SEIBERTRON.com's review of Transformers: The Movie Prequel #1
Tuesday, February 6th, 2007 10:50pm CSTCategories: Site News, Comic Book News, Reviews
Posted by: Air Commander Starscream Views: 67,905
Covers for The Transformers: Prime Directive (Live Action Movie Prequel) #1
Story: Chris Ryall
Writers: Simon Furman & Chris Ryall
Artist: Don Figueroa.
Colorist: Josh Burcham.
Letterer: Robbie Robbins.
Editor: Dan Taylor.
Release Date: February 21, 2007
For only twenty-four pages of story the first issue of the Transformers: The Movie Prequel miniseries is packed from cover to cover. Right away we know we are on the Planet Cybertron. The planet’s life and energy is dependent on an object known as the Allspark. Both Optimus Prime and Megatron once ruled the planet together until Megatron decided he wanted the power of the Allspark for himself and civil war ensued. Megatron was able to secretly build an army that took the planet by storm. Many who stood in his path fell, however, there are those who still offer resistance and will do what ever it takes to stop Megatron from getting his claws on the Allspark.
The story starts off with Bumblebee, who has blasted off into space from Cybertron in his protoform mode, similar to the one that both the Optimus Prime and Starscream Transformers Movie Preview toys have. While in space Bumblebee begins to explain recent events. The story then flashes back to a fierce battle where Bumblebee, a female bot named Arcee, and a hand full of others are fighting against Megatron’s vast army at Tyger Pax. The odds seem long at best but the brave warriors are not trying to defeat Megatron, they are only hoping to hold his attention long enough for Optimus Prime. Prime is leading another force at Simfur whose mission is to make one last attempt to stop Megatron from gaining control of the Allspark. The plan is to launch it into deep space.
While the battle at Tyger Pax rages on; Megatron arrives more determined then ever to get his hands on the Allspark. However, the Autobots continue to resist until the end. Bumblebee has the unfortunate luck of running into Megatron who is furious and wants information about the whereabouts of the Allspark. Bumblebee is able to hold out, but takes a severe beating that leaves him near death and his voice box critically damaged. By holding out as long as he did Bumblebee was able to buy time for Optimus Prime to launch the Allspark into space.
Soon Megatron realizes what has happened and wastes no time and starts out after the Allspark. The Autobots know that they must get to the Allspark before Megatron so a few brave warriors are chosen to go after the Allspark. Bumblebee, who is not completely healed from his near death encounter with Megatron, is one of the first to volunteer. The race for the Allspark is on.
I must admit, the designs chosen for the characters for the upcoming Transformers Movie may not have been the best and left me scratching my head from time to time. However, both Don Figueroa and Josh Burcham have done a stellar job trying to make the Movie designs work. The designs do take some getting use too. They are a radical departure from anything we have seen in the past. It is as radical a departure as Beast Wars was from Generation One, if not more so.
Being visually appealing is one thing that all good comic books should be, and Transformers: The Movie Prequel #1 is visually stimulating. The art really tells a compelling story almost on its own. Also the action seems to flow seamlessly with many good visuals panel to panel. An example of this is when Megatron is thrashing Bumblebee. I found myself studying panels long after I read the text.
Some may find this hard to believe because they do not like the Movie designs, but Don Figueroa and Josh Burcham do an excellent job depicting the Autobots and Decepticons. They made good use of the protoforms for the characters who appear in the movie. They also seem to play with a lot of other designs that seemed to be influenced by other Transformers lore. I think this was the right direction to take; otherwise the images of the characters would be very busy and distracting. Overall the duo did a great job bring the designs to life on the pages.
Another aspect of the art that really stands out is Cybertron itself. It seems really familiar. The art for Cybertron seems to drawl on a lot of elements we saw in Strombringer and the flashback scenes in Beast Wars: The Gathering. Personally, I felt this was a nice touch. Don and Josh did a great job of making the reader grasp the fact that the planet Cybertron is ravaged by war by the color pallet used. The artists make great use of dark backgrounds, which depict a battle torn city left in ruin with all of its grittiness. The familiarity helped me connect with the story more.
The writing team of Simon Furman and Chris Ryall out did themselves with this issue. I must admit I did not have high hopes for this miniseries. I thought it would just be another piece of the Movie media blitz that would quickly be forgotten. Boy was I wrong! Ryall and Furman made this a true Transformers story. They used elements from the Transformers mythos we all know and love, but added some slight spin where they could because of the restrictions placed on the story by the Movie. Though it is not exactly Generation One, it does seem better then some of the recent reincarnations Transformers has gone through the last few years.
The story told is full of substance. Ryall and Furman give us an incredible back story for the Transformers Movie that would otherwise be lacking. Not only that, but there is plenty of action to be found on every page. The fast pace action of the story never lets up until the end. There is never a dull moment. Also, the issue has decent character development, which is a pleasant surprise because character development is not always possible with a miniseries that is part of a larger film. Both writers do a good job developing the main character, Bumblebee. Bumblebee has a lot of depth as a character and you want to know what is going to happen to him next. We see a brave warrior who thinks he should have done more to help his comrade’s cause, and questions why he is called a hero. I for one prefer whole characters instead of dull flat ones who serve no real purpose other then furthering along the plot.
Over all I would say Transformers: The Movie Prequel #1 is a winner for many reasons. First is the writing. This issue contains some super writing from Simon Furman and Chris Ryall. They were able to give us more in this one issue then we sometimes get in several issues in other series. Furman and Ryall did such a good job that I would love to see Ryall do some more work on Transformers outside of the Movie Prequel. I would seriously suggest picking this issue up when it comes out. it is a real page turner. We all read books where we struggle to finish. Trust me, Transformers: The Movie Prequel #1 is no such book. I was actually a little disappointed when I got to the end, because I now have to wait for the second issue to come out in March. Another reason I would recommend this comic, it the art. The art is everything you would expect from talents like Don Figueroa and Josh Burcham. Trust me they do not disappoint. So when February 21st roles around you should seriously consider picking up Transformers: The Movie Prequel #1, you may be surprised.
This article was last modified on Tuesday, February 6th, 2007 10:54pm CST
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Posted by Darth Bombshell on February 6th, 2007 @ 11:01pm CST
Posted by Ninja Sixshot on February 6th, 2007 @ 11:08pm CST
Posted by Seibertron on February 6th, 2007 @ 11:27pm CST
Ninja Sixshot wrote:and i cant find any transformers comics where im at so i couldnt get this thing
Did you let your comic book store know that you want to buy Transformers comics? I find it hard to believe that your comic store doesn't stock any Transformers comics, especially with the movie coming out.
Posted by Denyer on February 7th, 2007 @ 12:02am CST
One curiosity -- I don't think there are any pronouns in the issue that would mark Arcee out as different to the rest (i.e. female...) The design's also quite a departure from the stereotyped pastel-pink 'n' curves slant the original media took.
Posted by i_amtrunks on February 7th, 2007 @ 12:43am CST
I wasnt going to pick this series up, as I hate the movie designs, and expect little from the movie itself, but I think with all the positive reviews, Ill have to pick it up.
Posted by Josh on February 7th, 2007 @ 4:42am CST
Posted by Immortal Starscream on February 7th, 2007 @ 5:06am CST
and then of course arcee is listed as a movie toy, along with a lot of other named and unamed vehicles that dont appear in the movie. i wonder if that means they are characters from the comic books?
Posted by Leonardo on February 7th, 2007 @ 5:09am CST
Posted by Denyer on February 7th, 2007 @ 6:28am CST
Immortal Starscream wrote:furmon doesnt write fembots since he doesnt beleive in them.
Have a read of Space Pirates; it's been collected by Titan.
Also Prime's Rib. The line Furman took was that Arcee was built as a PR exercise to improve relations with humans on Earth.
Posted by Denyer on February 7th, 2007 @ 6:48am CST
edit: Actually, it's mainly the last page that's come out with JPEG artifacts.
Something seems to have gone awry with the text over image four / page five in the images Newsarama posted, so I've substituted the page I received... bear in mind that all of these preview images are advance copies, so they may have been spliced/reflowed/corrected, etc.
Or higher quality files here:
(Click for fullsize.)
Posted by Archanubis on February 7th, 2007 @ 7:17am CST
It is as radical a departure as Beast Wars was from Generation One, if not more so.
I'm seeing quite a number of parallels with Beast Wars with the movie. Time will only tell if the movie can achieve the same level of acceptance as Beast Wars eventually did.
Posted by Overloaded on February 7th, 2007 @ 8:45am CST
Posted by Darth Bombshell on February 7th, 2007 @ 9:20am CST
Overloaded wrote:When is the first issue due out ?
February 21st, as mentioned in the review.
Seibertron wrote:I find it hard to believe that your comic store doesn't stock any Transformers comics, especially with the movie coming out.
Try telling that to the guy that owns the comic shop near where I live. I used to get all my stuff there, except during the last four months of last year, when I had to get Stormbringer #2-4, along with the Nightbeat, Hot Rod, Sixshot and Ultra Magnus Spotlights from a store in Vancouver. It was only last month that I found a shop closer to home (and is actually about twenty minutes from the college) where I'm going to be going from now on, since they have the comics there (well, except for Generations, but seeing as how I've already cut that from my budget...). Yeah, they're a bit more expensive there than at the Vancouver store, but at least I don't have to take a four hour trip both ways.
Posted by jgilkinson on February 7th, 2007 @ 11:24am CST
Posted by cdbrown48_288 on February 7th, 2007 @ 2:56pm CST
Posted by trence5 on February 7th, 2007 @ 3:53pm CST
Posted by Grimshock on February 7th, 2007 @ 4:49pm CST
Posted by Denyer on February 7th, 2007 @ 11:52pm CST
Grimshock wrote: Furman wrote of a humble, unsure Prime in War Within. This is somewhat contradictory.
It can't contradict, not being the same series or timeline, and this isn't an origin written by Furman. Neither IDW nor the novel writers have control over the bigger elements of the movie plot.
Now he's writing his own name into
Get a clue, or at least fewer conspiracy theories...
Posted by Grimshock on February 8th, 2007 @ 7:22pm CST
Posted by Denyer on February 8th, 2007 @ 7:58pm CST
Grimshock wrote:What part of "Writers: Simon Furman and Chris Ryall" did you not understand?
Which part of "I reviewed the thing the week before this preview and talked to people whilst doing so" didn't you catch? I'm not speculating here.
You're amusing, though, in a Mulder paranoia kind of way.