Sunday, February 26, 2012

Comic Review...

Cover "A" by Andrew Griffith
Transformers: Robots in Disguise #2

Writer: John Barber
Artist: Andrew Griffith
(covers by Andrew Griffith and Casey Coller)

Summary: The Decepticons make their move, as the TRANSFORMERS relaunch really amps up! As Bumblebee's provisional government struggles to maintain control, Ratbat stages a deadly attack that only Prowl can stop! Meanwhile, Starscream tries something he's never done before: telling the truth to an Autobot. Well, most of the truth, anyway.

Comments: Continuing on from last issue, Ratbat attempts to put his plan to declare a new war on the Autobots into motion. But his plans might not be Starscream's plans... we get a decent dosage of Starscream in this issue (the primary Decepticon character in this issue) and he is portrayed well and true to character. I get the impression he may well be doing more in the future (although his endgame isn't yet obvious. Assuming he has one, of course).
   We also learn the identity of Prowl's mysterious partner. It is a character we all know and love but I have to say I didn't suspect that would be the character in question (it's a good choice though, since we haven't seen them in a while).
   The art continues to be reasonably good as well. I had no real complaints (although the colorist still seems to think Prowl should be blacker then he's supposed to be).
   I still like this series the better of the two. It's just closer to what I'd prefer to see in a TF comic then MTMTE is, and I hope it continues to impress in the future.  

Verdict: Good.

Comic Review...

Cover "B" by Nick Roche
Transformers: More Then Meets The Eye #2

Writer: James Roberts
Artist: Alex Milne
(covers by Alex Milne, Nick Roche)

Summary: The new TRANSFORMERS direction blasts off! Trapped in space, their ship critically damaged, the Autobots try to rally what's left of their forces. And to complicate matters, Skids arrives on the scene, guns blazing! Who is he? What does he want? Where does he come from? Unfortunately, not even Skids knows the answers...

Comments: I was surprised to see Skids show up this issue. Where he came from is not clear in the story but it seems to infer he was already on the planet that Rodimus and the others crashed on. To Roberts credit, Skids is given an interesting and flattering appearance here (sometimes it seems like so many G1 characters get relegated to boring background roles so this spotlighting of him was nice).
   In general, the story for issue two is more stream-lined then issue one's (no need to introduce everybody this time around and set it all up). It appears like most of the people blasted out of the Lost Light at the end of issue one were saved after all (disregard my rant about Rad, Fizzle, etc. from last time). It did seem like at the end of last issue that the ship was heavily damaged and they might be marooned on the planet but by the end of this issue they're already repaired and ready to go.
   I'm still not crazy on the whole late 80s Justice League-like banter in these comics (humorous asides and little jokes littered in places). It's cool in some comics but I'm not sure I like it here for Transformers (I'm not saying it's bad per se, just that it doesn't quite fit with my personal view of TF fiction. Your mileage may vary).
   I noticed the art seemed a little different this issue and wondered if Roche had changed his style or something. As it turns out, Alex Milne actually drew this issue (oops. Well, I read the issue late at night and because I had the Roche cover just naturally assumed he drew it all). Anyway, Milne does a fairly good job here (although I wonder if Roche will be back soon. They made a big deal about Roberts/Roche on this series so I assume he'll do more then just one issue. Perhaps they'll alternate issues to lessen the workload?)
   All in all, a slight improvement on issue one. (I know I said I wasn't planning to get more of this series but I saw one solitary issue of MTMTE #2 when I went on my comic run and got it out of habit while getting RID and some other stuff).

Verdict: Good.

Saturday, February 04, 2012

Titan Transformers UK issue 4.5, March 2012.

"Jack goes to school"

Titan Transformers UK issue 4.5, March 2012.
(click on image for better view)

Script: Robin Etherington
Art: Horacio Domingues
Inks: Ruben Gonzales
Colours: Nestor Pereya
Lettering: ComicCraft

I recieved this comic by post Thursday. First thought was "Have I seen the cover before ?" Well no, issue 4.3 also has Arcee on the cover and combined with a white background has caused this.

Page 01:
Free gifts:
- Transformers Prime Missile Launcher. VERY Not impressed. At All. The damn thing is broken(see picture).

Still, I'm not gonna contact them for another copy, the free gift doesn't actually excite me that much.

Cover features PRIME promo art of Arcee and Ratchet !
Page 02-03: Index Page.
Page 04-05: Arcee Profile and Arcee photo mash-up.
Page 06: Titan Magazines -StarWars Magazine subscription- advert
Page 07-10: Part one of the the strip begins.

"School is... out!"
Scripting by Etherington and art by Domingues, Everything starts at Greenville high school, Greenville. Nevada(I wonder if this is fictional? )The school has an explosion due to gas leakage. it appears to be the fourth school in Jasper county so when the kids see this newscast(I thought they only watched rock videos and played games...)Optimus joins them and mentions that he suspects Decepticon activity. They decide to stake out at the school and discover it's not the Decepticons but human adversary Silas ! and he's after Jack !(see page below for an example)

Page 11: Star Wars The Clone Wars Magazine advert combined with episode 1 3D competition.
Page 12: Defuse the bomb puzzle(see page below for an example)

Page 13: Save Jack Maze. Help Arcee !
Page 14-15: Part 5 of the PRIME episode guide, reviewing Darkness rising part 5. Also a micro quiz:
Page 16-17: Transformers Prime mini poster featuring all the main cast, bar humans. page has come loose

Page 18: Starscream's Stumpers! Crossed wires featuring Raf.
Page 19: Shadow image and Crack the code puzzles.
Page 20: Titan Magazines -get 2 transformers with subscription- offer advert
Page 21: Titan Magazines back order advert.
Page 22: A walk on the wicked side, Soundwave's Wordsearch.
Page 23-26: Part 2 of the strip! Jack enters the school(I know, stupid idea) without being seen or has he ? Silas confronts Jack and attempts to capture him but Arcee intervenes. Silas orders his troops to retreat to the roof, Jack manages to delay Silas in an interesting(but painful to men, a kick in the nuts) way. Amidst the confusion that follows, Silas does manage to escape and sets a firetrap for Jack. Arcee saves Jack and assures him he did a good thing trying to protect his family.(see another page)

Page 27-29: The letterpages, hosted by Megamouth Megatron (PRIME version) with a little help from Arcee (also PRIME version).
Page 30: Win Transformers figures competition.
Page 31: Next issue blurb which looks like a Prime cover. but then I was wrong every time....
Page 32: StarWars Magazine advert featuring Episode 1 imagery.

Conclusion: Good Comic strip, again, simple and fun! Toy was probably stepped upon but hey, I've already said enough about that! Shame about the broken toy(oops did it again.....)

score: 6.0 out of 10

-Johan time... the Transformers UK 2012 Annual ....I hope.

Friday, February 03, 2012

Comic Review...

Transformers: Robots in Disguise #1

Writer: John Barber
Artist: Andrew Griffith
(Covers by Marcelo Matere, Andrew Griffith, Dan Khanna)

Summary: The war for Cybertron is over--now the hard part begins! This first of two new ongoing Transformers series offers an excellent jumping-on point and all-new direction as BUMBLEBEE and his fellow AUTOBOTS struggle to maintain control of a world without OPTIMUS PRIME!

Comments: I found RID's story to be a little bit more focused then MTMTE #1 was (not to say that Roberts story was bad or anything--just that there were a lot of plot threads set-up in it). RID, by contrast, is a bit more straight forward and I found myself enjoying it. Bumblebee is struggling to keep his own people in-check as well as the Decepticons, who are in a position of being subservient to the Autobots (thanks to the compliance chips in all their heads. If they don't comply, they can be killed by remote control at his discretion). Naturally, the Decepticons are unhappy with their lot in life and Ratbat (who's previously gotten little spotlight in the IDWverse) is planning to do something about it. It's also all-but-stated that Prowl's mysterious assistant sabotaged the Lost Light on-purpose (the partner is there to get his hands dirty so Prowl doesn't have to). (Incidentally, RID #1 is slightly after MTMTE #1 so the characters are reacting to the events of that issue in this one).
    A minor story thing: Bumblebee is changed into his WFC Cybertronian form here and--get this--the story bothers to address this change! I think that must be a first for IDW. I'm truly shocked and delighted somebody bothered to do that. Points for that.
   The art is by Andrew Griffith and is competent. There are other artists I like better but the art is good enough that you can recognize the characters by and large (and that's all I really ask). I still think Metalhawk's robot mode is a bit weird looking but I'm warming up to it slowly. Some bizarre things though--Horribull is colored gold in this comic for some reason (the toy was grey and previous era comics had him the right colors). Also, Prowl is colored more black then he should be--almost like someone confused Prowl and Bluestreak.
   While MTMTE had six different covers, RID takes it to the next level with seven! One cover by Marcelo Matere, then it's split into four variants, another by Andrew Griffith, another sketch cover by Dan Khanna. IDW--enough already! Seriously!
   The first recent TF comic I can truly say I liked, with no reservations or caveats... I actually might get the next one to see where the story goes (because I want to and not because I feel like I have to out of some fan duty).

Verdict: Good. Pick it up! :)

Cover "B" by Marcelo Matere

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Winter 2012 TM Mag deadline!

The Winter 2012 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 February 12th. As always, submissions can be sent to tkphoton at