Sunday, December 27, 2009
With the surprising events of the Transformers Ongoing unfolding steadily, Bumblebee is elected the new leader of the Autobots who chose to stay on Earth. Now Bumblebee gets his own miniseries to tell about this pivotal moment in Autobot history.
The story here is very straight forward, and nothing we have never seen before. Nonetheless, it is kept fresh and interesting with sharp dialogue and steady pacing. The characters are portrayed nicely with a large amount of time devoted to character development. Bumblebee has a lot of self doubt as to whether or not he deserves to lead, and isn't afraid to let his friends know. I really liked the way it was shown that a few bots had a real problem with Bumblebee being chosen, while few bots stepped up to help and advise him. The way Bumblebee handles these situations make you instantly respect him as a leader, even though some of his own bots don't.
The art is interesting to say the least. It almost looks painted, but I really have no idea how Chee did it. The retro designs have been brought back for this mini. Some fans will be thrilled, while others will be starting to realize the genius of Don's designs. The art gives the book a very classic and rough around the edges feel, which I think serves for the benefit of the issue. At the same time, though, the art isn't for everyone. For instance, I spent more time wondering how it was done than focusing on the art itself. Some may not like it at all. It's not my favorite style in the world, but kudos to IDW for tying something new.
Overall, this was a solid issue and start to the miniseries. If you are currently reading the Ongoing, this one is a must read. The two series walk hand-in-hand and are closely entwined. If you are not following the Ongoing, you might still enjoy this because of the classic designs used in the art style. Either way, give it a try. I'm sure you will enjoy it.
Story: 8/10 Art: 7/10 Quick Verdict: Grab It
Friday, December 25, 2009
2010 is here. As we think back on the past decade, a lot has happened, a lot has changed. It's amazing how fast ten years can fly by, and how much that can happen in those ten years. Take the world of Transformers for instance. Think of all the new t.v. series, toylines, video games, and most importantly the live action movies that have come and changed the face of Transformers this past decade. Perhaps the things that changed the most were the comics.
At the beginning of the decade we didn't even have new comics. All we had were the fond memories of the Marvel run. But in 2002 a little comic book publisher called Dreamwave changed all that. It can be said that Dreamwave changed Transformers comics forever. Particularly in the art department. While their run was short lived, they still produced some amazing stories and discovered brilliant artists. For a more in depth look at Dreamwave's run with Transformers check out : http://www.squidoo.com/transformers-the-dreamwave-era
After Dreamwave went bankrupt, IDW Publishing got the license. They started things slow with the Infiltration mini, but started ramping things up with Stormbringer, the Spotlights, and the Beast Wars mini. When the Movie came, a multitude of Movie Universe comics were released. After Infiltration, Escalation, Devestation, and Revelation came All Hail Megatron. During which time many new artists and writers were found. After a failed reboot with All Hail Megatron, a new ongoing series was announced. Even with the controversial art, the series has been met with a favorable response. So much has happened (most of it I left unmentioned) in the past ten years. Transformers comics are currently at their pinnacle. The quality of the art and story telling is beyond that of any other era. It just goes to show that it pays to be patient. Not to say that the ride hasn't been enjoyable, but somehow it feels as if it's just getting started.
January is going to be a big month for Transformers comics. The Ongoing #3, Bumblebee #1, Tales Of The Fallen #6, and the much anticipated Last Stand of The Wreckers #1 are all coming out this month. This is gonna get interesting.
With a heck of a first issue, Mike Costa and Don Figueroa crafted an interesting and solid foundation for this new series. While controversy still abounds among the fandom, no-one can deny that this book is causing a lot of talk and dispelling many fears. How does the second issue stack up?
I think that this creative duo has hit this one out of the park. Again, Costa has the pacing dead on. The dialogue is still sharp. Even with the fairly large amount of new characters introduced, you never feel overwhelmed. The focus still remains on a small core cast, giving the characters that matter enough time to shine and the development they deserve. Even with a new leader being selected, it doesn't feel as if all the focus is on him. Again, same as the previous issue, the ending has you wanting more. Costa knows just how to hook the reader and reel them in.
The art keeps getting better and better. Don is really refining his style and making everything flow and feel more natural. Just looking at this art style when it was introduced in All Hail Megatron #13 and comparing it what we get two issues later, you can see the effort Don is putting in to get everything just right. The art is magnificent and will make you want to flip through this book again and again. Give it enough time and I'm sure everyone will come around. (Just like with Beast Wars, The Movie designs, and Animated.)
Overall, this issue keeps things moving and keeps it fresh and interesting. The art alone makes it worthy of picking up. Hopefully Mike and Don can keep it up. We just may be in for a series that redefines Transformers comics forever.
Story: 9/10 Art: 10/10 Quick Verdict: Grab It
Thursday, December 24, 2009
The Tales of The Fallen series has been a Spotlight style book for the movie universe characters. Mostly ones that got very little time in the movies themselves. Some have been great, giving insights into character backgrounds and adding a bit of depth to the movie universe, while some have been no so great. I have to tell you, I was looking forward to "Ravage". With Nefarious on the horizon, and Simon Furman constantly hinting that this is were the story starts, I had high hopes for another good comic.
Well, after reading it, I can safely say that this is the worst Transformers comic I have ever read. The story? There isn't one. The entire issue can be summed up in one page or the opening sentence of Nefarious. I was left wondering why it was felt that this tale warranted telling.
The art by Alex Milne is subpar for what he is capable of. It looks rushed and a bit sloppy, which is a shame because this was a great chance for Milne to showcase his work in this issue, because the little bit of story there is was told by the art. He is a very talented artist, but I bet he was left uninspired by the script.
In the end this issue is just a pointless movie tie-in, shamelessly riding on success of ROTF. I'm very disappointed because this wasn't even close to the high quality TF books IDW has been putting out as of late. You expect a little substance for $4. After reading this, I wanted my money back.
Story: 1/10 Art: 4/10 Quick Verdict: Dodge It
With so much hype surrounding this series and this issue in particular, no one issue of a Transformers comic has ever been so important, so pivotal as this one. With the over abundance of previews and big reveals, the surprises seem to be spoiled, right? Nope! Some big surprises were left even after the previews. Again, IDW couldn't wait, so a day after the issue came out, they gave a press release spoiling the ending. So I'm pretty sure you know what has happened.
Ironhide is dead! Optimus quits! Okay, they ruined the surprise in every way possible, but there is still a great comic underneath the commotion. The story is paced very well, a problem IDW has been fighting since they got the license. The dialogue is sharp, mature, and very natural. Nothing seems too out of place or broken up. I particularly enjoyed the exchange between Optimus and Hot Rod, which could have been very cheesy and cliche.
The art department has been a heated subject among the fandom. I'll go ahead and tell you where I am. In my opinion, Don Figueroa can do no wrong. Everything he touches turns to gold. He is the best and always will be the best Transformers artist ever. You could definitely call this an artistic man-crush. The faces of the bots don't bother me at all, and the redesigns of the bots themselves are stunning! This is his best work yet in my opinion, and shining point of the issue.
Overall this is a great start to the new ongoing series. The premise is interesting and the ending leaves you having no idea where the next issue is going to take you. The art is simply breathtaking and makes this issue a must buy!
Story: 7.5/10 Art: 9.5/10 Quick Verdict: Grab It (you won't be sorry)
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Sunday, April 26, 2009
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
While Shane McArthy has been criticized for putting very little into each issue, this book is jammed full of awesome action and storytelling. Drift is given an interesting origin that I didn’t really expect. Not that it’s something we have never seen before, but it is interesting nonetheless. The pacing is spot on for a change, it flows neatly and is easy to follow. McArthy has never had trouble telling interesting stories, just how he went about them. Hopefully future work of his will be this well done.
The art work is superb and is some of the best quality coming out from IDW. This new artist needs more than a spotlight, he needs a miniseries at the very least. Kudos to the colorist as well, who did a magnificent job bringing the book to life.
While this issue should not be missed, it doesn’t really add anything to the ongoing story. It just tells the back story of a new character. But it is supremely well done and a must if you can afford it.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Thursday, April 2, 2009
Okay now that Alliance is over, I can say that it has to be one of the worst Transformers series ever. The entire story could be summed up in the first five minutes of the movie, which will probably happen. After I finished reading this issue, I just sat there and scratched my head wondering why I just spent $16. And I still don't have an answer. It started out bad and has only gotten worse. While the dialogue has improved I still feel that there was no story to be told here. I'm sorry but when I am shelling out four bucks an issue I expect a little substance.
That said, Alex Milne has saved his best work for last. The art is much improved and is the only saving grace. But honestly I don't think it's worth spending four bucks on.
In closing all I have to say is to run for the hills, or pick up the Star Trek Countdown series (also published by IDW) which is a stellar example of how to do a great prequel comic.
Story: 3/10 Art: 8/10 Quick Verdict: Drop It (like the plague)
Friday, March 27, 2009
This is the first time in a long time that a Transformers comic has made me sit back and go "WOW". You know, that giddy feeling in your stomach and you get that stupid grin on your face. Everyone asks you what you are smiling about and then you show them. Then they roll their eyes and tell you to get a life. That WOW. Chris Mowry has given us a very compelling tale in this issue, very up to par as to what has come so far. In fact, things are taken up a notch. We see Cybertron falling apart and a line being drawn. The war has begun. We are given our first look at the Fallen. And are shown a very interesting take on Megatron's origin. This series is taking on a very epic feel and I can't wait for the next issue!
While the past issues have suffered in the art department, Don Figueroa's return has breathed new life into this series. He gives the comic a dynamic that only he can pull off. No one's art inspires me like his. The details that the movie designs deserve are finally given justice. I only hope he plans on staying.
While Alliance suffers terribly, this series goes to prove that Mowry can write an incredibly engrossing and entertaining tale!
Story: 9/10 Art: 9.5/10 Quick Verdict: GRAB IT!!!!!!
Thursday, March 19, 2009
All Hail Megatron has had its share of mysteries and twists, but the pace has kept interest of many fans at an all time low. This issue is probably the most pivotal of any of the issues so far. Finally, the traitor is revealed. And I was truly shocked by the identity. So kudos must go out to McCarthy for making it the last person we would have ever expected. I was starting to wonder if there really was a traitor, but we finally find out. One big problem, though, is that the focus is still on the Autobots. I don't think I have ever seen a series with so little of the Decepticons. A little ironic for a series called "All Hail Megatron."
That said, I found this issue, and really the entire series, to be very enjoyable. The art by Guido Guidi is stunning and blows me away every month. He seems to have found his style and is sticking with it. The colorist did an amazing job and brings Guidi's pencils to life.
This issue just goes to reaffirm many anti-ahm fans complaints. But for those in for a good time, this is highly enjoyable. But I'm still waiting for the series we were promised, not a tale about some broken down Autobots, fighting for their lives.
Story: 8/10 Art: 8.75/10 Quick Verdict: Grab It
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Friday, March 6, 2009
Monday, February 23, 2009
Saturday, February 21, 2009
Thursday, February 19, 2009
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Saturday, February 14, 2009
Friday, February 13, 2009
Monday, February 9, 2009
Not very often do we see a Transformers comic like this. Simon Furman has given us an interesting "who done it" story. It's nothing we haven't seen before. But it's something we don't see often in Transformers comics. That is why I chose this issue for this week's Spotlight Review.
Here we are given quite an interesting take on Blaster, a bot there to boost morale, yet he is more depressed than anyone. In fear for his life, not able to trust anyone. On the hunt for the one who tried to take his life. I have to hand it to Furman for crafting a more than average tale, though I doubt everyone enjoyed it as much as I did.
A job well done is in order for a rookie Transformers artist. He did a wonderful job for his first gig. One fault I do find with his work was that the silhouette of the assassin kind of ruined the air of mystery. One look at it and you know exactly who it is. Which really makes me wonder why Blaster and Perceptor couldn't figure this one out. Come on it's obviously !@*$&%#$&%. Anyways, if you like a story out of the ordinary, pick this one up. But if you have slightly different tastes, you might want to skip it.
Story: 8/10 Art: 7.5/10 Quick Verdict: Hold It/ Grab It
Sunday, February 8, 2009
Friday, February 6, 2009
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
Another month has come and gone. We are that much closer to spring. Birds are singing. Children are playing. And another issue of "All Hail Megatron" has come, advancing the plot about five minutes. Don't get me wrong I love this series (mostly for the artwork.) But I can definitely see where others are starting to get upset.
Monday, February 2, 2009
Sunday, February 1, 2009
I know this issue has been out for a while, but, as our poll can show, this is the best current running Transformers series. So, how could I not write a review?
Ever since they were first introduced the Dinobots have been the most loved characters in Transformers lore. And when handled right, they can make the most interesting basis for a story. Now, they get their own spotlights of sorts in "Maximum Dinobots". This series is being headed by long time TF writer, Simon Furman, who has always had an affinity for the Dinobots. Grimlock in particular. So this should be fun!
Since the end of the "Revelation" story line, Furman's run has has practically ended, and his story with him. While this story seems to be taking place before "Revelation", this series looks like it'll be tying up some loose ends left from "Devastation". So, how does this issue hold up? With the exceptions for a couple of corny (filling you in) lines, I have to say well done! I haven't enjoyed a TF comic this much from Furman since "Beast Wars: The Gathering". And no, this story is not the most complicated in the world, but if you don't have fun, then you need to get your head checked!
The art is very well done by Nick Roche, who is a rapidly improving artist. His style continues to improve with each issue he does. And his style fits this book perfectly. Everything is just so well done it is hard to criticize it at all. If you haven't picked this up, then you are missing something special.
Story: 8.75/10 Art: 8.75/10 Quick Verdict: Grab It
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Monday, January 26, 2009
Sunday, January 25, 2009
The half way point of All Hail Megatron has come. By now serious questions are being raised as to the direction this series has taken. Pacing, amount of focus on the Autobots, lack of focus on the Decepticons, all points of concern. Is this series worth it? Does this issue give a definitive answer? Wellllllllll.... those who hate the series won't care for this issue either. Focus is still on the Autobots, but the story is progressing, answering some looming questions. Those who are not as critical might find a lot to be had. Again, the story is progressing a little faster, but not much. The art is still top notch. Guido Guidi is quickly becoming one of my favorite Transformers artists. All in all, if you want a good read and really good art work, make sure and pick this one up. Just don't believe the whole 'best Transformers comic ever" thing IDW is trying pull. (If you are on the fence as to whether to drop this series or not, I would wait. I think something BIG is coming...)
Story: 7/10 Art: 8.5/10 Quick Verdict: Hold It/Grab It