Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Comic Review...

Transformers Spotlight
Hardhead/Revelation, part two

Writer: Simon Furman
Artist: Nick Roche

(covers by Nick Roche and EJ Su)

Synopsis: Nightbeat and Hardhead go back to Gorlam Prime to try and find out just what happened to Nightbeat when he was there (see Spotlight: Nightbeat). They find the population frozen in their tracks and undergoing some kind of metamorphosis from organic to techno-organic. They decide to go to the excavation site where Nightbeat last remembered being. Before they get too far, they’re beseiged by an army of Micromasters, who attack Hardhead. He and Nightbeat escape their attackers for the moment. Elsewhere, the Wreckers attack Thunderwing futilely. Optimus Prime and Prowl watch from screens at the Garrus-9 penitentiary and discuss their options. Jetfire reports in and tells them Omega Supreme has identified Galvatron and Cyclonus from the video footage the Autobots have took. Both were aboard the first Ark with Nova Prime. Prime decides they’ll have to send someone to the Benzuli Expanse (where the first Ark had gone to explore) and investigate. Nemesis Prime and Jhiaxus discuss their plans and Jhiaxus tells them Thunderwing has been discovered and Nightbeat has returned to the Gorlam Prime. Nemesis tells him Thunderwing is safe, for now, but that Nightbeat could threaten their plans. He tells Jhiaxus to see to that personally. Hardhead and Nightbeat get to their destination just in time for the Micromasters to find them and attack. The two get down the shaft safely when Nightbeat is possessed (presumably by Jhiaxus). He attacks Hardhead but the other escapes for a few minutes, ending up finally in the glowing pool/portal to the Dead Universe. He and Nightbeat have a showdown and the Micromasters attack Hardhead. He appears to sink into the pool, his fate uncertain. Jhiaxus tells N emesis Prime that Nightbeat is dead and Nemesis resigns himself to the fact he will have to take direct action against Optimus Prime himself. At the Benzuli Expanse, four of the Autobots report back that there is just a void now–the planets and so on nearby the Expanse are now gone. Jetfire suggest to Prime that these four Autobots undergo the Pretender process so they can go into the Expanse safely (how does he know that will protect them, though?)

Comments: Another spotlight where the spotlighted character gets shafted by the already running storyline. Unlike previous stories, this part works fairly well and actually moves the story along! Finally! It looks like things are about to hit the fan and I, for one, can’t wait. The art is by Roche this time around and looks pretty good. One thing I do wonder about is why they bothered redesigning Hardhead with an Earth mode when he was only there for five minutes. I much prefer his original mode (although the same argument could be made for any of these redesigns, I guess). I also wonder if Nightbeat is really dead or not since he’s clearly one of Furman favorites.


Saturday, July 12, 2008

Comic Review...

Transformers: All Hail Megatron #1

Writer: Shane McCarthy
Artist: Guido Guidi

(covers by Trevor Hutchinson and Klaus Scherwinski)

Synopsis: A quick one page summary of the Civil War for Cybertron, then we get to "one year later." The Constructicons come to New York and start blasting things... they're quickly joined by the Seekers, Megatron and the other Decepticons. An issue of blasting stuff and pointless heroics later, sees Megatron laughing triumphantly. Meanwhile on Cybertron, Prowl brings in a report of some kind.... he shows it to Jazz, who throws it away in disgust and goes to see Optimus Prime, who is severely damaged. His chest ripped open and he is apparently being kept alive by some of Ratchet's machines.

Comments: I have several problems with this issue. Obviously, it's an issue length battle scene which is something that is a waste of time 90% of the time--and more so when it's pathetic humans versus mighty Decepticons. The outcome is inevitable. Prime on his death bed? How original! No one's ever tried that one before... On a more minor note, there is also some continuity glitches here--all three of the Seekers are F-15 jets. Which is what they traditionally are. Except this is supposed to be the mainstream IDW-verse, isn't it? Why
would they have downgraded from F-22 forms? That makes no sense! Also, Megatron has lost his IDW form for something resembling his Masterpiece toy form... Add to that, the inclusion of Soundwave, with no attempt to explain how he joined back up with the other Decepticons (I suppose they might explain it in the future but right now it makes no sense). Apparently, this series was originally to have been an "Evolutions" style story but the powers that be at IDW liked it so much that they made it the mainstream story instead--and obviously nobody thought to bother editing it help match it up to Furman's already established stories (hence the incongruencies). As with anything, the devil is in the details--and that really ruined this issue for me... maybe it'll get better with time?