Monday, January 30, 2006

Transfomers Comic Review...

Amazing Fantasy #17
"Death's Head 3.0 - Unnatural Selection" (Part two of five)

Format: Ongoing (multi-issue story arc)
Availability: General/mass media

Writer: Simon Furman
Artist: James Raiz
Cover Art by Lucio Parrillo

Synopsis: Death's Head escapes the AIM facility, using as little lethal force as possible. Meanwhile, Hidalgo reports back to his GEIST contact, who tells him he'll have to return to AIM's headquarters and find out just what Goddard has planned for Death's Head. Braccia, Hidalgo's contact in GEIST is unable to get further resources for their investigation as her boss is concerned over the security arrangements for the upcoming UN conference with AIM. Elsewhere, AIM's leadership also attempt to understand what is going on--Goddard observes them secretly and gloats how they can't possibly figure her plan out in time to stop it. Once she's succeeded, AIM will rally to her side once more! Elsewhere, Death's Head comes to West Africa and assesses a high tech complex that he breaches. It turns out the complex is a high tech prison and he is there to rescue a prisoner... GEIST monitors from their satellite and assumes it is a former comrade of Goddard's held there, but they are wrong. Death's Head rescues Curtis Henri, a rebel opposed to the current government in this African country. As they attempt escape, Henri is cut down by gunfire and dies. DH reacts to his failure and starts to kill the military forces opposing him--just as Goddard had planned.

Comments: The plot continues. Part two is okay... basically, it feels like a bit of padding to the story. We know from part one that Goddard wants Death's Head to assassinate the UN Secretary General--but the characters otherwise, don't. Furman decided to go the route of them playing catch up. Meanwhile, Death's Head itself has some prior core programming and is confused about who and what it is. It's not certain taking lethal action is in it's best interests. Goddard has used the prison scenario to try and enrage the mechanoid, making it forget its inhibitions and doubts and just strike out. Will it be enough to accomplish her goals? In my opinion, probably not but we'll see. I do hope the story goes in some unexpected directions in the remaining three parts--right now, I can predict the outcome of the story (and that's never any fun!)

Mildly recommended.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Transformers comic review

Transformers Infiltration #1

Writer: Simon Furman
Artist: E.J. Su

(cover artists: Guido Guidi, Andrew Wildman, E.J. Su, James Raiz, Don Figueroa, Nick Roche... I think that's everyone. Whew! There are four main covers plus several exclusive/incentive ones too. I just added the main ones to this review.)

Summary: Verity Carlo and Hunter O'Nion drive with Ratchet as he is pursued by the Decepticons from last issue (issue zero). He takes out Runamuck and Runabout for the time being and evades Thundercracker. The trio decide to head for cover in the town/place of Riverside where Verity's mechanic friend Jimmy Pink is. He helps Ratchet recover from some of the peripheral damage he's taken so far. We learn that Ratchet went out to help a human but without the offficial authorization of his faction (so he's effectively on his own). At the end, the Decepticons relocate Ratchet and his new human allies and crash the party.

Comments: The art continues to be consistently good (obviously, opinions will vary on that subject--however, I like the visual style Su has gone with here). The story moves along slowly, intriguing the reader as it goes. Just what exactly is on that palm pilot that Verity stold and why do the Decepticons want it so badly? The characters are fairly interesting--in the comic sense of things. That is, they're not fascinating but still interesting in a generalized way (more so then we ever get out of the cartoon characters). Unlike Dreamwave's previous comics, I actually want to find out what's going to happen next and look forward to next issue. This is a good thing for IDW--being able to hook and retain readers after the initial outing. It also seems like Furman's writing is more interesting then other recent attempts (especially the DW stuff)--he's either really trying here or has a lot more creative freedom then DW ever allowed (or both). The writing is interesting and the dialogue seems a bit better then normal for Furman (in that it has moments of humor). This issue also features a preview of February's Beast Wars comic (but a longer one is already available online, anyway) and some preview panels of next issue too. This is definitely a series to check out, if you haven't already... (you'll also be happy to know that yes, the Transformers do use their robot modes here--at least a bit, anyway). Go buy it! Go NOW!

Strongly recommended.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Frappr Maps

On a whim, I decided to create a group map for the
TransMasters fan club at Frappr. You can add your
own pins to the map.

Another map that might be of interest is:
Cybertron --Transformer Fans On this Planet!
They have over 260 member pins from all over the

Monday, January 16, 2006

Yes, we do have our first Online Member, Warlog change

Welcome to Scott King, our newest Online member!

Also Johan Piest just let me know that due to hosting problems, his Warlog site has been moved to:

The Golden Disk Awards (aka Trannies '06)

Courtesy Malin Huffman and Philip N. Zeman, the Golden Disk awards ballot page...

Use it to vote on your favorite toys, comic, etc. of 2004/05.

- Thunder

Friday, January 13, 2006

First New Online Registered member???

I received the first set of information from someone using the TransMasters Web Site form:

Name = Ethan Hauser
DOB = 03/03/2005
Gender = Male
Email =
Street = 3 Twin Oaks Court
City = Sewell
State = NJ
Privacy = OptOut
faction = Autobots
fanfic = No
drawtf = No
tfclubs = No
involve = Lurker
paydues = Nothing
shirtsize = Child Small
paychoice = Money Order

Now what I think is really funny here is the fact that this person isn't even a year old. Hmm... they must start those computer lessons real early in this family! Should I write the email address and ask if this is a serious join, or should I chalk it up to someone too bored at the time? I know at one time we decided to drop the age limit, but this is going a bit too far.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Friday, January 06, 2006

Transformers Comic (Capsule) Review...

Amazing Fantasy #16
"Death's Head 3.0 - Unnatural Selection" (Part one of five)

Format: Ongoing (multi-issue story arc)
Availability: General/mass media

Writer: Simon Furman
Artist: James Raiz
Cover Art by Lucio Parrillo

It is the future... A.I.M (Advanced Idea Mechanics), the terrorist organization, is attempting to go legitimate. In one of their first steps, they've invited three neutral scientific observers to oversee them as they decommission their more unethical technological projects. The head scientist, Doctor Varina Goddard, is uninterested in agreeing to letting her experiments be shut down. She has been badly injured and depends on the technology she has developed to keep her alive and restore her mobility. The cyberneticist observer, Raymond Hidalgo, is the scientific advisor sent to examine her records... we find out that he has been recruited by a secret police organization, GEIST (Global Enforcement/Intelligence Symposium Taskforce), to make sure he can find out all about her buried secret projects. Hidalgo is uncertain at first but the GEIST rep shows him that Goddard has abducted pregnant women in the past and forcibly experimented on their unborn children, weeding out what she considers to be genetic anolmalies. Goddard is not to be trusted... As Hidalgo examines AIM's computers, an alarm goes off. Elsewhere in the compound, Goddard has played her trump card--powering up a secret experiment she had hidden there earlier. AIM had captured an alien lifeform some time earlier and she had reprogrammed it as it lay dormant. Codenamed "Death's Head", named after an earlier project called Minion (aka Death's Head II). The robot comes alive and escapes from its lab. AIM's security is unable to stop the mechanoid--only it's momentary confusion slows it down. Death's Head is uncertain of who or what it is and decides for the time being to escape. It leaves with little trouble. Goddard is satisfied--she has inserted programming for it to murder the UN Secretary General publicly at a conference in Geneva, thereby saving AIM from itself.

Comments: A decent start to the newest incarnation of Death's Head. Not much really happens in this part--a technique all too familiar in Furman's stories in general. He likes to spend a lot of time setting things up before getting to the meat of the story (as evidenced by TF #0 a couple of months ago). The first part of the story is interesting and the artwork by Raiz is quite good. It will be interesting to see where things go from here--will Hidalgo become the main character next to DH or was he merely there to move the story along. Despite Goddard's plans, it seems likely DH will move on his own path, doing as he sees fit. This version 3.0 of Death's Head has no connection to Transformers, other then that Furman wrote it. I think they're trying to redo him and make him available as a more mainstream Marvel character rather then past attempts where he was connected to the TF concept and/or the Marvel UK stuff. Despite the lack of direct connection to TFs, AF #16 is worth checking out for the story and artwork, especially if you're a fan of Furman or Raiz's other works.