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IDW Transformers Unicron #4 Review

Transformers News: IDW Transformers Unicron #4 Review
Date: Wednesday, September 5th 2018 6:57pm CDT
Categories: Comic Book News, Reviews, Site Articles
Posted by: D-Maximal_Primal | Credit(s): D-Maximal_Primal @Seibertron, IDW

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Views: 14,268

Saviors of the World
A Seibertron.com Spoilerish Review of IDW Transformers: Unicron #4


Synopsis

Unicron sets his sights on Earth... but is anyone left to defend it?

Transformers News: IDW Transformers Unicron #4 Review
Streets filled with blood, black and red
Dreams and hearts that once knew love are cold and dead


Story

The Unicron tale has crossed the halfway point, and we are now on the downward slide towards and explosive final 2 issues. But the big question is, how did the setup for the finale go? Well, it did not disappoint on many fronts, yet felt slightly hollow in others.

Let me break it down for you.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers Unicron #4 Review
Breathing rust, it's come to this
We burnt to dust, an apocalypse


On one front, we had a very fast paced story, especially looking back at the previous 3 issues. That's not saying there are pacing issues at all, but a lot happens that you need to keep up with. A spotlight issue is nicely homaged and then in a way bookended. A story that began post-Dark Cybertron that was a dream turned reality for many characters reached its tragic conclusion. The big moment many have waited for finally took place, in pretty spectacular fashion. And how we are to the final battleground, the last stand.

And all that was in a single issue. You keeping up so far?

Transformers News: IDW Transformers Unicron #4 Review
Cities will burn, the end is come
Paradise is lost, we wonder what we've done


Now while the story did have a lot going on, and it did bring in some other Hasbro properties, as promised, it did have a few wonky moments, ranging from overly happy to the point of somewhat forced hugs to some fun and games in what should be a really dark moment. But those are somewhat minor compared to finally giving the Visionaries a proper and good use and seeing the better side of Prowl once more resurface, and speaking of Prowl the similarities drawn between him and Joe Colton were quite interesting and sort of unexpected despite making complete sense. Also neat was Skywarp once more showing his face and being snarky. Maybe, just maybe, we'll get a Seeker reunion soon.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers Unicron #4 Review
Riches rust
The iron fist crashes down on the powerless


I must add too that Stardrive had better not show up as a video game Boss level unless she is nerfed quite hard.

Overall, the story itself was good, and it continues to do a mostly great job with balancing characters. We continue to get new named characters on screen even as others leave the stage permanently, Strongarm being a great example of someone showing up late and new in the game. And it continues to give us good character moments, which are made but not drowned out by the very large stage they are performing on.

Art

Art duties once more fall to Alex Milne on lines and Tom B. Long on lettering, with the addition of David Garcia Cruz in addition to our regular Sebastian Cheng. No joke, the first time I read this issue, I did not know there were 2 colorists, that is how well they blended in together. The scenes of Unicron are very well done, and continue to properly show off his size and his power, even if to date he still only has 2 words and a noise expression for dialogue (itself not a bad thing, the art has been enough for this Titan).

Transformers News: IDW Transformers Unicron #4 Review
But we could live again if we can find ourselves


I think the art continues to be a very strong point in a story about a Planet killing robot, where the struggle really can be to properly keep things in scale and convey the proper size and might, both of which are done properly.

And in addition to all of that, Tom Long continues to do a great job not only conveying the text, but also making sure it does not block any of the scenery of the book.

Final Thoughts

As a final thought on the story itself, there are a 3 things that stand out from this issue, 2 of which are running minor complaints or questions from the whole series: why bring Bumblebee back other than to make quips and yell at Starscream and be heard by more than just him; why do the stars go out when Unicron kills a planet; and where did the Visionaries go and is there role in things really done? Sort of a disappointment that they almost appear to be doing a "Hi and Bye" thing, especially when they themselves are probably the best Anti-Unicron force.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers Unicron #4 Review
We are kings and conquerors
And I won't bow to you


With 2 issues to go, a lot is going to happen, and I'm intrigued not only by what will happen, but what can happen to finish the story off properly. We have seen so many stories ended here for characters that had major or minor roles throughout the Barber penned stories, and many quite Tragic, which is a wonderful and painful part about the book with the way so many die and so many die that mean things to the people reading it. But with many threads left to tie up, I'm hoping and trusting they find a way to do the remaining 2 issues justice. But for now, we have a pretty good one to set up that final dash.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers Unicron #4 Review
We are the saviors, the saviors
The saviors of the world


:BOT: :BOT: :BOT: :BOT: out of :BOT: :BOT: :BOT: :BOT: :BOT:


Continuing on with our Skillet/Unicron unity, this week's issue's Theme song is: Saviors of the World.

Review of IDW Transformers Optimus Prime #22

Transformers News: Review of IDW Transformers Optimus Prime #22
Date: Wednesday, August 8th 2018 3:32am CDT
Categories: Comic Book News, Reviews, Site Articles
Posted by: Va'al | Credit(s): IDW

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Views: 12,663

...fallen?
(Spoiler free-ish)



Synopsis
END OF THE ROAD! Trapped between Shockwave’s attack and Unicron’s onslaught, Optimus and the Autobots struggle to make sense of what’s left of their world. Shockwave reveals ancient truths—as an old friend tries to reconnect with Cybertron.


Transformers News: Review of IDW Transformers Optimus Prime #22
just, generally


Story
The Falling is over, now comes the fallout. As we pick up the pieces of what took place during the latest story arc in the Optimus Prime ongoing, we also finally connect to the story continuing over in the mini-series that is the Unicron event finale - even with the lateness and repercussions that this has, more so than previously in this book specifically.

Transformers News: Review of IDW Transformers Optimus Prime #22
err.. surprise?


Other than the return of both Optimus Prime and Bumblebee, with the former's troubled and questioning ethical and personal issues about how the entire universe may be right in not being that happy with him or Cybertron after all, both being utterly spoiled by now by the Unicron book, there are some interesting aspects of returning characters and intersecting universes that work well in the issue.

Transformers News: Review of IDW Transformers Optimus Prime #22
heads up: recap puns


In particular, we get to see how Rom is involved in the situation at hand (before the events of Unicron #0), along with many of the other characters previously seen in the Hasbro Universe and still/back on Earth since they were last shown in the series in recent months. And, for someone who mildly enjoyed the titular series, there was some stand out, emotional beats that entirely justify the inclusion in the story.

Transformers News: Review of IDW Transformers Optimus Prime #22
...


There are other peaks in terms of how the extremely large cast is being placed in relation with one another. Pyra Magna in particular leans even further into her role, as played pretty much against every major Cybertronian - something that will continue in Unicron - Bumblebee being used as exposition in the best way possible, and Optimus pretty much just taking it all in for the whole book, his silence actually quite tangible.


Art

Sara Pitre Durocher is the sole artist on the issue this time, and her work on the eyes of the characters (as well as what seems to be thicker inks, to me) is what stands out in particular on the page. From the very opening of Optimus' awakening, running through several close-ups, the layouts bring us closer and closer in to the story and how it's affecting the characters

Transformers News: Review of IDW Transformers Optimus Prime #22
starting point


I am still impressed by how much of the series' tone has been given by the tonalities that Josh Burcham brings to his colours, which mark it as its own unique thing even when different artists are concerned, and this issue is no exception to that. With the multiple different settings and scenarios, the lighting strikes just right, and some on staff didn't even realise the artist had changed again!

Transformers News: Review of IDW Transformers Optimus Prime #22
cold


As for the lettering from Tom B. Long, we only have a couple of particularly visible elements of font work, but the script is one of those exceptions to Barber's style which don't take captions to tell the story, and rather rely on dialogue - meaning that the job may not be as striking, but the careful laying out of the speech bubbles is meticulously done, and precisely on point.

In terms of covers, you can find all three in full size in our database entry, but the Pitre-Durocher one in the thumbnail in particular highlights my point about this book's character focus, while the Zama/Burcham main variant dwells on the story.

Thoughts
Spoilerish ahead
What initially seemed to be mostly exposition, as I pointed out above with Bumblebee, and as is partially also true with Shockwave, is also deployed by Barber really quite effectively as it sets in motion a number of cogs that the book itself remarks upon, though quite subtly, and it's probably the most intriguing hook from an issue that would otherwise be utterly flattened by knowing the general conclusion - and which may be the sole biggest fault of the book.

Transformers News: Review of IDW Transformers Optimus Prime #22
*curses against scheduling*


On the other, very positive hand, it was a pleasure to see how Rom and other Hasbro Universe characters and storylines are being brought in finally without it feeling like a strain. Dinobots, Jazz, the Council and Marissa, Trypticon, the colonists on Earth - all pieces being set up for the next in the game, which OP's removal from the conversation actually shows how much his presence can be a hindrance to their development. (That sentence itself may have foreshadowing hues on what is left of this story.)

. :CYBERTRON: :CYBERTRON: :CYBERTRON: :CYBERTRON: - out of :CYBERTRON: :CYBERTRON: :CYBERTRON: :CYBERTRON: :CYBERTRON:

Pictorial Review for Cyberverse Ultimate Megatron

Transformers News: Pictorial Review for Cyberverse Ultimate Megatron
Date: Friday, July 27th 2018 9:42am CDT
Categories: Toy News, Reviews
Posted by: william-james88

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Views: 11,850

The Cyberverse line is out in full now across several countries but unlike most cartoon centered Transformers toylines preceding it, the excitement just isn't there. A lot of that has to do with the fans simply not knowing what this line entails. When it was first revealed the toys that seemed to have the most potential were Warrior Shockwave, Scout Megatron and Ultimate Megatron. Warrior Shockwave turned out to be ok (though not great), Scout Megatron turned out to be a major let down (not being able to fully transform) and now we will see about Ultimate Megatron.

I will cut to the chase, he is fine for kids, much better than the simpler toys of this size from Robots in Disguise, but still just a shadow of the great toy it could be. And it wouldn't need so much more. He reminds me a lot of Leader Animated Megatron in a way, with the similar aesthetics and decent yet simple transformation that efficiently gives you two good looking modes. It also reminds me of the Cybertron line where the robot is fully made up of the alt mode parts yet we see different sides of the same part to give the two modes different details. I love those two lines, so this is high praise, but the toy falls short mostly due to lack of crucial articulation and intrusive gimmick.

Now let's get to it.

We get the toy in robot mode and my instinct is to try posing him. That's where the problems start and where the interest starts sinking fast. For a big figure, he does not have much more articulation than a very basic toy. There is no articulation at the neck, bicep, elbow, wrist and no thing swivel. You cannot even move the cannon out of the way to see his other fist. So the static pose is his main stance, though you are welcome to try other poses.

Transformers News: Pictorial Review for Cyberverse Ultimate Megatron

Transformers News: Pictorial Review for Cyberverse Ultimate Megatron

Transformers News: Pictorial Review for Cyberverse Ultimate Megatron

Transformers News: Pictorial Review for Cyberverse Ultimate Megatron

Transformers News: Pictorial Review for Cyberverse Ultimate Megatron

Transformers News: Pictorial Review for Cyberverse Ultimate Megatron

The gimmick gives him another stance where you bring the arms together (this is the same transformation step for getting him into tank mode) where you can press a button and flip out to cannon. This makes it look like the cannon is firing and while we did see stock photos of this, there is no lock in mechanism so you can only keep seeing this effect when you keep pressing.

Transformers News: Pictorial Review for Cyberverse Ultimate Megatron

Transformers News: Pictorial Review for Cyberverse Ultimate Megatron

Transformers News: Pictorial Review for Cyberverse Ultimate Megatron

Transformers News: Pictorial Review for Cyberverse Ultimate Megatron

Transformers News: Pictorial Review for Cyberverse Ultimate Megatron

Transformers News: Pictorial Review for Cyberverse Ultimate Megatron

Turning him into a tank is easy and I am sure I have seen this transformation elsewhere (titanium Fallen?) But I didn't mind. For a simpler toy, it has some nice steps, especially the feet. It's a simple but elegant way to get from his lower leg into his full tank treads.

Transformers News: Pictorial Review for Cyberverse Ultimate Megatron

Transformers News: Pictorial Review for Cyberverse Ultimate Megatron

Transformers News: Pictorial Review for Cyberverse Ultimate Megatron

I can see a young kid really enjoying this transformation. It's easy but very blocky, like one of the simpler Cybertron toys. And in tank mode, all the parts that made up the robot are flipped so you see new detail for the tank mode. The tank looks great, I have no issues with it, and unlike some other tank Transformers, you can't make out the fists as easily even though there is no extra step to hide them.

Transformers News: Pictorial Review for Cyberverse Ultimate Megatron

Transformers News: Pictorial Review for Cyberverse Ultimate Megatron

Transformers News: Pictorial Review for Cyberverse Ultimate Megatron

Transformers News: Pictorial Review for Cyberverse Ultimate Megatron

Transformers News: Pictorial Review for Cyberverse Ultimate Megatron

This is easily the better mode for me. The gimmick makes more sense here, it rolls and basically get the job done as well as I would expect for any tank former. Its got a nice meaty size too, especially height wise.

Transformers News: Pictorial Review for Cyberverse Ultimate Megatron

Transformers News: Pictorial Review for Cyberverse Ultimate Megatron

So in the end, this is a major step up from the Power Surge and three step figures from Robots in Disguise, so that’s good news for kids. However, it is not on par with leader toys from the Cybertron era though I do see some similarities in the design to what we got in the Animated and Cybertron leaders. This can be the basis for a much better toy, but as it stands I do not recommend him to collectors.

IDW Transformers: Unicron #2 Review

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: Unicron #2 Review
Date: Wednesday, July 25th 2018 7:51pm CDT
Categories: Comic Book News, Reviews
Posted by: D-Maximal_Primal | Credit(s): IDW, D-Maximal_Primal

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Views: 9,927

Falling Inside The Black
A Seibertron.com somewhat Spoilerish Review of IDW Transformers: Unicorn Issue #1


Synopsis

Bumblebee investigates a dark corner of Cybertron’s past, searching for answers: what is Unicron, and why does it want to destroy Cybertron? Meanwhile, Windblade scrambles to figure out a plan as Chromia makes her return—with a Decepticon fleet in pursuit!


Transformers News: IDW Transformers: Unicron #2 Review
Tonight I'm so Alone, This Sorrow takes a hold


Story

And here we are again, on issue 2 of 6 of the grand IDW finale. Unicron is here. Unicron has killed planets and fan favorites. Unicron is unstoppable and unquestionably powerful.

Does part 2 of the tale live up to the hype? Just wait and see!

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: Unicron #2 Review
Your Touch used to be so kind, Your Touch used to give me Life


So to catch up, Issue 0 was the first attack by Unicron, and in a way Issue 1 was a longer version of 0 with some more material and more action and attack and Maximals. So issue 2 was the fallout, the scene of defeat, the realization that Unicron had no weakness and burns full bore for Cybertron now. And the way the different characters were placed in that context was quite enjoyable to read.

We get some good ole fashioned Starscream, to an extent. We get some optimistic Bumblebee, paired with the used to be equally as optimistic but still very eager to at least do something Aileron, and then Optimus, more Starscream, and the council. Old plotlines and characterizations continue, even older plotlines and characters make returns, and it all blends together quite well. We got some history, we got some resolutions, and we got more questions to be asked. And we got a killer final 2 pages.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: Unicron #2 Review
Don't leave me alone, Cause I barely see at all


Story wise, Starscream is a standout here. Also important is Bludgeon, and his attack on Unicron and position in the grand scheme of things. At this point, Bludgeon is a con to keep an eye on, like really, go back and read all his adventures post Death of Optimus Prime, and then finish with this one.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: Unicron #2 Review
Falling in the Black, Slipping through the Cracks


Finally, as a nod to the Hasbro Universe itself, we get 3 different stories worth of appearances and 2 different creation/backstories, with the 3rd actually being a back up comic featuring a well known Maximal and the final stand of Scarlett's Strike Force.

Is it a filler issue? Yes, it is. It is the lull between storms. Is it a boring or not overly good filler? Absolutely not. It gives us so much, it still gives action, it still has the characters, it still has all the moments, and it has the perfect build up and a great lead in to the next. It is serialized, but it does not suffer all that badly for it.

And in case you forgot, Skywarp is equally as fun as Starscream. Now all we needed was a Thundercracker appearance and we would have had seeker gold.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: Unicron #2 Review
Dreaming of the Way it used to be, Can you hear me?


Art

Simply put, the marriage of artist and colorist for this series could not have been any more perfect. And this is not just me, this is the Seibertron.com review room talking here folks. You cannot beat the lines of Milne fused with the colors of Cheng. You can't, it's that simple.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: Unicron #2 Review
Falling to the Depths can I ever go back?


The vast backgrounds and equally vast cast, the uniqueness of each Cybertronian's design, the fun of space and the grounds of Cybertron, it all looks and feels so good. And it owes everything to Milne and Cheng. They have done fantastic for all 3 Unicron titles released so far, and there is no indication that we should expect less in the remaining 4. And if the last page is anything to go by, epic will still fail to describe the coming events.

And a final nod to the important final part of the art team: Tom B. Long. Letters are so easy to overlook, but in this issue, between Bludgeon, Omega Supreme, and the rest of the cast, the letters get a chance to shine, and it is fantastic at how many different ways you can create a conversation.

Well done crew!

Final Thoughts

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: Unicron #2 Review
Falling Inside, Falling Inside.... The Black


As you can tell, this issue was mainly character driven, by interactions between characters fresh back for their final appearances. It has some action, some backstory, some main story, and bit of final payoffs. It was a good story with excellent art, and a great lead in that managed to not bore the audience nor make them think anything less than a good story is ahead.

With that all in mind, despite what we learned here, next issue cannot come soon enough. We have reached what appears to be the big moment fairly early in the story. While it may not be the climax of the story itself, it still will be big and fun, especially with characters by Barber and art by Milne, Cheng, and Long.

Have a score, and let's get on to that issue 3 folks.

:MAXIMAL: :MAXIMAL: :MAXIMAL: :MAXIMAL: out of :MAXIMAL: :MAXIMAL: :MAXIMAL: :MAXIMAL: :MAXIMAL:


And finally, as with all Unicron reviews, we feature a Skillet song as the theme for this review, and ultimately for things to come.

Review of IDW Transformers Optimus Prime #21

Transformers News: Review of IDW Transformers Optimus Prime #21
Date: Wednesday, July 18th 2018 9:57am CDT
Categories: Comic Book News, Reviews, Site Articles
Posted by: Va'al | Credit(s): IDW

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Views: 10,277

...fallen?
(Spoiler free-ish)



Synopsis
“The Falling,” Part 6. Bumblebee and Optimus Prime make a last, desperate bid to return to the real world as Shockwave teams up with the Autobots! Can Optimus stop what’s coming, or has he played right into the hands of the ultimate destroyer?

Transformers News: Review of IDW Transformers Optimus Prime #21
sup


Story
And lo! we reach the end of this penultimate narrative arc of the ongoing Optimus Prime series, and.. it gets weird? It definitely does things, and quite a few, but it also feels like it's trying to do more things than it wanted to do - to varying degrees of success - and The Falling just sort of hobbled and stumbled a bit there. Let's see...

Transformers News: Review of IDW Transformers Optimus Prime #21
thanks, Bee


If you've followed the Seibertron.com reviews of several of John Barber's work, you'll have noticed that one element keeps coming up when we reach the climax of his stories - two, actually: first, the climax is always magnificent and much earlier than the denouement; second, the latter, the endings, can have a tendency to not land entirely satisfactorily, to be generous in my wording.

Transformers News: Review of IDW Transformers Optimus Prime #21
...yeah..


If the script wanted to play more on Shockwave's evolution in time - plenty of it - it did so with probably too many tropes and clichés, reminding me too much of the Galvatron resolution in Combiner Wars, and an over the top, super evil villain element to an otherwise nuanced take on the senator's story, and his influence on titular character Optimus.

Transformers News: Review of IDW Transformers Optimus Prime #21
this guy, yknow


That said, there are still some very good individual character moments and scenes, mostly featuring Arcee and Aileron, Pyra Magna and her reluctant partnership with Optimus, and Bumblebee's presence as an almost outsider to the entire story - plus, some very nice callbacks to very early storylines seeded in the very first Shockwave story, and everything since, in true Barber continuity style. And final bang for the universe to go out on, for which a clue may or may not be in the cover...


Art

We have previously seen how Kei Zama and Sara Pitre Durocher can work really quite well together in the same book, even with theyir recognisably own style - and there are some very much both moments, spotlighting strengths from each of the two artists - but adding the third, very distinct style of Livio Ramondelli to the mix might not have worked that well. It does. Oh if it does: giving him the infraspace sections allows his style to be justified by the narrative itself, and the end result - of all three - is nothing short of masterful.

Transformers News: Review of IDW Transformers Optimus Prime #21
Arcee is the still the best


Josh Burcham is doing nothing short of a miracle, bringing a cohesion to three very distinct visual styles that would not have otherwise worked at all - and even with what may be Ramondelli's colours on his own lineart (has always been so, I wouldn't expect that to change), the final effect we get out of the three is truly a sight to behold, and probably the redeeming element of the whole book this time round.

Transformers News: Review of IDW Transformers Optimus Prime #21
I MEAN JUST LOOK


With the script being so baffling at times, in terms of its narrative linearity, I was a little thrown off at one specific instance of balloon placing in the very first pages, that threw me off entirely for a whole two days, until my third read. The rest of the lettering was Tom B Long's regular top shape, but I felt like my disappointed feelings just tainted a lot about this book.

As for covers, the Aileron / Arcee cover by Zama and Burcham is splendid, though without the colours it can be a little harder to decipher, though the spotlight still goes to the Pyra Magna-centric Casey Coller and JP Bove silhouette variant, the last in this gorgeous series (see thumbnail). Check them all out in full size in our database!

Thoughts
Spoilerish ahead

If the previous couple of issues was starting to feel as if the story was dragging on, this issue put a stop to that, and one that was a little too abrupt and perhaps undeserved - in its convoluted path to the end point, at least - to make up for the jarring feeling that came out of the close proximity of these last two issues. The story is tepid at best, thought there is nothing inherently wrong about it, but his landing not sticking well, even with that one scene with its wholesome, touching moment, and its lead into the Unicron happenings, just soured the whole experience for me.

Transformers News: Review of IDW Transformers Optimus Prime #21
oh, Starscream is in here too, yeah


There is some really good art present in this book, though, with some exquisite colours in the Ramondelli sections, and some poignant moments kept well balanced even with three separate sets of hands being worked on by a fourth, and some of the scenes alone are worth the scope of the book - but still not always enough to supersede the disappointment of a tepid resolution. I do want to see how this all ends, of course, but I'm less inclined to fully appreciate the Unicron story now that these cards are sliding off the table.

. :CYBERTRON: :CYBERTRON: ½ out of :CYBERTRON: :CYBERTRON: :CYBERTRON: :CYBERTRON: :CYBERTRON:

IDW Transformers: Unicron #1 Review

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: Unicron #1 Review
Date: Wednesday, July 11th 2018 7:39pm CDT
Categories: Comic Book News, Reviews
Posted by: D-Maximal_Primal | Credit(s): IDW Publishing, D-Maximus_Primal@Seibertron

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Views: 12,917

Not Gonna Die Tonight
A Seibertron.com somewhat Spoilerish Review of IDW Transformers: Unicorn Issue #1


The Darkest Hour has come. Optimus Prime stages a desperate gamble as the world-eater, Unicron, approaches Windblade’s homeworld—but that’s just the appetizer. The main course is Cybertron (with a side of Earth)... and it’s starting to look like no force in the galaxy can stop the end from coming.


Transformers News: IDW Transformers: Unicron #1 Review
Death surrounds
My heartbeat’s slowing down


Story

So here we are at last, the end of a dream, the end of 14 years of Transformers, the end of the longest running Transformers comic series in history. And here it goes out not with a bang nor a whimper. It goes out spectacularly and in glorious Big Screen Milne-D TV (that's a 2D 3D joke folks).

But we'll get to art later. First, let's focus in on the story shall we?

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: Unicron #1 Review
I won’t take this world’s abuse
I won’t give up, I refuse!


The story is sort of odd, but also pretty spectacular all in one. I will start with the odd: With the final Chapter of The Falling, over in IDW's Optimus Prime book, has not yet finished, meaning this book spoils some things but also sort of feels at odds, like you jumped into the action a bit too soon, like the first part of a 3 part finale from a TV show came before the 3rd to last episode. It may be a bit jarring, but that is hardly the book's fault.

Something that is also a bit strange is how this issue just feels like a slightly larger, more violent version of Unicron #0. Which I mean, that isn't necessarily a bad thing, considering the amount of action and Beast Wars cameos we get (though add a sin for only cameos at this point). But it also is a bit weird playing the script again. But at least (redacted as it is a spoiler, see the final thoughts)*.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: Unicron #1 Review
The last thing I heard was you whispering goodbye
And then I heard you flat line


That all being said, we still get a great and fun story. Something you might not have seen coming, and shown pretty much front and center on the front of the page, is the comparison between Optimus Prime and Unicron. In many ways, these 2 characters are quite similar. And in this issue, we get plenty of Optimus, though we are still in the early days of Unicron, but that's OK! We are building up, as Unicron is building himself up, and I have to say, the 2nd half of the book had some pretty awesome things about Unicron.

All the character moments we get as well are incredible. Dirge, the Mistress, Soundwave and ROM, even Pyra Magna at the end. The characters are driving the story as much as the pictures and action on the page, and to that end, Barber once again delivers the goods.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: Unicron #1 Review
We're gonna fight for us together


See final thoughts for 1 more story thing that is best left unsaid at this juncture.

Overall though, good story, slightly repetitive, but still freshened some, and ready to speed onward to the final 5 issues. And we even get a Furmanism!

Art

What would a comic be without art you might ask? It would be a book that's what. And while books are cool, comics drawn by Alex Milne and colored by Sebastian Cheng are even better. These 2 guys right here? They kill the book. They kill the book almost as well as Unicron killed the colonies and Wheeljack! (too soon?...)

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: Unicron #1 Review
They can’t keep their chains on me
When the truth has set me free


The art, as to be expected on a Milne book, is fantastic. Bold lines, insane attention to detail, not a wide shot or a background missed. And the work on Unicron is the 2nd half of the book is awesome, properly great, kinda like the Transformers version of Bosch's Visions of Hell (maybe a spoiler, depends if you've seen that). The whole book is filled with great detail, great character moments, both story and art wise, and some great backdrops, even if we are literally in space for half the issue.

The coloring really helps bring out all those details too. I envy not a person who has to color Milne art, but Cheng did an amazing job, stellar. All the detail Milne provided was intricately carved out in detail and wonderful colors. He made the fires burn bright and the darkness nearly consume the reader themselves.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: Unicron #1 Review
When life pushes me I push harder
What doesn’t kill me makes me stronger


And the art would not be complete without our resident Letterer, Tom B. Long. Long still kills the varied speech patterns, and I love the colors and fonts chosen for Unicron. He also is one of the best at making sure you miss as little art as possible while catching your necessary speech bubbles.

For even more information, you can check out our Unicron database entry for this issue

Final Thoughts
Majorly spoilerish ahead

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: Unicron #1 Review
We’re gonna stand and fight forever


Ok, so as promised from the story section, the final 2 notes before we plunge on:

1) We are pretty much out of filler. Cybertron is next, and the action is going to only heat up from here. Both we and Unicron had the appetizers, it's time for the giant main course guys.

2) Starscream. oh man Starscream. It feels good to have him around for this final push of the storyline. And once again, it's just the way Milne draws him, but the Steve Blum just oozes all over the speech bubbles. This is the Starscream we've always needed in a comic, Transformers: Prime personified in a "G1" comic. It is brilliant.

With that, I wrap things up with this: This is the end, the great finale, the Unicron event that will end a universe, as Unicron's actually pretty rarely do. And the threat is large, it has power, it isn't showing weakness, it isn't showing any cliches, and it knows that only a few, if any, can truly have that happy ending. Heroes will fall, the action will heat up even more, the pace will pick up even more. The final enigma of the universe will be solved.

It is a great read, a part 2 if you will to the Free Unicron #0, one that provides a bit new, repeats some stuff, but still kills you with what it is intended to do. Great job here, let's keep shooting to the stars (so long as Unicron doesn't eat them).

:BH-PREDACON: :BH-PREDACON: :BH-PREDACON: :BH-PREDACON: out of :BH-PREDACON: :BH-PREDACON: :BH-PREDACON: :BH-PREDACON: :BH-PREDACON:


PS: in case you're interested, I felt this song was perfect for this issue. (Obviously)

Review of IDW Transformers: Optimus Prime #20

Transformers News: Review of IDW Transformers: Optimus Prime #20
Date: Wednesday, July 11th 2018 3:51am CDT
Categories: Comic Book News, Reviews, Site Articles
Posted by: Va'al | Credit(s): IDW

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Views: 13,005

...and falling...
(Spoiler free-ish)



Synopsis
“The Falling,” Part 5. Optimus Prime has faced defeat before and come back... but he's never seen anything like this. Beyond life, beyond death—only the wisdom of an old friend can save him. Meanwhile, Victorion battles Devastator... and only one will survive.

Transformers News: Review of IDW Transformers: Optimus Prime #20
MOAR I say


Story
There is something strange happening to this issue, and perhaps affecting the entirety of the arc once the feeling settles in, as we continue with The Falling now on its fifth chapter - and we get to visit the other side of a singular plot point and device that allowed to get this far. Which may or may not work for the readers, especially if you know where we're going with it.

Transformers News: Review of IDW Transformers: Optimus Prime #20
poor sweet boy


John Barber's writing is phenomenal, mind you, and we have a tightly scripted, well paced, focused action and dialogue balance, and he weaves in so many of the plot points we have seen since the very beginning of this narrative universe that I'm surprised editor David Mariotte is keeping track any more (and surviving unscathed).

Transformers News: Review of IDW Transformers: Optimus Prime #20
What guns?


The one character to rise out of it, other than Shockwave's larger-than-the-universe weight, and Bumblebee's newly re-established totally-not-a-ghost-because-scifi presence (and narrative voice this issue), is the titular character himself, perhaps in a finally moment too, is Optimus Prime. Or rather, his guilt and messiah complex (Prime Complex?), enabled by both of the other former two and their words / actions - but for a presence that I'm still not entirely on board to accept.

Transformers News: Review of IDW Transformers: Optimus Prime #20
Jetfire burn


As for corollary stories within the core thread of the issue, there's a lot to be appreciated, in both the flashbacks and the present day cameos and references in Liege Maximo's army of Maximals (yup), and including Armada Cyclonus, Space Case, Noisemaze/Sideways, and the covered Optimus Primal and Megatron once more. Plus, of course, Devastator and Victorion punching each other into the next issue.


Art

There is little praise I haven't yet heaped upon Kei Zama, so there is not too much more I can add here - though perhaps her ink-heavy style can make some of the more busy scenes a little too busy in some points (see some flashbacks, for example, below) - but the recognisable designs from across the franchise in her hands are something just *Italian chef hand kissing gesture* - and Casey Coller finishing off a later sequence is surprisingly well blended in

Transformers News: Review of IDW Transformers: Optimus Prime #20
Arcee, being the best as always


..which of course is only complemented and complimented by Josh Burcham's still incredible palettes and hues according to the different tonal aspects of the scenes taking place: from a colder fight to a more passionate one, to a dark flashback via a 'rational' exposition, he pieces it all together, and both styles, beautifully.

Transformers News: Review of IDW Transformers: Optimus Prime #20
So how do you become this good at art?


As for the lettering, and the established choice of narrative frame and captioning that Barber does for his stories, Tom 'Kyle' Long delivers the goods once more, in a mostly silent and subtle (bar Arcee's brutally accurate fighting style) series of action sequences and shots.

It's good to see some more Coller on the covers too, with JP Bove on colours, for a Bumblebee centric Optimus Thirteenth Prime take on the cast of the story (see thumbnail) - and of course the Beast Wars homage from Zama and Burcham is still pretty sweet, too. Check them both out in our database!

Thoughts
Spoilerish ahead

The Falling is an arc that brings down a lot of the narratives that have been established since the beginning of Robots in Disguise, then Transformers, then Optimus Prime, even though some of its seeds were planted all the way back in Spotlight: Shockwave, resurfaced in Dark Cybertron, and only now come to full bloom with Onyx Prime stomping around on everything that had been built - while I am still a little concerned at the ramifications of that, it is still doing so in such a way that makes me want to see more.

Transformers News: Review of IDW Transformers: Optimus Prime #20
mmmhm


And by seeing more, I put the emphasis on the visual, given how the art team on the book has been sensational and a wild ride from start to finish (not there yet, but I can presume), I cannot wait to see what Shockwave actually has in store (despite my reservations about his and Bumblebee's presence) and what deal will lead Optimus to come to terms with his own lineage and darkness - all in time for Unicron #1.

. :MAXIMAL: :MAXIMAL: :MAXIMAL: :MAXIMAL: out of :MAXIMAL: :MAXIMAL: :MAXIMAL: :MAXIMAL: :MAXIMAL:

Try Not to Lose Your Head: Machinima Transformers Power of the Primes Episode 5 REVIEW

Transformers News: Try Not to Lose Your Head: Machinima Transformers Power of the Primes Episode 5 REVIEW
Date: Thursday, May 31st 2018 1:48am CDT
Categories: Cartoon News, Reviews, Site Articles
Posted by: Bronzewolf | Credit(s): Go90

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Views: 19,348

We are just about to the half way point of the new Power of the Primes cartoon, so obviously in the 5th episode, the story should really start ramping up, right?
...
...
...
right?

Let's take a look and find out, as we delve into "Athenaeum Sanctorum"

Transformers News: Try Not to Lose Your Head: Machinima Transformers Power of the Primes Episode 5 REVIEW
Ah yes, my favorite republican senator.

(The following review contains heavy spoilers for the POTP cartoon. Seriously. Characters die and stuff. Proceed at your own risk.)

While last week's episode stayed pretty tight with our main cast of characters, we branch off quite a bit in terms of both plot lines, characters, and backdrops this week. Similarly unlike weeks prior, we make quite a bit of a jump in time from episode to episode. Normally episodes pick up exactly where the previous ones left off, almost like just a commercial break, but in episode 5 we see the Dinobots already out on their own after Grimlock leaves on the main quest to find the Prime Library, and with the main cast already considerably on their way trough the journey, right at the library door. For such a linear, spoonfed, slow moving series, this was actually pretty jolting for me. I had to go back and make sure I didn't miss an episode.

Anyway, speaking of the Dinobots, they just happen to run into Rodimus and Overlord, because everybody's in this damn swamp apparently. The two baddies are hot on the trail of Megatron and the Requiem Blaster.

Transformers News: Try Not to Lose Your Head: Machinima Transformers Power of the Primes Episode 5 REVIEW
Swamp Ex Machinima

The Dinobots hide out on a cliff watching the two below. Overlord's upset that they can't find Megatron or the blaster, and starts randomly shooting the ground a bunch of times for some reason. Rodimus says that they're being watched, and blasts the ledge the dinos were hiding behind, revealing their location.

The pair take the dinobots hostage, and promptly start questioning them, trying to find out where the rest of the cast went.

Transformers News: Try Not to Lose Your Head: Machinima Transformers Power of the Primes Episode 5 REVIEW
*sigh* You know what this looks like. You don't need me to tell you what this looks like.

As Overlord tries to get the information out of Snarl by sitting with him like a gossiping teenage girl, Rodimus Cron threatens Sludge. Snarl finally lets it slip that they were headed to a library, and they, with the help of Unicron taking over Rodimus' body, put the rest of the pieces together. With one final punch, Rodimus kills Sludge. Just like that.

While the scene, and the following one where the surviving Dinobots morn Sludge, work really well emotionally (as this series goes), Snarl's voice is not good, and it doesn't make a lot of sense. The Dinobots have been running circles around Windblade, Perceptor, and Victorion for four episodes now. Granted that was with Grimlock, but they were still huge and could hold their own against enemies. In this scene they just lay down and take it. Rodimus killing Sludge also brings some questions, some of which might have even been intentional: Surely Rodimus can't be THAT strong. I understand that this show is trying to establish him as unstoppable force to really be reckoned with, but at the same time even Unicron couldn't have made him this strong and unstoppable.

Transformers News: Try Not to Lose Your Head: Machinima Transformers Power of the Primes Episode 5 REVIEW
ONE PPPPPUNCH!!!

Speaking of Windblade, Perceptor, and Victorion, we catch up with them in the next scene. They, along with Megatron, Grimlock, and Optimus Primal, are now in a frozen tundra biome, where the clue from the cave in the last episode is leading them.

Now, I'm not even going to attempt to explain the next minute and a half, but just know it is some of the wierdest, worst psuedo science I have ever heard in any form of media. Something about parallel lines that somehow meet, and infinity, and the center of the center (?????) and stuff like that.

Transformers News: Try Not to Lose Your Head: Machinima Transformers Power of the Primes Episode 5 REVIEW
I have, just, NO clue.

Anyway, somehow they find their way to the Sanctorum, and they're all taken aback by the temple inside. It is, admittedly, a very nice set piece. Megatron runs in to use of the computer systems, and Perceptor butts in.

Transformers News: Try Not to Lose Your Head: Machinima Transformers Power of the Primes Episode 5 REVIEW
"What will you do?" "Oh, the exact same thing as you, but sCiENtiFiCALly!"

Percy finds a page relating to the Requiem Blaster and reads it out loud. It explains that the Requiem Blaster was hidden because Megatronus killed Solus with it. The other Primes entrusted a guardian to protect it, which at some point through the generations became Optimus Primal. Why Primal wasn't able to tell them at least some of this information, the world will never know.

As everyone's distracted by the shiny computer, Rodimus and Overlord catch up, and somehow silently bring Victorion to her knees. Rodimus chokes her, (even though robots don't breathe, but you can find an in depth analysis of this problem thanks to our Energon Pub patrons;) ) eventually tearing her head off, with her body falling to the ground. As this series goes, this is an extremely dark death. It's not played up as dramatically as I think it could have been, but it is an interesting turn. With that, the episode ends.

Transformers News: Try Not to Lose Your Head: Machinima Transformers Power of the Primes Episode 5 REVIEW
Aw, sick! This ancient archive of the Primes has Go90!

This episode was admittedly boring, but things at least happened, which is an achievement unto itself. The darker parts were interesting, and cement Overlord and Rodimus as at least interesting to watch. I'm liking the treasure hunt/tourist's guide to the ancient temples of Cybertron story line to be completely honest, I just wish it had moved a bit faster a bit earlier. This episode wasn't nearly as laugh (or scream) out loud bad as some of the past ones have, which is progress. We really have been stuck in the swamp this entire time, so at the very least we can be happy that not only has the story found it's footing, we were also treated to several changes of scenery, which is really all I could ask for. Just please. PLEASE. Don't go back to that damn swamp.

(I leave you with an excellent GIF from our newsie Qwan. See you next week!
Transformers News: Try Not to Lose Your Head: Machinima Transformers Power of the Primes Episode 5 REVIEW

Review of IDW Transformers Optimus Prime #19

Transformers News: Review of IDW Transformers Optimus Prime #19
Date: Wednesday, May 30th 2018 3:17am CDT
Categories: Comic Book News, Reviews, Site Articles
Posted by: Va'al | Credit(s): IDW

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Views: 14,770

A Singular Choice
(Spoiler free-ish)



Synopsis
“The Falling,” Part 4. Onyx Prime’s motivations are clear, and his scheme seems unstoppable. Heroes have fallen, and hope dwindles for the survivors. Cybertron’s last chance of salvation is in the hands of… well, that would be telling, wouldn’t it?

Transformers News: Review of IDW Transformers Optimus Prime #19
GEE, I WONDER WHO


Story
After a whole issue of backstory, and after one of shocking revelations, we have an aftermath of an issue that tries dealing with the consequences of it all, while trying to handle the seemingly infinite cast that John Barber has been playing with for a long time now - meaning that not all have the space to get the treatment they entirely deserve, but where we do, the highlights are excellent.

Transformers News: Review of IDW Transformers Optimus Prime #19
Big and green, the joke was there all along


The major issue taking place within the story, for me and some of the other staff I consulted with before writing the review, is the unfortunate timing of the solicitations and Unicron FCBD book: they spoil what could've been a fairly well played, if not touching, moment in the pages of this arc, removing some of the subtlety that was attempted since early Till All Are One issues.

Transformers News: Review of IDW Transformers Optimus Prime #19
including some of Starscream's traits


That said, seeing Onyx Prime at the height of his threat - notwithstanding his actual identity at this stage; he is indeed still both characters, as they both exist simultaneously in the past and the present - is thrilling, even with the timeline and rhetorical headaches the story itself might be producing. On the other hand, the reveal/truth about the story is still a little.. eh.

Transformers News: Review of IDW Transformers Optimus Prime #19
Arcee however is great


Overall, though, and with one more issue to go before the conclusion of this narrative arc, I'm ..strangely not entirely impressed. The build-up in previous issues, including the backstory, exposition filled issue of last month, had felt so much tenser and vibrant than the current unravelling of plot and mythology, and it feels as though too much is happening at the same time for all of it to be actually final or of serious consequence. More on this below.


Art
Sara Pitre Durocher takes over from Kei Zama in this issue, and brings her signature style along to another look at Starscream still hung up on the ending of Till All Are One (for a little while, at least). And after the Ramondelli break last issue, this shift works out really well, even in the stark difference between the heaviness of the lines, and the softer (but clear) direction this month.

Transformers News: Review of IDW Transformers Optimus Prime #19
also, the flashbacks are glorious


Of course, the effect is also helped by Josh Burcham, who does some pretty amazing stuff, bringing the darker, muted tones of his regular colouring style on this series to the cleaner, sleeker art style of Pitre Durocher, without losing the continuity with previous issues or watering the art itself down for the sake of visual coherence.

Transformers News: Review of IDW Transformers Optimus Prime #19
..I just really wanted to show this panel off


There are several instances in this issue where the font-mastery and balloon placing of letterer Tom B Long ensures that the humour or pacing of the interaction hits its mark, and by several, I mean a lot. Seriously - a lot. And they all land.

Casey Coller continues to perform excellence, with colourist John Paul Bove, as the variant cover that features all the major players (thumbnail). And as we had already seen previously, but you can do so again in our database entry (warning. there be spoilers) here, Kei Zama and Bove also deliver a fantastically creepy Shockwave-centric main cover too.

Thoughts
Spoilerish ahead

If my opening statement seemed unfair to the script, it's fair to also say that the focus on the characters that are explored is very well.. focused, and explored. There are some misgivings about Devastator and Starscream's behaviours, and my general feelings about the reveal are still not overly positively thrilled, but I'm enjoying the story moving forward even with those speedbumps.

Transformers News: Review of IDW Transformers Optimus Prime #19
Aileron also has some Seriously Good Moments


Still, even with all of that, the issue is stunning to look at, and having now had three different art teams for the past three months is working out surprisingly well - which bodes even better for the increased frequency schedule that is supposed to take place after this month, to arrive at the final conclusion of it all alongside Unicron. I'll still shake my fists at IDW's schedules, though.

. :BOT: :BOT: :BOT: ½ out of :BOT: :BOT: :BOT: :BOT: :BOT:

Seibertron.com Watches Netflix The Toys That Made Us Transformers Episode #TTTMU

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Watches Netflix The Toys That Made Us Transformers Episode #TTTMU
Date: Sunday, May 27th 2018 5:11am CDT
Categories: Reviews, Site Articles, Digital Media News, Editorials
Posted by: Va'al

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Views: 17,941

The Toys That Made Us - the Netflix original documentary series focusing on 80s toys and franchises - aired its second tranche of episodes on the streaming service on Friday 25th May, and several fans and collectors tuned in to check out the Transformers specific episode (two years in the waiting, after all) but also the Star Trek, Lego, and Hello Kitty episodes that accompanied it.

As such, we sat some of the staff down and had a chat about what we thought about the way our favourite transforming robots were treated, and how it lived up or not to our expectations! Read along below to find out more, and join the discussion with your own thoughts in the thread on the Energon Pub discussion boards!

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Watches Netflix The Toys That Made Us Transformers Episode


Introducing: the participants

Va'al - I have watched entire series out of interest, and in anticipation for the Transformers episode in particular, of course, so I can also see and compare this episode in the frame of the whole documentary. People who know me are aware of my stance and position towards toys, in that I don't really collect them but am fairly invested in the fiction surrounding the characters - but have gone through the motions as a kid who grew up in the 1990s, so Beast Wars and what followed were definitely a thing until the toy buying died down!

william-james88 - This was the first episode I watched of the series so far and I thought it was an excellent look at the toy brand and the best piece yet relating its history. Transformers are my very favourite toys, always have been, ever since I was 8 and discovered Beast Wars toys. I have been buying figures here and there ever since and went deep down the rabbit hole in 2014 where I have yet to emerge. I love all transforming toys, so I collect a few more franchises as well (e.g. Power Rangers, Voltron, Japanese 70s Super Robots) but my favourites are still Transformers, simply due to the Takara workmanship, which I was very happy this episode highlighted.

Qwan - I don't have Netflix myself, so this episode (when I managed to bum a friend's account) was my first chance to watch the show. Bearing that in mind, I don't have anything to compare this episode to in the show's broad scope, but hopefully I at least have enough perspective on the Transformers franchise to judge it in that way. I've been into Transformers since Cybertron (I was only 6 when it caught my interest!), and though I care most about the toys, it's the fiction and characters that keep always me wanting to buy more. I collect a bunch of other stuff too - Gunpla, Bionicle, other Lego mechs, basically anything with big robots; and then anything else with characters that catch my interest - but in the end it's always been Transformers that stands out as the one that matters most.

Cobotron - Being born in 1975 put me right at prime demographic for every toy brand this series has covered. And boy did I play with a lot of if not all of these toys! So needless to say the entire series not only hits my nostalgia button, but also covers a subject that is still near and dear to me 42 years later. I've been playing with and collecting Transformers since even before 1984, as I had friends with Diaclone toys. My love for Japanese robots grew from playing with my older brother's Micronauts, and Shogun Warriors, but really found it's focus with Transformers. To this day I still have my childhood collections, and/or actively collect not just Transformers, but Star Wars, GI Joe, MASK, Lego, and more. Transformers makes up a majority of my collection, but first and for most I consider myself a toy collector, and specifically a collector of these very toys that made us.

D-Maximal_Primal - This is a show I have been interested in watching, but this was the first chance I have gotten to see an episode, thanks to my girlfriend's Netflix account. My journey with Transformers began with the 2007 movie, and I got my first toy on Christmas eve of that year, which was movie 1 voyager Megatron. I started collecting a bit more around Revenge of the Fallen, and my collecting really took off in 2013 after I started college. I am 23 now, and still vastly enjoy the brand all the different aspects of it. I also enjoy the Marvel Universe, particularly Iron Man, Gundam, and Voltron.

With the backgrounds set out and the cards on the table, let's dive in!

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Watches Netflix The Toys That Made Us Transformers Episode

What did you enjoy the most?

C - Every episode in the series has offered something interesting about each brand they've featured. With the Transformers episode I was delighted to gain more insight into the early days and the designers at Takara. In fact, Transformers humble Japanese beginnings is probably one of my favorite aspects of the brand. While this history is not new to me, I'm so happy they focused a lot of this episodes on the prehistory of Transformers, because now there is this nice, comprehensive source, wrapped in a fun to ingest package, that sums up their origins for even the newest collector to learn about how it all began.

D - ...seeing all the old Takara stuff was so neat and also incredibly informative to see where Transformers came from, what all Takara did, what Hasbro did without them for a bit, and then how things have progressed since. It is especially interesting to see how the toys changed from being good guys to bad guys and viceversa between the original Microman/Diaclone and the Transformers versions.

WJ - I agree, my favourite part of this episode was how we spent a lot of time with Takara. I liked how humble everyone was and how these men were just glad to know that what they created brought joy to children and keeps doing so as the brand evolves and grows. I also loved learning of Takara's reaction to Hasbro's take on their product, which was something I had oddly never considered.

V - Yeah, I think that was the most enjoyable part of the episode, mostly also due to the tone of the entire series: the switching between different speakers to gauge the reactions and reception of the brand initially - the history is a well known mismatched one in the fandom, and the editing of Takara vs Hasbro, toy vs marketing, with the almost flippant narration, was entertaining (though I know this is not the widespread reaction to the series).

Q - That mismatched history stood out for me. I thought it was great seeing the process leading up to the brand's creation and introduction to the Western market. All too often the background of Transformers is given as "GI Joe then Microman and then Transformers happened" with about that much detail, so I loved how much time was dedicated to seeing exactly how this brand we all adore came about, from early cultural and media influences through to actual licensing.


What do you think was missing?

Q - Since I'm a little baby boy who missed out on the whole G1 and Beast Wars scenes, I would've really liked to see even a bit of screentime dedicated to the post-BW pre-Movie stuff; Car Robots, Unicron Trilogy, Animated, anything like that. Heck, even Beast Wars got the shaft a bit in terms of its importance. Things still happened between 1996 and 2007, guys! (I also sorely felt the lack of any G2 raps: easily the most artful creations to ever come out of the brand.)

D - Yeah, I really missed seeing more of the toyline past G1 though. As a big Animated fan, movie fan, and now a Beast Wars fan, I missed seeing more of those guys, and seeing some of the newer toy designs that came from the original 80s toys. Other than that bit of oversight, I really enjoyed the episode!

C - I do wish they had spent a little more time covering the post Beast Wars era toy lines. They had Aaron Archer as an interviewee, but really just dusted over the huge contribution he (and his team) made to the brand. The Archer led era of Transformers was an important time that produced some of the toys that are to this day among my very favorites.

V - I mean, the series is dedicated to the 80s, of course, so we knew all of the toys some of us grew up with were going to be only briefly featured from the start - but for me the Italian perspective on the brand, with the GIG licensing, naming, and branding situation, essentially the creation question about the Transformers (or Trasformers on my side) would've been fun to see explored too! (That, and some issues with framing the Japanese perspective from a production point of view.)

WJ - On that last point: Since we do spend a lot of time on the Japanese side of things, with the creators and designers, I would have really liked to have the option of their speech subtitled rather than dubbed. This brand is so deeply rooted in Japan that it would have been nice to have this episode fully embrace this idea of two worlds and give us two different languages at least. Also, while the episode looks great and seems to have a budget on par with any other documentary, that intro feels like it comes from Newgrounds circa 2001 and feels off compared to the rest of the episode which has a rather decent quality.

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Watches Netflix The Toys That Made Us Transformers Episode



What is one new thing you learned?

D - I only know a little bit about Diaclone, So almost the entire first half of the episode was a history lesson I really knew nothing about, so that was really cool! I enjoyed seeing the ideas form and change over time, and it was awesome to get all that history and pre-history of the brand.

V - Similar for me! The original GI Joe connection was one I was not entirely aware of - the shared Hasbro Universe everyone has been griping about at IDW goes way back further than I thought, and I'll admit I had a little 'ha!' moment about that. Oh, and the wooden toy prototypes were pretty cool.

WJ - Yeah, I really liked seeing the early process as to how Transformers (Microchange and Diaclone toys) were first designed, in wood. We are used to seeing grey prototypes but seeing prototypes in wood just shows me how limited toy technology once was and how amazing it is that we got such complex toys back in the day. Also, as a Jim Shooter fan, it was really cool to learn that he came up with the story of the Autobots vs Decepticons.

Q - Shooter yes, but also it was really interesting to hear how Budiansky ended up writing for the original Transformers; I never really stopped to think about how he got the job, only that he did it (and did it well). I've always loved behind-the-scenes stories, so learning more about how the very original TF fiction was created was fascinating to me!

C - I'll stand out on this one: I was surprised to learn that after Transformers: the Movie, Takara stepped out of the picture completely. I thought for sure the "Masters" eras of the brand were still created in tandem with Takara. In fact I've always thought that the likes of the Head Masters were so awesomely silly and original that they had to have come from the Japanese designers. I would have liked to learn more about the design process during this time frame.

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Watches Netflix The Toys That Made Us Transformers Episode



What was your personal highlight from the episode?

WJ - The highlight is everyone they got to interview, including seeing our own site owner Seibertron being rather eloquent, with a contagious enthusiasm for the brand. You did us proud buddy! Oh and probably the major highlight was seeing all those gorgeous Diaclone toys. I was watering at the mouth watching those beauties transform onscreen, what gorgeous toys.

Q - Yes, seeing Bossbot represent us so well was great! That aside since it's almost cheating to pick it, I thought the moment at the end with Yoke's Perceptor was incredibly sweet and a heartwarming note to end on. (More lightly, I got a good chuckle out of the observation that even whoever was in charge of the Transformers displayed in the episode couldn't get MPM Optimus' truck mode to cooperate either!)

C - I think the biggest highlight for me was the interviews and insight into the original Takara team. Especially Yoke-san! That moment where he started to get emotional showing off the Perceptor that Hasbro had given him kicked me right in the tear ducts too. Everything I love about all Takara toys, not just Transformers, can be linked to him. And, he seems to just be such a nice and kind person, not to mention a design genius. I'd like to thank Yoke-san for giving me and so many others the fuel we needed to drive our imaginations to the farthest reaches and back, for all these many years.

V - I really want to say something else other than seeing Ryan / Seibertron on screen, as you all did. I do. So I'll go with Bob Budiansky's entertainingly dry humour, and Hideaki Yoke calling Bumblebee 'a sweet boy'.

D - The whole naming and personality part from Budiansky himself, and how it took so long to get to him and how fast he put everything together. "High Beam" huh? Guess the person who vetoed that name wasn't around when Erector came out! But really though, seeing the toys take on their personalities that have helped endear them to all of us was really awesome, and it's amazing how fast it was all done too.


Transformers News: Seibertron.com Watches Netflix The Toys That Made Us Transformers Episode


All in all, we thought this was an great look at the franchise, covering the early major beats and giving us our best and most accessible version yet at the story behind these magnificent toys - it's a fantastic primer about this huge universe and the wonderful people that made it happen, even with the sometimes goofy, forced humour (to some).

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Watches Netflix The Toys That Made Us Transformers Episode


Oh, and one last thing from Cobotron, before we hand the thoughts over to the rest of the community:

I watched the episode twice. The first time I was at work, and while I was looking down at my work I heard a very familiar voice. It was a true delight to look up and see the old Bossbot himself, Seibertron. It's so great that such an important and long time contributor to the fandom got recognized in such a wonderful way. You deserve the acknowledgement Ryan. Thanks for giving us Transformers nerds a place to hang out and be ourselves!

The Toys That Made Us is now streaming on Netflix, with all 8 episodes available.

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Transformers Podcast: Twincast / Podcast #209 - Under Siege
Twincast / Podcast #209:
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Posted: Sunday, October 7th, 2018

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