Transformers: Bumblebee #3
Writer: Xander Cannon
(covers by Guido Guidi and Chee)
Summary: The Colonel and his cronies come to the Autobots hide-out and attempt to fix Bumblebee by giving him a new badge device, however this does not work (since it's not really Bumblebee but an inanimate car). Ratchet is given command for the time being and the humans return to their base to see what they can do. During the repair effort, the humans mention "Sanjay" and the Autobots quickly relay the information to the real Bumblebee, who tracks the scientist down and covertly befriends his little daughter at their house. Meanwhile, Ratchet vocally answers a question Cliffjumper texted so the humans couldn't overhear it... a human, Klonowski, hears that on the recordings and gets suspicious. Very quickly and easily, he decodes their texting system and finds out they're communicating covertly with Bumblebee. Bumblebee meanwhile scans a circuit board for the operation of the badges and relays the information to Ratchet and Wheeljack. Meanwhile, Skywarp continues his mad plan (whatever it is, exactly) and blows up a human laboratory. Bumblebee decides their only recourse is to hack the circuit board he has in his possession. He apparently succeeds--although the story does not clearly convey exactly what he has done. Bumblebee gives the board back to the little girl, transforms and leaves when she is gone. Unbeknownst to him, Skywarp appears in the sky above, tracking the board's signal...
Comments: I'm not clear what happens at the end there. Does Bumblebee succeed or not? The script is not clear on that point. If he didn't then why did he bother? If he did, then shouldn't the Autobots now be free? I also take issue with the human tech guy figuring out their covert text system in about five minutes. I know the humans are capable and smart but this is ridiculous! The Transformers are supposed to be high-tech alien machines! Even if they understand some of the technology now it still pushes it for them to be virtual experts on it so soon (if ever). Why not just devise a method to shut all the TFs worldwide down at once then? Yeesh! All of this story still reeks of an excuse to stretch out the story to sell more comics... oh well. It seems to be working--suckers like me are still buying it, aren't we?
(cover "B" by Chee)
Writer: Mike Costa
Artist: Don Figueroa
(covers by Don Figueroa and Andrew Wildman)
Summary: Thundercracker flies along, remembering the recent past. He survived the attack by Skywarp at the end of AHM and how he lived in the debris of New York for some time until his fellow Decepticons found him and repaired him. He is now allied with Hot Rod and the others. Swindle talks to Hot Rod and butters him up (swindling him? Heh, heh) and convinces him to let the Decepticons go get another Stunticon to help out their efforts in constructing a space craft to get off-world. During the discussion we learn the Transformers under Hot Rod are starting to call him "Rodimus Prime" and Hot Rod decides he likes the name (what is with IDW and needing to make all the characters' names conform to the toys?) Spike talks to his subordinate and worries about what he's going to tell his father--he's tried futilely to pump Optimus Prime for information and failed miserably. Back at the ship site, Ultra Magnus shows up and demands to know what's going on. He accuses the group of collusion with Decepticons and building an unauthorized ship to which Rodimus asks him who Magnus even reports to anymore. He tells Magnus to go home. Magnus capitulates for the moment but says "this is not over" and he'll be back. Swindle is impressed Rodimus stood up for him (Magnus planned to capture him). Nearby, Thundercracker watches and thinks Swindle is up to something and that the Autobots are blind for not seeing it. He thinks how the TFs are creatures of habit and will never truly change--not like the Humans. He sees how resilient Humanity is and how they weather adversity and learn, rebuilding and growing better in the process. When was the last time the TFs truly built anything? He goes into orbit and observes the planet then transforms and jets back down. He thinks how they have so much to learn from Earth--and yet all they want to do is fly away.
Comments: Are the Decepticons really up to something? Probably. It would be nice for a change if they were being honest though and just wanted to get the hell off of Earth. Either way, I suspect the ship will either get destroyed or the Decepticons might use it and abandon the Autobots there (it'd be cool if I'm wrong though). I wonder if Thundercracker will destroy the ship or, worse, lead the humans there under the belief that he's doing the right thing. Of course he's not entirely wrong but the road to hell is paved with good intentions, as they say. Of the three current books I think I am enjoying this series the most. Costa is managing to make it interesting without writing plots that insult the reader's intelligence. I do wish they would get on with it though. Even in this series it seems like we're taking forever to get to the point. Build-up is good--to a point. But eventually you have to execute on it or it's just a waste of time. I also noticed that Thundercracker is suddenly an F-22 again (like he was at the start of IDW). At least this time his repairs explain why he might have a new form, instead of it just happening out of the blue. Hoping the next issue has something substantial happen...
(cover "A" by Don Figueroa)