Monday, February 23, 2009

Spotlight Back Issue Review: Transformers Infiltration #6

Kicking off the Transformers titles for IDW was the Generation One revamp dubbed Infiltration. It was written by long time Transformers scribe, Simon Furman, and drawn by E.J. Su. This series was the source of more controversy than just about any Transformers comic title in history. At first the series was well received by fans because of the slower, unique approach. But this optimism quickly gave way to cries of complaint. Fueling this "board war" was newcomer artist E.J. Su and his unusual art style. Some were fans of it and others were wanting the crisp, clean cut art of the Dreamwave days. So the reason I picked this issue for this week's spotlight review is because everything culminates here in the final issue. Was it all worth it or not?

First off, I have to say that this is by far the best issue. After months of waiting, (and for this reader, boredom,) we finally get an issue worth paying for! Megatron is ready to put his house in order, and willing to kill any who get in his way, i.e. Starscream. Furman presents us with one of the best battles in recent memory. After years, in the show and comics, of the whole Starscream vs. Megatron thing, we final get a battle worthy of the set stage. Just look at page sixteen and tell me that isn't one of the coolest things you've seen in a Transformers comic.
E.J. Su puts his best foot forward here, with the best pencils of any of the issues. But it still suffers from bad coloring and proportioning of the characters. All in all, this issue gives you your money's worth in awesome action and a halfway descent conclusion to a far too drawn out miniseries.
Story: 7.75/ 10 Art: 6.75/10 Quick Verdict: Grab It/Hold It

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Mini Madness: Beast Wars The Gathering #3 Review

After an amazing first issue, this miniseries had a major slump with the second. Can Furman pull this one back out of the water and save a story with so much potential?

Yes he can! Again we are given a comic that draws you in and leaves you giddy with anticipation of the next issue. The story progresses at a fine pace setting up the final battle. Finally we get a glimpse of the TV show characters and how they fit in with this title. Furman makes sure that nothing is forgotten, bringing up story elements and tying up loose ends that I never would have remembered. The dialogue is very natural and well written to complement this incredible tale.
Figueroa's pencils are beautiful as always, with excellent shadowing that adds rich texture to the pages. Figueroa seamlessly blends organics and robotics unlike anyone else. Not that I'm ragging on the other artists, because they are drawing some wonderful covers (such as the one posted above), Don just has a real knack for it. Josh did another great job coloring, setting a great tone and tropical feel for the book. There are so many things to love about this miniseries, it's a shame that there are only four issues.
Story: 9/10 Art:9/10 Quick Verdict: Grab It

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Transformers Revenge of The Fallen Alliance #3 Review

With all the new trailers coming out and the SuperB@wl tv spot, a lot of hype and anticipation is growing around Transformers 2. New info about the toys and side products are being released, and the excitement is growing. Well, this comic pops a hole in the fan base's collective balloon.

As with the first and subsequent issue, the dialogue is a mess. This issue is probably the worst yet. The campy feel it gives this book is too much to just shake off. What's more is that the story goes practically nowhere. The twist at the end of the last issue is explored, but not the way I hoped. And it probably won't be until the movie. I'm truly left wondering how this script got approved. I thought that is what editors were for.
The art work is improved in this issue. It doesn't feel as rushed or as bland as the last issues. The silhouettes are (mostly) gone. Still, as this series goes on I see little reason to stick with this title. I doubt we will learn anything here that we won't learn in the first five minutes of the movie. So, unless you want to waste four bucks, stay away.
Story: 3.5/10 Art: 7/10 Quick Verdict: Our Inaugural Drop It

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Maximum Dinobots #3 Review

First off, let me preface this by saying that I still don't have issue 2, like many of you out there, due to the production problem. So, I can only guess as to what happened last month.
This issue is much different than the first. While still fun and entertaining, the dialogue, and the characterization of the Dinobots confuse me. These fierce warriors are starting to seem like the cast of an after school special. 'But we're a team, You can't leave.' What the heck? I understand that Furman is trying to paint a picture of the brotherly, close-knit friendship of the Dinobots, but does it have to be so corny? I would have thought that some more intelligent dialogue than this would have been scripted by Furman, who has always written these characters well. The story in itself in not bad at all, in fact, I can't wait until the next issue, to see where the story is going to go with the new characters that are brought in.
The art work is pretty good, but not as clean as the first issue. The panels are very cluttered and the lines seem to bee more sloppy and rushed. Too much is going on. I would like Roche to stick to a set style. His Frank Miller interpretation or his cleaner refined style. In the end, this one just lacks the luster of the first issue, but is fun nonetheless.
Story: 7/10 Art: 7.5/10 Quick Verdict: Hold It/ Grab It

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Transformers Universe: Cyclonus Toy Review

My favorite Transformers toy line currently running is the Universe/Classics line. These remakes of some of our favorite toys of the past are many times marvelous, and many times disastrous. But the great ones more than make up for the crap. Well, is this one worth your hard earned money?

When I picked up the box i wasn't very sure about shelling out $13 for it. But because of my love of the character, I bought it anyways. I'm very glad I did! This is simply one of the best toys in the line. The design, proportions, articulation, and balance make this faithful rendition a MUST BUY! The addition of his Targetmaster, Nightstick, is brilliant. Both figures transform easily and pose wonderfully. My only complaint is the unpainted shoulder joint. Other than that, this is a figure your collection should not be without!

Quick Verdict: Grab It

Friday, February 13, 2009

Mini Madness: Beast Wars The Gathering #2 Review

Beast Wars: The Gathering had the best start of about any Transformers comic produced. An amazing and complicated story, brilliant artwork, and a wonderful coloring job worked together to build a masterpiece. But what of the second issue?

I can definitely tell you (as this is a retrospective review) that this issue is the series weak link. Not much happens here other than boring dialogue and mindless fighting. The art stays up to par, with smooth lines and fantastic shadowing. But the writing and the coloring seem a little off. That said, this issue is still better than most of the stuff IDW puts out. I can see why this issue was set in this direction, I just wish it was handled a bit better. The intrigue, the suspense are all lacking, until the very, very end. What made the first issue so amazing is missing here. All you are left with is a filler issue that sets up what is to come. And believe me, it's worth it.
Story:6/10 Art: 9/10 Quick Verdict: Grab It/ Hold It

Monday, February 9, 2009

Spotlight Back Issue Review: Spotlight Blaster

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

Transformers: The Dreamwave Era Lens Up

I just got up a new lens on dedicated to Dreamwave's run on Transformers. If you're a fan of them or have never read one of their comics, be sure to check it out!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Mini Madness: Beast Wars: The Gathering #1 Review

Welcome to TF Zone's first edition of "Mini Madness." As explained in this month's newsletter, MM will be the place where past miniseries will be reviewed. Week by week the next issue will be reviewed. After the series is completed, a retrospective review of the series as a whole will be done. First up is Beast Wars: The Gathering to be followed by War Within Volume 1. This should be interesting for those who have read the series before and those who are new to it. Enjoy!
When Dreamwave collapsed many were disappointed. One of the biggest disappointments was that the promised Beast Wars series was seemingly never to come to light. But eventually IDW picked up the license and quickly announced the a Beast Wars miniseries was coming. And come it did with much anticipation from a rabid fan base. Was this comic book adaptation going to be as groundbreaking as the cartoon it was based off of? Well.... let's start at the beginning.
To put it simply, this issue is a masterpiece on every level. The story and script are brilliantly written and feature the lesser known characters that never made it to the show. Weaving a brilliant tale of politics, espionage, betrayal, and revolution, Simon Furman gives us the start to what seems to be one of the greatest Transformers stories told. And while this commanding story is being laid out, Don Figueroa brings his masterful pencils to the show. His talent with robotics and organics blend into a wonderful showpiece that accents an already amazing comic. Not that I usually mention the colorist, but Josh did some of his best work in this book, bringing lush colors and tones to this must read. Even if you never got past G1, you should seriously give this one a shot.
Story: 10/10 Art: 10/10 Quick Verdict: Grab It

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

All Hail Breaks Loose: Transformers All Hail Megaton #7 Review

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.
This book was a fill in the gaps issue, showing us how everything went so horribly wrong, and explained some plot inconsistencies. Though, I get the feeling this issue was thrown together last minute to appease a complaining fan base. Now, I'm left wondering what story elements are going to get axed to make room. That said, I feel this issue was well done for what it really is. As much as I want to complain about the obvious faults, choppy storytelling, and focus on the Autobots (I thought this was All Hail Megatron,) I was left genuinely entertained. There is an interesting back story beneath it all. But as I said before, the main story is advanced very little, giving you not much more than a twist to the end (which I personally can't wait to see how the fans react to.) This instalment does raise new questions as to what happened in between "Revelation" and the story presented in this issue. Hopefully to be answered in the future.
The art department shined yet again throughout this issue. Guido Guidi did an amazing job, as well as E.J. Su, who found a descent colorist to make his work standout.
If you are still on for the ride, I hope it will be all worth it. But I'm even having doubts as to whether McArthy can pull together a descent story with the issues he has left...

Story: 6.5/10 Art: 8/10 Quick Verdict: Hold It

Monday, February 2, 2009

Spotlight Back Issue Review: Transformers G1 V3. #10

Welcome to the first instalment of TF Zone's "Spotlight Back Issue Review." Here we will be taking a look at past issues of note and give a full review. This week's edition features the last issue of Dreamwave's ongoing G1 series: Transformers #10.

Up to this point this series was all over the place, with many sprawling storylines. But, here we find a certain resolution to some of them and the start of others. While not the best of stories and dialogue, (not to say it was terrible, but it could have been better,) this issue has many points of interest. The return of Megatron, for instance, was well handled and reaffirmed his right to command. The origin of the Decepticons was interesting as well. But the reason this issue is featured is for the showdown between Bruticus and Predaking! Who could ask for a better match up? This is reason alone to pick this up; besides the fact that they are presented in all their glory by none other than Don Figueroa. His pencils breathe life into these characters unlike any of the other Dreamwave artists at the time. And while the art is great, you can really see how far he has come as an artist at IDW, his style changes, ect. What this book lacks in true substance is made up for in triumphant returns, and amazing battle, and a cliffhanger ending, sadly, never to be resolved. So, if you see this in the back issue bin, be sure to pick it up!


Story: 7/10 Art 9/10 Quick Verdict: Grab It

Moon Base Transmissions: The February News Letter

Welcome to the first instalment of TF: Zone's monthly newsletter, "The Moon Base Transmissions." TF Zone has been up and going strong for a little over a week, so everything is starting to fall in to place. This isn't to say that bigger and better things are not coming, but this site is starting to get a certain feel. But, now I wanted to tell everyone about my upcoming plans. First off I'm going to have three set reviews a week. Starting every week off, on Monday or Tuesday, I'll have a special "Spotlight Review" on a notable back issue of interest. Then on Wednesday I'll have the new release review (pending a new release). At the close of the week, probably Friday, I'll do a weekly installment review of back issue mini-series. The section will be called "Mini Madness." First issue the first week, the second issue the second week, and so on. When the series of reviews is over I'll do a retrospective review of the whole series, starting with "Beast Wars: The Gathering" and then "War Within V1" the following month.
Soon I'll be starting a sister site for Transformers Fan Art. Transformers fans are some of the most talented artists, and I'd like to give them a site that is exclusively devoted to showcasing their artwork. As you can see, a lot of exciting things are coming, followed by much more. Updates on those things will come later. So, check back often, as this site will be updated often, we can really use the support.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Maximum Dinobots #1 (Not so far back issue) Review

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