IDW Transformers: Holiday Special 2015 Review
Wednesday, December 23rd, 2015 3:01pm CSTCategories: Comic Book News, Reviews, Site Articles
Posted by: Va'al Views: 50,043
HOLIDAYS IN THE STARS! Three stories about three casts and three unique holiday adventures! You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and you’ll never look at CYBERTRON—or the holidays—the same way again!
Story: Mairghread Scott
Channelling her best Dr Seuss, Scott manages to blend the mischievous, narcissistic, egotistic nature of Starscream with the seasonal tradition Grinch, and to wonderful effect. It doesn't stray from the characterisation we have seen in recent IDW runs, it taps into some of the plot points, too - and it's filled with wonderful cameos, executed by...
Art & Colours: Corin Howell, Thomas Teyowisonte Deer
...Howell, who returns for the one-off after her stint on Windblade, capturing the spirit of the tale and the cartoonishly exaggerated features of the cast involved, with the spin of the Grinch tale. We see the Tankors, Blurr and the new Maccadam crew, Waspinator - all the usual suspects we've come to appreciate on the streets of Cybertron, in the suitably coloured, and wonderfully so, by Thomas Deer. Even in the darkness of what I imagine is Cybertronian sort of winter, we get some great glows of warmth and tone.
More Than Meets the Eye
Story: James Roberts
In a slightly similar, but really quite different way, Roberts takes us aboard the Lost Light, where the festivities are masquerading as something entirely foreign, scientific (or magic, if you ask Rodimus), spacey-wacey, and utterly ridiculous, with the theme of mainstream Christmas traditions seeping in in an overt (to the reader) way...
Art & Colours: Kotteri, Joana Lafuente
...from carols, such as the one titling the story, to various iconography we associate with festive customs, from trees to crackers, to party hats, singing, and the general merryment. In order to so, the tale introduces fan-favourite fan-artist Kotteri (seen on previous variant covers) to interiors, and bringing some proper fan-fuel to the expressions and qualities to the crew of the ship - no one excluded. Lafuente's colours, a regular mainstay in the Transformers universe created by IDW, show the full versatility of her as an artist too, adapting and complementing the new style smoothly and pleasingly.
Story: John Barber
A criminally good in how bad it intentionally is, the noir-esque take that Barber brings to the holidays is a pleasure to immerse yourself into. Doing something that diverges from the previous two tales, the writing plays with a number of genre conventions, while clearly self-nominating for the meta-award of the year (yes, it even tops Roberts' Swerve). And just as it does in writing...
Art & Colours: Josh Burcham
...so it carries itself fantastically well visually, with regular colourist Burcham making another interior appearance. And boy does he pop on the page, mixing the voices of Barber's choice for Thundercracker's work into styles, layouts and composition - then topping it all with colour. A truly enjoyable home-cooked meal for the optics.
It's fun. It's lighthearted. It's cheesy and corny and message-y and the writers clearly really enjoyed playing around with tradition, storytelling, and style techniques. It's everything a filler Holiday Special should really be. If you're a fan of the lighter side of any of the three series, if you like writers who poke fun at their own work, themselves, and have fond memories of TV show specials, this is definitely one not to miss in your reading library.
A note on the letterer, Tom B. Long, who has provided masterful framing and cherrying of the three stories throughout - in particular for The Transformers' section by Barber and Burcham - to Agnes Garbowska, the variant cover artist, and to Casey Coller and Lafuente again, for the thumbnailed main cover. Tip of the (Santa) hat to you all. And as Buster would say, WOOF.
Credit(s): IDW, Va'al
This article was last modified on Wednesday, December 23rd, 2015 3:09pm CST
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Posted by pie-man on December 24th, 2015 @ 3:08am CST
"Silent Night" is a slightly darker, self-contained read and is what you'd come to expect from MTMTE. It's my least favorite story but is intriguing none the less. The first few panels are what I really loved.... they couldn't have designed that device to look like anything other than a green conical Christmas tree, with multi-colored spherical thingys and crown-shaped hats!
The last story is also just pure fun & silliness. When I think about it now, I wish there had been a lot more cheesy dialogues!!
I have the digital copy, but I will definitely get the hard copy edition of this!