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Retrospective Reviews - Transformers Spotlight: Bumblebee

Transformers News: Retrospective Reviews - Transformers Spotlight: Bumblebee
Date: Thursday, May 16th 2013 6:11am CDT
Categories: Comic Book News, Reviews
Posted by: Va'al | Credit(s): IDW Publishing, Va'al

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Views: 20,519

Sbotblight: Bubmblebee(b)
(Spoiler free-ish)


With this week's reveal of the official images of Generations Hoist and Thundercracker, it's time to complete the reviews for the Spotlight series, which now seems to have concluded as far as we know. Read the others so far: Orion Pax, Megatron, Thundercracker, Trailcutter and Hoist.

And now, the missing link - Spotlight: Bumblebee!

Synopsis

ESCAPE FROM EARTH! Before Cybertron was reborn—BUMBLEBEE lead the Autobots on Earth. In this untold tale, he must take the reigns of command… and he’s got hundreds of rogue Decepticons standing between him and respect!

Retrospective Reviews - Transformers Spotlight: Bumblebee
Ha! "Standing"! Get it?



Story

Sliding between Spotlight: Megatron and Trailcutter, arguably the best issues to come out of this run, Bumblebee suffers a lot from the comparison. And it takes place during a moment in the IDW continuity that a lot of readers had issues with - Police Action. So I wasn't expecting much.


Retrospective Reviews - Transformers Spotlight: Bumblebee
No, it isn't


Admittedly, the comic patches up another smaller gap in the continuity of the Costa run, and we know, by now, that Barber adores patching things up. The story itself, however, does not add that much to the characters, main or secondary. Prowl, for example, suffers some flips (and not of the table kind).

Retrospective Reviews - Transformers Spotlight: Bumblebee
Sure, 'cause you loved *him*


Even the Metroplex/Metrotitan plot is only casually name-dropped, and there's an ..er.. explanation for those who missed the Megatron and Thundercracker ones. But very rushed, and didn't feel that necessary at all.

Retrospective Reviews - Transformers Spotlight: Bumblebee
Aaand that's it


As I said, this issue is not the most brilliant, and it rehashes the Bumblebee/Hot Rod trope of 'What would Prime do?' for the umpteenth time. Without the very final page, it would have stood as a valid start to the attrition between Prowl and Bumblebee too, but..

Art

Again, the Spotlights are a means for lesser know artists to showcase their talent, and when I saw the preview, I didn't mind the almost ligne claire approach by David Daza. As the story progresses, though, the art loses definition and detail, at times being vague outlines of characters, if that.

Retrospective Reviews - Transformers Spotlight: Bumblebee
Not really sure what I'm looking at here


The colours aren't bad, though, and Zac Atkinson does seem to try adding some recognisable schemes to the blotchier figures, though the result is still not satisfying, or reedeming enough for the artwork to shine. Nothin wrong to say about the lettering, but nothing that really stands out, either.

Retrospective Reviews - Transformers Spotlight: Bumblebee
Point in case: Blue-ltra Magnus


The artwork, including colouring and lettering, is definitely off to an interesting start, and then seems to lose its way with panels progressing. It would have been nice to see another take on the Stunticons, and Earth-modes in general. The lighting, and there's a lot of strange sources, could have improved the general art too, but didn't work that well either.


Thoughts
Spoilerish ahead

I almost feel disappointed, as I thought Bumblebee could do with more characterisation. It was interesting to see his Earth mode again, though, and his interactions with Thundercracker, but the whole story felt superfluous. Just some more Barber continuity patching, with little more to show for it.

Retrospective Reviews - Transformers Spotlight: Bumblebee
My thoughts precisely. The shrugging, I mean.


So yeah, not the gem of the bunch, not adding much, not subtracting that much either, except for the Prowl moment at the end. I am really not happy nor convinced about that, especially after all the Robots in Disguise work on him (or even the Police Action one, for that matter!). But I suppose it is just an in-pack comic, shoehorned into the continuity.

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

Retrospective Reviews - Transformers Spotlight: Thundercracker

Transformers News: Retrospective Reviews - Transformers Spotlight: Thundercracker
Date: Wednesday, May 15th 2013 12:47pm CDT
Categories: Comic Book News, Reviews
Posted by: Va'al | Credit(s): IDW Publishing, Va'al

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Views: 18,738

THA-BOOM
(Spoiler free-ish)


With this week's reveal of the official images of Generations Hoist and Thundercracker, it's time to complete the reviews for the Spotlight series, which now seems to have concluded as far as we know. Read the others so far: Orion Pax, Megatron and Trailcutter and Hoist.

Time for Spotlight: Thundercracker!

Synopsis

In the dark days of the war for Cybertron, THUNDERCRACKER had a special mission—one never revealed before! Now, as he faces off against BUMBLEBEE for the first time, the fate of METROPLEX—and an entire civilization — is at stake!


Retrospective Reviews - Transformers Spotlight: Thundercracker
The first of many THA-BOOMs



Story

Like Orion Pax, this issue takes place before Transformers: Autocracy and, in fact, after the previous Spotlight issue too. It carries on the Metroplex, and later Metrotitans plot, while focusing on everyone's favourite reluctant Seeker(?).


Retrospective Reviews - Transformers Spotlight: Thundercracker
And Waspinator!


The story does continue and pick up previous threads quite nicely, but there are some elements that just don't feel right. Why does he keep information to himself? Does it really follow directly from him not being a fully-convinced Decepticon? How does it advantage his own goals - if he has any?

Retrospective Reviews - Transformers Spotlight: Thundercracker
What indeed


The events in the issue do involve combat, and we're again introduced to Bumblebee (and some other 'Bots), the next Spotlight feature. But it all seems so rushed, and the Metroplex plot is resolved extremely quickly, deciding to focus on the planet's inhabitants instead.

Retrospective Reviews - Transformers Spotlight: Thundercracker
And they ain't pretty


I'm glad that the Metrotitan plot is developed further, and we get some insight into the powers and abilities of the big 'uns. The protagonist's characterisation, while interesting is a bit.. I actually can't think of the right words. Wait for the Thoughts section, below.

Art

I really don't mind Chee's work on this issue! I think there are some really good pages and detailing, even though the perspective is not always consistent with all the characters. The protagonist himself has some chin-length issues, and I'm still a bit confused about the alt-mode: the robot seems to be based on the upcoming toy (FoC mold) but the jet really isn't. Artistic license?

Retrospective Reviews - Transformers Spotlight: Thundercracker
Another!


Ronda Pattinson's colours are a very nice touch, too, and work really well between background and foreground, and there's a lot of space to colour outside of ships, around planets and you know, space, up there. Shawn Lee's lettering is nice, and creators always seem to enjoy playing with Thundercracker's signature soundword: THA-BOOM.

Retrospective Reviews - Transformers Spotlight: Thundercracker
See? Nice contrast


Overall, the artwork does present some minor faults, but nothing that distracted me from the story. The idea for the Spotlights is a good one, as new artistic teams can showcase their talent and abilities to different audiences, and this one, to me, delivers.


Thoughts
Spoilerish ahead

The story isn't bad, but I kept having the feeling that something was missing, constantly. It was a nice way for Barber to blend different plots, but not enough time was given to either as a result, unfortunately. And like Thundercracker, I'm not really sure what I come away with.

Retrospective Reviews - Transformers Spotlight: Thundercracker
Er.. ok


If you haven't read this issue yet, it's not that much of a problem. It pads in some stuff for what is hopefully to come, gives some information on the Metrotitans and Metroplex, kind of rounds off Thundercracker, and then just leaves it there. Shame really.

. :CON: :CON: :CON: out of :CON: :CON: :CON: :CON: :CON:

Video Review: Kre-O Micro Changers Wave 2

Transformers News: Video Review: Kre-O Micro Changers Wave 2
Date: Saturday, May 11th 2013 10:08am CDT
Categories: Toy News, Reviews
Posted by: El Duque | Credit(s): mitchsantona

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Views: 22,689

Seibertron.com member mitchsantona has posted a video review of the recently released Kre-O Micro Changers Wave 2. This wave features:

  • 66 = Bulkhead
  • 67 = Hardshell
  • 68 = Blight (aka Blot)
  • 69 = Arcee
  • 70 = Acidwing
  • 71 = Vehicon (or steve)
  • 72 = Scourge
  • 73 = Powerglide
  • 74 = Perceptor
  • 75 = Lugnut
  • 76 = Hoist
  • 77 = Groove


Transformers: Regeneration One #91 Review

Transformers News: Transformers: Regeneration One #91 Review
Date: Tuesday, May 7th 2013 12:15pm CDT
Categories: Comic Book News, Reviews
Posted by: Va'al | Credit(s): IDW Publishing, Va'al

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Views: 23,081

The Big Re-Cap
(Spoiler free-ish)


NOTE: This issue may or may not be available this week. IDW has it scheduled for this Wednesday, but most distributors list the next as its release date. Here at Seibertron.com we receive our information directly from IDW, and follow their release guidelines, which is why the review is available today.


Synopsis

THINGS FALL APART! The very fabric of the TRANSFORMERS’ universe begins to unravel, as huge and ancient cosmic forces take note of CYBERTRON’s (and the CYBERTRONIANS’) descent into chaos and anarchy. As HOT ROD struggles to hold things together, still reeling from his own game-changing wake-up call, competing destructive forces inch closer to a cataclysmic confrontation. The end begins here.

Transformers: Regeneration One #91 Review
Dealing with the aftermath


Story

So, Scorponok's gone, Grimlock with him, Megatron's gone, Galvatron's back, Optimus is on Earth worried. Hot Rod is on Cybertron, worried. A lot of bots are also worried, about Hot Rod and Cybertron, but don't worry, there's still ten issues to go.

Transformers: Regeneration One #91 Review
Worried Hot Rod is worried


As usual, there are several plotlines running through, and Hot Rod's this time is the major one: he has to deal with the revelations from the basement, the new angry Cybertronian population, who may not be Decepticons any longer, but have apparently tapped into other emotions. And that is bad (?).

Transformers: Regeneration One #91 Review
Angry mob is angry


At the same time, Optimus is concerned about having seen Galvatron flying off towards Cybertron (because, other than Nebulos, there are no other planets in the universe apparently), but can't really do much. And elsewhere Soundwave and Bludgeon are up to no good, preparing the usual ultimate machines of final destruction

Transformers: Regeneration One #91 Review
Scheming 'Cons are.. oh, you get it


You may have noticed my tone so far, and I'm not too impressed. It all feels like a big recap, a lot of exposition and setting up what is going to happen. And admittedly, it looks like it's going to be big. Especially with the final pages, which are a massive kick. More about that below.

Art

Wildman and Baskerville work their usual stuff, and there's nothing too off this time, either. Hot Rod is understandably troubled, and his expressions show it perfectly. There are some nice parallels between Bludgeon and Galvatron, and some of the flashbacks with Cybertron are stunningly detailed.

Transformers: Regeneration One #91 Review
I can see my house from here!


All is made even more pleasing to the eye by Bove's magic colours, once again helped out by Stayte. There's a lot of conversations happening in space and in open spaces, and the skies are gorgeous. Mowry on letters does a good job as always, but nothing particularly exciting.

Transformers: Regeneration One #91 Review
Sponsored by the Iacon Tourist Board


Overall, this issue looks amazing. I have no problems with the artistic team at all. Some of the wider, planetary shots are excellent, the colouring is brilliant, Bludgeon's face is still pretty cool and the final pages are --not going to spoil it, but they're good.


Thoughts
Spoilerish ahead

As I've said above, the whole issue doesn't do that much to me. It's not bad, at all, it just really feels like a giant recap of all that has happened so far in both the Marvel run(s) and ReGeneration One. BUT. There are so many references to Furman's previous work, that I could not stop giggling.

Transformers: Regeneration One #91 Review
Like a vast, predatory bird...


And the final reveals are just.. Ok, I'll admit it. I squealed with delight. The visual references, the in-story references, the convoluted plot, it's an all-round Furman-fest. I am very intrigued at where this will end up going, although it looks like there'll be a lot of planetary exploding. But then it'll all be over-- finished.

. :CON: :CON: :CON: ½ out of :CON: :CON: :CON: :CON: :CON:

Video Review: Transformers Beast Hunters Cyberverse Commander Shockwave

Transformers News: Video Review: Transformers Beast Hunters Cyberverse Commander Shockwave
Date: Sunday, May 5th 2013 9:22am CDT
Categories: Toy News, Reviews
Posted by: El Duque | Credit(s): chuckdawg1999

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Views: 20,577

Seibertron.com member chuckdawg1999 is back with his third video review for weekend, this time it's Transformers Prime Cyberverse Commander Shockwave. His review has been embedded below.

Robot mode is fantastic. Right out of the box Shockwave is in a passive, contemplating pose which suits the character well. Tank mode is good, but not great. I'm floored by the metallic paint used as it gives a sheen to the figure I haven't seen in awhile.


Video Review: Transformers Generations Legends Class Optimus Prime with Roller

Transformers News: Video Review: Transformers Generations Legends Class Optimus Prime with Roller
Date: Friday, May 3rd 2013 10:21pm CDT
Categories: Toy News, Reviews
Posted by: El Duque | Credit(s): chuckdawg1999

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Views: 29,504

Seibertron.com member chuckdawg1999 is back with a review of the recently released Transformers Generations Legends Class Optimus Prime with Roller. Check out his review embedded below:

Optimus Prime is a fantastic blend of new and old styles but the use of friction and ball joints leaves me concerned for the toys longevity. Roller is a perfect, simple companion that I really like. Much like Bumblebee and Blazemaster I highly recommend this set.


Video Review: Transformers Generations Legends Class Bumblebee with Blazemaster

Transformers News: Video Review: Transformers Generations Legends Class Bumblebee with Blazemaster
Date: Friday, May 3rd 2013 12:50am CDT
Categories: Toy News, Reviews
Posted by: El Duque | Credit(s): chuckdawg1999

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Views: 25,237

Seibertron.com member chuckdawg1999 has posted a review of the recently released Transformers Generations Legends Class Bumblebee with Blazemaster. Check out his review embedded below:

I wasn't sure how I would feel at first about this set as triple changing gimmicks don't work well at this scale, but I was pleasantly surprised. I really enjoy how Blazemaster interacts with Bumblebee who is an excellent figure on its own. If you get the chance do pick the set up.


Transformers Spotlight: Hoist Review

Transformers News: Transformers Spotlight: Hoist Review
Date: Tuesday, April 30th 2013 7:44am CDT
Categories: Comic Book News, Reviews
Posted by: Va'al | Credit(s): IDW Publishing, Va'al

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Views: 17,099

Spotlight: (Everyone but) Hoist!
(Spoiler free-ish)


With this issue, the Spotlight series seems to have concluded as far as we know. So we decided to go back and make sure all the issues have been reviewed! Read the ones we've already covered: Orion Pax, Megatron and Trailcutter. Check again later this week for Thundercracker and Bumblebee.
But now, on with what you came for – Spotlight: Hoist!

Synopsis

FACE OFF! HOIST has always managed to fade into the background: until now. Trapped on an alien planet with a narcissist, half a scientist and a creature that may or may not turn into a catapult, the Lost Light's mild-mannered maintenance engineer must confront the five most dangerous DECEPTICONS ever.

Transformers Spotlight: Hoist Review
They're not joking!


Story

In quite the departure from the usual Roberts style, the issue opens with some very 'silent' pages. But it works, it's a nice action scene, it feels right, and Hoist gets to explain what is going on pretty soon. And we get to see Sunstreaker, Swerve, Perceptor and Bob (!).

Transformers Spotlight: Hoist Review
And Tarn


We get to see a lot of them, actually. Perceptor is unexpected, if anything, and admittedly, doesn't do much except provide plot-advancement and dialogue. Unsurprisingly, it's Swerve who provides the social glue between the shipmates. And we get another glimpse into his own personal story, which really isn't what he makes it out to be.

Transformers Spotlight: Hoist Review
Yes, yes you are


Sunstreaker (and Bob!) is a nice return, and Roberts looks at some of his threads left over from previous series, including Bob (!). The main character, Hoist, does not have that much more page time, but still goes through a lot, especially towards the end. He's resourceful, quick, clever and just a really nice guy, actually.

Transformers Spotlight: Hoist Review
And boy does he look good in a crossbow


The twists in this story are nice, but a little predictable to the attentive reader. Most of the plot can be figured out from the very first page if you look at it carefully. Still, Roberts makes a nice bottle episode out of it, and does nice things with the characters. Shame about the wasted Metrotitan plot.

Art

Agustin Padilla, of Rage of the Dinobots fame, provides the artwork, and does a really nice job with it! The scenery looks brilliant, and Swerve and Hoist are really good; Sunstreaker is a different take on the character and I can't disagree with artistic licence. But where is Perceptor's scope-eye? Hm? Hm?

Transformers Spotlight: Hoist Review
You're a sniper-scientist, dammit!


Joana Lafuente is absolutely astonishing on colours. Seriously, this thing just looks gorgeous. The characters' eyes are constanstly glowing, and not in a tacky way, whereas the softer tones really show off the artwork and help convey the loneliness of the fallen ship and its crew.

Transformers Spotlight: Hoist Review
Flashback time!


Shawn Lee on letters does some nice stuff too, as there's a lot of silence to fill in, and quite a bit of anguish as well. Overall, a better Padilla result than More Than Meets the Eye 16, I believe, with pencils and inks done by the same artist, and an excellent team altogether! The visual storytelling is absolutely amazing, too.


Thoughts
Spoilerish ahead

I do have some minor gripes about this issue, especially in terms of linking it to the Metrotitan plot (even less than Spotlight: Bumblebee!). And some of the art for the characters' faces leaves me a bit unsure. But overall, this is a very nice, very clean, spot-on issue. And it has two of my new favourite jokes about the IDW series.

Transformers Spotlight: Hoist Review
I wanted moooore...


For various reasons, I am placing this below Spotlight: Trailcutter and on par with Spotlight: Orion Pax. They are very very different comics, with different agendas and entirely different tones. But the character development in this one is excellent, and it's really self contained, and it just works. But it could have done much much more.

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

Optibotimus Reviews: Transformers Prime Beast Hunters ULTRA MAGNUS

Transformers News: Optibotimus Reviews: Transformers Prime Beast Hunters ULTRA MAGNUS
Date: Monday, April 29th 2013 3:17am CDT
Categories: Toy News, Reviews
Posted by: Va'al | Credit(s): Optibotimus

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Views: 20,311

Seibertron.com user and YouTube reviewer Optibotimus has been busy shooting stuff this weekend: after yesterday's Grimwing video, he offers us today the review of Transformers Beast Hunters Voyager Ultra Magnus!

Video embedded below.


Retrospective Reviews - Transformers Spotlight: Orion Pax

Transformers News: Retrospective Reviews - Transformers Spotlight: Orion Pax
Date: Sunday, April 28th 2013 2:36pm CDT
Categories: Comic Book News, Reviews
Posted by: Va'al | Credit(s): IDW Publishing, Va'al

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Views: 25,279

Plan B
(Spoiler free-ish)


With this week's Spotlight: Hoist release, the Spotlight series seems to have concluded as far as we know. So we decided to go back and make sure all the issues have been reviewed! Read the Megatron and Trailcutter ones, and come back later this week for Thundercracker and Bumblebee.

And now, starting from the beginning – Spotlight: Orion Pax!

Synopsis

BEFORE OPTIMUS PRIME—there was Orion Pax! Four million years ago, the future leader of the AUTOBOTS disappeared into the Cybertronian wilderness to save a friend. What happened next would take him to the very brink—and have startling repercussions on the current comics!


Retrospective Reviews - Transformers Spotlight: Orion Pax
I'm on a ..shuttle



Story

This story takes place before the events of Autocracy. This story is written by James Roberts. This story is about Orion Pax trying out a new body before being upgraded to the Matrix-holding one. This story starts with Orion Pax tied to a shuttle. This story is actually quite cool.

Retrospective Reviews - Transformers Spotlight: Orion Pax
He does look weird without a faceplate


We are reintroduced to Zeta (sorry, Zeta Prime), Rung shows up for the first time before the war, and there a bunch of other interesting cameos scattered around the issue. Roberts writes in some interesting action, and fairly nice twist, and we get to look at

Retrospective Reviews - Transformers Spotlight: Orion Pax
Alpha Trion, you so cool


While Orion Pax definitely gets some character development, including some referential jokes to his ordinary look in the franchise, the other big element of this one-shot is undoubtedly Alpha Trion, with his know-it-all-been-there-done-that attitude. And there's the hint at Metroplex and the Metrotitan plot from the Annuals, almost shoehorned in.

Retrospective Reviews - Transformers Spotlight: Orion Pax
How subtle can you be with a city?


The story sets up nicely the rest of this iteration of the Spotlight series, and is a nice one-off featuring Orion Pax and some of the major players later in the war. But it does feel as if something is missing. Roberts' Alpha Trion almost makes up for it though.

Art

Steve Kurth is on pencils, Juan Castro on inks, and they do a fairly decent job of portraying a younger Cybertronian environment and cast. Zeta has just upgraded to his Autocracy body, we're introduced to a couple of old friends, and Alpha Trion is the big name here, and boy does he look good.

Retrospective Reviews - Transformers Spotlight: Orion Pax
He even turns into the Batmobile! With a cape!


J. Aburtov and Graphikslava provide the colours to the issue, and I have to say, I like them! They're quite lightly saturated, and give a somewhat dusty feel to the whole story – which works really well in the desert scenes and the arena, and also fits nicely in this pre-pre-prequel one-shot. Lighting is handled really well too, and Shawne Lee does some nice work in the soundword department, especially with aerial scenes.

Retrospective Reviews - Transformers Spotlight: Orion Pax
See? Within the lines


There are a couple of issues with some of the action scenes, but they can be overlooked quite easily, as at least we can tell what is going on. The colours are nice, and Orion does look weird without the face-plate... but then, that's the whole point.


Thoughts
Spoilerish ahead

It's a fairly decent issue, with some good Roberts humour, some nice characterisation for Orion Pax, and it helps set up the coming issues and the plotline running through them. The action scenes are nice, and the events are well tied in with pre-existing continuity.

Retrospective Reviews - Transformers Spotlight: Orion Pax
Thundercracker, you're next


The only problems this encounters is that the main plot is not the actual plot, but the conswequences of the twist feel a bit forced at times. All in all, though, a decent return to the Spotlight series, and a nice move to focus on Orion Pax after The Death of Optimus Prime. Next, please.

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

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