Horribul and Needlenose? Is that the robot thing from "Flight of the Navigator"? Don't know, that's kinda the first thing that springs to mind seeing it.


Also, this looks and sounds interesting.
Re: Exclusive Review of IDW's Robots In Disguise #1 (1337753)
Posted by craggy on January 24th, 2012 @ 2:03pm CST
so good Transformers comics have bus alt-modes? because we've waited ages, and now two have come along at once!
Re: Exclusive Review of IDW's Robots In Disguise #1 (1337774)
Posted by ILL-Star on January 24th, 2012 @ 3:00pm CST
Dr. Heavy B wrote:Is that Oil Slick behind Jazz's head?.

Also, Metalhawk is a prick.
Looks to me like the bot behind Jazz is the green version of Cy-kill.
Re: Exclusive Review of IDW's Robots In Disguise #1 (1337776)
Posted by ILL-Star on January 24th, 2012 @ 3:01pm CST
Dr. Heavy B wrote:Is that Oil Slick behind Jazz's head?.

Also, Metalhawk is a prick.
Looks to me like the bot behind Jazz is the green version of Cy-kill.

Sorry for the double post. #-o
Re: Exclusive Review of IDW's Robots In Disguise #1 (1337907)
Posted by MINDVVIPE on January 24th, 2012 @ 7:00pm CST
Haha, I noticed the fett man too. Damnit boba fett, these aren't the droids you're looking for!
Re: Exclusive Review of IDW's Robots In Disguise #1 (1337920)
Posted by Stormrider on January 24th, 2012 @ 8:01pm CST
Nice review.
Re: Exclusive Review of IDW's Robots In Disguise #1 (1338131)
Posted by El Duque on January 25th, 2012 @ 12:17pm CST
Steven Boyd dropped by the Seibertron facebook page to share the TRANSFORMERS: ROBOTS IN DISGUISE #1 Retailer Incentive Sketch Cover by Dan Khanna seen below. Transformers: Robots in Disguise debuts today, be sure to swing by your local comic retailer to grab a copy.

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Re: Exclusive Review of IDW's Robots In Disguise #1 (1338135)
Posted by dedcat on January 25th, 2012 @ 12:40pm CST
A surprisingly emotive expression, considering it's a cartoon robot. I likes it.
Re: Exclusive Review of IDW's Robots In Disguise #1 (1338211)
Posted by quickmixed on January 25th, 2012 @ 4:26pm CST
A nice sketch. Khanna has also uploaded a pic of a second variant cover to his Deviant Art page of wfc style prowl.
http://dan-the-artguy.deviantart.com/#/d4ndnob
Re: Exclusive Review of IDW's Robots In Disguise #1 (1338221)
Posted by Neurie on January 25th, 2012 @ 4:43pm CST
This does nothing but strengthern my view that Khanna is only good for covers and portraits.

His actual comic work is poor in comparison, I dont know why botcon keep using him.
Re: Exclusive Review of IDW's Robots In Disguise #1 (1338499)
Posted by Tigertrack on January 26th, 2012 @ 12:22pm CST
Read it yesterday night.

I have to say, I am not sure I like the way things are set up for the characters in RID.

Prowl is manipulating his fellow bots a bit too much for me. Bumblebee = puppet/face of gov, Prowl = puppetmaster.

If that fellow in shadow with Prowl is Swindle or Skywarp, I'm tearing that next issue up (cover suggests Skywarp). If it's Megatron or a new Con or Autobot, my interest is piqued.

Why is Sideswipe G1 colors again? Why did he switch for one issue? Joke from the colorist?

And I thought Ratbat said they no longer had their special skills...who do we see using his teleport skill at the end of the issue. That's why I think it's Swindle in shadow, because he did something like those chips to Brawl in ongoing's end, and I could see it being used here, like he made a deal with Prowl, freedom for the ID chips...faulty ID chips (and Horribull shall now become a headmaster...) Because of Autocracy and Ongoing, Swindle is being set up as a big player in IDWs TFU.

Not sure which book I like better. Ultra-serious, or a bit more loose and silly?

The art I can deal with and am happy about, minus the WFC designs (especially Bumblebee). Like the Bee design on the cover much more.

Like the nod to Boba Fett in the splash panel (bottom right)...
Re: Exclusive Review of IDW's Robots In Disguise #1 (1338547)
Posted by Neurie on January 26th, 2012 @ 1:38pm CST
It wont be Megatron as Prime is off searching the galaxy for him, bringing him back this soome is just plan stupid.

Swindle is doubtful, more likely it would be Thundercracker. As the person talking to Prowl has little or no knowledge of Earth it would suggest its a character who was not on Earth.

Also, Ratbat is a politician and a trained liar so the fact that he said Skywarp could not teleport should not lead you to believe he was telling the truth especially when he said he had a plan. Those"guys sitting quiet in the corner" are obviously the guys who figured out how to overide it and they are using deception to hide thier true plans.

Quiet simple really.
Re: Exclusive Review of IDW's Robots In Disguise #1 (1338605)
Posted by Tigertrack on January 26th, 2012 @ 2:54pm CST
Neurie wrote:It wont be Megatron as Prime is off searching the galaxy for him, bringing him back this soome is just plan stupid.

Swindle is doubtful, more likely it would be Thundercracker. As the person talking to Prowl has little or no knowledge of Earth it would suggest its a character who was not on Earth.

Also, Ratbat is a politician and a trained liar so the fact that he said Skywarp could not teleport should not lead you to believe he was telling the truth especially when he said he had a plan. Those"guys sitting quiet in the corner" are obviously the guys who figured out how to overide it and they are using deception to hide thier true plans.

Quiet simple really.


I get the Ratbat deal, it's why I was assuming Swindle, with faulty chips..or overideable chips.

Not quite so simple as you say, but I've only read it once with distractions.

My ponderance/cross-reference time may not have been equal to yours here.
Re: Exclusive Review of IDW's Robots In Disguise #1 (1341995)
Posted by Josh on February 3rd, 2012 @ 5:29am CST
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Re: Exclusive Review of IDW's Robots In Disguise #1 (1408096)
Posted by CCsilverbolt on August 7th, 2012 @ 5:51pm CDT
Why does Bumblebee have a walking stick !? :???:
Re: Exclusive Review of IDW's Robots In Disguise #1 (1408099)
Posted by Sabrblade on August 7th, 2012 @ 5:56pm CDT
CCsilverbolt wrote:Why does Bumblebee have a walking stick !? :???:
Cuz he's had one since...

...um...

...How long ago was it that he got his cane? During the ongoing? I don't remember. :oops:
Re: Exclusive Review of IDW's Robots In Disguise #1 (1408100)
Posted by CCsilverbolt on August 7th, 2012 @ 6:01pm CDT
Thanks I don't read the comics but this looks great do you remember how?
Re: Exclusive Review of IDW's Robots In Disguise #1 (1408106)
Posted by Sabrblade on August 7th, 2012 @ 6:39pm CDT
CCsilverbolt wrote:Thanks I don't read the comics but this looks great do you remember how?
Like I said, I don't remember when/how/why he got his cane. Just that he's had one for a while.

To be honest, I haven't been really keeping up with the IDW G1 comics as of late. :oops:
Re: Exclusive Review of IDW's Robots In Disguise #1 (1408109)
Posted by CCsilverbolt on August 7th, 2012 @ 7:08pm CDT
Ah well thanks anyway :D
Re: Exclusive Review of IDW's Robots In Disguise #1 (1408684)
Posted by quickmixed on August 9th, 2012 @ 6:17pm CDT
CCsilverbolt wrote:Why does Bumblebee have a walking stick !? :???:


Bumblebee got blasted pretty bad by a human protester while addressing the humans, with a megatron blaster made with parts of Megatron (Iknow it sounds stuffed up, but that was Costa). If memory serves me correct, I believe it happened towards the end of the second story arc so somewhere between issue 10-12.
Re: Exclusive Review of IDW's Robots In Disguise #1 (1408691)
Posted by CCsilverbolt on August 9th, 2012 @ 6:27pm CDT
quickmixed wrote:
CCsilverbolt wrote:Why does Bumblebee have a walking stick !? :???:


Bumblebee got blasted pretty bad by a human protester while addressing the humans, with a megatron blaster made with parts of Megatron (Iknow it sounds stuffed up, but that was Costa). If memory serves me correct, I believe it happened towards the end of the second story arc so somewhere between issue 10-12.


OMG Poor bumblebee :sad: ! thank you so much you rule :BOWDOWN:
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