Sunday, October 23, 2011

Comic Review...

Cover "A" by Livio Ramondelli
Transformers #28

Writer: Mike Costa and James Roberts (story); Mike Costa (script)
Artist: Livio Ramondelli
(covers by Livio Ramondelli)

Summary:  CHAOS part 3 rocks Cybertron as the return of an unlikely Decepticon faces off against Sunstreaker who is looking for a little redemption--Megatron suits up for what might very well be his final battle--and you are introduced to something we had to call--the DeceptiGOD! 'Chaos' goes insane!

Comments:  The battle for Cybertron continues! We still don't learn precisely what's going on in this issue and we get more fighting on Cybertron but somehow I didn't mind this issue quite as much. It felt like the plot was moving along at least a bit.
    We have a prologue with some Autobot refugees in an escape pod (are they from Kimia? Or somewhere else?) who are rescued by Arcee (apparently she finally crawled out of that hole on Gorlam Prime). The prologue's significance, if any, is not revealed in the rest of the story (perhaps it's just an attempt to account for everyone?)  The rest of the issue is about the battle on Cybertron. The Decepticons from Earth come to Cybertron via a space bridge transponder Megatron had on his body (according to a theory by Jetfire anyway. The reinforcements say nothing otherwise). Again, I think they're there to tie up that plot thread more then anything else. The Decepticons stop moving eventually, start spouting binary code and all come together (along with the Sweeps and "Galvatron's army"--which has been visually absent in the art but apparently still exist) to form a giant monster (called "DeceptiGod" in the solicitation). It attacks the Autobots, who try to fight it off. Elsewhere, Galvatron tells Optimus Prime that only the Heart of Darkness can destroy the planet's core and save the Universe. He races off to do that... Optimus is contacted by Cliffjumper--who's communicator is taken by Megatron (he did not merge with the rest of the Decepticons). Prime tells him to hold off the monster, if he can, in order to save the planet. Megatron says he will do his best... Optimus goes after Galvatron.
    The art is still murky as hell, making some panels had to decipher while others look not too bad.
    The story, as I said, is decent and advances somewhat over the previous couple of issues on Cybertron. I wonder why the Decepticons are affected by the darkness/whatever-it-is but not Megatron or the Autobots. One thing that would greatly improve this story is if they would drop a few hints about what is really going on. We got a set-up in the Heart of Darkness mini-series but since then Costa (and Roberts) have played it too close to the chest. I understand we're coming to a big story revelation shortly but dropping a few hints here and there would help pique curiosity and so far we've gotten nothing at all. It is my hope next issue of Chaos actually gets to the pay-off but we'll see...

Verdict:  Average.

Transmasters Mag Fall edition!

The Fall Issue of Transmasters Magazine is in the works! Submissions (art, stories, articles, etc.) are always welcome. The deadline for submissions this time around will be November 15th. As always, submissions can be sent to tkphoton at

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Comic Review...

Cover B by Brendan Cahill
Transformers #27

Writer: Mike Costa
Artist: Brendan Cahill
(covers by Brendan Cahill and Marcelo Matere) 

Summmary: 'The Last Story On Earth' continues with shocking revelations into what the humans have done to Cybertronians and what they plan to do! Alliances between the two races are on the brink-can Jazz, an Autobot who killed a human, possibly bring both sides back before utter destruction occurs? Here's a hint: Not bloody likely!

Comments: This issue sees art by Brendan Cahill, which is easier to follow in some respects then Ramondelli's is. I wouldn't say he's my favorite artist either though (give me Roche, Guidi or Matere any day).
    So, Prowl survives a sneak attack thanks to Streetwise and they discover it was Brawl who attacked them. They incapacitate him and return to base. We also pick up another story thread about a woman who worked for Skywatch but betrayed them by ratting out that they were working with the Autobots in secret. Later, Prowl grabs her and tries to interrogate her to find out about who killed Scrapper. She hints at Spike and then he comes in and confronts them directly. Yes, he admits to killing Scrapper!  To be honest, I'm not even sure who this woman is (maybe I missed whatever story she was in? I skipped a few issues when they went to North Korea and fought the Decepticons). If she was in the second story arc, this is a long time later to come back to her since likely all but the diehard readers have forgotten who the hell she is. Or if she wasn't in that story, her part was so small I paid her no attention. Either way, this was a plot twist out of the blue...
    Finally, we get to the important part--Spike killed Scrapper and admits to it! The only thing is, who cares? In the issue (TF #9) where Spike committed his "crime", we learn Scrapper's actions caused human deaths so it's not like he went out and summarily executed an innocent party. Also, in case Prowl has forgotten, Scrapper is a Decepticon--his sworn enemy! At least if Spike had killed Bluestreak or something this story might make sense but as it is he did everyone a favor. This story highlights my disdain for this current series--it focuses on issues I just don't care about in a Transformers comic. I don't want more of the same per se, but I would rather the comic pull back and focus more on the bigger picture (like Furman's stuff used to) and less on touchy-feely characterization (or, at least, not so much on it all the time). Costa's approach works so much better for the GIJOE: Cobra comic (in part, because there are other comics in the same continuity being written about other things) but not so much here with only one title.

Verdict: Mediocre. 

Comic Review...

Transformers #26

Writer: Mike Costa and James Roberts (story); Mike Costa (script)
Artist: Livio Ramondelli
(covers by Livio Ramondelli)

Summary:  'CHAOS' rages on! A hole is punched through to the core of Cybertron itself-but what for? Where's Galvatron?! And why is Megatron, deep in the Autobot base and stuck in his cell, laughing? It all spells one thing-TROUBLE with a capital 'Crush the Heroes!' CHAOS part 2, in which things go from bad, to holy-hell-how-are-we-gonna-get-out-of-this-alive!!!

Comments:  The Autobots fly up to attack Kimia (the big space gun/space station thing the Autobots used to control until the start of last issue). Rodimus commands the space battle while Optimus Prime and the others attack Galvatron on the surface (after Wheelie tries to snipe him and fails). The space gun fires and begins destroying a spot on Cybertron's surface... finally, two of the Technobots (who are still on Kimia) blow it up and destroy it, averting the threat and whatever Galvatron had planned to do. We still don't find out whatever Galvatron is up to, of course. Meanwhile, Megatron breaks out of prison in Omega Supreme and inadvertently comes to Cliffjumper and Wheelie's aid.
    I still dislike Ramondelli's interior art and it's still too murky for my tastes. I also dislike this someone draws one issue, somebody else draws the next, the first artist does the third issue, etc. stuff. Why can't they get one guy to do a full run instead?
    The story itself is okay. Mostly a long battle with some minor movements along the way. After all this time, we still don't know exactly what Galvatron plans to do to stop D-Void and we still have the Autobots not even attempting to look at the bigger picture for purposes of moving the plot along. Granted, Prime says he senses something happening via the Matrix near the end of the story but we don't know what and his reaction is to go stop Galvatron rather then endeavor to truly find out what (I may be nitpicking a tad here but it feels like the Autobots are being short sighted for plot convenience). I also wonder why if the Autobots had Kimia in the first place why they didn't use it to swing the balance of power in the war their way (I hate it when super weapon stuff like this shows up for a story and no one bothers to consider the larger picture).

Verdict: Average.

Cover A by Livio Ramondelli