Sunday, March 31, 2013

Comic Review...

Transformers: Fall of Cybertron (one-shot)

Writer: John Barber
Artist: Dheeraj Verma
Covers: Dheeraj Verma (regular), Norwood Cole (RI. High Moon Studios FOC concept art)

Summary:  RISE OF THE DINOBOTS! Searching for a missing teammate, GRIMLOCK leads his team deep into SHOCKWAVE’s citadel—and they’ll pay for their trespass with their lives! It’s the origin of the Dinobots as you’ve never seen it before!

Comments:  This apparently started life as a web exclusive comic which has now been compiled into physical issue.
   Grimlock risks his life, and the lives of the Lightning Strike Coalition (what the Dinobots are called in this story before they become the Dinobots) to save Swoop, who has been caught behind enemy lines with essential information. All of his team succumb to Shockwave, who uses their indomitable spirits to transform them into something all-together new... Grimlock holds on to his hatred of Shockwave as his last bastion of will. Will it be enough?
   The story is decent and presumably serves as set-up for what happens in the FOC game itself (I haven't yet had time to play all the way through it). It's an okay story and I think Barber makes the most of what he has to work with.
   The art is neither good nor terrible. Usually I land on one side of the fence or the other but this issue's art (by Dheeraj Verma) alternates with some good panels and some where I have no idea what I'm looking at. It could be better in places but it's decent overall.

Verdict: Average. Not essential reading but an okay distraction.

Cover by Dheeraj Verma

Comic Review...

Transformers: Regeneration One #89

Writer:  Simon Furman
Artist: Andrew Wildman (pencils), Steven Baskerville (inks)
Covers: Andrew Wildman (A), Guido Guidi (B), Geoff Senior (RI)

Summary:  DINOBOT WAR! Happy reunions are in short supply as Grimlock seeks out his Dinobots in a desperate attempt to salvage something from the mounting carnage in Iacon. But as far as they’re concerned, he’s a traitor who has brought shame on the Dinobot name—and if they’re going down, he’s coming with them!

Comments: I had trouble thinking of what to say about the story with this review. It continues on and, yeah, I'm looking forward to seeing where it all ends up. It seems like that's my sentiment with every issue to-date. It was nice seeing the other Dinobots finally (in the here-and-now) and the revelation that the "demons" are the first inhabitants of Cybertron was fairly obvious even from their first appearance waaaay back in TF #76.

   I had some art issues though. The last page shows what appears to be the Decepticon clones, Wingspan and Pounce.  They're supposed to have identical robot modes but here they have entirely different head designs (does someone not grasp the concept of clones?) Also, there is still the issue of the Autobot Headmasters heads looking wrong. And some of the background art could be better too--it's almost like Wildman's being a bit lazy this time (series) around. 

Verdict: Very Good.

Cover "A" by Andrew Wildman

Cover "B" by Guido Guidi

Retailer Incentive cover by Geoff Senior

Saturday, March 23, 2013

It's hot! It's here! It's now, baby! :)

Introducing, the latest greatest issue of....


(Note: The Crimson Destiny story's not quite ready but the rest of it is, so I'll update soon-ish with the rest).


Sunday, March 17, 2013

Comic Review...

Transformers Spotlight: Bumblebee

Writer: John Barber
Artist: David Daza

Covers: David Daza (A), Livio Ramondelli (B), Clayton Crain (RI and Convention Exclusive covers)

Summary:  ESCAPE FROM EARTH! Before Cybertron was reborn—BUMBLEBEE lead the Autobots on Earth. In this untold tale, he must take the reigns of command… and he’s got hundreds of rogue Decepticons standing between him and respect!

Comments:  This is yet another story set during the Mike Costa era, a series I patently hated and don't need to be reminded of. Bumblebee's scouring Earth looking for any remaining Decepticons while most of the Autobots have returned to Cybertron to deal with Galvatron.
   Overall, the story is logical and decently written. Like the Megatron spotlight, it has no real bearing on current events but it a good look at Bumblebee's character and what he has to face while being in command of the Autobots (Who ever thought that putting him in command was a good idea?)
   My real complaint is with the terrible artwork. Drawn by David Daza (this is my first exposure to his work) everything looks cartoony and ill-defined. Can IDW not afford good artists? Yuck!

Verdict:  Average. A decent story with terrible art.

Cover "B" by Livio Ramondelli

Comic Review...

Transformers: Robots In Disguise #14
Cover "B" by Casey Coller

Writer: John Barber
Artist: Andrew Griffith (pencils), Brian Shearer (inks)
Covers: Andrew Griffith (A), Casey Coller (B), Marcelo Matere (RI)

Summary:  MEGATRON IS BACK! The day the AUTOBOTS hoped would never arrive… is here. CYBERTRON is burning, BUMBLEBEE’s government is crumbling, and MEGATRON is here. Sides are chosen… and heroes fall.

Comments: We finally step behind the curtain and find out what's been going on all this time--Prowl's been manipulated by one of Bombshell's cerebral shells! Used to help aid the Decepticons as they made key players "die" so they could escape undetected and help prepare for the coming domination of Cybertron. All of this is Megatron's ultimate plan.
   An excellent plot twist and quite an interesting turn. Still, it did take an awfully long time to reach this point in the story. They really needed thirteen issues to get to this? After such a long wait, it seems worth it though. I just hope the story going further can maintain this level of interest and doesn't drop back to mediocrity (given IDW's twenty to thirty issue format they've been doing in recent years, I do hold out hope it will stay good from here on in).
   Some further threads have also come together--we will shortly find out what became of Ironhide, the Dinobots and the Aerialbots (they appear at issue's end, ready for battle). It's unclear what, if any, bearing the Bludgeon and Orion Pax sub-plots might eventually have on the ultimate outcome of this series though (time will tell).

Verdict:  Excellent. A must-buy!