Tuesday, December 22, 2009

BotCon 2010...

The big announcement has been made!

BotCon 2010 will be held in Florida (Disneyworld, specifically), June 24-27, 2010.

See the preliminary information at:

www.botcon.com


(As for me, not certain I'll be there next year. I'd love to visit Florida but not sure I'll be able to afford to go).

- Thunder

Monday, December 21, 2009

XMAS2009

I'd like to wish everyone happy holidays with perhaps a little less snow and a little more Transformers !

-Johan/ Backbreaker
the annual card......is included or else goto http://warlogthecomic.deviantart.com/art/Transformers-Xmas2009UK-147525324

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Comic Review...

Transformers #2

Writer: Mike Costa
Artist: Don Figueroa

(covers by Don Figueroa and Andrew Wildman)

Summary: Spike is alerted to the fact that Optimus Prime has come to his base and surrendered. Elsewhere, the remaining Autobots try to decide what to do. The minibots talk about electing a new leader while Hot Rod says he's leaving. Several other Autobots follow him out the door... Later on, Hot Rod and his Autobots meet up with Omega Supreme and ask him if they'll take him off-world but he refuses. They are attacked by some rogue Decepticons then--until Swindle asks why any of them are bothering. What's the point? The war is essentially over! Elsewhere, Spike goes to speak to Optimus Prime to learn what he can, fearing that he must find a way to keep his father (and CO's) approval. Bumblebee, meanwhile, is elected leader of the remaining Autobots. Just then, Ultra Magnus and his ship land near the Autobots base... he asks who's in charge and Bumblebee softly tells him that he is.

Comments: Another issue full of Figueroa's curious new art style. I hate it. 'nuff said. The story continues to unfold slowly and I have a feeling I know roughly where it's going but I do hope they don't take too long to get there either. A decent read but nothing revolutionary... still better then AHM ever was though.

Mildly recommended.



***

Transformers: Bumblebee #1

Writer: Zander Cannon
Artist: Chee

(covers by Chee and Guido Guidi)

Summary: The Autobots cheer on the appointment of their new leader (including Silverstreak--which is strange since he was counted among the deserters with Hot Rod). Days pass and Bumblebee is depressed. He discusses his thoughts with Ratchet and Wheeljack... Elsewhere, Skywarp destroys a building with some humans and ruminates about how dangerous he is. Back at Autobase, Colonel Horiuchi contacts them and explains he would like to form a pact with them so they can hunt down the evil Decepticon survivors while leaving the Autobots alone and safe. Later we learn Wheeljack has replied to the Colonel and he convinces Bumblebee to go meet with the humans. He does and agrees to the truce, also employing some badges the Colonel has given them to help them evade the rest of Skywatch's sensors. As their pact begins, Hound and Cliffjumper go and take out Frenzy, who's half crazed and in no position to fight them. The Autobots wonder about this detail... later on, the Autobots have captured six other Decepticons when Colonel Horiuchi contacts them and tells them to go after Blurr next. They explain he's an Autobot but the Colonel has decided if they're not with us they're against us. Cliffjumper objects vehemently and the Colonel has him remotely mode-locked (which can be done thanks to these badges they've all been assigned to wear). The Autobots are shocked while the Colonel explains it's just a safety thing, etc. So, yeah, now that that's settled, go out and get 'em guys!

Comments: I accidentally read this issue first of the two (it should be second). I welcome the classic art style in this series (and in Wreckers too, apparently). Originally, I'd assumed this would follow Bumblebee on some kind of solo adventure but apparently that's incorrect. So, Skywarp is left behind, one or more of the Constructicons, Swindle, Frenzy, Drag Strip, Octane, Runabout... okay, who did escape with Starscream? Yeesh! The story was reasonably good otherwise--I especially enjoyed the ending with the revelation that the rogue Skywatch unit is firmly in-control of their new allies. I don't think the others will stand for this very long. I also think it will shortly be Bumblebee's Autobots versus Hot Rod and co. Bring it, I guess... :)

Recommended.


Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Garry Chalk on this weeks RFC!

* Part 1 of our Garry Chalk interview
* Stump Monzo! Betcha can’t!
* Charl from TransformersFanfic.com talks about Transformers fanfic
* The guys interview Karl Volmer
* News from Cybertron
* The news brought to you by BigBadToyStore
* Brian was on the Iacon 101 podcast this week!
* More! Seriously!

www.tfradio.net

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Comic Review...

Transformers #1

Writer: Mike Costa
Artist: Don Figueroa

(covers by Don Figueroa)

Summary: We get a summation of the war to this point... now, the Decepticons are gone, for the most part, and the Autobots remain on Earth in disguise, ever vigilante for the return of evil. At a power station somewhere, Breakdown appears and attacks. The new effective Skywatch responds and quickly puts him down with their advanced technology. Fearing he will be killed while incapacitated, Prowl transforms and tries to stop the humans but they quickly stun him too. Skywatch knew all about him and were just trying to flush him out with the ruse of killing Breakdown (instead of just incapacitating him). Spike confidently explains to some police there that he knew about Prowl all along because he's paid to know these things. As he drives off, he doesn't realize Streetwise is also there and reports the events back to headquarters. At Autobot Headquarters, Prime tells the others to go and upgrade their systems so they won't be susceptible to the humans stun tech any longer. Hot Rod questions why they're still here--Megatron is dead and the Decepticons aren't coming back! He convinces Prime to authorize a rescue mission to get Prowl back... Hot Rod leads his team to the Skywatch facility that night but everything goes wrong. They get Prowl back but Hot Rod almost dies--Ironhide saves him by apparently sacrificing himself instead. Prime lays his old friend to rest and apologizes for sending him there in the first place... He goes to the other Autobots and resigns as their leader. He tells them to pick a new leader and then goes to the humans and surrenders himself.

Comments: An interesting first issue of Costa's run. First off, let's get this out of the way--I used to love Figueroa's art but I can't stand this new style of his. He's trying to make the TFs look more realistic and it just doesn't work for me. I hope he either abandons it or leaves the book after a short run. As for the story... it runs as a story smoothly. They don't try to decompress it or anything. We start with an opening and the issue ends on a definite note. None of this three-issues-to-tell-one-issue's-worth-of-story nonsense. As for the story contents... I knew this would happen at the end of AHM #12. The Autobots would have no point in staying on Earth but still would anyway and slowly get picked off by the humans. An annoyingly predictable start point (why don't they monitor from orbit or something?) Prime is back to self recrimination since he seems virtually incapable of ever doing anything happy and actually leading his warriors (that was why I enjoyed Furman's last story to-date in AHM #13--Prime actually did something useful and didn't cry in his beer for once). As usual, when the going gets tough, Prime quits and runs away--why did they elect this idiot to lead them again? Otherwise, the story was decent... I just hope the Autobots rescue their comrades and get the hell off Earth already. Leave those lousy humans to their fate--maybe the Decepticons can come and nuke the planet or something. I still have some shred of hope Costa will go somewhere interesting and original and surprise us all with this. But it really is time for Optimus Prime to get over it and get on with things.

Mildly recommended.




Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Comic Review...

Transformers Continuum

Writer: Andy Schmidt (based off everything IDW's done up to this point)
Artists: Numerous

Summary: In short, this is a comic length summary of the IDW universe from day one to day, er, right now. :) It covers the spotlights, the Furman stuff, Megatron Origins, All Hail Megatron, etc. At the end of the comic, we get a reading order/time line, ads for the TPBs and a personal message from Andy inviting us all to live the dream and buy the new ongoing series.

Comments: I understand the logic behind this comic. With the ongoing comic, it made a perfect opportunity to revisit what has gone before and--cha-cha-ching! Cash in! I had originally planned to skip this but a curious thing happened last week when it came out. I read one review, then another and still another dissing it. Walky even did a comic strip about it:

http://shortpacked.com/d/20091111.html and
http://shortpacked.com/d/20091112.html

So, I think for the first time ever, I went to the comic shop to seek out a comic that's been dissed as being bad to see how bad it really was. Well, the descriptions online are a bit exaggerated. It's not like Schmidt really confuses Thunderwing for Bludgeon but he does make some odd choices in his narrative. His recount tells all about Ultra Magnus and even mentions Wheelie's spotlight, even though both are ultimately irrelevant to the later story (but neglects to mention Kup's dilemma, which is at least peripherally related). We also get some odd time-line choices--like how Thunderwing was mysteriously reactivated (when we know Bludgeon did it) and then mentions Bludgeon afterward. If this were a recount from the Autobots' perspective that would make sense but there's no indication given here that it's from anyone's "side". Scorponok creates Headmasters on Earth then comes to Earth after that (if one is unfamiliar with the actual stories, that is the impression you'd get). Also, Skywatch created the Headmasters (even though it was actually The Machination. Apparently either Schmidt didn't re-read those old issues or he just figured all the human groups in Furman's stories were one and the same--when they really weren't). There's also a lot of "it is said that this happened" and "it is believed that" type of thing in this issue when stuff could either be nailed down or ignored. Megatron Origin did happen in the IDWverse--there's no maybe or if about it. Also, as Walky pointed out, all the current characters were there when the Great War started and Optimus Prime became leader. If he didn't want to tell the story because of possible future conflicts, why not have written in a way so as to avoid mentioning those points? I mean, duh! In closing, I'm surprised Andy Schmidt gets to write or edit IDW stuff at all. He doesn't seem to care about those important details that make or break a story (see the non-existent editing on All Hail Megatron) and even his prior attempts at doing stories in IDW's TF-verse have been pretty mediocre attempts to set-up future events rather then tell a good story.

Oh yeah, I like the cover for the most part. Spike on the cover reminds me of Wil Wheaton (aka Wesley Crusher) for some reason.

Final Verdict: Pass.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

RFC interviews Joe Eibe

Joe Eibe, also known as the infamous Metalhawk guy, was once a fine member of our very own Transmasters organization in it's early years. This week on Radio Free Cybertron the staff interviews Joe Eibe himself!

Please tune your browser to www.tfradio.net and check it out!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Where did all the Ads go?

This a little bit off-topic but I finally took the plunge today and went ad free on my personal website, www.karmicsalt.com (I'd been considering doing that for a LONG time now). So, no more banner ads for the next twelve months! :-D

www.karmicsalt.com


(Also, the site is eventually going to show up as "karmicsalt.org" instead of "angelfire.com/etc." It's technical but I had to use the .org extension because I already had .com and .net registered and couldn't transfer them through to Lycos. At any rate, karmicsalt.com, karmicsalt.net and karmicsalt.org will all work--but the .org one needs a couple of days to get into the DNS servers so it won't work just yet. Confused yet? Good! :)


Thunder

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

TF Comic Scripts...

I did up a TF comic script a while ago with the intention of drawing it up. It's been about a year and I still haven't gotten around to it. I decided to just post it on my site and get that done... Also, a friend and I had come up with a new idea for IDW's TF Evolutions comic and I wrote up a four issue script project for it. I just got an email back from Chris Ryall today that rejected it (supposedly Evolutions is on indefinite hold now. The answer was different at BotCon 08 though. Back then, they made it seem as if they might do more with the right script). Anyhoo, I decided to post that as well...


Both script projects can be found here:

http://www.karmicsalt.com/losttftales.html



Comments are always welcome, be they positive or negative.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Thoughts on the IDW comic...

In November, we get an ongoing Transformers comic series written by Mike Costa. I felt it was prudent to take this opportunity to look back at where we've been.

The AHM Coda went for four issues and to be perfectly honest, I felt like the whole thing was largely a waste of time. We had:
- #13: Optimus Prime/Starscream
- #14: Sunstreaker/Galvatron
- #15: Kup/Perceptor
- #16: Spike/Bumblebee

Of all of these stories, I think I liked Optimus Prime's the best. Even still, it was filler. Starscream, Galvatron, Spike and Bumblebee's stories seem to exist to set-up future stories (which the ongoing could've done anyway). Sunstreaker, Kup and Perceptor's stories could have--and should have--been explained in the main AHM story. Not doing so was just lazy writing on someone's part (or lazy editing. Either way, someone dropped the ball. There was more then enough time in the twelve issue series to fit these plot points in there, even if they only got a few lines addressing them). Done as a coda, it helped fill a four month gap before the next iteration of things.

I get a feeling that IDW doesn't entirely know what to do with Transformers. Unlike G.I.JOE, which seemed to have a plan from the get-go (if you're a fan and haven't checked it out, you really should). Despite numerous fan comments about getting an ongoing series, IDW insisted on sticking with it's tried and true mini-series approach to start with. Infiltration/Escalation/Devastation/Revelations was a decent storyline and continuity although it's clear that Simon Furman is best at an ongoing not mini-series. All of those comics ran into each other and didn't really feel like minis anyway. The spotlight comics, by contrast, were much better from the get-go (for the most part--ignoring turkeys like Mirage or Metroplex).

Transformers Evolutions
was a great comic concept but Dixon's story could've been a bit better and to-date we've seen no follow-up series which makes me suspect it didn't sell as well as IDW expected. Maximum Dinobots was Furman's last multi-issue arc to-date and his most on the ball one. Sadly, nothing came of it ultimately (that is, it didn't really change anything).

On the other hand, we have Shane McCarthy's All Hail Megatron series. It seems like IDW seized upon his story as an attempt at a mini-reboot. Suddenly, all the carefully updated forms from their previous series were gone (and even now there's been no explanation for why in the actual story). Also, Furman's three humans were pushed aside and Hunter O'Nion was killed off entirely. AHM had some good points--like good attempts at characterization of the Transformers characters but this came at the expense of making the story far longer then it needed to be. The story could easily have been told in six to nine issues--it didn't need to be padded out to twelve.

With the announcement that Costa is doing the ongoing series, I can only assume that my supposition that Furman was cast out is correct (or perhaps he's simply too busy--but that's never stopped him before). Whether they did it harshly or diplomatically, it's clear he's gone in favor of new talent. My only experience with Mike Costa to-date is his G.I.JOE: Cobra mini-series and it's been very good. Edgy, character developing and worth waiting for the next issue. Which is good because my interest in TF media is at an all-time low--there's no cartoon and the previous comics haven't excited me like the old Marvel series used to. Granted, I'm older but the newer comics have not lived up to their history either.

I'm going to give Mike Costa's Transformers an issue or two--and that's it. If my attention is waning, then I'll drop back to picking up the odd TPB of the series. I've wasted enough money on IDW's mostly mediocre efforts so far. I do hope the new series ignores the Quintessons, Unicron and anything too fan-ficky for it's own good (not using Spike and Sparkplug would've been another good decision. As it is, their inclusion now feels like bowing to fan pressure). I want good characters, good plot and some actual change to come of the story. Mostly, I want to be entertained--like any good story should do.

Comic Review...


Transformers: All Hail Megatron #16

Writers: Mike Costa, Zander Cannon
Artists: Guido Guidi, Chee

(covers by Guido Guidi and Chee)


Summary:
Story one
begins with Spike Witwicky in a full body cast in a hospital. He is greeted by a Colonel and two UN men. They ask how he got here and he relates a story how he was part of a team hunting down Decepticon/Transformers survivors in the ruins of New York. They had found Thrust previously and this time were pursuing Ravage, who was hiding out in a building. Spike finds him and takes him down, but not before falling through the floor and injuring himself first. The men ask if he wants to join Skywatch, which has been completely revamped of late. He agrees and learns the new Skywatch commander is none other then his father!
Story two is about Bumblebee. He's hiding out in the ruins of a Earth city somewhere, trying to evade a human strike team out to get TFs. However, while hiding, he realizes there are humans at risk and risks his own life to save them before their building collapses. Meanwhile, the hit squad use his distraction to try and destroy him. Before they succeed, Optimus Prime and the Autobots arrive and save him. Ratchet later tells him they found him by monitoring the humans comm channels--Prime knew that sooner or later Bumblebee wouldn't be able to resist showing himself to save someone.

Comments:
Story one
is by Mike Costa, a rising star at IDW--having written the very good GIJOE: Cobra mini-series. It's a decent little tale and the art is okay. I do wonder why Soundwave would've left Ravage behind on Earth, though. Thematically, he was in earlier AHM and a foil for the humans. I get that. But why Soundwave would leave one of his loyal pets behind with no concern seems out of character for him. Mildly recommended.
Story Two is by Zander Cannon (I have no idea who half the writers IDW uses are. Pros? Fans?) It's also a decent little tale about Bumblebee being heroic and embuing the Autobot principles. Mildly recommended.

The issue as a whole: Mildly Recommended.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

TFUK Titan comic review: issue 2.4



Titan Transformers UK issue 2.4, October 2009.

Script: Simon Furman
Art: Jon Davis-Hunt

backup story:
Sript: Shane McCarthy
Art: Guido guidi

Trying something new here....don't hold your breath if this doesn't work....

I recieved this comic by post on wednesday the 23 september. I glanced over my 2 free gifts, which are a yellow and black push powered 'missile launcher' including 1 'missile' and a bag of sweets, the latter i quickly removed because i hate that stuff when attached to the cover of a comic that I want to keep.

Onto the cover itself, it's really just stock footage of Ironhide I suppose, too bad they couldn't use a proper artist but then again: What's the use of art when it's partially hidden behind the free gifts ?

On page 5 begins the main story set firmly before Revenge of the Fallen, "New Tricks" which features Ravage who has to interrogate Skids and Mudflap because they have information concerning 'the second coming of our master'. right.

We move to a training session very similar to the Xmen(tm) Danger room featuring Skids and Mudflap who are being re-trained by Sideswipe. He is later subdued by Ravage who then chases after Skids and Mudflap who ultimately defeat him by setting a trap. Sideswipe laters confronts Skids and Mudflap and cannot believe the base was infiltrated, when asked to show the captured Ravage, they opened his cage only to find out that he escaped, adding more to the disbelief Sideswipe already has for the twins.
It ends with Soundwave catching a comment that neither Skids nor Mudflap are quite what they claim to be. Interesting.....

So, I liked this story, The UK movie comic seems to concentrate more on Skids and Mudflap since the restart 4 issues ago, giving them decent characterisation. Also I think mr Furman has a relaxed time here, what is essentially a lower profile comic compared to the US titles, enabling to tell more background and generally build story. COmpared to the first 25 issues that went before, where most issues were a bit rushed, it really seems that some classic moment is coming. Time will tell ofcourse. And the Art I REALLY like ! consistent art instead of different artists every issue, a blessing !
7,2 out of 10

Followed by articles:
Quarter past Megatron - a recap of 25 years Transformers history.
Message in a battle - a Megatron birthday card. LOL.

the back up story: All Hail Megatron
continuing issue 3 of the US series, starting with page nine 9 till the end.
( Great Art by Guidi, read Tony's review for something more indept, sept 23, 2008)

2 Posters, One with Ironhide cover art and one with the AHM 4 by Trevor Hutchison.
4 competitions to win voyager figures, Nintendo DS games, and books by Steve Feasey and Jill Marshall.

a 2 page profile on Ravage.

a couple videogame reviews, Wii resorts, The Beatles rockband and RooGoo.(no idea)

a personality test"Which Transformers are you ?"

the letterpage(law and disorder)/horoscope(starscreams stars)

That's it.

-Johan
(hope you don't mind me 'lending'your layout tony....)

Monday, September 21, 2009

Just a heads up

Hey guys, just wanted to spread the word that Radio Free Cybertron has been back on the air since mid summer running full steam and even with a new sister show to boot!

If any of you would like to check us out, were still at TFradio!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

A Shameless Post

OK, well I do not know why I do not receive messages for posts from our blog. Sorry for my absence. Between work, school and life things are just too busy. I can not wait for this last year of the college work for my BA to be over.

I am selling off my Transformers collection, yes again. If you are interested you can see some at
http://shop.ebay.com/transmasterpete/m.html?_dmd=1&_ipg=50&_sop=12&_rdc=1 or pass it along if you know someone that might. I also have Alternators, Armada, Energon, Cybertron, TF Movie, Animated and a few G1-G2/BW left. Most have package and
instructions.Yea I know I spent too much on plastic, LOL.

I am trying to get the funding to make a trip to China. I can't believe all the paper work involved. Ha ha.

Hope you are all doing well. Take care.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Comic Review...


Transformers: All Hail Megatron #13
(aka Coda #1)


Story #1: Old Ways

Writer: Simon Furman
Artist: Don Figueroa

(Covers by Don Figueroa and Chee Yang Ong)

Synopsis: Ironhide and Optimus Prime are on Cybertron (presumably) chilling out when Ironhide tells him he doesn't think he can go on anymore. Prime sympathizes and we get a flashback to when Optimus first took over command of the Autobots. Ironhide told him point blank that he didn't think Optimus had the wits about him to be the commander. Prime tells him to be his consellor then and teach him what he needs to know. In the present, Ironhide tells him he learned well from him and that took guts on Prime's part. We get another flashback, later on in the war, when Ironhide advises Prime during a battle to retreat west. Prime decides to go east instead--and it turns out he is correct, since the Decepticons expected the Autobots to go west and sent in Trypticon to take them out. In a final flashback, Prime and Ironhide are dangling from a cliffside. Ironhide tells him he's wounded and to let Prime leave him be. Prime is stubborn and rescues Ironhide anyway... In the present, Prime tells him he's free to leave, but both the Autobots and he himself will be diminished without Ironhide's presence. Ironhide smiles and decides to stay.

Comments: A short and simple story. It really is the best Optimus Prime story IDW has ever done, highlighting why Optimus Prime is the undisputed leader of the Autobots. He respects his troops, is confident in his decisions and knows the right thing to do. An ideal leader and far too often recently we haven't seen enough of this side of Prime. The writers and fans seem to fixate too much on Prime's internal self doubt all the time and this was refreshing in contrast. My one complaint is the art style Figueroa was trying out here. It's too reminiscent of the recent TF movies--beady eyes on the robots and too much uber detail. I much prefer his classic style instead.
***

Story #2:
Uneasy Lies the Head

Writer: Mike Costa
Artist: Chee Yang Ong

Synopsis: Shrapnel summons Starscream to come see about Megatron. We learn that Megatron is still just barely functional. Starscream suggests to Soundwave that they let Megatron die, but Soundwave won't have it. Starscream tells Shrapnel later that he'd just jettison Megatron's body if he didn't have a nagging feeling he'd return somehow, even more powerful then before. Starscream looks to the Matrix nearby and thinks how Megatron wasted his time seeking it out--what good is it? He goes to flush it out an airlock but Shrapnel stops him since its such an important artifact. This gives Starscream an idea--he addresses his warriors and tells them he has unlocked the Matrix's unlimited power. Soon, all their enemies will fall before them! He retires to plan and there we learn he's just faking it and seems in over his head.

Comments: A bizarre contrast in character here. In the previous issue, Starscream was all protective of Megatron's fallen body, insisting that he couldn't be leader because he hadn't earned it through treachery (which seemed out of character for him). Now, he seems to want to just wipe Megatron out and be the leader (which is in character for him). I know, it's different writers but how hard is to get on the same page with the stories? Yeesh! Also, does this mean Starscream will be in charge ultimately or will he have to worry someone will see him as the coward he is under it all and challenge him? It will be interesting to see where things go. The art is more paint-style then normal but not bad for what it is.


Story #1: Highly Recommended. Story #2: Mildly recommended.
The issue as a whole: Recommended.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Comic Review...

Transformers Spotlight:
Metroplex

Writer:
Andy Schmidt
Artist: Marcelo Matere

(Covers by Marcelo Matere and Guido Guidi)

Summary:
Set before AHM #1, the Throttlebots help guard some kind of research on a remote space station. The station is attacked by Sixshot, who kills everyone except them as they've already escaped in a shuttle. Two planets away, they find a Cybertronian base and are shot down near it... Sixshot pursues them and makes short work of the team. As he's about to execute Searchlight, a giant fist appears out of the ground and squashes him. Then it does it again when Sixshot tries to attack. The fist belongs to Metroplex, who transforms into his enormous robot mode. Metroplex tells the Autobots that there is a shuttle they can use--he cannot help them beyond this as he is protecting "it". He transforms to battle station mode and evacuates the planet... Goldbug hopes that whatever Metroplex's mission is that it's worth it--they may have already lost the war, if recent reports are true. Epilogue: Sixshot's mangled body begins to move... Also, this story mentions in passing that Sixshot's been restored after his encounter with "Jiaxus" (spelt wrong for some reason).

Comments:
The image of the enormous Metroplex character in this comic is awesome to look at. Also, that Goldbug exists in this continuity separate from Bumblebee is cool and logical. Beyond that, I can't say much good about this issue. The art is nice, of course, but story is threadbare at best. Who is Metroplex? Why is he so big and why is he there hiding out? What exactly is he protecting and why? We never come close to finding out, despite the fact this is called "spotlight Metroplex". It's a great story fragment but a small piece of a story that may or may not be followed up upon is not in itself a great story. It's not even a good story... Andy Schmidt is another writer I've never heard of and if this an example of his writing, perhaps he go back to the proverbial drawing board and learn how to write before doing more.

Pass.




***
Transformers: All Hail Megatron #12

Writer: Shane McCarthy
Artist: Guido Guidi

(Covers by Casey Coller and Trevor Hutchison)


Summary: The battle rages! Sideswipe beats Bombshell silly while Kup tangles with Skywarp. Omega Supreme takes out Devastator nearby (and the Statue of Liberty while he's at it). Optimus and Megatron beat each other up while Spike watches nearby (Megatron is his target). Megatron subdues Prime long enough to order a retreat before the nuclear bomb Tankor is carrying arrives. Spike shoots then, injurying Megatron and Prime finishes putting him down in a final strike. Starscream throws a fit and grabs Megatron's body then, telling them he must protect Megatron. Decepticon leadership is taken by force, not magically offered up. He and the Decepticons retreat then... The Autobots wonder how they will stop the nuclear bomb and Thundercracker appears, volunteering to stop it. Drift thinks he's joined their ranks but Thundercracker rebukes him--he's not traitor to his cause. But there is no honor in this kind of victory. He retrieves the nuke and sends it to space where it detonates harmlessly. Skywarp executes him for helping the Autobots out. Prime offers the humans help in rebuilding but Spike says humanity will never welcome the Autobots help now... finally, Sideswipe finds what's left of Hunter O'Nion and turns off his life support as a sort of final goodbye to his lost brother (we read Spike's rebuke to Prime over these panels as well...)

Comments: Not quite the ending I was expecting. True, we got a payoff but there almost seemed to be a deliberate effort involved to make the Autobots feel like losers so the Decepticons can fly off in some kind of romantic ending thing. Many of the loose ends tied up here almost seemed forgotten over the course of the twelve issues, only to be quickly brought back now and tied off. The Sideswipe/Bombshell thing, the Hunter resolution, Thundercracker's reckoning... Minor nitpick: Tankor? It's Octane, dammit! Stop changing the long established characters to match the toy names! Hot Rod escaped it somehow but Roadblock in G.I.JOE wasn't so fortunate--he is now and forever more known as Heavy Duty (boo!). Starscream's actions make no sense in this story. They work in context with what's gone before here but clearly Starscream is not some romantic character willing to wait for the right time and place to succeed Megatron, as illustrated in early IDW stories as well as everywhere else too. He'd more likely make certain Megatron was dead here then assume command, not valiantly protect him (assuming he's not already dead anyway). IDW's stories need more game changing events too--kill Megatron and let Starscream have his day. Let the story evolve and move along, don't keep trying to maintain the status quo just to make the fans happy. A story where nothing really happens is a waste of time. If Optimus Prime has any brains, he'll pick up and abandon Earth rather then wasting any more time there since clearly the humans won't want any help from him anyway (despite this fact, I'm sure he'll waste time trying). Here's hoping in the future that they write better stories and make them faster paced then this.

Mildly recommended.



***
Transformers Spotlight:
Cliffjumper

Writer: Shane McCarthy
Artist: Robby Musso

(Covers by Robby Musso and Don Figueroa)


Summary: Cliffjumper crashes on some alien world and encounters a young woman and her brother. They invite him to stay since they're alone here... Cliffjumper helps them fix up their farm some. He is also wary the Decepticons are out there still and might follow him at some point... They do indeed arrive one day and injure Kita when she goes to save her brother Coll from a Decepticon who thinks nothing of trying to shoot the indigeneous life forms. Cliffjumper goes all die-hard and takes out three of the Decepticons in the nearby forest. Kita pleads with the Decepticon commander to spare Cliffjumper. He grabs her and uses her as bait to lure Cliffjumper out. He comes out and the Decepticon commander reveals that the Autobots are no better then the Decepticons are, which disenchants Kita with Cliffjumper. He throws her aside and throws a couple of grenades the aliens' way, forcing Cliffjumper to run and cover them as best he can. Both fleshlings are rendered unconscious by the blast and C.J. takes them to the barn for cover. Kita is revealed to be seriously injured and C.J. tells them he'll be back. Outside,
the Decepticons reinforcements have arrived... at first, their commander scoffs at the first Decepticon's assessment of Cliffjumper--until he hears the description of Cliffjumper and becomes alarmed. By then, Cliffjumper charges them, guns ablaze. He presumably takes them all out and gains their ship... Kita dies and he takes Coll to a new couple of his species and leaves him behind with them.

Comments: An okay spotlight story with fairly nice artwork... I'm a fan of Cliffjumper myself (he was my first ever official Transformer) but I have to concede that it's difficult to tell a 22 page story based around him. His personality is essentially, "I'm tough and aggressive", which is not much to work with really. It's fine for a tech spec but not for a short story... McCarthy does an adequate job all things considered. The "sheltered soldier" story angle has been done countless times but this was a decent retreading.

Mildly recommended.



Monday, June 08, 2009

Comic Review...


Transformers: All Hail Megatron #11

Writer: Shane McCarthy
Artist: Guido Guidi

(covers by Casey Coller and Trevor Hutchison)

Summary: Spike tries to ditch the other humans but they tell him they're all in this together. He tells them to follow him... in the background, Devastator takes on several Air force jets. Megatron brags to Starscream how he knew this attack was coming and it's all part of the plan, etc. He is startled, however, when Optimus Prime and the Autobots arrive and attack. Omega Supreme arrives and nails Devastator. Optimus orders him to take the battle elsewhere. He grabs his enemy and flies them off. Prime confronts Megatron and the two exchange words... Prime warns him to leave Earth alone while Megatron tells him these innocents he wants to save are planning to come kill them all with a nuke. Elsewhere, some of the U.S. army's equipment escapes and transforms. General Sparkplug realizes that if they had spies among his ranks all along then... is the nuke safe? The scene cuts to the plane with the bomb and the prominent Decepticon symbol on the console.

Comments: Another part of the story and another battle. The final movement is afoot and the resolution is coming. It's nice to see the Autobots arrive and finally kick some butt... of course, in the grand scheme, will this mean anything or will the status quo re-assert itself after the story's over? The art's pretty good, as it has been for the majority of the series. I await next issue's finale.

Recommended.

***
Transformers Timelines #4

Writer: Rik Alvarez and Forest Lee
Artist: Guido Guidi and Dan Khanna
(cover by Alex Milne)

Summary: The first two pages could be lifted directly from Transformers: The Movie, with the Autobot shuttle under attack. Kup and Hot Rod dodge the Sweeps while the Dinobots hope Kup will tell them a story. After the shuttle hides, Kup does just that. He reveals his first mission--to Beta Nine. Kup is a young Autobot who is part of a team of Autobots on a ship called the Eight Track. They get orders from Command, telling them to go to Beta Nine and retrieve a cylinder from a downed ship before the Decepticons get it. The information in it could turn the tide of the brewing war. Once reaching the world, the Decepticons ambush them and the ship crashes to the surface. The team start out for the other ship but are hit by the Decepticons. Kup is cut off from the others where Banzaitron and two of his minions attack him. He escapes when they're distracted. Elsewhere, Thunderclash leaves Flak and Landshark behind, having Skyquake pursue him. Kup reaches the downed Autobot ship and retrieves the cylinder. Banzaitron gets the drop on him but Thunderclash strikes him as he arrives, buying them a few minutes. Kup gives Banzaitron the cylinder when he demands it, not realizing it's actually a bomb. It explodes and the Autobots demands the Decepticons surrender. The flashback is interrupted as Hot Rod and Kup's shuttle is attacked again. Together with the Dinobots, they make short work of Scourge, Cyclonus and the Sweeps. In the past, Kup's team are awarded status as the first of the all new "Elite Guard". The case is revealed to have had something to do with Optimus Prime's creation and has fallen into Alphatrion's hands.

Comments: An adequate story, as all of the recent BotCon comics have been. They're basically there to help sell the toy set for that year, which this comic does as well as anything. It's far from the most engaging story but they did only have 22 pages to work with (and these aren't really A-list comic writers, so...) I did have some issues with the comic: Why is the Autobot ship called the "Eight Track"? Why is the other Autobot ship called the "Van De Graaff"? And why does Leozack come across like a bizarre Asian stereotype? This stuff makes sense to a human reading or writing the comic, but why would an alien culture employ these Earth-specific things? I know, I know--it's just a comic. But to my sensibilities, little in-jokes or references in stories should make sense in-context rather then take the reader out of the story by disrupting their logic. I mean, if the Autobots had been to Europe and were all fluent in German(or Dutch--whatever), Van De Graaff would make sense. But as it is, it's just stupid. (I would also like to admit a bias here against Forest Lee and Rik Alvarez. I hate Lee's writing at the best of time and I personally don't like Alvarez). The story also implies that the Quintessons shot down the first Autobot ship by having Kup see one partially off-frame but naturally doesn't bother to explore this any further.

Mildly Recommended.
***
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

Writer: Simon Furman
(based off the screenplay by Robert Orci, Alex Kurtzman and Ehren Kruger)
Artist: Jon Davis-Hunt
(cover artist/designer unknown)


Summary: On prehistoric Earth, a robot picks up a human and examines it. It looks off to the distance and it's base/ship. It proclaims how soon all life here will be gone! In the presence, the humans and Autobots attack a couple of Decepticons in Shanghai. They take out their enemies and report back in... In America, Sam packs up his stuff and gets a call from Mikaela. They talk and as he picks up his favorite shirt, he touches an Allspark fragment left behind on it and has some kind of flash. The fragment falls into his kitchen below and brings three machines to life. Bumblebee rushes in and attacks them, accidentally leveling the house in the process. Later, Sam gives Mikaela the spark fragment and tells her to keep it secret and safe. Elsewhere, the Autobots and humans have a discussion--apparently, the Decepticon incursions are getting worse instead of easing. One of the human leaders suggests maybe the Autobots should leave Earth and then the Decepticons might follow. Prime counters with, what if they don't? Elsewhere, Soundwave is spying on the transmission from space (in his satellite mode). Sam goes to college and meets his wacky new roommate. Another neighbor nearby is an attractive blonde girl--she hits on Sam but he's too moral to fall under her graces. Elsewhere, Ravage steals an Allspark fragment... Sam is taken to Optimus Prime, who explains he has great potential to help them--but Sam tells them he's just a regular guy. He turns and leaves... elsewhere, Ravage and Frenzy go into the ocean and reactivate Megatron with the Allspark fragment!

Comments: Surprisingly, this didn't read too badly as a comic. I know if I saw in the theater I wouldn't care for it that much... I have no intention of seeing this movie when it comes out, as it looks like more of the same from the first time around. The art was pretty good--I'm not familiar with this artist. (This comic was free at the Hasbro booth at BotCon 09, incidentally).

Mildly recommended.

Friday, June 05, 2009

BotCon 2009 Report!

My BotCon 2009 report is now done! You can check it out here...

www.karmicsalt.com/bc09report.htm

and the pics at:

http://s114.photobucket.com/albums/n245/tkthunder/botcon%202009/

(three options on the left side of the screen to choose from).


It's a bit long winded, but oh well. That's how I roll baby! :)

Enjoy!
Thunder

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Transformers Season One

Transformers Season One is coming to DVD on June 16, 2009.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Comic Review...


Transformers: All Hail Megatron #10

Writer: Shane McCarthy
Artist: Guido Guidi and Emiliano Santalucia

(covers by Casey Coller and Trevor Hutchison)

Summary: Megatron and Bombshell discuss the space bridge newly built in New York City and how it will help usher in the new order. Shortly after, Starscream and his cronies appear to challenge Megatron--who has seen this coming. On Cybertron, the Autobots await the Swarm's next attack. Prowl doesn't estimate their odds as being very good while Prime admits to Tracks that he's scared--but he'd rather face this then one of Kup's drills. The Swarm attack then... The Decepticons attack Megatron, who easily fends them off and tells Starscream he's been waiting for him to make his move and decide what side he was truly on--Megatron's or his own. Then, the Constructicons attack him! The Autobots fight the Swarm but are slowly being overwhelmed... then Omega Supreme arrives and forces the Swarm into a retreat. He transforms and takes the others to Earth. Megatron battles Devastator and goads him on.
Nearby, the other Decepticons notice a squad of jets filling the air and realize the humans are fighting back.

Comments: A good issue, in the sense that stuff happens. Also, we get some decent characterization from the characters (all of them in general) and some good plot elements. I really don't have much critical to say about this issue. I do hope Megatron defeats Devastator though--there is more then one precedent for a leader being able to do this (Megatron in Transformers #25 against Predaking and Optimus Prime against Monstructor in Spotlight Prime. Also, Prime against Devastator in the cartoon, Heavy Metal War all come to mind). One criticism, actually... the whole space bridge thing. Really? Is that the best they could do? I'm so tired of plots revolving around building a space bridge, blowing up a space bridge or taking control of a space bridge network. It's as bad as using the Quintessons or Unicron as the ultimate evil constantly. I don't want to waste money on comics that rehash the same tired plots that were new when I was ten. I want new ideas now, new directions. Not the same old thing because someone was too tired to think of something new and cool, or because they want to do a homage of some sort. Otherwise, though, a good issue.

Recommended.


*********

Transformers: Maximum Dinobots #5 (of 5)

Writer: Simon Furman
Artist: Nick Roche and James Raiz

(covers by Nick Roche and Marcelo Matere)

Summary: Sludge appears to be dead. Grimlock feels responsible and Snarl saves him from being blasted by Scorponok. Scorponok tells them they've ruined everything and he will have to move on and begin again somewhere new--once he's dealt with them, of course. Shockwave takes the heat off the Autobots while attacking Scorponok himself--he will have vengeance himself. The Dynobots want to cut and run but Grimlock is determined to see this through to the end and tells them so--he's staying, no matter what. Hot Rod agrees, leaving the Dynos there. Grimlock tries to resuscitate Sludge while Shockwave and Scorponok continue their battle. Shockwave bests him and allows him to retreat, further ticking Grimlock off. Hot Rod gets below ground and finds Scorponok's original head... Hunter is there too and tells him to disconnect it, thus rendering Scorponok disabled. However, Scorponok stops him before he can act. On the surface, Grimlock and Shockwave continue their battle... the other Dynobots come back to give him a hand. Slludge recovers as well (thanks to Grimlock's efforts earlier) and joins them. Meanwhile, Shockwave uses Soundwave to permanently disable the self-destruct system Skywatch implanted in his head. Simultaneously, he uses his knowledge of Soundwave's transformation lock to disable it and allow him to be free as well (this happens remotely, incidentally). Grimlock uses a grenade to blow up the building he and Shockwave have gone into and stop him. Nearby, the other Dynobots find Hot Rod and Scorponok and disable his head, thus shutting him down for good. Just then, Ultra Magnus arrives and tells them he'll help them clean up the mess. Epilogue: Sunstreaker is in a CR chamber and will be okay while Hunter's had his connection dampened as Ratchet doesn't know enough about the tech to safely remove it all. Verity and Jimmy are happy to see Hunter once again and tell him so. Ultra Magnus takes Scorponok, Shockwave and Grimlock away to face justice... he tells Grimlock his own sentence should be off-set some by his assistance in capturing the other two. Grimlock is happy to finally be owing up to his own responsibility. Back on Earth, the remaining Dynobots repair their ship and prepare to leave...

Comments: A decent ending to the story--certainly better then Revelations ending was for that overall arc. I can't say this story blew me away or really changed anything in a serious way but it was a good distraction for what it was. I think I would've preferred Scorponok or Shockwave actually dying in the end so it all mattered more--but Furman chose the safe way and kept his story options open instead. Oh well... The art was a mixed bag. I like Nick Roche's style generally and I like James Raiz's art too. But combined together, they just don't work... the art styles clashed badly. Whoever drew Jimmy and Verity, the art was awful and the characters were unrecognizable (their hair was the right colors but...) I don't know why it's so hard to get an artist to commit to drawing five issues of one title. I hate this whole mix-and-match thing IDW keeps doing. All in all, a decent TF story...

Recommended.





















Friday, April 24, 2009

WW 2009-08

It seems that the message Autobot Hotrider sent to his teammates got picked up by the Decepticon on guard duty, Mixmaster ! All communication is shown in "Internal message" blocks.

The next strip will be an Soundwave centered piece.

Since many of you may not have read the first parts I am providing an opportunity to catch up.
To download Warlog Weekly collected, click on this link.(3.10Mb)

Greetings,
Backbreaker.

Friday, April 17, 2009

WW 2009-07


Back from a 2 month hiatus, where the previous entry in this blog reveals some of the things to come, Warlog Weekly is going on again. As you may recall, before the valentine day special, Ratbat was going to answer Kasmun's (formerly Larry) questions. Now he does.


After the next 2 episodes(the weekly term seems out of place somehow...AHUM) the format will change a little, going from 1 to 2 stories per strip.

Since many of you may not have read the first parts I am providing an opportunity to catch up.
To download Warlog Weekly collected, click on this link.(2.74Mb)

Greetings,
Backbreaker.
...did anyone recognize the Autobot in the last panel ?(tip: he's from G2)

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Easter Surprise

Happy Easter to all !

just a little preview, the cover for the upcoming mini comic: Warlog spotlight PRIMUS, which should come out in june or july 2009. It seems I have somewhat of a fascination with the character and the comic deals with the purpose of PRIMUS.
The cover is a new version of one I did 2 years back, that one was pencilled in about 2 hours behind my pc while talking to someone via MSN....this version got a little more attention.
Enjoy your days and hopefully the image too !

greetings,
-Johan/backbreaker
....Warlog weekly returns end of the week......

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Comic Review...


Transformers Spotlight: Drift

Writer: Shane McCarthy
Artist: Casey Coller

(covers by Casey Coller and Guido Guidi)

Summary: A mysterious cloaked figure obtains some information from a woman and her bodyguards in an alien bar. She tells him to be careful--he's dealing with a Cybertronian cruiser. She touches his arm and realizes he is a Transformer as well. She is shocked by this revelation but he departs before she can do anything else. Outside, Drift abandons his cloak and uses the stolen information to hide in the docking bay the Decepticon ship is landing in. He waits and plans to strike but the guard are taken out instead by the Wreckers, lead by Kup (it's never really explained why he's suddenly in charge of them, but...) Drift joins their battle, fending off the Decepticon guard. The Wreckers rescue the captive Autobots aboard the ship but are ambushed by more Decepticons, lead by their commander, Turmoil. He recognizes Drift's voice and blasts at him, separating Drift and Kup from the others when they fall through a hole in the deck. The two speak briefly and we confirm Drift is a Decepticon defector... they go to overload the ship's drive. Turmoil tracks them there and Kup escapes while Drift goes to attack him. We learn Drift was once called Deadlock. Drift incapacitates Turmoil then races to find Perceptor's downed form and rescues him narrowly in time to avoid the ship's destruction. Epilogue: Kup offers Drift a position in his new unit and Drift accepts, officially becoming an Autobot.

Comments: This was an interesting issue. The art was good and I liked both of the covers for a change. Storywise, it does a decent job of telling a story about Drift. We learn the basics about him and he gets to be a hero. We don't get much of a real sense of his personality and what's defined him, though. We read a fleeting comment about how an encounter with some third pacifist faction of Transformers changed his life and now he's trying to be a good guy. That's okay, but wouldn't actually telling us that back story have made for a better comic instead? Showing how he goes from a selfish brute to a selfless savant could've been just what we needed but instead we get this story that barely scratches the surface. Blurr's spotlight (also by McCarthy) did a good job in following his personality and his change-over but Drift's just tells us a story about him once it's already all over. Granted, every TF story shouldn't be about their early war switch-over from bad guy to good but it seems like the true meat of Drift's back story here is missed. On another note, I still don't see why they needed to invent Drift anyway--there's already a million Transformer characters out there. Surely they could've given one of them swords and did a story with them instead? All Drift seems to do is exist to be cool--he has short swords and one long sword *and* he becomes a drift racing car! Whoopie! It harkens back to the early days of TF fandom when everyone had an all powerful character codename that was best friends with Optimus Prime (or whatever the case was). It seems pointless to me.

Mildly recommended.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Comic Review...


Transformers: Maximum Dinobots #4

Writer: Simon Furman
Artists: Nick Roche and James Raiz

(covers by Nick Roche and Marcelo Matere)

Summary: On Earth, Ravage and Laserbeak retrieve Soundwave and take him to safety. There, he evaluates his limited options before Shockwave appears and offers to help him. In Dallas, Sunstreaker bursts into the Machination headquarters and Hot Rod comes out simultaneously. Hot Rod wants him to wait while he contacts reinforcements but Sunstreaker won't... Elsewhere, the Dynobots and Monsterbots fly toward Dallas. The Dynobots wonder if they can rejoin the Autobots or not--was their initial grudge match against Shockwave even sanctioned by command? Hot Rod gets a distress signal off and hopes someone somewhere hears it... Inside, Sunstreaker is shot in the back by Scorponok but Hunter escapes and hides. The Dynobots and Monsterbots arrive then and make short work of Scorponok's base defenses, while still having to face hundreds of Headmaster Sunstreaker units. Hunter finds Sunstreaker's original head meanwhile then pulls the plug on it, disabling all the Headmaster units everywhere. Scorponok confronts the Dynobots then and vows revenge--but Shockwave drops out of the sky and says vengeance will be his! And in deep space, Ultra Magnus has gotten Hot Rod's distress signal and realizes his old foe Scorponok has reappeared!

Comments: A busy issue on the cusp of the finale. In some ways, more could happen but it sets up the last issue well... I do wonder what will become of the Dinobots and Shockwave though since we haven't seen them at all in All Hail Megatron (of course, they could just be keeping them out of it on-purpose to keep from interfering with this story. But then again, why use Sunstreaker and kill him off before this story was finished? Kind of ruins the surprise here.) The art was by both Roche and Raiz and again I am annoyed by using two different artists. I like both of their styles individually but combined into one issue just doesn't work well for me.
All in all, a decent issue and I look forward to the finale.

Recommended.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Comic Review...


Transformers Spotlight:
Jazz

Writer: Josh Van Reyk and Shaun Knowler
Artist: E.J. Su

(covers by E.J. Su and Andrew Griffith)

Summary: The setting is Cybertron, during the Autobots hiatus in All Hail Megatron. As the troops are restless (specifically, Cliffjumper and Bumblebee), Tracks gathers them all together and relates a story from his early days in the Great War... His unit was attacked and destroyed on his first combat mission and his optics off-line from damage. Jazz retrieves him but their evac vessel is shot down by the Predacons before they can board it. Razorclaw and his unit watch them, deciding that they should take them out hand to hand instead of remotely
since it's more honorable. Tracks is sure they'll die out there but Jazz keeps his spirits up... the Predacons attack them then and he uses Tracks to distract them while he attacks from behind, taking out three of them in the ensuing battle. Jazz and Tracks escape long enough to hide from Razorclaw and Divebomb (I think). Jazz decides to take on the two remaining Decepticons himself to protect Tracks but he's so inspired by Jazz's heroism that he transforms and rams Divebomb, taking both of them off-line in the process. Jazz fights Razorclaw, who escapes when Autobot reinforcements show up. Tracks was never sure who that Autobot that saved him was--but he knew he inspired him and taught him about courage and what it means to be an Autobot. Many of the Autobots are listening to his tale and all are cheered up by his words. Jazz comes along afterward and tells him thanks for telling that story--it helped him out too.

Comments: This appears to be Tracks first real appearance in the IDW-verse (that is, his first relevant appearance. He was likely in the background somewhere before now). This is a simple tale that wraps up in one issue and I appreciate that aspect of it. It also has the Autobots without Optimus Prime doing something useful to keep their spirits up (instead of being helpless children without Optimus, like seems to be case usually). I like how not only is Jazz's reputation as a bad-ass in the IDW continuity reinforced but Tracks does something useful too for the first time in, um... forever, that I'm aware of (usually he just preens about his image). Not sure who the writers are (I'm leaning towards fans) but this is a solid tale.

Recommended.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Comic Review...


Transformers: All Hail Megatron #9

Writer: Shane McCarthy
Artists: Robert Deas and Emiliano Santalucia

(covers by Casey Coller and Trevor Hutchison)

Summary: The human survivors are assembled in a old department store and discuss things. There, they encounter Spike who explains why he's there--to obtain a prototype weapon and use it against Megatron. He needs their help--they know the city and the Decepticons movements. On Cybertron, Ironhide tries to apologize to Mirage but he understandably tells him off. Ratchet tells Kup everyone is up to full specs now but morale is non-existent. On Earth, Spike gets the prototype weapon. Outside Rumble attacks them and Spike leads him away on a motorcycle... he gets the drop on Spike but one of the other rebels shoots Rumble in the face then, taking him out. On Cybertron, the Autobots whine some more about their fates... On Earth, Soundwave retrieves the fallen Rumble. On Cybertron, Sideswipe whines some more and wonders what it's all been for, etc. Optimus Prime shows up then and rallies the troops, telling them they have to keep fighting no matter what, etc. On Earth, Spike contacts his father and finds out that the other nations are intent on nuking New York, no matter what he does.

Comments: There were different artists on this issue and their art was not so great... I would've preferred the entire series to have one artist. Failing that, at least good stand-in artists if Guidi is unavailable. I think modern comic companies generally put too much emphasis on art and not enough on story. Still, a notable change in style and/or poor art can really ruin a good story too (see many of the later Marvel G.I.JOE comics, for an example). Aside from that, not a lot really happened this issue after three issues of progress. Yeah, Optimus is back (somehow) and we saw more of Spike finally but otherwise, it was just more filler. More Autobot whining, more humans deliberating, etc. For the entire story, repairing Prime was impossible--now it's not? Huh? I wonder if they'll bother explaining that one or not... Also, this issue highlights a legitimate problem with G1 based Transformers stories--how the Autobots can't function without Optimus Prime to guide them. All they all idiots? Sheep with no minds of their own? It always seem to come back to Prime getting injured/dead and the Autobots being lost without him. Surely someone can pick up the slack. Otherwise, their side would have inevitably lost the war some time ago the minute the Decepticons figured out that all it took was killing Optimus off.
It really is time someone quietly abandoned the whole "Optimus is our everything, we are lost without him" thing and tried something new already.

Mildly recommended.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Hiatus until April 2009

...as the title implies I won't publish anything, Warlog or Otherwise until April 2009.
call it schedule hell......
-Johan

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Comic Review...


Transformers: All Hail Megatron #8

Writer: Shane McCarthy
Artist: Guido Guidi

(covers by Guido Guidi and Trevor Hutchison)

Summary: Flashback--Ratchet asks Sunstreaker how he is after being separated from Hunter. The other is unresponsive, lost in his own world. Now--Kup asks Ironhide what he was thinking, attacking Mirage like that. He tells him Mirage is not the traitor and tries to get through to him...They're interrupted as the Swarm has attacked their base and the others are outside fending them off. On Earth, Reflector destroys some humans while Starscream watches in disgust/fascination. He goes to the Insecticons and tells Bombshell he's sorry for Thundercracker's earlier behavior. He tells him they should talk (which means, a zany scheme to defeat Megatron is under way). Elsewhere, Perceptor and the others fight off the Swarm on the run. Perceptor shoots some explosives they'd rigged to slow the Swarm down. The Autobots reach a solitary bridge that when cut off will significantly slow down their pursuers. Perceptor is injured before he can destroy the bridge, leaving the others in a quandry. On Earth, Starscream tells someone off-panel that the time is now... On Cybertron, we learn Sunstreaker is willing to sacrifice himself to save the others. He tells Ironhide he is the traitor--he was willing to help Starscream take down Megatron, since Megs is such a monster. And he hates Earth and it's people (probably due to the Headmaster process). Just then, the Swarm shows up and attacks. Drift arrives and helps Ironhide get away while Sunstreaker sets off the explosives, destroying himself, the bridge and some of the Swarm. Later, Drift tells Ironhide that Sunstreaker couldn't have been the only spy--he simply couldn't have known all of the codes and such necessary. On Earth, Bombshell looks up at a machine. It contains Hunter O'Nion plugged into it!

Comments: Okay, I was wrong about Drift (which is good--that was too obvious anyway). Sunstreaker makes sense, all things considered. Even though he's technically dead, there were a million clones of him and Hunter is still alive, so... is he really dead? I wonder what Drift meant--was he referring to the element that Hunter represents or is there still another spy/somebody we haven't seen yet? I suspect the latter but we'll see... I also wonder if this was really all planned from the beginning or if they've been changing the story on the run. I'd initially heard this wasn't intended to be a mainstream continuity story but obviously it is. Was the initial idea different or was the story written and then altered later on to link up better with Furman's stuff? Not that it really matters, but... The art continues to be decent/good (this issue was all Guidi, thankfully. I hate it when more then one artist works on something, like with last issue).
Generally, I liked this issue and the story is improving immensely now that something is actually happening. Looking forward to next issue...

Recommended.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Comic Review...

Transformers: Maximum Dinobots #1

Writer: Simon Furman
Artist: Nick Roche

(covers by Nick Roche and Marcelo Matere)

Summary: The story catches us up on what has come before. Grimlock is stranded alone on Earth, his fellow Dinobots missing and his ship is damaged and unusable for the time being. He attempts to contact help--which will come, for a price. Meanwhile, Skywatch deploys the remaining "thunder lizard" units, believing the control problems they had with Grimlock and the Recordacons to be fixed now--little do they know Scorponok's minions have tricked them into playing right into their hands. Elsewhere, Sunstreaker and Hunter O'Nion have tracked down one Machination facility but come up empty. Sunstreaker is distraught that his real head is out there somewhere and under Scorponok's control. Hunter reassures him they'll find it and put things back to normal. Sunstreaker is repulsed by the idea of being a Headmaster while Hunter seems to be somewhat fascinated. Hot Rod tracks Scorponok to his base somehow but Scorponok knows he's there and is ready for him... Grimlock is attacked on a glacier (where his ship is) by a legion of multicolored Headmaster Sunstreakers. They attack his ship and he uses the distraction to take them on! Shortly after, one of them attaches a module to him and he is teleported away to Fallon, Nevada, where the other Dinobots are deployed to apprehend him.

Comments: One thing I can't fault Furman for here--stuff happens in this story, right off the bat. Compare this with the parallel series of All Hail Megatron, where the first five or so issues ran at a snail's pace (yeah, yeah. It works better in TPB format--so what? It should work as individual parts too). Thanks to AHM, we already know Sunstreaker is back to normal in the future which works against this story slightly. Roche's art is mostly pretty good--I don't care for his neo-Dinobot designs though. They just seem wrong to me. Once again, I'd just prefer the classic G1 designs and don't see why IDW must reinterpret everything (then ignore it in AHM anyway). The story is a good serial story so far. Furman is a classic style comic writer, doing an issue at a time of an overall arc, not this new-fangled crap of stretching out a threadbare story over multiple issues. I mean, it's not high art but it's entertaining and at least I didn't read this story and feel like I would've wasted my money buying it (I have a copy on the way too, so technically I did buy it).

Recommended.




***

(As previously stated, I've not seen this series in comic shops where I live, due to Diamond's screw-ups in sending adequate stock out. I do not have issue #2 but did luck out and find a sole issue of #3 at a comic store--finally).

Transformers: Maximum Dinobots #3

Writer: Simon Furman
Artist: Nick Roche

(covers by Nick Roche and Marcelo Matere)

Summary: Skywatch dispatches Shockwave to find the other units (the Dinobots and Recordacons respectively), intent on keeping him on a tight leash. He warns that he will still have more then enough time to cause lots of damage in the twenty four hours they've given him. The director of the operation and his subordinate look at each other worriedly. In Fallon, the Machination's clone Sunstreakers come to attack the Dinobots. The other Dinobots are tough and feel like Grimlock's abandoned them.... Swoop even starts to fly off. The Headmasters strike Grimlock then and eventually start wearing him down, prompting the other Dinobots to turn and aid him after all. Elsewhere, Scorponok watches along with the beaten Hot Rod... he tells him he wants to see all he's accomplished before he has Hot Rod put to death. Elsewhere again, Shockwave detects Soundwave's lifesigns and goes to investigate... the Dinobots are being hit with everything the Machination has at it's disposal. Just then, the Monsterbots show up and aid them. It turns out Grimlock called them for help--and they will help, in exchange for some price (which is not spelled out in the story). Elsewhere, Scorponok has tired of Hot Rod's insolence and orders him to be taken and executed. Once free of Scorponok, Hot Rod uses the last of his energy to take out his two Sunstreaker-clone sentries. He collapses and then Sunstreaker and Hunter arrive.

Comments: I've not read issue #2 so this is a bit jarring but it's not hard to figure out what happened in-between issues. The Dinobots fought, check. Hot Rod fought Scorponok and lost, check. This is very much a middle issue of the story with fights and plans and counter-plans... a typical Furman story, to be honest (which can be good or bad, depending on one's perspective). The art is consistently good (save for my complaints about how the Dinobots look). I do hope M.D. wraps itself up as much as possible and leads into the AHM-era without too much trouble (I know, I know. There's another series coming at some point to bridge the gap--but I meant wrap things up as much as reasonably possible, considering the overall continuity and such). I also forgot to mention that I like the multi-colored Sunstreaker clones--it helps distinguish them, of course, and may or may not be a Diaclone homage at the same time.
(I'm going a bit easy on this series because it was hard to find around here and I welcome another TF story fix in contrast to AHM, which I don't much care for).

Recommended.


Friday, February 13, 2009

WW 2009-06


Warlog Weekly 2009-06: valentine day Special
Featuring the everloving characters from Beastwars and BeastMachines, Botanica & Rattrap. Enjoy and have a nice day !


Since many of you may not have read the first parts I am providing an opportunity to catch up.

To download Warlog Weekly collected, click on this link.(2.4Mb)

Greetings, Enjoy, and see you soon !
-Johan

WW 2009-05


Warlog Weekly 2009-05: Kasmun part 03 - Enrichment part 04

recap:Soundwave arrives in Larry's cell -uhm- room. but suddenly there is a visitor.......We now proceed....


Since many of you may not have read the first parts I am providing an opportunity to catch up.

To download Warlog Weekly collected, click on this link.(2.4Mb)

Greetings, Enjoy, and see you soon !
-Johan

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Toy Review...

Transformers Universe (Classics series, G1)

Cyclonus


I haven't done a toy review in some time but I just got Classics Cyclonus and wanted to share some thoughts. The toy is already out in the States (and theoretically here or coming soon--but haven't seen it around where I live, so I bought a pricier one at a local toy shop that had it). I hope they do up a Scourge to go with this and Cla-Galvatron.

The Good: A nice toy all around. Looks like the Cyclonus of old (not some bad homage toy that has little in common with the original namesake). Relatively easy transformation (despite being a "level four" on the package). Stands easily and not too kibble-y (not that I worry about that all that much on my TFs, but...) The U.S. version is a dark purple and well suited to the character in my opinion (the Japanese one will be more of a powder purple color scheme. I have one on order too since both look nice). Good articulation and detailing. Comes with Nightstick Targetmaster partner--a nice touch and awesome! Adds to the play value of this piece. (Despite the pics below, Nightstick's leg are black, not grey).

The Bad: For a deluxe, this toy seems a bit smaller then the original Cyclonus toy was. Conversely, the original was a brick compared with this one so I think I'd rather have the added articulation as opposed to a bigger and more static toy. Left hand is a solid plastic piece with no hole, unfortunately, which means he can only hold his gun in the right hand (I'd rather have both open and see no reason why they didn't do that).

Verdict: Do yourself a favor: if you find this toy, BUY IT! IT IS AWESOME! It's every bit as good as the pictures make it appear.






(Japanese version)





(pics courtesy BBTS.com website. Visit BBTS.com for all the latest toys and collectibles today!)