Monday, June 08, 2009

Comic Review...

Transformers: All Hail Megatron #11

Writer: Shane McCarthy
Artist: Guido Guidi

(covers by Casey Coller and Trevor Hutchison)

Summary: Spike tries to ditch the other humans but they tell him they're all in this together. He tells them to follow him... in the background, Devastator takes on several Air force jets. Megatron brags to Starscream how he knew this attack was coming and it's all part of the plan, etc. He is startled, however, when Optimus Prime and the Autobots arrive and attack. Omega Supreme arrives and nails Devastator. Optimus orders him to take the battle elsewhere. He grabs his enemy and flies them off. Prime confronts Megatron and the two exchange words... Prime warns him to leave Earth alone while Megatron tells him these innocents he wants to save are planning to come kill them all with a nuke. Elsewhere, some of the U.S. army's equipment escapes and transforms. General Sparkplug realizes that if they had spies among his ranks all along then... is the nuke safe? The scene cuts to the plane with the bomb and the prominent Decepticon symbol on the console.

Comments: Another part of the story and another battle. The final movement is afoot and the resolution is coming. It's nice to see the Autobots arrive and finally kick some butt... of course, in the grand scheme, will this mean anything or will the status quo re-assert itself after the story's over? The art's pretty good, as it has been for the majority of the series. I await next issue's finale.


Transformers Timelines #4

Writer: Rik Alvarez and Forest Lee
Artist: Guido Guidi and Dan Khanna
(cover by Alex Milne)

Summary: The first two pages could be lifted directly from Transformers: The Movie, with the Autobot shuttle under attack. Kup and Hot Rod dodge the Sweeps while the Dinobots hope Kup will tell them a story. After the shuttle hides, Kup does just that. He reveals his first mission--to Beta Nine. Kup is a young Autobot who is part of a team of Autobots on a ship called the Eight Track. They get orders from Command, telling them to go to Beta Nine and retrieve a cylinder from a downed ship before the Decepticons get it. The information in it could turn the tide of the brewing war. Once reaching the world, the Decepticons ambush them and the ship crashes to the surface. The team start out for the other ship but are hit by the Decepticons. Kup is cut off from the others where Banzaitron and two of his minions attack him. He escapes when they're distracted. Elsewhere, Thunderclash leaves Flak and Landshark behind, having Skyquake pursue him. Kup reaches the downed Autobot ship and retrieves the cylinder. Banzaitron gets the drop on him but Thunderclash strikes him as he arrives, buying them a few minutes. Kup gives Banzaitron the cylinder when he demands it, not realizing it's actually a bomb. It explodes and the Autobots demands the Decepticons surrender. The flashback is interrupted as Hot Rod and Kup's shuttle is attacked again. Together with the Dinobots, they make short work of Scourge, Cyclonus and the Sweeps. In the past, Kup's team are awarded status as the first of the all new "Elite Guard". The case is revealed to have had something to do with Optimus Prime's creation and has fallen into Alphatrion's hands.

Comments: An adequate story, as all of the recent BotCon comics have been. They're basically there to help sell the toy set for that year, which this comic does as well as anything. It's far from the most engaging story but they did only have 22 pages to work with (and these aren't really A-list comic writers, so...) I did have some issues with the comic: Why is the Autobot ship called the "Eight Track"? Why is the other Autobot ship called the "Van De Graaff"? And why does Leozack come across like a bizarre Asian stereotype? This stuff makes sense to a human reading or writing the comic, but why would an alien culture employ these Earth-specific things? I know, I know--it's just a comic. But to my sensibilities, little in-jokes or references in stories should make sense in-context rather then take the reader out of the story by disrupting their logic. I mean, if the Autobots had been to Europe and were all fluent in German(or Dutch--whatever), Van De Graaff would make sense. But as it is, it's just stupid. (I would also like to admit a bias here against Forest Lee and Rik Alvarez. I hate Lee's writing at the best of time and I personally don't like Alvarez). The story also implies that the Quintessons shot down the first Autobot ship by having Kup see one partially off-frame but naturally doesn't bother to explore this any further.

Mildly Recommended.
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

Writer: Simon Furman
(based off the screenplay by Robert Orci, Alex Kurtzman and Ehren Kruger)
Artist: Jon Davis-Hunt
(cover artist/designer unknown)

Summary: On prehistoric Earth, a robot picks up a human and examines it. It looks off to the distance and it's base/ship. It proclaims how soon all life here will be gone! In the presence, the humans and Autobots attack a couple of Decepticons in Shanghai. They take out their enemies and report back in... In America, Sam packs up his stuff and gets a call from Mikaela. They talk and as he picks up his favorite shirt, he touches an Allspark fragment left behind on it and has some kind of flash. The fragment falls into his kitchen below and brings three machines to life. Bumblebee rushes in and attacks them, accidentally leveling the house in the process. Later, Sam gives Mikaela the spark fragment and tells her to keep it secret and safe. Elsewhere, the Autobots and humans have a discussion--apparently, the Decepticon incursions are getting worse instead of easing. One of the human leaders suggests maybe the Autobots should leave Earth and then the Decepticons might follow. Prime counters with, what if they don't? Elsewhere, Soundwave is spying on the transmission from space (in his satellite mode). Sam goes to college and meets his wacky new roommate. Another neighbor nearby is an attractive blonde girl--she hits on Sam but he's too moral to fall under her graces. Elsewhere, Ravage steals an Allspark fragment... Sam is taken to Optimus Prime, who explains he has great potential to help them--but Sam tells them he's just a regular guy. He turns and leaves... elsewhere, Ravage and Frenzy go into the ocean and reactivate Megatron with the Allspark fragment!

Comments: Surprisingly, this didn't read too badly as a comic. I know if I saw in the theater I wouldn't care for it that much... I have no intention of seeing this movie when it comes out, as it looks like more of the same from the first time around. The art was pretty good--I'm not familiar with this artist. (This comic was free at the Hasbro booth at BotCon 09, incidentally).

Mildly recommended.

Friday, June 05, 2009

BotCon 2009 Report!

My BotCon 2009 report is now done! You can check it out here...

and the pics at:

(three options on the left side of the screen to choose from).

It's a bit long winded, but oh well. That's how I roll baby! :)