Review of IDW REVOLUTION #1
Friday, September 23rd, 2016 8:32pm CDTCategories: Comic Book News, Reviews
Posted by: Tigertrack Views: 29,960
Back Cover Tease:
Explosions rip across Earth—and all sides blame OPTIMUS PRIME and the TRANSFORMERS! G.I.JOE refuses to go quietly—and they assemble heroes big enough to stop the invaders! ACTION MAN and M.A.S.K. fight for humanity— but where do ROM and the MICRONAUTS stand?
From New York Times-bestselling writers Cullen Bunn and John Barber—and superstar-in-the-making artist Fico Ossio—comes a collision of worlds, a clash of past and future, unlike anything that has come before.
The Revolution is here— take a stand!
As the resident staff Joe guy (who also collects TFs and vice versa) who has also lived through the earliest iterations of these brands in the 70's and 80's, it fell to me to try to make some sense of this newest comic-based crossover. Well actually, Va’al’s on a sabbatical and D-MACK already handled TAAO, so that’s why it really fell to me. And that nobody else wanted to do it.
Forgive me, I write this after a day of teaching 6th grade.
Like the tease says, events have happened and they are BIG! Like BIG BEN and DUKE (GI JOE guys for you TF only folks) and ORE-13 BIG. Mount Everest going boom BIG! The supposed ‘melting’ of several Joes (whom most people probably don’t know) big. VICTORION and WINDBLADE… okay, I am not sure what to say. It’s a lot of action, mostly centered around TRANSFORMERS and GI JOE. Humans’ anxiety level is at an all time high over KING PRIME declaring Earth to be a part of the galactic council (I actually believe there is a lot of hard feelings over the no tech sharing thing from OP’s previous visit)—and all the negative attention being considered ‘galactically relevant’ might bring with it (like, oh, a Transformers’ war coming to Earth wasn’t bad enough before this? C’mon Optimus…).
There’s lots of human armed military parties running around now, and it’s hard to keep caught up with who’s really on top. ROM’s book has military types showing up to make trouble for him in his series, that seem to be directly or indirectly ordered by General Joe Colton of G.I. JOE fame, but don’t seem to be regular GI JOE. The EDC was supposedly re-made into a new more global version, and now it appears that GI JOE, yes the real GI.JOE, is now the go to gang of military types to become government sanctioned, even after being shut down by that same government previously, it seems (I’m not good at keeping up with IDW GI JOE). The weird thing is, those EDC types, who know a lot about TRANSFORMERS are still around too, but it doesn't matter because their advice and intelligence is almost always totally ignored. And by the tease, it looks like even G.I. JOE will get superseded or at best aligned with ACTION MAN and MASK, eventually.
Sadly, MASK does not appear in this issue, except in the same short preview at the end that we have had in several other TRANSFORMERS issues, giving us background info (and showing us Miles Mayhem and a badly dissected Blitzwing), but it becomes pretty obvious how they will become a part of it.
So that’s this issue in a nut shell. Ore-13 is blowing up. TRANSFORMERS are blamed for it. GI JOE is tasked by the very anxious world leading U.S. President to take on the TRANSFORMERS—instead of the before created EDC military group.
Fico Ossio on the art, colored by Sebastian Cheng, and lettered by the nigh-infamous Tom B. Long, is much better than average. Characters are recognizable as who they should be (if you know some of these obscure JOE folks) and portray their emotions well, although heads and faces are inconsistent; from really nice on MAIN FRAME and BIG BEN profiles and 3/4 shots, to somewhat misshapen, cartoonish, and elongated SCARLETT and JOE COLTON faces and heads on full body action shots, later on. The bots are well-detailed, but the artist shows a little bit of difficulty with them at times, especially in their faces, heads, and ‘ears’, but overall does a commendable, but uneven, job. There are some truly beautiful character portraits in there, but also some that are less than, making you wonder. Finally, the ROM images generally all feel a little off, which might be intentional if a theory I have holds up.
The colors and lighting effects are well done, and work well with the line art to create an overall, visually acceptable product. TRANSFORMERS fans have had to deal with (have learned to appreciate) much ‘worse’ (opinion, of course). Tom B. Long does his normal magic with word bubbles, and sound effects, helping to move us through the action and story well.
Character interactions feel pretty natural and help us to better understand their relationships. You can feel the coolness and calm that Optimus Prime is trying very hard to convey. You can hear Scarlett’s frustration and fury, and the military jargon that the JOEs incorporate feels realistic enough (even if the facial expressions and body language sometimes seem a little odd). There are character labels to help all of us identify the JOES, TFs, and others, if we did not already recognize them.
My opinion on human and TRANSFORMERS current status of interaction, as it has been written, has already been made public and sadly, has not changed after seeing this. This is the story that we’ve seen on Earth since the first early issues in Marvel G1. Humans just cannot understand Autobots versus Decepticons, and believe in the ‘all must be bad, if some are’ over generalization. Now, I do understand that you’re going to be upset if you believe the robots are just there to fight, steal, and destroy without any care for the native inhabitants, or if you’re thinking you are being misled by liars. But members of the EDC were starting to get it--to understand factions, and yet somehow their ideas and intelligence are mostly ignored. Grr… revenge!!!
“That one guy killed several of my good buddies way back when…DESTROY ALL OF THEM!”
I do like the idea of DIRE WRAITHs causing a lot of the misunderstandings, for their own ends that we are not entirely sure about. But ROM just showing up and doing what he did, without a word, where as in his own series, he’s been quite the chatty Cathy, making me and probably others believe that some of the events in ROM (this AXIOM dude that started out as a human in armor before ORE 13 was added to make him a superfreak) are most likely meant to drop clues about what may actually be going on here, with the JOES, and several other humans.
Being a little obvious, aren't we...?
I’m interested to see what part MASK plays, and VENOM of course, even if we know where they get the tech.
In different writing decisions, the GI JOE forces seem ready for immediate action even though they had seemed to be decommissioned (I have to re-read to look for time passage), but don’t seem to know anything about their target. They don’t come equipped with any weapons that do more than annoy the Transformers (except Jazz—why, must everyone always pick on Jazz?). How do you not know what kind of equipment and weapons you will need to even get close to winning a battle with them? Just ignore any EDC intel whatsoever. Now, yes, I do know that Soundwave's Operation Incapacitation took out MAINS’ (GI JOE Main Frame- I actually really dislike that nickname - MAINS- ugh), anti-Soundwave fryer, but before that the JOEs weren't really getting anywhere either. And... they don’t know that ‘the pink one’ uses swords??? What exactly have the GI JOE members been doing lately? And who was in charge of the intel for them? Or was this just sort of a run off half-cocked type mission (which is a bit confusing because Main Frame insists he was working on his Soundwave killing device for months using EDC intel—yes, he was paying attention!)?
I’m interested, but with the few pieces we have along with this issue, I really, really, really hope that this overly lengthy and perhaps somewhat overused humans vs.TRANSFORMERs is resolved quickly and that everyone moves past it to work together against the DIRE WRAITHS and bad MICRONAUTS (Baron Karza, et al— who do not appear in this issue either), or some such thing like that (maybe it’s UNICRON!!!!!…)
The ORE-13 piece is probably the most interesting thing about the series for me so far, other than the official (finally) admittance/re-imagining that MASK vehicles are TRANSFORMERS based (see the DARK OF THE MOON for the first hints that it was coming, I really liked their Stealth Force attack car/alt modes.). Hasn’t been exactly said…yet, but highly hinted at.
Who should try this?
Casual 80’s childhood guy or gal all grown up: Hell yeah! You’d probably get a kick out of this with Transformers, GI JOE, ROM, ACTION MAN and coming up…Micronauts, and MASK! My childhood hath been brought back alive again! If only VISIONARIES would make an appearance! Ore-13 won't mean anything to you, but you don't need it to.
IDW Transformers Familiars: You may be a bit more hesitant. 'Our guys' are a focus for sure, but we’re not quite sure how they will come out when this all shakes out, and there was a lot of awesome stuff to like going on before this. They are the elder statesman and most successful comics of the bunch, and readers are not interested in losing the awesome ground that we have gained over recent years. There seem to be inconsistencies with current comic continuity, but not so huge that it can't get cleaned up. AND...we do get this ORE-13 thing to finally seem to finally, finally, shake out in full, so there's that!
IDW GI JOE Familiars: You may just feel good that GI JOE is coming back, again, but are probably frustrated that GI JOE is coming back, yet again, seemingly rebooted, yet again (I’m not as good and up on my IDW GI JOE). I feel very badly for hardcore JOE fans. I really hope this helps to get them the great fiction that they deserve (and hopefully more of a toy line too).
OTHERS: Tons of action! Aliens, robots, human elite army operatives, and end of the planet Earth peril, plus some cool new sophisticated TECHIE vehicles. Recognizable big name characters. Sounds like a try out to me! It reads like the big boys crossovers so far, with satisfactory art, I'd give it a go.
The race has begun. The journey and the finish are still in question. When the dust settles, let’s hope we all have the pieces to pick up where our favorites left us wanting more.
Generally, I believe that large crossovers are upsetting to most fandoms--or at least wanting to be mostly ignored or believed to be in another continuity. Especially when new directions are promised and ramifications can wreck what one might have been really enjoying in a separate monthly title prior to said crossover. We shall see.
TRANSFORMERS FAN SCORE out of for this first issue.
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Posted by Kurona on September 23rd, 2016 @ 8:52pm CDT
Posted by steve2275 on September 23rd, 2016 @ 11:50pm CDT
Posted by ScottyP on September 24th, 2016 @ 10:55am CDT
I think for new readers and fans of pop-culture or comics in general, it's probably a fun ride and a non-intimidating jumping on point.
Just as a heads up to Transformers fans* - the Micronauts: Revolution one-shot is out next week and, without spoiling anything, you will want to read this issue.
*Disclaimer: There's only a particular segment of TF fan that will appreciate it, but if I say which segment that is it pretty well spoils things!
Posted by RNSrobot on September 24th, 2016 @ 1:25pm CDT
Posted by Tigertrack on September 25th, 2016 @ 6:57am CDT
RNSrobot wrote:I'm happy enough with it, but I'm so beyond tired of exactly you noted: Humans attacking the TFs because ALL ARE BAAAAAAD
OH. I'm sick of it too. I think as others mentioned, it's the necessary evil to get the story moving to the next part....finally, I hope, very soon.
Time and the next issues will tell. Micronauts reveal was a moment I think I literally slapped my head and went, "well why didn't I...?" It's cool.
Next week's MASK Revolution is more for Joe type fans, so far, but looks to be a fun series. Of course, if you liked MASK way back then, that's a no-brainier to try.
(Sorry to tease next week, but our comics staff got review copies in advance, nothing given away, more like a some friendly advice...)
Scotty, thanks for the tweet and kindness. Your review hear and others comments helped me to forge the writing into its final form here. Thank you!
Posted by 1984forever on September 25th, 2016 @ 6:40pm CDT
And after this review... I have no desire to even read this.
IMO the only good TF/GI Joe crossover was the G1 episode "Only Human".
Posted by Va'al on September 29th, 2016 @ 9:52am CDT
IDW Publishing Announce NYCC 2016 Exclusives & Debuts
IDW Publishing is heading to New York Comic Con with a ton of exclusives you won’t want to miss! See below for a full list of your convention must-haves.
Dirk Gently: Salmon of Doubt #1 Metallic Ink Variant
Cover art by Ilias Kyriazis
$10, Limited to 300 copies
*Cast signing at show!*
Jem and the Holograms #19 NYCC B&W Variant
Cover art by Meredith McLaren
$10, Limited to 250 copies
*Meet Meredith McLaren at the show!*
Revolution #1 NYCC B&W Variant
Cover art by Tradd Moore
$10, Limited to 300 copies
ROM: Revolution #1 NYCC Variant
Cover art by Gabriel Rodriguez
$10, Limited to 300 copies
*Meet Gabriel Rodriguez at the show!*
Star Trek 50th Anniversary Cover Celebration NYCC Variant
Cover art by JK Woodward
$10, Limited to 200 copies
Star Trek 50th Anniversary Cover Celebration - Triptych Variant Set
Cover art by JK Woodward
$30, Limited to 50 sets, FREE gift with purchase
Wynonna Earp #8 Photo Edition pre-signed by Katherine Barrell
Katherine Barrell Photo Cover
$20, Limited to 300 copies
*Cast signing at show!*
Bloom County TPB Softcover
Cover art by Berkeley Breathed
$18, Limited to 150 copies
*Meet Berkeley Breathed at the show!*
Crazy Is the New Normal *CONVENTION DEBUT*
Cover art by Tom Tomorrow
$20, Limited to 100 copies
*Meet Tom Tomorrow at the show!*
Locke & Key Master Edition V3 HC Convention Variant
Cover art by Gabriel Rodriguez
$50, Limited to 100 copies
*Meet Gabriel Rodriguez at the show!*
Who Killed Kurt Cobain? *CONVENTION DEBUT*
Cover art by Nicolas Otero
$25, Limited to 100 copies
*Meet Nicolas Otero at the show!*
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IDW Media Holdings, Inc. (OTC:IDWM) is a fully integrated media company, which includes publishing, games, entertainment, and the San Diego Comic Art Gallery.
IDW Publishing’s comic book and graphic novel catalog includes some of the world’s most popular entertainment brands, including Transformers, My Little Pony, Star Trek, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Ghostbusters, and Disney’s classic characters. At IDW’s core is its commitment to creator-owned comics including 30 Days of Night, Locke & Key, Wormwood, Ragnarök, V-Wars, and Archangel by bestselling sci-fi author William Gibson.
IDW Publishing is also home to the acclaimed and award-winning imprints; Top Shelf, The Library of American Comics, Yoe! Books, and Artist Editions, showcasing the greatest original art ever published in American comic books.
IDW Games’ diverse line-up includes the international phenomenon Machi Koro, as well as hit licensed games such as X-Files, Back to the Future, The Godfather, and TMNT.
IDW Entertainment currently serves as the worldwide distributor of Wynonna Earp airing on the Syfy Channel in the U.S. and is producing BBC America’s Dirk Gently, based the best seller by Douglas Adams starring Elijah Wood and Sam Barnett, and Brooklyn Animal Control for USA Network.
Posted by Va'al on September 30th, 2016 @ 10:17am CDT
This occasional feature on Seibertron.com is a one-off (three-off?) write-up on those other titles that don't fall under the robots categories, so you may go find more comics if you like what you see. The reviews are brief, with an eye to connecting them to the wider story and what readers might enjoy coming from a Transformers perspective, so please keep that in mind. [For an alternate and more systematic look at how Revolution is currently working out, see ScottyP's comics FAQ here!]
With order then...
Cullen Bunn, whom regular comics readers will undoubtedly recognise from several Marvel and other titles, dives deep into the Microverse, reigniting a spark in a very very old and dormant fire that not many may have remembered. However, he does so with such gusto and charm, even in the obnoxiously 80s patina that most of these properties have, that you can't help but chuckle at the interactions and overt cheese of some of the scenes. The Biounits, Acroyears, names - they just made me giggle so much, reading them in 2016. At the same time, Baron Karza is beautifully nuanced as a villain, and actually has a good characterisation through the Revolution book itself.
Bonus: Direct and unexpectedly good link to Cybertronian lore. Ties up with Transformers franchise in general, with things discussed in Titans Return, and with the covers teasing
Malus (but not really): The cheese. The name Shazraella.
As it hasn't had enough time to go anywhere significant, there's not really too much to say about this one-shot comic - if not that it's probably the most played down and yet the most direct in terms of how G.I. Joe and Earth in general are planning to respond to the Cybertronian contingent and the perceived threat that Optimus's annexation of the planet to the Council of Worlds constitutes for, well, us. Written by Brandon Easton, with visuals from Tony Vargas and Jordi Esquin, the book is a crisp if slightly by the numbers origin story of the Kommando at the hands of Miles Mayhem, building to some interesting dynamics with the Joe envoy Scarlett. And then, it just... stops. Which is a shame. (But will start/continue in November as its own series!)
Bonus: Ego trips all over the place.
Malus: Ego trips all over the place.
(takes place in between issues. maybe. possibly. or before.
Currently running through three issues of its new ongoing series, with Chris Ryall and Christos Gage at the helm, the return of the Solstar system guardian had a very promising beginning, with a bit of a plateau after the second issue hit. With a giant team taking control of the art, there are some really sweet spots visually too, but sometimes the story just doesn't hit the right beats enough to hold it all together.
Bonus: The designs (Wraiths and Rom in particular) are fantastic, and the book is the one that will providing the biggest cohesive for the various threads and titles so far, with its planet/universe wide conspiracies.
Malus: May not be one to follow too closely if it doesn't catch you immediately, and it does have a lot of Ryallisms (compare: Onyx), but that may be your thing!
Posted by william-james88 on September 30th, 2016 @ 10:35am CDT
Posted by o.supreme on September 30th, 2016 @ 11:34am CDT
william-james88 wrote:Why are they called mask if what they are wearing is more along the line of helmets?
just didn't sound good....
Posted by ricemazter on September 30th, 2016 @ 11:34am CDT
That thing on the ROM cover is just a xenomorph.
Posted by D-Maximal_Primal on September 30th, 2016 @ 1:02pm CDT
Posted by Carnivius_Prime on September 30th, 2016 @ 5:46pm CDT
Posted by D-Maximal_Primal on September 30th, 2016 @ 11:33pm CDT
Posted by D-Maximal_Primal on October 1st, 2016 @ 12:43am CDT
Posted by Va'al on October 1st, 2016 @ 1:11am CDT
Revolution #2 (of 5)
Cullen Bunn & John Barber (w) • Fico Ossio (a) • Tradd Moore (c)
ROM—A MURDERER?! That’s what OPTIMUS PRIME and the TRANSFORMERS think—and right or wrong, there’s only one outcome: all-out war! Meanwhile, G.I. JOE turns to the one person who can save the world from ultimate destruction—MILES MAYHEM!
FC • 32 pages • $3.99
Posted by steve2275 on October 1st, 2016 @ 6:10am CDT
Posted by Kurona on October 1st, 2016 @ 6:39am CDT
Posted by Va'al on October 1st, 2016 @ 7:05am CDT
Kurona wrote:Jazz liked that arm.
Posted by Microraptor on October 1st, 2016 @ 7:07pm CDT