Saturday, September 15, 2007

Comic Capsule Review...

Transformers Spotlight
Optimus Prime

Writer: Simon Furman
Artist: Don Figueroa

(covers by Don Figueroa and Gabriel Rodriguez)

Summary: Optimus Prime is troubled and in need of answers. During his recent brush with death, he felt another presence out there... someone who should be long dead--another Prime! He travels to see Omega Supreme and get some answers. We learn Nova Prime went missing along with the original Ark and that he has expansionist ideas--that he believed Transformers were above other lifeforms. In the middle of their conversation, the Monster Pretenders break in, combined as Monstructor and attack. After a fierce battle, Monstructor is beaten and Optimus swears he will try to help them in their condition then returns to Earth.

Comments: I've largely been enjoying the Spotlight series most of anything IDW has done and this was another fairly good issue. There's not a lot of characterization for Optimus here--certainly nothing beyond what we normally see (i.e. he's self righteous, strong and perpetually worried like usual). The story works though and Furman continues revealing hints, bits and pieces toward whatever his ultimate story goal is. Nova Prime, like Sentinel Prime in the Megatron Origin comic, seems to not be a bastion of goodness but rather another flawed character with potentially dangerous ideas about his people and the universe. It was also cool seeing Omega Supreme in a story as well as the introduction of Combiner teams (one story glitch I noticed--Optimus calls the gestalt "Monstructor" even though Omega Supreme never calls him by name once). The artwork here was standard IDW goodness.

Final verdict: Recommended.

Transformers: Megatron Origin #3

Writer: Eric Holmes
Artist: Alex Milne

(covers by Alex Milne and Marcelo Matere)

Summary: Megatron gets repaired in his hide out as Soundwave joins him. He tells Megatron has he done as he commanded and retrieved a flyer for him--not just one, but three: Starscream, Skywarp and Thundercracker. Megatron tells them he has great plans for them... Elsewhere, the Autobots mourn the loss of their two comrades (red shirt #1 and red shirt #2 from last issue) and plan to make the outlaws pay for their crimes. The proto Decepticons go out and commit several acts of sabotage, including kidnapping the Senator from the previous issues. Their mysterious benefactor watches footage and muses how this has gotten out of control... Elsewhere, Megatron gathers a legion of outcasts and proposes they join him on his mission to reshape Cybertron itself--but all are attacked immediately thereafter by the Autobots and arrested.

Comments: Another issue and this one's been the best of three so far (which isn't saying that much really). I've started wondering if this whole story wouldn't have been better condensed down to one or two issues--it seems to suffer from that whole decompression thing that lots of modern comics do. There's a good idea here or there but far too much story padding around it. Also, like many people and the Star Wars prequels, I kind of wonder if we need to have every murky TF back story detail written out and clearly explained--honestly, I preferred it when the Megatron/Decepticon rise was a bit murkier. Still, issue #3 is an improvement over the previous issues... mainly, because a lot happens in it. The art is decent but one complaint I have that's specific to Milne is that he does some panels where I just don't know what's supposed to be happening (like some in this issue where Sentinel Prime is preparing his weapons--or something--before asking the Autobots what they're going to do about the outcasts).

Final Verdict: Mildly recommended.

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