Saturday, October 07, 2006

Comic Review...

Transformers Spotlight #2

Writer: Simon Furman
Artist: MD Bright
(Covers by MD Bright, James Raiz and Nick Roche)

Synopsis: One of Nightbeat's contacts tells him he's found part of a log to the long lost original Ark. Nightbeat is immediately interested but his contact dies when he arrives at his ship to get the log. The log is gone so Nightbeat traces his path back to Gorlam Prime--where the log was found. He finds a people slowly evolving from organic to mechanical and upon further investigation, finds a deep tunnel below the surface. There, he finds an interdimensional hole in the ground. The Sports Car Patrol show up then and give chase, subduing him and bringing him back to the beings in the portal. Nightbeat is given some sort of brain implant and then released, apparently unable to remember the whole incident. Later, Optimus Prime contacts him and tells him he's needed on Earth.

Comments: Not a lot happens really but I liked this issue anyway. Nightbeat is very much in character with Furman's old Marvel Universe depiction (yay!) The story poses many interesting questions, giving us a better look at this world without actually telling us anything. The original Ark was lost millennia ago but apparently didn't crash on Earth... its insinuated it may have crashed on Gorlam Prime and influenced that world's evolution. But where did this interdimensional portal come from? And what do these beings want with Nightbeat and the Transformers? Sooner or later we'll find out, I suspect and I look forward to the answer (may it be worth the wait).
MD Bright was brought back to TF comics by Tim Finn's suggestion IDW track him down (according to Tim). His art is more blocky then some of the recent artists but I like his style and it works well with this story. I also liked his cover art.
(This comic is a special Botcon exclusive edition of the TF Spotlight: Nightbeat and comes with all the variant covers in one edition. A great value for that reason alone).

Highly recommended.

Comic Review...

Transformers: Evolutions #4
Hearts of Steel, part four

Writer: Chuck Dixon
Artist: Guido Guidi
(covers by Guido Guidi)

Synopsis: The US army tries futilely to stop the Decepticon Astrotrain as it roars through their blockade with ease. Elsewhere, Muldoon, Clemens and the others arrive on a train at some station somewhere and encounter Bumblebee, the other Autobots and John Henry. All join forces and continue in pursuit of the Decepticons. As they close in, Starscream launches Scourge (a blimp) and has him bombard them from the air. Scourge is shot down finally but not before Starscream attacks again, this time bombing the Autobots and their allies, trapping several in a tunnel. Bumblebee and John Henry pursue them solo. They get around the Decepticons and hit the track switch, sending the Decepticons and their allies plummeting helplessly into a canyon beyond. Epilogue: The good humans get rescued and the Autobots return to their slumber.

Comments: A decent end to a decent story. I was bit surprised by the abrupt ending of the story. "That was it?" was my thought upon reading it. It also didn't answer all the questions either. Shockwave (a boat) was unaccounted for and what happened to those Decepticons in earlier issues that appeared to be planes? Surely they all didn't go down with the train so why are the Autobots so confident in the end? Or was there a plan to possibly do a sequel? I was also disappointed we never got to see the cannon Megatron make an appearance in the story--he looked cool but I guess he was just something they designed for fun rather then for the story. Oh well... I wish this story had gone another issue and given us a little more action after so much build-up.

This issue: Mildly recommended.

Series as a whole: Pass (unless you're really a hardcore fan and must own it)

Comic Review...

Transformers Timelines
Dawn of Futures Past

Writer: Forest Lee and Peter Sinclair
Artist: Dan Khanna, Alex Milne and Marcelo Matere

Synopsis: Tigatron and another Maximal pursue some Predacons who are after the Golden Disk--an relic of great importance of Maximal High Command. Tigatron's partner is injured, leaving him alone to pursue their enemies. Elsewhere, Megatron holds the disk and plans to use it for his grand designs. Dinobot wants to stay and fight but Megatron tells him his plan is more important. They leave. Elsewhere, a mysterious Predacon tells Laserbeak and Buzzsaw to make certain Megatron accomplishes his ultimate goal but to remain hidden at all cost. Megatron and co. get on their new ship, the Darksyde, leaving Tigatron to find a nearby vessel and commandeer it. Fortunately its pilot, Airrazor, is okay with a fight and happy to help. The Maximals order the Axalon and its crew to pursue the Darksyde as well and they do, despite Optimus' concerns over their cargo (i.e. Protoform X). A big space battle ensues, with Lasorbeak/Buzzsaw almost destroying the Axalon before Tigatron/Airrazor come along and stop them. As Airrazor/Tigatron's ship is about to destroy itself from the battle damage, Rhinox uses some kind of remote spark transfer thingy to beam their sparks into two blank protoforms. The Axalon then gives chase to the Darksyde and both jump into a transwarp portal. Epilogue: some time later, mysterious figures muse over the ultimate fate of the Golden Disk, Megatron and the others fates. It is revealed these are in fact the Predacons of the G1 era! Divebomb tells Razorclaw now that he has returned, it is time he lead the Predacons to ultimate victory over the Maximals!

Comments: I usually hate Forest Lee's mini-comics in the TF club newsletter. Imagine my surprise when this story came out readable and even decent. I'm not sure if this is because of Sinclair's involvement, much editing or just the fact that with enough space even Lee can do something different storywise. I give them credit for not referring to most of the famous BW toys pre-show names, thus getting around the sticky issue of what they may have been (or having to go through legal and finding usable names). Obviously, Rattrap's pre-show name started with an "R" as this is what Optimus starts to say before he's conveniently interrupted (and the first place I really noticed the absence of proper names). The characters all sounded correct--like I would imagine the show characters speaking (something far too few writers pay attention to in the comics). I do wonder about Megatron's battle armor. I know it was to help make symmetry between what we see in Beast Wars, part one and this toy form but I really think a bunch of robots wearing battle armor is redundant when they can just be built with weapons inside them. One final comment on the writing: too many instances of long, rambling sentences with no commas in them that come across feeling like info dumps instead of dialogue.
As to the art... well, its okay. I noticed Rattrap's head design changes twice throughout the issue--from the terrible looking toy head (part of the BC set) to the more familiar BW show head back to the toy head again (look how many people drew this issue, though, and such mistakes are inevitable). A few frames suffered from being unintelligible in terms of what the hell was happening (common to fan comics and, it seems, Botcon comics). The art generally doesn't stand up to IDW's wonderful artwork.
I loved the appearance of the Predacons at the end of the comic and hope that this is not the start of some new and long storyline but just a throw away thing. (Incidentally, there were fan made BW Predacons at the convention for the story--I got pics!)
A decent effort, it does it's job as convention promotional item...

Mildly recommended.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

"The circle is complete."

My pics are now up.

I took over 200 pics but only posted the more interesting stuff... I didn't bother rehashing the toy pics because I figure all the sites out there already did that anyway.


Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Botcon 06 report!

Find it here:

A bit long winded...not for those who just want the straight-up facts (I like to talk about everything I
did so I can remember it years later).

My pics aren't up yet but will be soon and I'll post when they are.