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)
TF Zone is BACK!!! After a short stint at Today.com, I decided that this is where I want to be. Feel free to check out the reviews I did over there at: http://transformers.today.com
But be sure to check out all the latest reviews right here! Be sure to follow!
But be sure to check out all the latest reviews right here! Be sure to follow!