At this point last year, we had a very good idea at the entirety of the Power of the Primes line and due to all the listings found across various Amazon sites, it might be the same with Siege, at least for the Deluxe, Voyager and Leader Figures. We had newsed them as they came in but now we will list all the toys we know that are within the Siege line. This might not mean that this is the entirety for all classes, but it is all the listings out now for this one year line. The deluxe and voyagers output at least seems complete, as far as mainline toys go. Make of it what you will. The big entry here that people may have missed is a leader sized Optimus Prime that is slated for later in 2019.
You will notice that certain expected redecos are not listed, such as Skywarp, and the other Datsuns (Bluestreak and Smokescreen). Skywarp's current absence is reinforced by him not being present on the recent promotional material for the Decepticon releases. These may of course end up as exclusives, just like Ratchet is, or released in later lines within the War for Cybertron trilogy.
We start these reveals off with everyone's favourite security officer..
#Sideways# wrote:The ends justify the means, hm?
Well, it would in Prowl's opinion -- and looking at his abilities, I can't say that I disagree. Remember when I said that cars were pretty interchangeable in their usefulness? This is one of those useful guys. I would even go as far as to say that he's one of the best value for Cars we've seen.
No, he may not hit for high numbers, but through his vehicle mode he gives all of your characters Bold 2.
Yes. All of them.
When you have Cars, you're constantly untapping your characters, which means you're almost always going to be attacking with all three at the end of the turns. Now imagine all of them with base Bold 2, plus whatever Weapon they're already holding. If you don't think that's very good, think again.
But that's not all. His vehicle mode is a Specialist, meaning that he can use Multi-Mission Gear to play free Actions and Multi-Tool to play free Upgrades. But that's not all; his robot mode also has a fantastic tool for Cars to use.
Cars is all about control and outlasting your opponent by forcing them to attack where you want. Your cars are almost always going to be damaged. So when you have Prowl in play, and one of your Cars get finished off, you can use him to heal one of your other Cars so you don't get snowballed out of the game.
Prowl has a lot of value in a very small cost. If you ever want to play Cars, I would heavily consider playing Prowl in your list.
Next up is the last of the seeker trio to be revealed...
#Sideways# wrote:"Let's do the Sky Warp agaaaaain! It's just a jump to the left!"
And two steps to the ri... Erm, anyway, Skywarp makes me happy. No, not because you get to look at the top card of both player's decks to gauge your next attack to make wiser decisions, and no, it's not his great defensive ability... It's that he is six stars.
Yes, that seems shallow. But listen, you can play the most expensive Starscream, Thundercracker and Skywarp all in the same list, and how can I not be happy about that?
But about the character card himself, he's fairly average across the board. Plus, he's one of only a few characters that don't get either a defensive or offensive buff from transforming. He's one of those characters you play because of his innate abilities -- like being a Plane -- and his abilities.
Skywarp's vehicle mode ability is an almost useless one, but it still gives you information you can somehow use. You see, you get to look at the top card of both players decks -- and whereas that sounds good, you have to realize that when you attack AND defend, you discard at least the top two cards of your deck. So you can't use it to plan out your next turn at all, but you can use it to plan out your next attack.
If you see your opponent has an overly defensive card on the top of their deck, you can play a System Reboot to force them to draw it. If you see that your attack is likely to do a lot of damage, you can use a higher damaging character to attack next. It's all about planning, but compared to other abilities, his seems a bit lackluster.
His robot mode, however, has a very interesting ability. You see, you get to redirect damage that would be dealt to him to another character. With eight HP, it isn't that hard to see why you would want to do that, but more importantly, you can use it to set up Bombing Run plays as well as avoid instant death. Remember, if one of your other characters is close to being KO'd, you can sacrifice them instead if Skywarp would be hit with an absurd amount of damage.
He's a cool character that definitely will see play in Planes, but outside of that, not much. He may be a mostly one-trick pony, but surviving is what he's good at, and that's good in my book.
For the last character reveal, we turn to the great inventor of the Autobots...
#Sideways# wrote:"Ever heard of Movie Magic?"
Wheeljack is another amazing card for Cars. He has draw power, utility, survivability and a startling amount of damage potential. Sure, his point cost is a bit steep, but you can play him in a lot of Car lists due to their low point costs. Before we ramble, let's get to the basics.
His stats are kind of average in his vehicle, and above average in his robot mode, but like most characters, the real magic is in his utility. In his Car mode, he is a Specialist that can use Multi-Mission Gear and Multi-Tool, while also being a Car so he can abuse Turbo Boosters and Start Your Engines. His ability also allows you to draw cards and cycle your deck easier, which is awesome anyway, but in a deck like Cars that relies on an Upgrade for its central strategy, this is invaluable.
He also has a startlingly good ability to have Bold 3 if you have a weapon in the Scrap pile. Since you're going to be flipping cards anyway, the likelyhood of that is quite high indeed. Plus, you can use a Grenade Launcher and confirm that you will. Wheeljack then can use another weapon to give himself potentially even more damage potential.
One thing to think about, though, is his lackluster defense stats. If he gets attacked, you probably won't instantly get KO'd, but let's be honest, you'll come close. That's why it's important to attach a Force Field to him when you attack with him, since he'll be likely a high-priority target for your opponent.
All in all, Wheeljack is a good card for Cars lists that want certain layers of support that Cliffjumper and Mirage can't give. Remember how I said they were pretty interchangeable? Yeah, you're starting to see that, right?
The last card for today is an Action card with an effect that could prove groundbreaking.
#Sideways# wrote:Speaking of Wheeljack... And oddly not Brainstorm?
This card is bananas. It's bananas dipped in chocolate, crusted with Pop-Rocks and doused with a can of Four Loko. Very few cards get me this excited. Imagine the potential of this card with Optimus Prime -- Battlefield Legend, or perhaps Multi-Mission Gear! You're playing so many free upgrades that it's just...!
Okay, time to calm down and explain why I'm so exited. Remember how you can only play one Action in a turn? Well, this doubles that. You get to play Inspiring Leadership, draw a Leap Into Battle and play it with no repercussions. You can even use another Brainstorm to indefinitely chain Brainstorms so long as you keep drawing into them.
I adore the implications of this card, and you should, too. It is slightly worrying that, if a deck manages to draw into them effectively, that a potentially broken strategy might arise, but that's just the potential of this amazing card.
All in all, Brainstorm should be in a lot of lists. But something that you should consider is that Brainstorm is only good if you can use it effectively. In a deck without a lot of draw -- or a lot of Actions -- you won't be able to use let alone chain Brainstorm.
It's not for every deck, but man does it make me wish that it was.
Are you gearing up to put these cards down in a game? Let us know in the Energon Pub and stay tuned to Seibertron for all the latest news and reviews.
#Sideways# wrote:Jazz is really good bang for your buck, I'm not gonna lie. At six stars, he's a fantastic deal for being an Autobot Leader Car. First, let's go over his stats. Something you might notice if you're paying attention is that he has zero defense in both modes. Yikes. It would make sense in his vehicle mode, but let's be honest here, his Robot mode is a liability.
His stats aren't that great. In fact, Starter Bumblebee -- who's spot in lists Jazz is competing for -- is seemingly better at attacking than Jazz. One thing that Jazz has going for him that Bee does not is access to Pierce in his robot mode, but with such a low defense, it would be a huge risk to put him in that mode. The real power here lies in his vehicle mode, and being able to take an unbelievable amount of hits.
Jazz's vehicle ability is the best part about his kit, and it makes him hotly contest Bumblebee's spot in a lot of decks, most prominently of these being Autobot Cars. You hit for negligible damage (though you have Pierce in robot mode), but you're a Car that can take advantage of the Car support and that alone makes him viable. More importantly, he's going to be in his Car mode when he gets inevitably KO'd, meaning he's more fuel to his buddy -- Cliffjumper.
He and Bee are interchangeable, but in this case, I think Jazz is probably better in Cars than anything else.
#Sideways# wrote:"Thunder only happens when it's raining / Players only love you when they're playing..."
Thundercracker is a pretty good Plane, and is a very good card for the Plane archetype. He's got an average amount of points and a -- frankly -- overly average set of stats, but if we judged everyone by their stats we wouldn't have a game, now would we?
If you haven't guessed it already, his abilities are what gives him the real power. His vehicle mode gives him a fantastic ability work in tandem with Slipstream, Bombing Run and the indirect damage playstyle of Planes. Naturally, you can only use that ability on Melee characters, but let's be honest, everyone has Melee on their team somewhere.
What I like about characters that can damage as an ability is that they can still support other characters outside of combat. It allows them to prove their worth when you've already attacked with them, to be more than a big attack. Thundercracker is good at that, which is good in my book.
Speaking of big attacks, Thundercracker can surprisingly give some pain when necessary. If you play an Action, he gets +1 automatically. That means that you can play Bombing Run to move damage from yourself and your Plane allies, transform and attack with even more damage. Of course, you can also use Leap Into Battle as a pseudo-Grenade Launcher... Only to attach another Grenade Launcher and deal +8 damage, on top of his base 5 attack.
Thundercracker has the potential to hit very hard under certain conditions.
One thing to note, though, is that Skywarp needs to have either 6 or 7 points in order to play a team of entirely Planes. Common Starscream being 10, Thundercracker being 8, leaving 7 left over for Skywarp. If you use the Rare Starscream, that leaves even less points for Skywarp. Here's hoping he fits the bill!
#Sideways# wrote:More support? Tank you!
Oof. That pun. Anyway, this card is fantastic. Almost all Tank characters have at least 3 to 4 defense, meaning you can upgrade them to deal even more Pierce. Megatron, in particular, already has Pierce 3, so attaching this will give him Pierce 6 at the least. This card is great for bulky tanks like Megatron and Darkmount, but sadly, Demolishor can barely use it.
Since he has 0 base attack, Pierce is almost wasted on Demolishor unless you flip plenty of attacking cards when you attack. Just something to keep in mind when you play the only three tanks in the game thus far.
#Sideways# wrote:"Heyyy, duck in cover!"
This card is absolutely insane. Arguably one of the most powerful cards I've ever seen out of this game thus far, and it's not hard to see why. This card has all the power of Roll Out in Tank decks and more. Hunker Down is so powerful that it's insane. Let me explain.
You can only attach one Upgrade in a turn. Generally, it's going to be a Weapon or Utility -- mostly because it's generally better to attach a Grenade Launcher than an Armor card -- but Hunker Down? Hunker Down gives you free Armor so you can have your cake and eat it too. Not only that, but you get to put Force Field in play after it has been used.
That's utterly fantastic.
But not only that, but Darkmount deals two damage when you flip him to his vehicle mode, Megatron scraps an Upgrade on your opponent's field and Demolishor will draw two cards all when you play this card. AND you get to put three upgrades in play for free. I cannot stress to you enough how much this card makes Tanks not only playable but very good.
Even moreso, you might be wondering -- if I'm going to be attaching these Armor cards early, how will I draw into them? How will they be in the Scrap Pile? Well, that's where Demolishor comes in. He mills your deck at a startling rate thanks to his Robot mode ability. You mill the Upgrades with him, and you get to put them in play with Hunker Down. Truly, an amazing combo, and one you should definitely be on the lookout for.
Another interesting fact about both tank support cards is that they were designed by someone who worked on actual tanks:
We also have the thoughts of Design Lead Ken Nagle to share about Crushing Treads and Hunker Down.
Ken Nagle wrote:I want my TANKs to have lots of Armor then turn it into offense. I've designed software for the actual M1A1 Abrams tank; now I've designed tank cards, too. Introducing Hunker Down & Crushing Treads!
Static Laser of Ironhide
#Sideways# wrote:Now I know what you're thinking: Did he fire six shots or only five? You gotta ask yourself a question: "Do I feel lucky?"
Well, not with this card I don't. This card is pretty okay, but its niche uses sorely limit its play. Sure, you could put it on Ironhide -- the same that you get in the Starter Set -- and he could deal a surprising amount of damage. But that's kind of all he'd be there for, and there are simply better support picks for your buck.
But the real niche use here is in decks that play cards like Ransack, which thrive on damaging themselves. Decks like Energon Axe, and they certainly like getting to play them with little investment. More importantly, you can amplify Ransack's damage quite easily with this card.
It's a very limited use card, for sure, but I suppose everything can be used somewhere, if you look hard enough.
Card Designer Scott Van Essen gives insight on his creation here.
Scott Van Essen wrote:One of the fun parts of designing the Transformers TCG was making signature upgrades for classic characters. While only Optimus Prime can use his Ion Blaster, Ironhide is happy to share his Static Laser. Just make sure you read the fine print.
We've already shown several ways to connect cards to specific Transformers. We can hard-lock to a character like Ion Blaster of Optimus Prime, while cards like Null-Ray of Starscream can be used by anyone but are better on the named character.
Static Laser of Ironhide is a variant of the second, where instead of a base effect with a bonus for the named character, it's a larger effect with a downside that turns off for the named character.
Cards with downside effects tend to be cool and fun only if they're used sparingly, so we like to save them for when they really take the card concept to the next level.
In this case, I love that Static Laser of Ironhide cements itself as a powerful and dangerous weapon while also highlighting just how tough Ironhide is.
I Still Function
#Sideways# wrote:Wanna bet?
So "I Still Function!" is really, really good. It's essentially an extra turn, an extra attack, an extra threat. "I Still Function" allows you to use a lot of things to your advantage. For instance, Peace Through Tyranny allows you -- with some Multi-Mission Gear maneuvering and hand contents allowing -- to take extra turns ad infinitum by KOing the character you just resurrected.
Moreover, you can resurrect Ransack and put him at 1 HP, giving him 7 base damage instantly. Then, you can use a Bug Bomb on him, which activates as soon as your turn is over. Frankly, I love everything about this card. You can even bring back a problem card for your opponent and attack with them one more time, just to make things worse for them.
Card Designer Matt Smith created this one and shares his thoughts here.
Matt Smith wrote:While testing Wave 1 I would often focus my deck around a single powerful character *Cough* Sunstorm *Cough*. Inevitably my dastardly opponent would KO that character and I’d be left to despair. I just couldn’t have that so I reminded my quarry that I STILL FUNCTION!
The next batch of reveals was shared by Unicron.com (via their Facebook page.
One Shall Stand, One Shall Fall
#Sideways# wrote:Why throw away your life so easily?
Well, that's a question you should be asking yourself. I'm not joking -- this card is a slightly worse version of Plasma Burst and Photon Bomb. If Photon Bomb is the tattooed punk sister of Plasma Burst, than One Shall Stand is the sadistic younger sister of Plasma Burst.
This card would be very, very good if it didn't decrease your health by a quarter or a third depending on the characters in question. Now, you're reducing your opponent by the same, but this card can bite you just as easily as it can help you -- and gets wholly worse as the game goes on. I suppose that this card would be better in Tall decks than Wide, but either way, this card's playability is in the air for me.
Of course, this card has the 100% best artwork of any other card I've seen thus far, but that only gets you so far in my book.
#Sideways# wrote:I knew I shoulda gone with the turbo.
Supercharge is pretty much a bad card in all but niche decks. I'm not going to lie, this card is very subpar to another card in terms of damage output. That card I'm talking about? Leap Into Battle. Leap Into Battle gives one of your characters +3 Damage, which is essentially the best case scenario for Supercharge. There's almost no reason to play Supercharge over Leap Into Battle.
But I did say "almost". Nemesis Prime likes having Bold, and with Bold 3 on a Power Sword and Supercharge giving him another Bold 3, Nemesis Prime is one of only a few decks to play this card effectively. But other than that? Pretty much a hard pass.
Cards that say "draw" on them make me happy. They help cycle your deck and help you get the cards you need. But these should not be considered "draw cards" in the purest sense. You see, these cards are disruption cards first -- but are never dead cards in your hand.
Usually, disruption cards have their situational uses (Security Checkpoint comes to mind) and when that window has passed, become useless (dead) cards in your hand. When cards draw a card after outliving their usefulness, they are essentially never "useless" in a situation. Sure, there can be better cards to play in certain situations, but when you have nothing left at your disposal, you can play one of these and draw a card.
They're not bad. Are they worth a spot? Well, Drill Arms might. With the advent of Force Field and more Armor cards messing with your math, Armor scrapping is more and more valuable. If you ever have an extra spot -- or just really hate Armor -- Drill Arms will do all you want and more.
Transcription wrote:Drill Arms: Weapon -- When you put this on a character ---> Scrap an Enemy Armor. If you can't, draw a card. +1 Attack.
Scrapper Gauntlets: Armor -- When you put this on a character --> Scrap an Enemy Weapon. If you can't, draw a card. +1 Defense.
With the 28th ever closer, let us know in the comments if you plan on playing this game and stay tuned to Seibertron for all the latest news and reviews.
Also, as before, #Sideways# has also offered his thoughts on the reveals and their impact on the game.
#Sideways# wrote:The robot mode is rather lackluster compared to other robot modes for similar prices. But I'd like to bring your attention to the fact that he has Bold 2 built in to this mode. If you recall, Bold, Tough and Pierce all stack -- meaning, if you attached a Null Ray of Starscream to him, he would get both the +2 attack and the Bold 2 on the Null Ray, giving him a total of Bold 4 with a base attack of 6. This is good, but is it worth it compared to other options? More on this below.
Starscream Alt Mode
#Sideways# wrote:The vehicle mode for this Starscream is the most interesting of the two. If you have three Planes in play when you flip to his vehicle mode, you get to put three (!!) damage on one of your opponent's characters. This is solid damage (a third of a small character's health), and you haven't even attacked yet. This allows Starscream to bolster other character's damage without attacking, himself. This ability is great, but we simply don't have the proper support for it yet to get a full idea of how powerful this archetype will be, and the biggest problem is the point values we have thus far.
The Plane support we've seen thus far has been titillating, but we can't have a full team of Planes -- at least not yet. See, we have yet to see Thundercracker, Skywarp or anyone else that could fill that point requirement. You see, this Starscream (if you noticed his Vehicle Mode below) has 11 points. That's fine, it's a common point value. But Slipstream -- often regarded as necessary for the archetype -- is eight points. That puts your point total to 19 out of 25, leaving only six points left over to work with.
The other big problem that this archetype has from my personal playtesting is a lack of draw power. When compared to Autobot Cars, we realize that card advantage is a very important thing. It allows you to draw into your Grenade Launchers, Force Fields and in this deck, your Bombing Runs.
Unfortunately, we just don't have that draw power yet. Maybe we will with the introduction of Skywarp or Thundercracker. Or maybe not. Not every archetype has to be broken, or even playable. As with all Trading Card Games, it's a simple fact of reality. C'est la vie.
Jaws of Steel.
#Sideways# wrote:Finally, we have Jaws of Steel which make Dinobots frankly ridiculous. It is a Utility that gives Dinobots Bold 2, and mind you, Bold stacks. So, let's do the math real quick here.
Every character starts with two flips from the top of the deck, and the first time a white pip is flipped, you flip two more cards. You then attach a Power Sword to give yourself Bold 3. Then, you attach a Jaws of Steel to give yourself 2 more Bold, bringing it to Bold 5. Then you play a Dino-Chomp! and give yourself BOLD 10 and you flip ten more cards from the top of your deck. This, combined with the white pip and the first two gives you a total of 14(!?!?) cards out of your deck to deal more damage to your opponent!
I am utterly flabbergasted. Dino-Chomp alone can give you some big numbers. But all this combined... Well, let's just say that it makes me glad that Force Field exists.
We also have commentary from one of the card games designers.
The Transformers Trading Card Game FaceBook Page wrote:Check out a brand-bitin' new Battle Card reveal from our Design Lead, Ken Nagle!
"All the Dinobots can BITE, so I designed this signature Upgrade extra-sharp metal teeth Utility. I gave Jaws of Steel the Bold 2 ability and orange icon so that Dinobots love biting into foes with orange battle icons. CHOMP!"
What do you think of Starscream? Will you be using him? Let us know in the comments and stay tuned to Seibertron for all the latest news and reviews.
Don't Call It a Comeback The Top Five Reboots in Transformers History, by Scotty P
When something isn't working right in some way, a reboot can help set things back on to a better path. We do this with our gadgets all the time to set things straight, and more recently, large entertainment companies have been more willing than ever to restart classic franchises in order to cash in on new or lapsed opportunity for potential money. Soft, hard, full continuity reset, reboots until they were retconned out, non-reboots until they were retconned as such, that other Mainframe animation series - there have been many of these reboots and resets over the years.
Transformers is no stranger to this concept. Reboots, relaunches, and re-imaginings have allowed Transformers to persist over the years, and with each newly scanned concept or universe the world of Cybertron expands its IP empire further.
With IDW Publishing's long running Transformers comics continuity coming to an end this Fall, leading to a so-far nebulously defined reboot in 2019, inspiration struck to look back at the various times the heart of Vector Sigma has washed away the old and began anew. Take a short walk with me down memory lane as we look at the best reboots of all kinds throughout Transformers history - soft, hard, power cycled, and even some that are more "refresh" than reboot. Don't get too pedantic, I'm going to play pretty loose with the "reboot" concept's definition.
One more thing - This "top five" list is just for fun, just my opinion, and you should definitely comment by replying to this post to tell me why I'm wrong about all of it on our Energon Pub Forums!
#5 - Transformers Prime
Another way to put this first ranked entry could be "The Aligned Continuity and in particular, Transformers: Prime", but keeping the focus on Prime while acknowledging the wider Aligned Continuity feels appropriate, and somewhat similar to how Hasbro's various divisions handled things anyhow. Transformers: Prime was the focal point of a loosely-to-moderately-woven group of multimedia entries launched in 2010 with a goal of becoming a unified, overarching meta-continuity that would carry the brand for ten years if not longer. Along with Prime, several elements aimed to collectively achieve this goal: the War for Cybertron and Fall of Cybertron video games; Exodus, Exiles, and Retribution novels; Covenant of Primus and Transformers: Vault books, the Rescue Bots franchise, the follow-up Robots in Disguise animated series, and several tie-in comics. Despite these efforts, all these disparate pieces only really accomplish their goal if you're looking at their general ideas from orbit after your brain was launched into space from trying to actually patch it all together.
Despite the clear fictional problems at hand with the wider Aligned Continuity execution, Transformers: Prime itself brought a credibility to the television fiction and had a wider, more mass-market appeal than the beloved but niche Transformers: Animated and clearly kid-focused Unicron Trilogy. Using a main cast roughly the size of Beast Wars' main cast, the series was able to expand Transformers to an audience that had experienced the live action movies but was ready for something new that also remained grounded in at least some familiar, nostalgic territory. With hooks like Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson as the voice of Cliffjumper (at least in the pilot, for a few minutes), Peter Cullen and Frank Welker reprising their respective Optimus Prime and Megatron roles for television, and the flash of a new cable network, "The Hub", Transformers: Prime felt like it had it all. This new multimedia onslaught looked to have the brand poised for another boom after the shocks of Revenge of the Fallen's awful experience, not to mention the late 00s economic near-collapse, had settled.
Presumably hoping to learn from the Transformers: Animated toyline's truncation due to the Revenge of the Fallen toyline (yes there were some late waves and exclusives, and yes there was more to it, just keeping things simple here), Prime's "First Edition" toys were plucked out of the pan-universal Generations lineup and released after Dark of the Moon's run in theaters. Kind of. Eventually, just ahead of the second season's premiere, a wider toyline hit the shelves and for a time, Prime was rolling with a quality TV show and a decent range of toys.
While not without its missteps, Transformers: Prime helped to bring in new fans after Revenge of the Fallen's deleterious impact on the franchise's credibility, and was an important first step towards making Transformers a franchise that had toys rather than a toy franchise that had fiction.
#4 - Transformers: Armada
In the 90s, there was Beast Wars, and it was good. Then there was Beast Machines, and it was good, mostly, but also a little weird and the toys were a mess. Then there was Transtech, and it was not.
With fans fatigued from running with the beasts, and Hasbro looking to set longer term plans in motion to really take Transformers back into the pop-culture A-list, time was of the essence. A new approach to get kids to like Transformers again was needed, and a new team was assembled from the ashes of the axed Kenner division (there's more to it, again, keeping things simple), ready to truly re-launch Transformers in earnest for the first time. They made some redecos of Takara's "Car Robots" Transformers line, called it "Robots in Disguise", and this filled some space on retail shelves for awhile while they got ready for a new battle.
With a new cartoon receiving a hyped-up release in Cartoon Network's popular "Toonami" block, a comic book from hip retro-cool licensed publisher Dreamwave, and a slew of new toys, Transformers: Armada had arrived to transform your summer of 2002. Mini-Cons were here - could you catch 'em all?
Disaffected young adults that had grown up with Generation 1 and Beast Wars were initially not pleased, for the most part. While some would come around (after some time coping with the fact that they were getting older), kids loved Armada and the toys were a runaway success, to the point where the line was padded out with Beast Wars repaints and multi-packs of previous releases with Mini-Cons strapped along to meet retailer and consumer demand. A Playstation 2 video game padded out the multimedia marketing, and Transformers was beginning to find some success again after another short flirtation with obscurity.
Armada's success not only spawned a sequel in Energon and a spiritual sequel to that in Cybertron, but it proved that classic ideas of the Autobots and Decepticons could be merged with new characters and myths to successfully market to both old and new fans. These lessons would be applied earnestly and soon into the future, leading to Transformers' second era of cultural phenomenon - but this is a ranked list, and sadly, this segue won't quite work unless you skip the next entry (don't!)
#3 - IDW Publishing's "Phase 2" Line art by Nick Roche, colors by Josh Burcham
The one true "soft reboot" on this list was kicked off by the one-shot comic book from IDW Publishing, "The Death of Optimus Prime", released in late December of 2011. Picking up after the pretty good ending to the pretty bad Transformers "Ongoing" run of 2010 and 2011, this proved to be one hell of a hook for a jumping on point. Its premise is simple: the Autobot vs Decepticon war is over - now what?
The "what" proved to be two ongoing series that would run from January 2012 to September 2016 in what is quickly becoming known as the "golden age" of Transformers comics. John Barber's Robots in Disguise (later just Transformers) and James Roberts' More Than Meets The Eye comprised the core of a stretch of fiction that would treat Transformers like people while treating its readers like adults. While lighter on action than other eras of comics, plenty is still to be had as our heroes face down Decepticon remnants, their own bad decisions, not-yet-dispelled evils from another dimension, ancient Cybertronian relics and their masters, corrupted Autobot leadership, galactic organizations, the hazards of romance, and especially in the case of Megatron, themselves. Contributions of other writers such as Mairghread Scott and Nick Roche helped flesh out the universe and tie up other loose ends while creating new questions, and the artistic talents of several veteran and newcomer pencilers, inkers, colorists, letterers, and editors shone through the cloud of "licensed toy property book" like the brightest Spark on Cybertron.
Line art by Andrew Griffith, colors by Priscilla Tramontano
The casts were composed of many key "Generation One" characters, of course, but many characters that never got a chance to truly be defined finally had their time to shine. Whirl, Needlenose, Chromia, Rewind, Swerve, Tailgate, and almost countless others went from G1 afterthoughts to memorable, well defined, actual characters that you can describe in more than one sentence if asked. New characters came in as well and made huge impacts, with the likes of Rung, the DJD, Windblade, and Aileron - also among a plethora of others - to take what had been an almost exclusively "G1" lineup and expand it in a significant way. Couple this with the introduction of characters from across the Transformers lore, enabled by a colony concept similar to the various planets in Transformers: Cybertron, and the universe feels like one in where any Transformers character from any point in history could show up and fit in without being awkwardly out of place.
Perhaps the biggest contribution of this era is how it expanded the representation of people expressed through the robot characters in ways that were long overdue. In addition to the intrinsic value of doing this, praise is in order for how the authors and artists approached this new strategy of inclusion in a way that never felt pandering, belittling, or disrespectful, but was instead natural, empathetic, and uplifting. The world and its people are diverse and express themselves and their experiences in infinite ways, and IDW's Phase 2 books will remind you that it's possible for Transformers to do the same. The brand can tell stories that matter to us humans on a level that isn't boiled down to robots punching, shooting, and kicking one another while sometimes turning into cars, trucks, planes, and guns. While that's not a new concept, Phase 2 uses that as a paradigm and does so effectively while still delivering plenty of action and sci-fi/mecha goodness to please its base of longtime Transformers fans.
Line art by Alex Milne, colors by Joana Lafuente
It was truly a special time in Transformers fiction, and as its follow-up "Hasbro Universe" phase winds down, I can say that it is and will be missed dearly.
#2 - Transformers (2007)
Some fans love Michael Bay's take on the Transformers, and the five movies that comprise a decade-spanning chapter of the brand's history. Others loathe them, while others can appreciate them from a distance while pointing out their positives and rightly pointing out their less savory, regrettable elements. This is not about that. This is about the summer of 2007, and how the Transformers ascended to successful heights not seen since the 80s.
We all remember our first car and our first fling. My first car was a hand-me-down [redacted because I think this is a bank security question] that I wrecked and you don't need to know about the other thing. The 2007 version of Spike "Shia LeBeouf" Witwicky had a first car that was a 1977 Camaro that was actually Bumblebee and became a 2007 Camaro after being insulted by his first fling, Megan Fox. One of these things is much more glamorous and fun than the other, and this is one of the reasons that movies are cooler than real life.
No one was really sure if Transformers could work on the big screen, and early pre-release hype was tepid at best - no thanks to your pals here at Seibertron.com and producer Don Murphy, but that's another story. Then the trailers hit and excitement built a little, but then the movie premiered at Botcon 2007, was widely released shortly thereafter, and while critically panned as expected the movie was actually really fun to watch and became a surprise mega-hit of a summer blockbuster. The toys started to fly off the shelves, and the little VW beetle from G1 was now a cool modern sports car that you couldn't find a toy of for about two months - and some say we're still paying for that now. That aside, it did make Bumblebee a true Transformers A-lister again after his lengthy absence from the franchise. Bumblebee's rediscovered appeal helped the movie, and the movie helped its related toy line find huge success, to the point where the line was padded out with Cybertron repaints and reissues of previous mold releases with new paint decos strapped along to meet retailer and consumer demand. Sound familiar? Probably so, but Armada had nothing on this, for as good as that was.
Love it or hate it, there's no denying that 2007's Transformers movie took our favorite Cybertronians and again made them a phenomenon the likes of which they hadn't been for 20+ years. It's hard to imagine this success being repeated, but then again, there was a point where it was hard to imagine Transformers even being around to get to this point. If only something had been around to maximize its potential...
#1 - Beast Wars
As the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles arrived in the late 1980s to nunchuck G1 into a shallow grave filled with pizza cheese, Hasbro had to re-think how to continue with Transformers. They released the Action Masters, and it is generally agreed that this was a very bad idea. After hiding away in Europe for a couple years with their totally-radical-awesome toys like Overlord and the Motorvators, Generation 2 arrived to herald a renaissance and revival of the great Transformers brand!
Generation 2 also arrived just in time to be almost completely ignored by its target demographic because of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers smashing any momentum it could have hoped to have, like a Putty Patrol dude in season 2 when they just had to hit the big obvious "P" on their chests, or G2 Slingshot anytime after the year 2000 when you just had to move it in any way whatsoever or breathe on it funny. Don't tell me I'm wrong, I was in the third grade when G2 was released. No one cared about G2 in grades 1-5 except me. Transformers would have to again go live on a farm in the Midwest for awhile, which is probably where all the G2 Technobots were buried by your uncle as he made his way to Washington to go work for Nintendo.
Then in 1996, like a vast, predatory bird, nature did something unnatural. Nature lied...
They were robots in disguise! Gone were the Autobots and Decepticons, now there were the Maximals and Predacons. Not those Predacons, new ones with all sorts of crazy new forms and kid-appeal characters that changed into cuddly critters like pillbugs and octopuses and half-lionfish-half-bee-half-mans. It was awesome.
With extremely articulate (for the time) figures even at the most basic price point thanks to ball jointed hips, knees, elbows, shoulders, and more, and with a wide range of transformation difficulty scaling from one step up to "I'm still not done with Tripredacus mom, just another minute!", Beast Wars was the first truly successful "reboot" for the Transformers. Without it, this list probably wouldn't exist - both literally and figuratively. These remarkable toys had staying power, and were truly doing things both new and timely. Extreme reimaginings of classic ideas? Check. Scribbly packaging font? Check. A subline with vacuum metal chrome? Check. Beast Wars' toys were a microcosm of the 90s and what it took to reinvent an old property for a new era, while still holding up in many ways to "modern" standards.
Also incredibly timely was the accompanying television show. An entire kids' show, made with computer graphics, released on a weekly schedule was proof positive that the future had arrived. The small cast led to character driven stories, and while the first season can drag in places, go ask a kid catching just the loose episode here or there in 1997 if they cared. You can't so I'll answer: they didn't, I was there. The show was a hit and more than a few of my peers at the middle school held it as a guilty pleasure. While it looks worse every year thanks to advances in technology, and even in its time couldn't hold a candle to big-budget movies like Toy Story or A Bug's Life, it still blew away anything on a Playstation, Saturn, or N64 on the polygonal 3D playing field. The show may also lead some younger fans to believe Beast Wars isn't a reboot at all, with it technically falling into the Generation 1 fictional continuity! However, this wrinkle is the only facet of Beast Wars that wasn't a completely fresh start, and one has to wonder if such a wild departure would ever work today considering the constant flashpoints of toxic, social media driven, hot-take and hate-click fueled attention seeking behaviors that sometimes arise when anything dares to flip an established fictional property on its head. Regardless, quality can overcome even the most apprehensive of fanbases, and in the case of Beast Wars' show the fact that it truly was good helped immensely, leading to two additional seasons after the initial run and the Beast Machines follow-up, plus a lengthy syndication run in early mornings that lasted into the early 2000s.
The other thing that lasted into the early 2000s? The toyline, with a Walmart exclusive being released in 2001 - though 2014's Strafe themed repaint of Terrorsaur marks the last use of any of the original toolings, for now.
With Beast Wars nostalgia starting to crest, and Masterpiece toys of icons like Dinobot and Megatron just released or on the horizon, it can't be denied that Beast Wars truly saved the brand from its early 90s ultimate doom countdown to extinction (foil gatefold variant cover, 1:700 copy retailer incentive available with the order of 4,000 copies of The Death of Superman.) While there are still a few "Trukk not Munky" holdouts, even most of them have at least softened to the point of being able to recognize Beast Wars' contributions to Transformers. The rest... is silence.
All Hail Megatron Line art by Guido Guidi, colors by Josh Burcham
You may be thinking to yourself, "wait, was it a reboot!?" No, but it sure felt like it for a small stretch of time in mid-late 2008! This was a shot in the arm that kept the franchise going in comic form, and while the immediate aftermath wasn't great, eventually this led IDW's Transfomers story out of the meandering woods of the Dead Universe and into the great heights of Phase 2.
Machine Wars: Termination Line art by Hidetsugu Yoshioka, colors by Evan Gauntt
Technically this isn't a reboot, but instead a story within the G1-derivative Wings Universe from Fun Publications. Let's be honest though, it's a Machine Wars reboot. And it's very fun! If you didn't read the comic that came with your Botcon 2013 set, what are you waiting for?
This concludes our look at "reboots" of all kinds in Transformers, and the superlatives of the bunch. Do you think I missed anything? Transformers: Animated fans probably do, but they're wrong and it's ok - and they can tell me why I'm wrong by replying to this post!
Saviors of the World A Seibertron.com Spoilerish Review of IDW Transformers: Unicron #4
Unicron sets his sights on Earth... but is anyone left to defend it?
Streets filled with blood, black and red
Dreams and hearts that once knew love are cold and dead
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.
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?
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.
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 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).
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.
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.
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.
We are the saviors, the saviors
The saviors of the world
Continuing on with our Skillet/Unicron unity, this week's issue's Theme song is: Saviors of the World.
Fellow Seibertronian #Sideways# wrote an article for us, after they went through the new Hasbro / Wizards of the Coast Transformers Card Game, documenting their current playtesting and opinions. The result, shared below, is a lengthy piece of thorough work, and we're happy to display it on the site for all to read. Take a look, and share your own thoughts on what we've seen so far for the game!
I decided to proxy three Transformers Trading Card Game decks recently: Initial D (Bumblebee / Cliffjumper / Mirage), InGen (Nemesis Prime / Snarl / Swoop) and Capri Sun (Sunstorm / Slipstream / Chop Shop). I playtested them over the past two days, marking down my thoughts about the archetypes and about the game in general.
I found out a lot about not only the decks, but the game as a whole. But before I get into that last bit, lemme tell you about the decks and what they do.
(Starter Bumblebee / Cliffjumper / Mirage)
Okay, if you know anything about the title, you know that this is a Car deck that is full of "Gas, Gas, Gas" to leave your opponents with a sense of "Deja Vu" while you're "Running In The 90s". The general sense of the deck is you constantly untap your Transformers with Ready For Action and, more importantly, Turbo Boosters. When you untap constantly, your opponent is eventually going to reach a point where all of their team is either tapped or dead and you get to attack with impunity thanks to how natural untapping in this game works.
Cliffjumper allows you to draw an extra card when you Transform other Cars, allowing you to burn through your deck more than you already do. Bumblebee is there because he's a 6 Point Leader Car which is frankly silly value. Mirage is there because he allows you to play an extra Action in a turn, meaning you get to play more draw cards/more Ready For Action, but even better, he has a natural, easy to pull-off untapping ability.
The deck also benefits from being able to play Team Up Tactics, allowing you to draw two cards with no repercussions, unlike literally all other Action draw cards in the game. You draw so many cards with this deck -- it's a little stupid. But if you whiff your untapping cards, you've got a hard time coming.
Being so small in terms of defensive abilities, Initial D can fall victim to heavy bruiser decks and get punished. Your damage output isn't as large as theirs, and you can't win going toe-to-toe with the big guys without your tools to help. It'd be like using a flashlight against a howitzer.
All in all, this deck has a low damage output. But then again, who needs huge bruising attacks when your opponent can't fight back?
Well, this next deck might.
(Nemesis Prime / Snarl / Swoop)
Something... Has... Survived...
Well, that's something your opponent would say if they hadn't just gotten one-shot by Nemesis Prime. Slow, lumbering and currently one of the most heavily damaging cards in the game, Nemesis Prime is frankly one of my favorite cards that I've seen out of this game thus far. He's also one of the game's two rarest cards to get your hands on; but man, is he worth it.
Getting him to work can be a bit trickier than it might seem, especially in a game where your opponents can just make dated anime references and untap themselves into the nth dimension, but you're a deck that can be startlingly hard to make headway into, especially with all the defensive cards you play.
Being defensive is a good thing, for certain, but it also means that you're more likely to eventually reshuffle your deck, putting Nemesis' offensive ability to a base 10(!!) or more(!?) damage, without modifiers like upgrades. For reference, a common mid-ranged HP value is around 10-13. I've one-hit 12 HP Transformers after getting this guy set up with a Grenade Launcher, and lemme tell you, there's seldom a better feeling.
The problem is getting there. But that's where you get a little help from some primal friends.
Snarl and Swoop are both Dinobots, which allow them to take advantage of "Dino-Chomp!" to give them Bold 5, flipping five extra cards from your deck for your attack. Keep in mind, you start out with two, and if you flip a white Battle Card (which you play plenty of) you flip two more, leaving you with 9 cards out of your deck and into the Scrap Pile.
The potentially heavy damage you just did aside (in my experience, you're only going to use the Dinobots to soften foes up for Nemesis to clean up), you milled almost ten cards out of your deck, a full quarter of it! Using these cards to your advantage, you can pull off the reshuffle and make Nemesis the powerhouse he deserves to be.
All in all, this deck is fantastically fun to play against Initial D, as the two are somewhat polar opposites. But the one that seems to not be getting any headway at all in my playtesting is one of the most unlikely of them all.
(Sunstorm / Slipstream / Chop Shop)
On the surface, everything seems to have everything going for it. Sunstorm does more damage for every card in your hand, Slipstream keeps him alive, Chop Shop draws you cards... It even has Bombing Run to both supplement your survivability and damage output!
But here's the thing: This game revolves around playing cards. Your hand is almost never going to go above six cards, and even then you'll probably need to play something out of it. It's frustrating. I've never won with this deck, and whereas it might be a product of the deckbuilding, it might also be a problem with the contradiction of Sunstorm himself.
Sunstorm wants you to hold your hand and never play anything out of it unless it puts either more damage on the field or more cards in your hand. The problem being, you have to play cards to draw the cards that you need to stockpile more cards in your hand. Only Team Up Tactics (essentially Pot of Greed) gives you a +1 card in your hand. Everything else replaces itself, leaving your hand stagnant, hovering at about 4-6.
This is not enough.
But maybe I'm just playing the deck wrong, or perhaps my list is bad. It has potential, but until we see Skywarp, Thundercracker or Starscream to hopefully pad out the Plane support, this deck will probably not see too much success, at least against the decks I have listed above. I have literally never won with this deck. At least not yet.
It is, however, one of the most interesting of the archetypes I have built. There are also quite a few other interesting card comboes in this game -- and you should definitely take a peek when you have the time.
On The Game As A Whole
TFTCG is a blast to play. It's fun, addicting and can surprisingly make you think, desperately planning out what your opponent will do next. But there are a number of flaws that I really hope are addressed in the future.
But let me get a few things out of the way first. Keep in mind, this is without having the entire set revealed, which could potentially address a few of the issues I have listed here.
The card flipping for attacking and defending sounds annoying and adding in an unneccessary layer of randomness to the game, but surprisingly, very few times have I felt like I sacked my opponent out of a KO or I got sacked and the oddest thing is... I thought it was fun. It was enough that I thought it played little into the grand scheme of things (Nemesis was going to kill that guy anyway, frankly, regardless of flips) and it only really comes into play when it comes to 2HKOs and and to put more power in the ever-prevalent healing cards. It also helps cycle decks.
Another thing that I didn't like about the flipping mechanic was that it simply dropped useful cards into the discar-- *COUGH* I mean, Scrap Pile. I can't tell you how many times I saw a Turbo Booster fall into the Scrap Pile. It could make a man weep! I don't know how much I would say that it's a good mechanic; just that it was fun, and had several underlying purposes.
But the thing is, you can mitigate or outright remedy this by adding more topdeck rigging and tutoring effects, which brings me to my second point. This game has no tutoring, which, if you didn't know, searches your deck for specific cards to either put them on top of your deck or into your hand. Powerful, yes, but I feel it is necessary to mitigate the luck factor.
But I have an issue with this game that will be tough to remedy: Counterbalance. In Dragon Ball Super, when you're at half life, your Leader card awakens to his "final form", netting you extra cards and more powerful abilities. This mechanic drives the entire game, and it helps games from being total runaways, where the person who attacks first wins.
This game sometimes wants to fall into those failings.
Let me explain: You and an opponent start the game. Each person has three Transformers. You and your opponent trade turns a few times, but it ends up with your opponent taking the first KO on your side, putting your opponent at three Transformers and you at two. This means that, if you can't KO one of them back, you have a distinct man disadvantage and attack disadvantage. It's really easy to snowball sometimes, and I can definitely see that becoming a problem if left unchecked.
But then again, Pokemon can sometimes have the same problem. Same with Magic. Perhaps Dragon Ball simply spoiled me! But perhaps -- just perhaps -- I'm on to something.
TFTCG is a blast. I love this game, despite its warts, and I look forward to spending an inordinate amount of money in an attempt to finally pull a Nemesis Prime. It may seem like a game with a low skill cap, but I keep finding more nuance to it every time I play. Will it overtake Magic, Pokemon or Yu-Gi-Oh? Ha... Hahahaha. Ha! Hahah!
But maybe, just maybe, it could be a dark horse for other groups.
Dragon Ball might have to keep its Dragon Balls well-guarded: ROTF Devastator didn't, and look what happened to him. Vanguard and Weiss/Schwarz might just have to sleep with one anime tiddie open: Legion is in town, and Kiss Players is still very canon.
Those are just my thoughts, though. What are yours?
Falling Inside The Black A Seibertron.com somewhat Spoilerish Review of IDW Transformers: Unicorn Issue #1
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!
Tonight I'm so Alone, This Sorrow takes a hold
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!
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.
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.
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.
Dreaming of the Way it used to be, Can you hear me?
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.
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!
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: out of
And finally, as with all Unicron reviews, we feature a Skillet song as the theme for this review, and ultimately for things to come.
By means of an update from the Space Ape/Backflip Transformers: Earth Wars mobile game, we have a new clip showing their next campaign - which is going back to the 80s and the originally styled Transformers character designs thanks to a new Power Core! The G1esque bots included feature the likes of Soundwave, Arcee, Megatron, Optimus Prime, Skywarp, Ultra Magnus and more - check them all out below, and let us know if you're still playing the game and what you think of this limited feature!
Relive the 80s with these classic bots in Transformers: Earth Wars, starting this Friday!
Thanks to a tweet from site sponsor BigBadToyStore, we have a new image of the upcoming Imaginarium Art Transformers statues!
This new image encompasses several statues that have so far made it into the grey model phase of production. For those wondering, we have not seen any grey models of Galvatron, Bumblebee or the Quintessons, merely a single rough prototype for Galvatron and the other 2 hinted at. These figures are all Imaginarium's own designs, taking the bodies of the G1 characters and updating them with some movie-esque levels of details.
In the image, from left to right, we have: Ironhide, Optimus Prime, Jazz, Devastator, a trio of Seekers that is most assuredly Starscream, Thundercracker, and Skywarp, and the newly revealed Wheeljack, giving us a look at this back and showing us that he needs a giant gatling gun to fight Devastator, of course. Rodimus Prime and Nemesis Prime, both of whom have full color models and pre-orders live, are not pictured.
Check out the new image below, and let us know what you think of it in the comments section below!
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