Saturday, July 14, 2012

Comic Review...

Transformers: Regeneration One #81

Writer: Simon Furman
Artist: Andrew Wildman

(covers by Andrew Wildman, Guido Guidi, Geoff Senior, Dan Khanna)

Summary: The TRANSFORMERS comic that began it all—is back. With a vengeance! 21 years have passed since CYBERTRON was restored to its former glory, and finally there is peace. But, after millions of years of bitter civil war, can all ever truly be one? In a conflict this primal, this epic and far-reaching… There are always “Loose Ends”!

Comments: And so it begins... we're officially introduced to the Wreckers in the start of this issue (or reintroduced, depending on your perspective). Very quickly we discover some G2 characters--the G2 Decepticon jets take over a facility. Page 8, panel 1--Terradive and Afterburner's word balloons are either switched or somebody forgot which character was who. I thought it was cool we see the Deluxe Insecticons for the first time ever this issue (at least, in the US series anyway. Not sure about the UK stories). One of the Wreckers is also G2 Leadfoot. So, all in all, points for using a variety of characters in this.
   There is a brief mention of Unicron and I really, really hope he doesn't come back--ever. One of Furman's strengths was finding new and cool ways to move the story forward (the Swarm, Liege Maximo and Jhiaxus). We don't need to retread the same old ground constantly and I would much prefer something new and exciting as an overall villain in this. I was a little surprised by the story's ending but know we'll get some answers in the next issue most likely.
   The artwork is classic Andrew Wildman. You either love him or you don't. I feel it fits in fine with the original run. Some of the color choices were a bit interesting though--Ultra Magnus with a yellow visor just looks wrong to me. It needs to be blue or silver, imo. Hot Rod is also red now instead of fuscha (which strikes me as wrong even though it's technically right) and Soundwave is his proper blue (not purple) which I'm fine with. I got all three of the covers that were available here ("A", "B" and RI-A. The Khanna cover wasn't here--but I didn't care for it anyway). I think Wildman's cover is my favorite of the three. It looks cool and is story relevant. 
   I was impressed by the fact I read through the issue, reached the end and didn't think, "that's it?" to myself. There's enough plot and set-up for the future here that I was sufficiently satisfied and looking forward to more. I'm not saying it's the greatest TF comic ever or Simon Furman is some kind of genius for writing it but I found it sufficiently entertaining (like I did with his classic run). Whether or not Regeneration One will become part of the classic TF lore in time is uncertain. We don't have enough of it yet to really judge it as a whole and there's still the whole shock-of-the-new aspect to it. There needs to be some time for it to truly settle in and then we can look back and see if it still holds up against the older content or not. For now, I like what I see, so that's something at least.

Verdict:  Excellent/Highly recommended.

Cover "A" by Andrew Wildman

Cover "B" by Guido Guidi

Retailer Incentive Cover "A" by Geoff Senior

Comic Review...

Cover "A" by Andrew Griffith
Transformers: Robots In Disguise #7

Writer: John Barber
Artist: Brendan Cahill
(covers by Andrew Griffith and Casey Coller)

Summary: DECEPTICON MONTH! Fan-favorite character TURMOIL returns from the dead-but what does he want on CYBERTRON? The AUTOBOTS don't want another DECEPTICON on their planet and the DECEPTICONS don't want things to get any worse... but what Wheeljack discovers about the DECEPTICON warlord will change everything!

Comments: The Decepticon Turmoil, who is a fan-favorite character (apparently. I barely remembered him.) returns to Cybertron with his ship and crew, pursuing peace. But he'd previously been a terrifying tyrant and nobody quite trusts him, including the moderates (Metalhawk and Starscream) in the government. Wheeljack decides to covertly investigate Turmoil's ship and finds some bizarre alien technology inside it...
   I was quite surprised this issue didn't continue the story thread started last issue about Orion Pax and his allies as it seemed like a clear set-up for a continuation. Presumably that's still coming at some point... Anyway, it was a reasonably good story. It does have a flaw in that it doesn't make Turmoil's true intentions clear. He builds a dangerous time dilation weapon and then comes to Cybertron to make nice? It doesn't really add up. He must have had some other intention in-mind but we don't learn what that might be. I presume we will soon...  I also hope we get to see more of what the main body of Decepticons is up to (if anything). This story, like MTMTE, needs an overall point or theme for it to migrate toward.
   The drawing of Cybertron on page 2 is very weird looking. More like a funky asteroid then Cybertron...a bizarre stylistic choice in my opinion. Otherwise, the art is fairly good looking.

Verdict: Good/Recommended.

Cover "B" by Casey Coller

Comic Review...

Transformers: More Then Meets The Eye #6

Writer: James Roberts
Artist: Nick Roche
(covers by Alex Milne and Nick Roche)

Cover "B" by Nick Roche
Summary: MADNESS IN SPACE! A rescued Autobot loses his grip and it's up to Hot Rod's questing team to stop him-before the damage becomes irreparable! This is surely one of the most intense Transformers tales ever committed to paper!

Comments: This issue marks the return of Nick Roche to the art duties. Whether he's back for good or just for the issue, it was cool to see his art grace the title once again. I have the cover "B" (Nick's art) but until I examined it closely I thought the character on it was Thundercracker for some reason (the coloring, most likely) but it's actually Fortress Maximus. A good concept but maybe they could've done something to make it a bit more distinctive in some way (like a close-up with hands grasping about his head/top).
   This issue sees the fall-out of Fortress Maximus' trauma at the hands of Overlord on Garras 9 in the Wreckers mini-series. He puts on a brave face but not surprisingly isn't handling it all that well. A supporting character dies near the end of this issue and another one is severely wounded. We also get a startling revelation about a secret aboard The Lost Light (yet another one!) 
   Another issue where Roberts story is tighter then the initial stories for MTMTE. Not sure if this is because he's getting more focused or purposely sprawled a bit more on the earlier issues to help establish everyone. Either way, I've liked the last two issues better then the earlier ones due to this change. I do hope this doesn't turn into Wreckers 2 though... the drama is good but I don't need a reiteration of that story and the tone of this particular issue does indicate that direction as a distinct possibility for where the overall story could go.

Verdict: Good/Recommended.

Cover "A" by Alex Milne