Thursday, November 19, 2009

Comic Review...

Transformers #1

Writer: Mike Costa
Artist: Don Figueroa

(covers by Don Figueroa)

Summary: We get a summation of the war to this point... now, the Decepticons are gone, for the most part, and the Autobots remain on Earth in disguise, ever vigilante for the return of evil. At a power station somewhere, Breakdown appears and attacks. The new effective Skywatch responds and quickly puts him down with their advanced technology. Fearing he will be killed while incapacitated, Prowl transforms and tries to stop the humans but they quickly stun him too. Skywatch knew all about him and were just trying to flush him out with the ruse of killing Breakdown (instead of just incapacitating him). Spike confidently explains to some police there that he knew about Prowl all along because he's paid to know these things. As he drives off, he doesn't realize Streetwise is also there and reports the events back to headquarters. At Autobot Headquarters, Prime tells the others to go and upgrade their systems so they won't be susceptible to the humans stun tech any longer. Hot Rod questions why they're still here--Megatron is dead and the Decepticons aren't coming back! He convinces Prime to authorize a rescue mission to get Prowl back... Hot Rod leads his team to the Skywatch facility that night but everything goes wrong. They get Prowl back but Hot Rod almost dies--Ironhide saves him by apparently sacrificing himself instead. Prime lays his old friend to rest and apologizes for sending him there in the first place... He goes to the other Autobots and resigns as their leader. He tells them to pick a new leader and then goes to the humans and surrenders himself.

Comments: An interesting first issue of Costa's run. First off, let's get this out of the way--I used to love Figueroa's art but I can't stand this new style of his. He's trying to make the TFs look more realistic and it just doesn't work for me. I hope he either abandons it or leaves the book after a short run. As for the story... it runs as a story smoothly. They don't try to decompress it or anything. We start with an opening and the issue ends on a definite note. None of this three-issues-to-tell-one-issue's-worth-of-story nonsense. As for the story contents... I knew this would happen at the end of AHM #12. The Autobots would have no point in staying on Earth but still would anyway and slowly get picked off by the humans. An annoyingly predictable start point (why don't they monitor from orbit or something?) Prime is back to self recrimination since he seems virtually incapable of ever doing anything happy and actually leading his warriors (that was why I enjoyed Furman's last story to-date in AHM #13--Prime actually did something useful and didn't cry in his beer for once). As usual, when the going gets tough, Prime quits and runs away--why did they elect this idiot to lead them again? Otherwise, the story was decent... I just hope the Autobots rescue their comrades and get the hell off Earth already. Leave those lousy humans to their fate--maybe the Decepticons can come and nuke the planet or something. I still have some shred of hope Costa will go somewhere interesting and original and surprise us all with this. But it really is time for Optimus Prime to get over it and get on with things.

Mildly recommended.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Comic Review...

Transformers Continuum

Writer: Andy Schmidt (based off everything IDW's done up to this point)
Artists: Numerous

Summary: In short, this is a comic length summary of the IDW universe from day one to day, er, right now. :) It covers the spotlights, the Furman stuff, Megatron Origins, All Hail Megatron, etc. At the end of the comic, we get a reading order/time line, ads for the TPBs and a personal message from Andy inviting us all to live the dream and buy the new ongoing series.

Comments: I understand the logic behind this comic. With the ongoing comic, it made a perfect opportunity to revisit what has gone before and--cha-cha-ching! Cash in! I had originally planned to skip this but a curious thing happened last week when it came out. I read one review, then another and still another dissing it. Walky even did a comic strip about it: and

So, I think for the first time ever, I went to the comic shop to seek out a comic that's been dissed as being bad to see how bad it really was. Well, the descriptions online are a bit exaggerated. It's not like Schmidt really confuses Thunderwing for Bludgeon but he does make some odd choices in his narrative. His recount tells all about Ultra Magnus and even mentions Wheelie's spotlight, even though both are ultimately irrelevant to the later story (but neglects to mention Kup's dilemma, which is at least peripherally related). We also get some odd time-line choices--like how Thunderwing was mysteriously reactivated (when we know Bludgeon did it) and then mentions Bludgeon afterward. If this were a recount from the Autobots' perspective that would make sense but there's no indication given here that it's from anyone's "side". Scorponok creates Headmasters on Earth then comes to Earth after that (if one is unfamiliar with the actual stories, that is the impression you'd get). Also, Skywatch created the Headmasters (even though it was actually The Machination. Apparently either Schmidt didn't re-read those old issues or he just figured all the human groups in Furman's stories were one and the same--when they really weren't). There's also a lot of "it is said that this happened" and "it is believed that" type of thing in this issue when stuff could either be nailed down or ignored. Megatron Origin did happen in the IDWverse--there's no maybe or if about it. Also, as Walky pointed out, all the current characters were there when the Great War started and Optimus Prime became leader. If he didn't want to tell the story because of possible future conflicts, why not have written in a way so as to avoid mentioning those points? I mean, duh! In closing, I'm surprised Andy Schmidt gets to write or edit IDW stuff at all. He doesn't seem to care about those important details that make or break a story (see the non-existent editing on All Hail Megatron) and even his prior attempts at doing stories in IDW's TF-verse have been pretty mediocre attempts to set-up future events rather then tell a good story.

Oh yeah, I like the cover for the most part. Spike on the cover reminds me of Wil Wheaton (aka Wesley Crusher) for some reason.

Final Verdict: Pass.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

RFC interviews Joe Eibe

Joe Eibe, also known as the infamous Metalhawk guy, was once a fine member of our very own Transmasters organization in it's early years. This week on Radio Free Cybertron the staff interviews Joe Eibe himself!

Please tune your browser to and check it out!