Monday, August 28, 2006

Comic Review...

Transformers: Evolutions #2
Hearts of Steel, part two

Writer: Chuck Dixon
Artist: Guido Guidi

(Covers by Guido Guidi)

Synopsis: John Henry hammers some rails down while a newfangled contraption (Bumblebee in disguise) does the same nearby but faster. The humans marvel over the machine but John is annoyed that a machine is capable of replacing him. Their boss nearby wants to get a dozen more machines... Elsewhere, Tobias Muldoon is taken underwater by Shockwave and shown what the Decepticons are doing, constructing some sort of base/something. Shockwave introduces the others to Tobias and Starscream is all too happy to have Tobias' aide in their plans. He tells him how the Decepticons will help the humans usher in a new, glorious golden age for all humanity. Tobias says they will need lots of money to help him create his designs and he explains the monetary system to his new allies. Elsewhere, its night and John Henry looks at the new machine and says it will never replace him... Bumblebee transforms and reveals himself, telling John he has no interest in replacing him, merely helping his kind. John is stunned at first but quickly accepting of someone else who wants to earn their own way in life... they shake hands. Elsewhere, a train full of money is robbed by the Insecticons. The soldiers can't believe their eyes... Out in the desert, the Decepticons stand with Tobias, who explains he will need to set up a big operation and it won't be easy or cheap. The Insecticons return with lots of money then, to Tobias' astonishment. Shortly after, he has wagonloads of supplies brought out to the middle of nowhere to begin their operation. John Henry and his friends are working when one reads a newspaper about giant monsters attacking the train and soldiers. The men think its crazy but Bumblebee overhears what they say and goes to the other Autobots, telling them what's going on. Ratchet says they'll have some catching up to do--they also need to find where the Decepticons are located and what they're up to. Cut back to the middle of the desert and a burgeoning Decepticon base. Starscream studies some flying machine specs that Tobias designed, commenting on how airpower will give them superiority. Already, Skywarp has been converted into the new form (Skywarp is red in these scenes, for some reason--not sure if its a mistake or intentional). Tobias overhears them speaking and how they plan to subjugate the Earth under their rule and destroy Megatron. They also mention "the Astrotrain" twice (some sort of future plan, no doubt). Tobias is shocked at what he hears and runs off. A week later, he returns to San Francisco and the home of his girlfriend. He tells her, her father and Sam Clemens (Mark Twain) that he has grave news--a danger that threatens all of mankind! Clemens wants to hear more...

Comments: A simple enough tale but I'm liking it so far. The art and writing continue to be interesting... one thing that did get on my nerves, though, was that Starscream calls Tobias "Tobias Muldoon" *every* single time he addresses him. It gets annoying fast. Also, I guess I was wrong--the Transformers do come from Cybertron in this story not Earth (but I think that would've been cooler for an alternate universe tale, personally). I think I might like this story a bit better then Stormbringer at the moment (new blood in the writing department is a good thing sometimes).

Likewise with Stormbringer #2, I got one of those alternate sketch style covers (I got to the comic shop a week later then the issue came out). Once again, I would've preferred the Shockwave cover for this story--I like story relevant covers better personally. I wish they'd drop the multiple covers...


Comic Review...

Transformers Stormbringer #2

Writer: Simon Furman
Artist: Don Figueroa

(Covers by Don Figueroa)

Synopsis: Jetfire tells Bludgeon and his followers that he's insane! He can't control a reactivated Thunderwing! Bludgeon tells him he need not control it, merely guide it toward his purpose. The two have an exchange and Bludgeon reveals that he is trying to replicate Thunderwing's grafting process. Elsewhere, Optimus Prime recieves a distress call from the Calabi-Yau and decides something is wrong on Cybertron. He tells Searchlight to contact the Wreckers. Elsewhere, the Wreckers fight a major battle against the Decepticons... Springer, their leader, is contacted and told the Wreckers are needed on Cybertron. On Cybertron, Jetfire and Bludgeon verbily spar over reactivating Thunderwing. Bludgeon orders his minions to bring him to life and Jetfire tries valiantly to stop them but fails and is taken away. In hyperspace, Springer communicates with Optimus Prime over the comm and discuss the situation. Prime believes Thunderwing may be involved in things somehow. They agree to meet up near Lunar Two and Springer advises him to burn Cybertron, if it comes to that. Prime tells him he'll consider it and ends the communication. He thinks back to how Megatron told him the very same thing at the end of the original conflict and Prime resisted--telling him he'd fight Megatron every step of the way should he try to do that. Megatron tells him fine and walks away, but tells him this will be on his head should it come back to haunt them. On Cybertron's surface, we find Afterburner and Nosecone have survived the destruction of the Autobot ship. They evade some Centurion drones and continue seeking shelter. Finally, they collapse and are found by Centurions! On Nebulos, the Decepticon infiltration unit observes something closing fast on the planet. A ship arrives and converts into the reborn Thunderwing!

Comments: Another chapter of the story... I liked it even though not a lot really happens throughout the issue. Its clear now that Thunderwing saw the coming environmental catastrophe on Cybertron and used it somehow to upgrade his power greatly, becoming a Pretender in the process (although the shell is mostly irrelevant thus far in the story. Its merely a gimmick for him to be uber powerful). I like that aspect, to be honest, since the Pretenders are often dumped on as a gimmick. The art was good, as usual.

One minor complaint is the whole cover gimmick thing. IDW has cut down to only two or three covers per issue now (two, not counting the dealer incentive one). It seems like every comic shop I go to always has the cover I don't really want this case, I got the b/w wrap around cover. Its not a bad image, actually, but I hate the b/w part of it--I wish they'd put all of it on the front and in color. Also, I wouldn't have minded the other cover either but never even saw it here... What's the point in having two covers when the shop will order a small amount of one and the bulk of the other? Or maybe just one cover period? Sigh...


Sunday, August 27, 2006

An Extremely late TransMasters Comic 3 is posted

Because I can't seem to log on right, I've been forced to post this on the Geocities site. It seems they've instituted some kind of hourly quota so if you can't get it all the first time please try to be patient and try again later.

TransMasters Comic Issue 3

It's shorter than before and I hope you'll forgive a couple of pages that looked wipped together. Thanks again to Backbreaker for his work. Maybe next issue I can actually get some more funny stuff in there. I want to wrap up the Cybertron story soon, probably in the next 2-3 issues of the mag and only 1 more of the comic?

I'll get right to work on the next issue of the Magazine and let's hope it comes out faster since it is already late. I've changed to an "It'll get out when it gets out schedule so we'll see."
Thanks for your patience.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Email Change

I am so sorry to all of you if you have been trying to get ahold of me lately. My ISP account died August 14th. (Though my computer crashed two days prior to that and I've been too busy with life and stuff lately.)

I really am going to finish the 3rd comic soon. Then I hope to get the magazine out ASAP on its heals. My job's been crazy and so has my car so I've had very little time lately to work on stuff. It seems like all my free time's gone now. I sure hope that things will settle down a bit in September and I can get everything else done. I've only been at this job just under 7 months and I've gone from grunt to Shift Lead and now might get to become trainer. It's moving too fast for me...not sure if I want to continue.

So, for right now I've changed to my Juno email account: and I hope to soon have some better ISP. We'll see.

Thank you for your patience, best wishes to you all.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Comic Review... (belated)

Transformers: Stormbringer #1

Writer: Simon Furman
Artist: Don Figueroa

(Covers by Don Figueroa)

Synopsis: Jetfire and the Technobots investigate Cybertron for energy readings and find something on the surface below. They go to the planet and find a ruined world full of storms and desolation. Scattershot asks Jetfire what it was like back when the "incident" happened and Jetfire recalls it (but they don't reveal what happened). Elsewhere, Optimus Prime ponders things when Searchlight interrupts him and tells him Prowl's group has sent him a message. Prime finds that Earth's Decepticons are moving faster then scheduled and tells Searchlight to monitor things and keep him updated. Prime thinks of some apocalyptic event and how it never ends (tm). Back on Cybertron, Jetfire recalls what happened back when Cybertron was decimated (but again, we only get vague hints). Suddenly, the Autobot team is attacked by invisible enemies and beaten. On their ship in orbit, Nosecone and Afterburner detect several missiles coming their way... they launch a distress buoy and are presumably destroyed along with the ship. Prime flash to a big battle and how Cybertron somehow stopped their great foe's advanced... epilogue: Jetfire awakens in a cavern beneath Cybertron's surface--there, he finds several warriors worshipping Thunderwing!

Comments: Another story set in the Universe of Infiltration/the IDW "Alpha" Universe (although that story bears little relevance here so far). I see a potentially interesting story in this mini-series but unfortunately the opening issue beats around the bush a little too much for my tastes. I like foreshadowing as much as anyone but this issue was a bit annoying. All we get is that:
A) Cybertron was decimated sometime in the past in this continuity.
B) The world is (apparently) slowly regenerating from said-catastrophe.
C) Somehow, Thunderwing is the cause of the original decimation. He was apparently some sort of unstoppable enemy that briefly united the Autobots and Decepticons and was thought to have been destroyed somehow in a final effort on Cybertron's part.
I just wish we could've gotten a little more--like a decent flashback instead of bits and pieces (mostly from Optimus' memory, apparently). Otherwise, the art was good (as usual) and the writing competent. I was worried that Simon Furman might not be able to find a way to sneak his trademark phrases into these new comics but I see that was a misplaced fear. This issue sees the appearance of "It never ends." Now, if he can just find some way to have someone say "It is over. Finished." (I think it must be in his contract to have these sentences continually sneak their way into every TF story he's ever written). A decent story in general. I just hope we get more into the meat of things next issue (and I really, seriously hope that Thunderwing isn't a minion of Unicron! I'm so tired of that old fallback--try something new already, somebody!)

feel the hate?

"Robo Rob" presents...

Which is, basically, a new TF zine he's doing. Apparently, it will be both webzine and physical zine sometimes too (see his website for more info).

Just thought I'd pass that along in case anyone's interested... :)

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Password change

Due to someone posting as me about some sort of ebay scam, I've changed my password to the TransMasters Blog. Hopefully that will keep it from happening again anytime soon. I appologize to you all for being already over a month late with the TM comic #3...I'm working on it with every free moment my job allows right now. I have just 1 more page I want to complete. Issue 3 of the Magazine should then follow quickly on its footsteps with all things going well. ( fingers don't fall off while I write and code it out.) I was able to attend the Sac Anime Con this year so I should have a good article about it and Niel Kaplan since he was there. If you're good bots and cons perhaps I'll get some video of his panel online somewhere for viewing.

Thanks for being patient.