IDW The Transformers #49 Review

Wednesday, January 20th, 2016 1:30pm CST

Categories: Comic Book News, Reviews, Site Articles
Posted by: Va'al   Views: 47,129

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Conquerors?
(Spoiler free-ish)



Synopsis
CONQUERORS: CONCLUSION! The most dramatic action ever taken by an AUTOBOT sets the stage for next month’s mammoth issue 50. Earth and CYBERTRON. OPTIMUS PRIME and GALVATRON. SOUNDWAVE and COSMOS. It all comes together at four billion miles an hour.

Transformers News: IDW The Transformers #49 Review
Good question


Story

Here we are, at the end of the big build up everything after Dark Cybertron, through Combiner Wars, across the Transformers universe as we know it, with old gods, fake gods, heroes, villains and conquerors converging into one single spot, one moment in time: Earth, Now.

Transformers News: IDW The Transformers #49 Review
Build-up continues...


And to be entirely honest, it falls short of ..well, everything. All of the build up, all of the hype. It feels rushed, glossed over, reasons and motivations don't hold up, the major arcs created for however many past issues are just half-resolved without much else to go on. The various settings and scenes are just glomped together.

Transformers News: IDW The Transformers #49 Review
Glomp


I am not sure what John Barber did with this issue, as his big landmarks usually pan out much better. It is likely that issue #50 will develop those shortcomings into something that sticks better together as the piece of a wider, universal puzzle. As it stands, however, the pieces are all mismatched and a little scattered.

Transformers News: IDW The Transformers #49 Review
See, there, that is Windblade's character


The characters do, to an extent, still work, of course - but some of them just feel like they're going along with whatever Optimus has decided to do, for whatever reason. Galvatron's side of the story may be the most interesting here, and the repercussions it has among the Decepticon idealists hit hard - but everything else is just - there.


Art

On the other hand, I have no complaints whatsoever with the art. Sara Pitre-Durocher's style is a delight to follow through the various scenes, with some peaks in Skywarp's moments to shine (heh) and there is heavy emotion felt by the various characters - and the readers. The moments with Soundwave and Cosmos carry some serious weight, in light of the events taking place.

Transformers News: IDW The Transformers #49 Review
...


The colours are also magnificent, blending fantastically well with Pitre-Durocher's lighter linework. Josh Perez and Josh Burcham are a wonderful team, and bounce off each other's style easily and seamlessly, bringing one of the crispest issues I've noticed in a while.

Transformers News: IDW The Transformers #49 Review
Just glorious


Tom B. Long has a lot of playground space in the lettering sandbox, too, to work his own stuff, filling in the various silent spaces with good-looking sounds. Why do letterers never get enough praise? With all that action, we are still able to see what is being said. The covers are also great, with Alex Milne/Perez continuing the massive mural (thumbnailed), Casey Coller and Joana Lafuente dabbling with Victorion's hefty presence, and Andrew Griffith emulating Klaus Scherwinski.


Thoughts
Spoilerish ahead

If I sound disappointed, it's because I am. I had been seriously looking forward to the development, and preliminary conclusion, to this arc - to see what Galvatron was to do, to see how the Autobots would respond, how Soundwave in particular would respond, how the various characters would play out against each other and together, depending on their circumstances. I don't feel we got any of that, unfortunately.

Transformers News: IDW The Transformers #49 Review
or Spotlight: Thundercracker


A less coherent, more Soundwave/Cosmos/Skybyte response: Seriously? Windblade and crew are just going along with Optimus' decision? Sideswipe, Alpha Trion and Arcee in a shuttle forever, just to get punked by Brawl and Needlenose? I do hope that the next issue, and All Hail Optimus in general, has more time, and space, to start straightening the puzzle out. I really do.

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

Credit(s): IDW, Va'al


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Re: IDW The Transformers #49 Review (1757648)
Posted by D-Maximal_Primal on January 20th, 2016 @ 1:59pm CST
See, I don't know why, but MTMTE 48 (and I'm anticipating 49) and then this feel very rushed. Like Barber and Roberts have plans that suddenly they ran out of room to add preliminaries. Has to be the lead up to 50, cause all the rush does feel very uncharacteristic.

Also: RIP Sideswipe. Dammit you guys! You killed 2 of my 3 favorite transformers of all time!! (Trailbreaker being my first). Stop giving me heartache :BOT:
Re: IDW The Transformers #49 Review (1757674)
Posted by Randomhero on January 20th, 2016 @ 2:33pm CST
I very disagree I really liked this issue. It wasn't really a conclusion,! it really felt like the first half of a maxi-series and it kinda is. It didn't conclude anything it just built up and I'm pumped for All Hail Optimus now. Personally I felt it was a solid issue that was paced fine.

Let's be honest about Sideswipe, he's more than likely not dead. Sorry I'm not putting spoiler italics around but they don't work for whatever reason on the site. Sunstreaker, Kup, Cyclones, Rung, and more are but a small list of people that for all intended purposes have "died" in the past 5 years and are fine lol. Let's just wait and see before being upset.
Re: IDW The Transformers #49 Review (1757681)
Posted by D-Maximal_Primal on January 20th, 2016 @ 2:42pm CST
Randomhero, I really want you to be right. Trailbreaker's death hurt cause I love that guy,and Sideswipe is my 2nd favorite, with Brainstorm being right there too. Since he's on the cover of 50 I have hope, but getting blown up and then shot in the head by Brawl doesn't fill me with confidence, especially since the story notes for 50 implied someone would die :BOT:
Re: IDW The Transformers #49 Review (1757683)
Posted by CombaticonsCombine? on January 20th, 2016 @ 2:50pm CST
I don't know why, but I really liked seeing Soundwave losing his cool. He just had his dreams of a peaceful Deceptifuture smashed, and he's ready to fight for it.

A little confused seeing Frenzy and Rumble working with Galvatron against Soundwave's ideals, but they haven't really been as associated with 'Wave in this universe, have they?


:CON:
Re: IDW The Transformers #49 Review (1757689)
Posted by Va'al on January 20th, 2016 @ 3:07pm CST
CombaticonsCombine? wrote:I don't know why, but I really liked seeing Soundwave losing his cool. He just had his dreams of a peaceful Deceptifuture smashed, and he's ready to fight for it.


Same here. I love Barber's Soundwave. I really do, and I really feel for the guy.

Randomhero wrote:I very disagree I really liked this issue. It wasn't really a conclusion,! it really felt like the first half of a maxi-series and it kinda is. It didn't conclude anything it just built up and I'm pumped for All Hail Optimus now. Personally I felt it was a solid issue that was paced fine.


That's obviously fine, we are allowed to disagree! ;)

I just came away from my first read with '..is that it?', the second as 'Well, meh' and just a sense of growing frustration at the condensed version of a story that feels like getting to a point and sort of spilling part of its contents as it skips ahead. I am looking forward to AHO, but not because this issue built it up for me.
Re: IDW The Transformers #49 Review (1757722)
Posted by RevTibe on January 20th, 2016 @ 4:59pm CST
CombaticonsCombine? wrote:A little confused seeing Frenzy and Rumble working with Galvatron against Soundwave's ideals, but they haven't really been as associated with 'Wave in this universe, have they?
I'm curious about that too, but it might just come down to proximity - they're not suicidal, and telling big purple that they don't feel like being a Galvacon anymore when he's standing right there is a mite dangerous.

That, or they're just going with whoever offers them the most opportunities to get in scraps and break stuff. They are simple folk.
Re: IDW The Transformers #49 Review (1757727)
Posted by Genericon #378 on January 20th, 2016 @ 5:08pm CST
Come on, IDW! Why do you guys keep killing all the cool characters? Trailbreaker, Hardhead, Sideswipe, and, for the love of god, SWINDLE! You guys fucking killed Swindle! Have you seen the reaction to these deaths? These are beloved characters we're talking about. :evil:
Re: IDW The Transformers #49 Review (1757729)
Posted by Va'al on January 20th, 2016 @ 5:14pm CST
Genericon #378 wrote:Come on, IDW! Why do you guys keep killing all the cool characters? Trailbreaker, Hardhead, Sideswipe, and, for the love of god, SWINDLE! You guys **** killed Swindle! Have you seen the reaction to these deaths? These are beloved characters we're talking about. :evil:



Psst.. swindle lives
Re: IDW The Transformers #49 Review (1757730)
Posted by RevTibe on January 20th, 2016 @ 5:15pm CST
Genericon #378 wrote:Come on, IDW! Why do you guys keep killing all the cool characters? Trailbreaker, Hardhead, Sideswipe, and, for the love of god, SWINDLE! You guys **** killed Swindle! Have you seen the reaction to these deaths? These are beloved characters we're talking about. :evil:
Of those, only the first two feel definite. Swindy got shot in the chest, climbed over to Rattrap and said whispered he had info that could take down Starscream. Rattrap calls over to Starscream that Swindle's totaaallllyyyy dead, don't worry boss, especially don't come over and check, you can trust me!

As for Sideswipe, sincerely doubting we've seen the last of him. Was only two or so issues ago Kup got ripped to shreds and an observer said "oooo look how dead he is. dang".

Show me the brain or spark being explicitly destroyed or total disintegration, then I'll believe the death will stick.
Re: IDW The Transformers #49 Review (1757738)
Posted by Randomhero on January 20th, 2016 @ 5:37pm CST
Va'al wrote:
CombaticonsCombine? wrote:I don't know why, but I really liked seeing Soundwave losing his cool. He just had his dreams of a peaceful Deceptifuture smashed, and he's ready to fight for it.


Same here. I love Barber's Soundwave. I really do, and I really feel for the guy.

Randomhero wrote:I very disagree I really liked this issue. It wasn't really a conclusion,! it really felt like the first half of a maxi-series and it kinda is. It didn't conclude anything it just built up and I'm pumped for All Hail Optimus now. Personally I felt it was a solid issue that was paced fine.


That's obviously fine, we are allowed to disagree! ;)

I just came away from my first read with '..is that it?', the second as 'Well, meh' and just a sense of growing frustration at the condensed version of a story that feels like getting to a point and sort of spilling part of its contents as it skips ahead. I am looking forward to AHO, but not because this issue built it up for me.


And I totally respect your opinion and the review. I can see this issue polarizing people. You either loved it or didn't. The solicites very much sold this as a conclusion and if you were looking for a conclusion I can understand frustration. The solicites are getting pretty bad in my opinion anymore. It said Optimus vs Galvatron, didn't happen. Cosmos vs soundwave, didn't happen. It all comes together! It didn't.

Personally with the last issue centering around buster and DOC I figured that it wouldn't and it didn't.

I totally understand both opinions.
Re: IDW The Transformers #49 Review (1757739)
Posted by D-Maximal_Primal on January 20th, 2016 @ 5:38pm CST
Swindle has to live so they can form Bruticus (which Windblade #7 strongly implied was going to happen) and I really am hoping Sideswipe lives. Trailbreaker is definite dead cause his brain was crushed and I don't get Hardhead's death: Cyclonus and him were both ex-DU, and Cyclonus survived having his shield destroyed, but Hardhead disintegrated. I don't get that (some explain please?) :BOT:
Re: IDW The Transformers #49 Review (1757740)
Posted by Randomhero on January 20th, 2016 @ 5:40pm CST
D-Maximus_Prime wrote:Swindle has to live so they can form Bruticus (which Windblade #7 strongly implied was going to happen) and I really am hoping Sideswipe lives. Trailbreaker is definite dead cause his brain was crushed and I don't get Hardhead's death: Cyclonus and him were both ex-DU, and Cyclonus survived having his shield destroyed, but Hardhead disintegrated. I don't get that (some explain please?) :BOT:



-COUGH STILL A BRIEFCASE WITH PARADOX LOCKS IN PLAY COUGH-
Re: IDW The Transformers #49 Review (1757743)
Posted by D-Maximal_Primal on January 20th, 2016 @ 5:45pm CST
Randomhero wrote:
D-Maximus_Prime wrote:Swindle has to live so they can form Bruticus (which Windblade #7 strongly implied was going to happen) and I really am hoping Sideswipe lives. Trailbreaker is definite dead cause his brain was crushed and I don't get Hardhead's death: Cyclonus and him were both ex-DU, and Cyclonus survived having his shield destroyed, but Hardhead disintegrated. I don't get that (some explain please?) :BOT:



-COUGH STILL A BRIEFCASE WITH PARADOX LOCKS IN PLAY COUGH-

:shock: Forgot about that. Interesting...

Still, my question stands: why did Cyclonus live and Hardhead die? Same circumstances, different bot :BOT:
Re: IDW The Transformers #49 Review (1757744)
Posted by Randomhero on January 20th, 2016 @ 5:50pm CST
D-Maximus_Prime wrote:
Randomhero wrote:
D-Maximus_Prime wrote:Swindle has to live so they can form Bruticus (which Windblade #7 strongly implied was going to happen) and I really am hoping Sideswipe lives. Trailbreaker is definite dead cause his brain was crushed and I don't get Hardhead's death: Cyclonus and him were both ex-DU, and Cyclonus survived having his shield destroyed, but Hardhead disintegrated. I don't get that (some explain please?) :BOT:



-COUGH STILL A BRIEFCASE WITH PARADOX LOCKS IN PLAY COUGH-

:shock: Forgot about that. Interesting...

Still, my question stands: why did Cyclonus live and Hardhead die? Same circumstances, different bot :BOT:



I CAN ANSWER THAT! Lol

The dead universe was being controlled by Nova Prime. He can can manipulate that universe. When hardhead's sheild was destroyed he became undead again and Nova disintegrated him! Nova was very vain too, he probably wanted to keep Cyclonus around to gloat.

Or: hardhead may be hard, but Cyclonus is harder.
Re: IDW The Transformers #49 Review (1757746)
Posted by CombaticonsCombine? on January 20th, 2016 @ 5:52pm CST
D-Maximus_Prime wrote:
Randomhero wrote:
D-Maximus_Prime wrote:Swindle has to live so they can form Bruticus (which Windblade #7 strongly implied was going to happen) and I really am hoping Sideswipe lives. Trailbreaker is definite dead cause his brain was crushed and I don't get Hardhead's death: Cyclonus and him were both ex-DU, and Cyclonus survived having his shield destroyed, but Hardhead disintegrated. I don't get that (some explain please?) :BOT:



-COUGH STILL A BRIEFCASE WITH PARADOX LOCKS IN PLAY COUGH-

:shock: Forgot about that. Interesting...

Still, my question stands: why did Cyclonus live and Hardhead die? Same circumstances, different bot :BOT:


Vector Sigma.

After the whole deal with Kimia and the (aptly titled, whoever came up with this name) Galvacons before MTMTE started, Cyclonus sacrificed himself to stop Galvatron. He was supposed to die, but since he was in Vector Sigma's chamber when it released the energy wave that reformatted Cybertron (I think it's the same wave? Not sure.), he got a facefull of resurrection.

Hardhead is deadsauce though.

Deadhead? Harddead? I dunno.
Re: IDW The Transformers #49 Review (1757747)
Posted by D-Maximal_Primal on January 20th, 2016 @ 5:57pm CST
Randomhero wrote:
D-Maximus_Prime wrote:
Randomhero wrote:
D-Maximus_Prime wrote:Swindle has to live so they can form Bruticus (which Windblade #7 strongly implied was going to happen) and I really am hoping Sideswipe lives. Trailbreaker is definite dead cause his brain was crushed and I don't get Hardhead's death: Cyclonus and him were both ex-DU, and Cyclonus survived having his shield destroyed, but Hardhead disintegrated. I don't get that (some explain please?) :BOT:



-COUGH STILL A BRIEFCASE WITH PARADOX LOCKS IN PLAY COUGH-

:shock: Forgot about that. Interesting...

Still, my question stands: why did Cyclonus live and Hardhead die? Same circumstances, different bot :BOT:



I CAN ANSWER THAT! Lol

The dead universe was being controlled by Nova Prime. He can can manipulate that universe. When hardhead's sheild was destroyed he became undead again and Nova disintegrated him! Nova was very vain too, he probably wanted to keep Cyclonus around to gloat.

Or: hardhead may be hard, but Cyclonus is harder.

This does make sense. Maybe Nova didn't even know cyclonus was infected, or maybe cause Hardhead was the only true threat to him immediately and he wanted to make an example of him is why he killed him and not Cyclonus :BOT:
Re: IDW The Transformers #49 Review (1757748)
Posted by Randomhero on January 20th, 2016 @ 5:59pm CST
CombaticonsCombine? wrote:
D-Maximus_Prime wrote:
Randomhero wrote:
D-Maximus_Prime wrote:Swindle has to live so they can form Bruticus (which Windblade #7 strongly implied was going to happen) and I really am hoping Sideswipe lives. Trailbreaker is definite dead cause his brain was crushed and I don't get Hardhead's death: Cyclonus and him were both ex-DU, and Cyclonus survived having his shield destroyed, but Hardhead disintegrated. I don't get that (some explain please?) :BOT:



-COUGH STILL A BRIEFCASE WITH PARADOX LOCKS IN PLAY COUGH-

:shock: Forgot about that. Interesting...

Still, my question stands: why did Cyclonus live and Hardhead die? Same circumstances, different bot :BOT:


Vector Sigma.

After the whole deal with Kimia and the (aptly titled, whoever came up with this name) Galvacons before MTMTE started, Cyclonus sacrificed himself to stop Galvatron. He was supposed to die, but since he was in Vector Sigma's chamber the energy wave that reformatted Cybertron (I think it's the same wave? Not sure.), he got a facefull of resurrection.

Hardhead is deadsauce though.

Deadhead? Harddead? I dunno.


I think D-Max is referring to Cyclonus dying a second time in Dark Cybertron.

Cyclonus also lived in the DU for 6 millions years. His body may have just been accustomed to it. We know not everyone on the ark survived going through the the portal. And yes hardhead was undead at one point but he may have just popped in and popped out, still became undead.

I think it was just Nova that did it with his power over the DU. He does tell them to watch as HeardHead dies.
Re: IDW The Transformers #49 Review (1757749)
Posted by RevTibe on January 20th, 2016 @ 6:04pm CST
The Cyclonus v. Hardhead thing's a pretty good point, and although there are workable answers (I'd favor the Nova Prime, control of the DU explanation), they feel like more of an excuse than a reason, if that makes sense.

Interesting note on the briefcase being in play, perhaps Megatron might be thinking that while he can't undo the impact of millions of years of war, maybe he can save just one life his fanclub took after his surrender...

CombaticonsCombine? wrote:After the whole deal with Kimia and the (aptly titled, whoever came up with this name) Galvacons before MTMTE started,

THE CREDIT IS MINE :CON:
Image
Re: IDW The Transformers #49 Review (1757750)
Posted by Va'al on January 20th, 2016 @ 6:08pm CST
Randomhero wrote:And I totally respect your opinion and the review. I can see this issue polarizing people. You either loved it or didn't. The solicites very much sold this as a conclusion and if you were looking for a conclusion I can understand frustration. The solicites are getting pretty bad in my opinion anymore. It said Optimus vs Galvatron, didn't happen. Cosmos vs soundwave, didn't happen. It all comes together! It didn't.


Oh, I very much expect it all to happen from #50 onwards - but how it just happened here did not sit well with me.

Optimus is a colonialist prick with egotistic tendencies (as we already knew, really; he shoulda stayed Orion Pax flitting through space). I do not understand why Windblade and the others just shrug and go along for the ride.

As for Cosmos and Soundwave, I expected no showdown at all. I thought Soundwave would get burned, as he did, and that Cosmos would be there for it. Which did happen. In fact, right now their narrative arc is the one I am most interested in.


Side note: Skywarp. Can someone just help that bot out? Please? It breaks my heart to see him abused to this point, he's almost developing Stockholm syndrome towards Galvatron (he had him tied up since FOREVER, for crying out loud!).
Re: IDW The Transformers #49 Review (1757752)
Posted by D-Maximal_Primal on January 20th, 2016 @ 6:14pm CST
Skywarp truly is a tragedy. Poor guy is only being used at this moment, and that has to have some sort of effect farther down the road, maybe even a life-changing one. He has a story arc going, just gotta see where it goes :BOT:

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