Saturday, January 31, 2015

Best of The Week

Comics Alliance features best of the week artworks from fans and this one was from early last year by Corey S. Lewis ( Click here to see the original article..

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Review: Transformers: Windblade TPB

Transformers: Windblade

Writer: Mairghread Scott
Artist: Sarah Stone
(covers by various artists)
Price: $17.99 USd
Format: TPB (collected edition of previous mini-series)
Available: October 2014

Summary:  In the aftermath of Dark Cybertron, Windblade takes the planet by storm! But where did she come from - and what does her secret mean to the future of the Transformers?

Comments:  I have to admit I didn't really read Dark Cybertron so I'm missing a few story beats, like when Windblade and Chromia showed up. But this story pretty much references their appearance (at least generally) so I wasn't totally lost.
   I was pleasantly surprised by this story. Windblade's back story isn't greatly expounded upon but we do get some hints as to her past. From the story, Windblade is depicted as being a sensitive soul. One who is delicate in her nature but also committed to protocol and doing her sworn duty. Chromia, by contrast, is brash and outwardly strong. A born warrior. A counterpoint to Windblade if there ever was one. To be perfectly honest, they could've done a bit better with these characters, looking for more depth in both. But I understand this is a comic story and there's only so much time for such things.
   The story is decent and even takes a couple of unexpected twists along the way. (I am sick of the current status quo in IDW. I wish they'd get back to the war already and stop this peaceful Cybertron schtick. I feel it hurts the overall storytelling but that's an argument for another time). Starscream would seem to be Windblade's nemesis but not all is as it appears...  We also get a lot of the RID extended cast in this, with appearances from Blurr, Slag, Octane, Waspinator, Tankor, Rattrap, etc.
   The artwork fluctuates between good and cartoony at times. I know cartoony seems to be the current style in comics in general but I am really sick of seeing it. When Stone does straight art the result is much more satisfying in my estimation.The mini-series also had an impressive array of cover art, some of which was really good.

Verdict:  Good. Worth checking out if you missed it in mini-series form earlier.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Transmasters Magazine, Fall 2014 now available!

Battered, beaten, delayed time and again, the Fall issue of the Transmasters Magazine claws its way to the top, ready to do battle! Watch it destroy all comers here:

(The toy pics in the toy reviews: They should auto-resize in IE browsers. Mozilla based browsers may need to click on the image to resize it. Just letting you know. :)

Hope you enjoy this issue! :)


Friday, January 02, 2015

Review: Transformers Monstrosity

Transformers: Monstrosity

Writers: Christ Metzen and Flint Dille
Artist: Livio Ramondelli
(covers by Livio Ramondelli)
Price: $19.99 USd
Format: TPB (collected edition of previous web series)
Available: December 2013

Summary:  In the early days of the war on CYBERTRON, OPTIMUS PRIME puts everything on the line to unify the planet-but not everyone agrees that this new Prime should be in charge! Meanwhile, the fallen DECEPTICON leader, MEGATRON, begins a journey that will change everything.

Comments:  Monstrosity is the follow-up to the Metzen/Dille story, Autocracy (also a IDW web comic to begin with). Where the first series chronicled the rise of Optimus Prime in the midst of Cybertron's darkest time, its sequel comes off as feeling like it's meandering with no ultimate point. We eventually get to see Trypticon rise and wreak havoc against our heroes but the rest of the story seems scattered... Megatron is exiled only to survival his trials and return. Optimus struggles to lead the various factions under his command and fails miserably in the end to conquer his greatest challenge to date.
   Other then Trypticon being the titular "monstrosity" the story doesn't seem to know what it wants to do. There's not much thematically pulling it all together (contrast this with Autocracy's themes of power corrupting those who possess it). Megatron is challenged and rises above while Optimus has naysayers and self-doubt and ultimately is revealed to be nothing more then a leader with a dream of unity and peace. The thing is, Optimus should be Megatron's equal and while Megatron uses his sheer cunning and will to achieve his ends we should get to see Optimus use his own skill set to succeed. To use him as a whipping boy just dishonors the heart of a character who should be a heroic inspirational leader. There's hints of it in there but ultimately Optimus seems to achieve nothing substantial storywise.
   Ramondelli's artwork is improving as he goes but there is still the odd occasion where I view a panel and have no clue what it is I'm supposed to be looking at. The very first reveal of Trypticon, for example, left me confused. Only the later descriptions of the creature lead me to realize what it was.
   Another annoyance is the robots referring to themselves as "gentlemen" repeatedly (human terminology for robots really distracts me away from a TF story. I also disliked James Roberts usage of a "cyber-aneurysm" in Last Stand of the Wreckers). Grimlock speaks normally in this story too for some reason.
   The story also implies that the Dynobots have dinosaur modes because of the creatures under Cybertron's surface while an earlier tale (Spotlight: Shockwave) stated they got them from Earth when they chased after Shockwave. Presumably the early era of IDW is still in-continuity so I'm at a loss to understand how this makes any sense.
   Megatron encounters a Quintesson (is this the first time we've seen one in IDW?) and somehow uses his Spark to power himself up on planet Junk. I've never seen Sparks referred to as power sources--they're an analogy for souls. This story detail made no sense to me.
   After their first attempt, I found Monstrosity to be a poorly told disappointment... Perhaps the forthcoming Primacy will be more pleasing? 

Verdict:  Average. A pass for me personally... some decent dialogue and mostly good art elevate to an "Average" rating.