Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Going Backwards - Spotlight: Jazz review

Branching out into the ever-expanding Transformers universe that is IDW, Going Backwards reviews finally presents to you Fanbot's gospel on Transformers Spotlight: Jazz. I won't waste any time rambling on about it, and instead get straight into the review. Here goes...

Synopsis: Cybertron: Duped by Megatron and trapped on their home world, the Autobots are at breaking point, arguing and bickering amongst themselves. Tracks attempts to lift their spirits by telling them a story about his first combat mission.

The group Tracks was with had been suddenly and violently attacked by Decepticons, leaving him as the only survivor. With his optics damaged to the point of being virtually blind he is shocked when an Autobot appears to offer him a hand up. Jazz (for it is he) is part of a rescue squad, but the helicopter with the rest of the team on it is suddenly shot down. The Predacons, Megatron’s elite guard, have come for Jazz and intend to make great sport of him.
Jazz drags Tracks to cover, and begins using his auxiliary energon reservoir to make a bomb. Outside the Predacons offer Jazz a quick death if he surrenders. Instead he sends tracks out, something that provides the Predacons with much amusement but also provides enough of a distraction for Jazz to sneak behind them and begin a rear assault.
After knocking them off balance Jazz seemingly runs for it, but it’s just a trap to lure the Predacons over his bomb -- which explodes, taking three of them out of the game and allowing Jazz and Tracks to run.
As Razorclaw and Divebomb move in for the kill Jazz knows the odds are still against them, and he orders Tracks to get away as best he can unaided whilst he takes on the two Decepticons himself. When Tracks protests, Jazz points out being an Autobot is more than a badge; it’s a way of life he intends to uphold.
Jazz goes to face the Predacons, but his words have affected Tracks and even though he can’t see more than outlines he transforms and crashes himself into Divebomb. The two remaining combatants face up against each other, with Razorclaw soon on the point of victory. However, their fight is interrupted by the arrival of another Autobot rescue team, forcing Razorclaw to flee.
Tracks is repaired but never found out who his saviour was. When he asks after him Ironhide relays a message that all he wanted Tracks to know was he was just an Autobot, just like Tracks is.

In the present the Autobots find this story uplifting. Prowl walks off from the group and wryly notes to Jazz what tale has just been told. Jazz proclaims the whole thing clearly nonsense, but afterwards gets Tracks alone to thank him for giving everyone new hope.

The Good: First up, E J Su's art. Su burst onto the job with him pretty much single-handedly drawing the first three IDW miniseries. His art is very technical and realistic - he likes to show how these bots are put together. His style is very fitting for this issue. Don't ask me why I think this, it just seems to fit. Next, the writers; TF Mosaic extraordinaires Josh van Reyk and Shaun Knowler. They wrote this very well, with pretty much all a good story needs packed into 22 pages - a mysterious warrior, a young initiate learning the ways of war, some awesome action scenes and a good dash of gore thrown in for good measure (Jazz half-decapitating that Pred; totally visceral). The story was nothing amazing, but it was good nonetheless. Well done team.

The Bad: The story is great, no doubt about it. But it's a parody of an old folk song about a guy who's rescued by a mysterious soldier whose identity is never found(and, in the song, later turns out to be a ghost since the guy died a couple days earlier). This makes the story not very original, but still, it's AWESOME. And also, Su's lines seem a bit more messy than his usual clean artwork. Ah well.

Verdict: Very well done, love it. E J Su is an awesome artist and the story was well-done (if a bit unoriginal). Next week, prepare for ... All Hail Megatron! Rated 9 out of 10.

Posted by Fanbot at 1:03 pm, WEDNESDAY 30 September

IDW December solicits update + covers

Comics Continuum was updated very recently with some IDW TF solicits for November. The cover art is nothing you won't have seen before if you've been paying attention to Fanbot's gospel. But more importantly, there's some info on what the slag the issues are going to be about. Hooray! Here's the scoop on all Transformers happenings for December:

TRANSFORMERS: BUMBLEBEE #1: Written by Zander Cannon, art by Chee, covers by Chee and Trevor Hutchison. After a shakeup in Autobot leadership, Bumblebee finds himself leading a group that believes him to be unprepared for the job. An opportunity to radically improve the Autobots reputation arises and he accepts despite his reservations, embarking on a clandestine mission for the human military to find and disable all remaining rogue robots. 32 pages, $3.99.

TRANSFORMERS #2: Written by Mike Costa, art by Don Figueroa, covers by Figueroa and Andrew Wildman. "Things Fall Apart," Part 1: After the shocking events at the end of last issue, the Autobots are in total disarray. An unexpected leader rises, and unlikely alliances are made.

TRANSFORMERS: TALES OF THE FALLEN #5: Written by Simon Furman, art by Alex Milne, covers by Carlos Magno, Milne. The momentous event that is Transformers: Nefarious kicks off with the sudden, shocking -- and silent -- reappearance of stealth agent Ravage. Thought destroyed in Revenge of the Fallen, Ravage is back. But who is pulling his strings, and what is his mysterious but crucial mission? 32 pages, $3.99.

TRANSFORMERS BEST OF UK: PREY #5: Written by Simon Furman, art by Jeff Anderson, covers by Andrew Griffith.Dinobot Swoop sets out alone to settle an old score with Divebomb, but gets more than he bargained for when the rest of the Predacons arrive. Continuing the collection of classic tales from across the pond. 32 pages, $3.99.

Posted by Fanbot at 12:14 pm, WEDNESDAY 30 September

Sunday, 27 September 2009

Going Backwards - Transformers: Maximum Dinobots #5 review

And so it ends ... well, at least this series anyway. And what an end Simon and Nick have brought us. Death, resurrection, retribution and vengeance, all packed into 22 pages. Wow. Things in Dallas kick up to the highest possible notch, with Grimlock and co. seemingly defeated by Scorponok, with Shockave arriving to slag Scorponok. Before I get into this review, please let me direct your eye over to the cover, seen right. Art by Nick Roche, colors by Priscilla Tramontano. The colors and compostiton for this are off the charts, way better than any other except for #2. But why is Sunstreaker here, driving out of a fireball? Ain't he suppposed to be inacapacitated and headless? But anyway, here's the scoop...

Synopsis: Grimlock is in shock at the sight of Sludge’s dead body, and Scorponok and Shockwave begin to fight over who gets to kill the Autobots. The other Dynobots decide to run whilst they can, but for Grimlock it’s now personal. Hot Rod decides to stay with him even though he can barely stand.
Agent Red hurtles towards the scene on a Skywatch truck, where his minions brief him on the fact Shockwave has seemingly been keeping his end of the bargain (by first leading them to the Seekers before heading to the main concentration of aliens.) As the 24-hour timer on Shockwave’s bomb has almost run out he orders that if it looks as if all the robots are present it should be allowed to detonate, if not it should be reset.
As Grimlock tries desperately to revive Sludge, Shockwave takes advantage of the fear of the vulnerable Dante being within Scorponok to beat him. Shockwave doesn’t kill the human, though, as it’s more logical for the Headmaster to just step down and use his escape route and to let him finish the Dynobots. Scorponok agrees and flees underground; Grimlock attempts to give chase but is soon fighting Shockwave instead.
At the Monsterbot ship the Dynobots hesitate about leaving their commander, and after deciding they’re not like the mercenary renegades they return. Meanwhile, within Machination Headquarters Hot Rod finds both Hunter and Scorponok’s real head. Hunter explains that disconnecting it will shut Scorponok down, but before Hot Rod can do so he is attacked by the full-bodied version.
As the Dynobots prepare to attack Shockwave from behind they are somewhat surprised to have a recovered Sludge groggily come up behind them. With the 24 hour countdown heading towards zero Agent Red orders the bomb be disarmed for now; this allows Soundwave (who has been perched on a precipice observing everything) intercepts the code and gives Shockwave control in exchange for being told how to restore his own robot mode.
The charade over, Ravage and Laserbeak make a bloody escape from Skywatch and Shockwave admits he never had any real interest in fighting Grimlock -- going to leave until the Dynobot calmly drops a grenade on the floor which blows up the building their fight has smashed them into.
Underground Scorponok is preparing to deliver the killing blow to Hot Rod when the other Dynobots arrive and Swoop takes out the connecting wires to the real head with his wings. The main body is immediately rendered gormless, and as they prepare to kill him in a very permanent fashion Ultra Magnus arrives and proclaims that Scorponok will stand trail fairly. Swoop is worried Magnus has come for the Dynobots as well, a question he sidesteps by saying they should destroy the facility and get off the planet quickly.
Three days later on Ark 32: Sunstreaker is being repaired, Hot Rod has a shiny new body and Hunter -- as human as he’s ever going to be again -- is reunited with Verity and Jimmy. Ultra Magnus explains to Optimus that although most of the loose ends have been tied up Skywatch could remain a problem.
Back on his own ship Ultra Magnus visits one of his prisoners, Grimlock. In exchange for the other Dynobots not being arrested he’s going to take the full rap for their actions. But Grimlock doesn’t care, having decided to take full responsible for the first time in his life as Sludge is alive and his team is free. On Earth, the Dynobots finish repairing the Skyfire and prepare to depart.

The Good: OK, here is where Max Dinos wraps up, tying off all the little plot ends set up in Devastation/Revelation. It's very good to see all these tied up and sorted. We even get a couple panels worth of Verity and Jimmy, restored to full health by wonder-medic Ratchet. Good to see that. Simon, you've done good; the story is believable and the conclusion satisfies me greatly. Nick does an awesome job at his art duties as well, executing the pages with great precision. Hot Rod wielding Sludge's SLAGGING HUGE energo-sword is a great thing to see, and Roddy's gory, half-crushed-in, fluid-dripping face at the issue's end astounds me. Great job.

The Bad: Verity and Jimmy only get two panels. That's barely half a page. I like these guys, and they got pushed to the back. The story, though good in itself, seemed a bit rushed. The Dinobots' final battle with Scorponok was very short, didn't really have any flair. And James Raiz's messy art dominating the issue is very annoying.  Need I go on?

The Ugly: Sludge is once again drawn (by the two different artists) with two different heads, one with a nose and one without. Grimlock's beast mode (courtesy of Raiz) has returned to the generic killer T-Rex body/pose (as opposed to Nick's sleek Beast Wars-inspired design). Lastly, Hot Rod takes Sludge's SLAGGING HUGE energo-sword into Machination HQ, but when about to destroy Scorponok's head, he just has his green metal crutch as a weapon. Where'd he put the sword? This may be due to not enough specifics in Simon's script as to the nature of Roddy's weapon.

Verdict: A satisfying end to a very awesome series. James Raiz's art soured the experience though. Next up: Spotlight JAZZ. Rated 8.5 out of 10. 

Posted by Fanbot at 5:26 pm, SUNDAY 27 September

Thursday, 24 September 2009

The return of SHANE McCARTHY!

For the first time in about two months, AHM writer Shane McCarthy has updated his blog, saying he is currently working on a miniseries for IDW "of the Transformer kind". This no doubt will cause a great stir in the fandom. Will he do better than last time, what with the continuity errors, inconsistencies and unexplained events that made up All Hail Megatron?

Stay tuned to Big Small for more on this as it comes. This fan will certainly be watching Shane to see if he can do better.  And also, after Saturday there may be a slight delay on posts. If I don't post in a week, wait a couple more and I'll soon be back up and posting like there's no tomorrow. See you soon.
Posted by Fanbot at 4:53 pm, WEDNESDAY 24 September

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Going Backwards - Transformers: Maximum Dinobots #4 review

Welcome back to Going Backwards Reviews! Sorry for not reviewing these sooooo long, really couldn't be stuffed and I had other reviews to do. Anyway, back to the review. As with the rest of the Maximum Dinobots series, the action kicks up a notch with every issue that passes. I'm left stunned, gripped and cheering for more. Simon Furman, Nick Roche, Josh Burcham - is there any creative team better (apart from Nick Roche, Nick Roche  and Kris Carter)? So, let's see what they have in store for us this time...

Synopsis: In Portland Oregon, Ravage and Laserbeak finally locate Soundwave and forcibly rescue him. Returning him to Mount St. Helens, Soundwave is left unsure what he can do next as he has no way of getting out of cassette player mode. Shockwave appears and explains the technology freezing Soundwave was of his design, and that they can help each other.
In Dallas, Hot Rod leaves the Machination Headquarters in time to let the real Sunstreaker in. Though he pleads with the Headmaster to wait until they can get back up, Sunstreaker has had enough and wants to be whole again immediately. As he goes inside a disappointed Hot Rod goes to call for help.
As the Monsterbot ship flies from Fallon to Texas, Grimlock brokers a deal with the outcast Autobots, for an extension of the alliance he’ll give them the encrypted data they stole from Shockwave’s ship before destroying it. However he finds the other Dynobots are still unsure of their current fugitive status.
Hot Rod takes the painful step of boosting his internal comm. system through with a Machination power source, blasting it through several satellites before it heads in the direction of Ultra Magnus’ space ship.
Sunstreaker feels he’s getting close to his head when Scorponok blasts him from behind. Gloatingly he explains he knew Sunstreaker was in the building all along as each real Headmaster has a unique recognition stamp. His gloating is cut short however when he realises Hunter has disengaged from the now lifeless body. He goes to hunt the human down but is interrupted by a message telling him of the imminent arrival of the Monsterbot ship.
Onboard the ship, the Dynobots argue about why they even need to go after Scorponok, arguing they should just leave the planet at once. Grimlock though considers this personal, and once the ship’s weapons have taken care of the main Machination defences he charges into battle. After a seconds hesitation, the others follow him and they begin taking on the Headmasters
Hunter meanwhile has found Sunstreaker’s head. Feeling there were no options remaining he disconnects it, which in effect instantly disables all the Headmaster’s outside. The Dynobots are confused, and an attempted explanation from Hot Rod only adds to this. The conversation is cut short when Scorponok blasts Sludge down, immediately followed by Shockwave who wants revenge on the Dynobots himself.
In space, Ultra Magnus hears Hot Rod’s distress call and vows that this time Scorponok will not escape…

The Good: This issue is almost as good as the rest, though not quite. See The Bad for more on this. Anyways, Nick Roche does his usual amazing job on art duties. His lines are like a drug to me, I can't live without them. Best panel is when Sunstreaker gets blasted in the chest by Scorponok, fluid spraying in all directions and molten metal congealing around the balst hole. This panel is just slagging awesome. I love it. Simon Furman's plot is well-done and seems to go along very well. Haven't detected any plot holes yet. His story leaves me gripped and cheering for more, and that's how it should be. Fill-in artist James Raiz does well, although I never liked his style he can draw better than me any day and I applaud him or stepping up to the mark for this. But...

The Bad: OK, James Raiz is a good artist but the fact remains that he is not, and never will be, Nick Roche. His art style is NOTHING LIKE NICK'S. I mean they could at least have got someone with an art style remotely resembling Nick's, like Emiliano Santalucia or even Casey Coller. The art changes are very jarring, and Joana Lafuente's colors continue to annoy me. Where are you Josh Burcham? ("On AHM you noob", I hear as I type) But other than that, the comic is great.

The Ugly: Sludge is drawn differently between the two artists. James' Sludge head has a nose and features while Nick's head is flat with no nose. I mean if they're going to have different artists they could at least have the same designs! Nothing else.

Verdict: Quite good, but the creative team goes seriously downhill at this issue. The story is great and I enjoyed reading this. Rated 8 out of 10.
Posted by Fanbot at 5:31 pm, WEDNESDAY 23 September

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Review - Tales of the Fallen: Sideswipe

Tales of the Fallen started off very well with the spotlight shone on fan-favourite Bumblebee. The story was enjoyable and the art very nice to look at. But all this goes out the window with Tales of the Fallen: Sideswipe. Before we get into the review, let me direct your eye to the cover, left. Art and colors by Alex Milne, and he has done a great job on it. Great colors and art-nouveau design. Bit disappointed about the lack of a name on it, as was with 'Bee's cover. This title has been seen in some versions of the cover, but unfortunately has been omitted for the release. Why, IDW, why?

The Good: Well, Moose Baumann, who colored about half of the comic, did an excellent job at enhancing Carlos Magno's artwork. Very well done. And, um, well nothing else really. See below for details ...

The Bad: Man, I don't even know where to start with this one. Carlos' art did the job alright as usual, but his detail quality went extremely downhill here. In Sideswipe's flashbacks, the cybertronian-altmode Transformers were drawn very generically, with no real deviation from each other. They looked like badly drawn Bionicles. Next up, Simon Furman's writing (Chris Mowry did the previous issue); I know that everyone says he has very predictable and cliched storylines, but this is just ridiculous. There is virtually no substance to the story other than "Sideswipe's pissed at Demolishor while Demolishor slags a couple city blocks and escapes to fight another day". This is definitely the worst issue I have ever read. The stuff you get on Free Comic Book Day is better. But at least there was a decent amount of internal monologue, which is more than can be said for Shane McCarthy's Spotlights. But this issue still sucks majorly.

The Ugly:In his first appearance in the comic, Demolishor is drawn pain-stakingly toy-accurate, with wheels formed from his folded out treads and no fingers on his shovel-hands. However, when he shows up again later, he's instead drawn the way he appears in the movie, with fingers and separate tires.

Verdict: Absolutely disgusting. This is Simon at his very worst (something I've never seen before) and Carlos' sub-par artwork fails to impress. Rated 6.5 out of 10.
Posted by Fanbot at 5:17 pm, SUNDAY 20 September

Transformers ongoing update! Mike Costa CBR interview

Comic Book Resources just had a quick interview with Mike Costa, writer for the highly anticipated Transformers ongoing series starting in November. While most of it was nothing we haven't heard before from other sources, Mike went a little bit more in-depth as to what the first arc was to be about;

When the new series opens, three years have passed since the end of “All Hail Megatron.” “We wanted to give the Earth time to rebuild and set up a new status quo,” Costa said, adding that details from the three-year gap would emerge as the series progresses, as well as through miniseries set during this period. “Megatron and most of the Decepticons are still gone, and the Autobots are still on Earth, but that puts them in an awkward spot. See, most people don't care to differentiate between 'good giant robots' and 'bad giant robots.' All they saw were giant robots that almost totally destroyed the planet. So we begin our series with the Autobots in hiding... in disguise, if you will.”

There. That's quite interesting is it not? Can't wait for Transformers #1 to hit stores. And speaking of issue 1, the article on CBR also came with some artwork from the first issue (I think). The first is shown above, and I really hope this is a cover and not just a litho thingy. Look at all those great characters; Devastator, Grimlock and the Dy(i)nobots, Ratchet fighting Thundercracker - who seems to be back to his -ations F-22 altmode and body - Ratbat, Astrotrain, Kup, and what looks like Abominus (the gestalt on the right, maybe he's the Seacon combiner or something). And also two pages were provided, as seen below:

These are just awesome. I think James Brown is coloring, and I also think he has done a great job. So why the SLAG did he do such a crappy job on All Hail Megatron #12? But anyway ... the first page, on the left, seems to be illustrating the three years' rebuilding the humans go through before the series kicks off. Apparently, several miniseries in the near future wil show us what happened in these three years. Here's the link to the original article for the full goss:

Looking forward to November. WOOHOOOOO!!!

Posted by Fanbot at 9:43 am, SUNDAY 20 September

Saturday, 19 September 2009

Review - Transformers: All Hail Megatron #15

All Hail Megatron was a very controversial series for the 'bots, and it divided the fandom in two as to the opinion of it. Many believed it was poorly written with a lot of dragging out, while others thought it was shockingly good,with big changes in store for all involved. Then the four-issue Coda was incorporated into AHM. The stories have been viewed as just filler, and for once I am inclined to agree. The stories seem to have no real substance, and few of them had any relevance. Even IDW admitted it was filler so they could get ahead on the ongoing series, out in November. But ...

The Good: That all changes with this issue - All Hail Megatron #15. By Primus, this is a serious deviation from the norm. First up is story 1; "Everything in its Right Place", story and art by Nick Roche, colors by Kris Carter. Slagging hell is all I could say upon reading it today. Man, Nick Roche is slagging awesome. His story is great, dialogue believable and realistic, and his art shatters my trousers whenever I look at it (go to TF Wiki's article on him for diagnosis of shattered trousers). The sheer expressiveness of his faces astounds me, and no-one else, not even the great E J Su, can top this realism. I mean, his 'bots have eyelids. Fragging eyelids, people.

That is just uber-cool. And Kris Carter hasn't done Nick's colors since Spotlight: Hardhead back in Revelation, and I find myself thinking I should have missed him. His colors perfectly and expertly complement Nick's lineart, elevating them into a higher state of artwork. Boo-ya.

Now, onto story two, "Lost & Found", story by Denton Tipton, art by Casey Coller and colors by Joana Lafuente.This one has very good art, though not as evocative as Nick's. The story serves its purpose quite well, giving us a reason as to how Perceptor went from blabbing boffin to silent sharpshooter. Casey's artwork is great as always, but colorist Joana Lafuente really steals the show for this one. Her new coloring style is bright, vibrant, and great to look at. Great work Joana and Casey. PS: A preview of AHM #15 is available here.

The Bad: Just little things that aren't too good in this issue, but they affect the overall nonetheless. Nick's still-great penmanship is very wordy, with speech bubbles taking up a large amount of panel space that obscures his beautiful artwork. But this story was obviously done to answer some of the fan questions that have been circulating since AHM's beginning, so this is understandable. On the subject of the second story, Denton obviously needs to stick to editing rather that writing. His story serves the purpose but is heavily condensed - the story jumps horrendously several times, which is a bit confusing if you can't decipher comics easily like me. But as I said, the story serves its purpose fairly well, so in both stories the bads are actually good in their own ways.

Verdict: The best AHM Coda issue of all. Nick Roche was the star of the show, while Joana's amazing colors made up for Denton's rushed story. (unrelated: Please comment shadow!) Rated 9.5 out of 10.

Posted by Fanbot at 2:03 pm, SATURDAY 19 September

Thursday, 17 September 2009

Trev Hutchison covers - collect them all!

Trev Hutchison. Mention his very name and memories flow unhindered into our robot-crazed craniums. He is remembered for his totally awesome cover art on the highly controversial (and written by an Aussie no less) Transformers series All Hail Megatron. And for the Coda mini, he did four similarly designed covers. This one is no deviation from Hutchison's clean and striking propaganda style, and in my opinion is totally awesome. 'Bee looking through a hole in the middle apparently signifies his exploratory nature in the story. Can't wait.
Oh, and here's the complete set, just so youse can see them all in their glory:

Posted by Fanbot at 6:41 pm, THURSDAY 17 September

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Transformers Continuum update! Andy Schmidt overview + Don Figueroa art

OK, so I don't actually know how old this news is, but I think it's pretty important anyways. USA Today recently interviewed TF editor Andy Schmidt on the 32-page, no-ad (woohoo!) comic he wrote. This is all old hat, but the important thing is that the article came with piccies of Don Figueroa's controversially drawn Transformers. Personally, In Bumblebee's case he has crossed a line. 'Bee now looks like a G1-ified version of his movieverse counterpart. He ain't a Beetle anymore! That was the best thing about IDW 'Bee - he was a VW Bug.  But anyway, you should check out the article and see for yourself:

OK, you go do that. Also, here's Don's designs for Optimus below; 

And it's actually quite cool, the shininess being one reason. Pity Prime will probably be beaten up by the end of the first arc. The G1-ness of Prime hasn't been totally omitted so he actually looks really awesome. Look out for Transformers: Continuum, out in November 2009. Don't miss it!

Posted by Fanbot at 4:31 pm, WEDNESDAY 16 September

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Trev Hutchison has Last Stand of the Wreckers "covered"

As we all know, Trev Hutchison did variant covers for the highly controversial Transformers series All Hail Megatron. By Primus, his propaganda styling was just slagging AWESOME. I'm hitting myself repeatedly for not getting AHM in his covers. No it seems he's jumped back on the TF bandwagon with the all-Nick Roche miniseries Last Stand of the Wreckers. Boy, I love this one. Perhaps not as symbolic as some of his previous covers, but amazingly done nonetheless. A bit of a militaristic color scheme seems to be present (this links into the Wreckers' purpose and status among the Autobots)). Can't wait for this one to come out in January 2010. Don't miss it! And also, here's some cropped interior images from the first issue:

Enjoy! Go to Trev's deviantart page to keep updated on this at See ya!!

Posted by Fanbot at 6:34 pm, TUESDAY 15 September

Saturday, 12 September 2009

Finally, Arcee gets the Milne treatment

Finally the Milne Tales of the Fallen cover set comes full circle. At last we are treated to the variant cover for Tales of the Fallen: Arcee! Art and colors by Alex Milne. This one is cybertronically awesome. The Cybertronian hieroglyphs are more dominant for this cover, which may or may not have something to do with her transition from her single Arcee body to her three components (Arcee, Chromia and Flare Out). Anyway, I just loove the cover as always. As  I have said before, Milne has to do his own coloring now, it's so cool. This on comes out in mid-December. Rated 9.5 out of 10. Can't wait.

Posted by Fanbot at 6:53 pm, SATURDAY 12 September

All Hail Megatron #15 preview - Nick Roche is awesome! was updated very recently with a five page preview of All Hail Megatron #15. The first story is written and drawn by Nick Roche, and details Kup's rehabilitation after the events of Spotlight: Kup, and this is what the five page preview entails. And by the five page preview's taste of what is to come, it looks as if we will finally discover the nature of Kup's "cigar" (that is not actually a cigar). Now Nick is an awesomely brilliant artist - this is the first cover in the AHM Coda that is more awesome than Trevor Hutchison's RI (that's saying a lot). But that ain't all this Irishman can do. We've only ever seen him write one story, but that one story seems yo make him a pretty awesome writer as well. This taste here is very well-written, but we'll have to read the rest (and read the Last Stand of the Wreckers mini he's doing on his own). Personally I can't wait. Here's the pages for your viewing pleasure (oh Primus, that sounds like an airplane in-flight announcement doesn't it) ...

These are just slagging awesome. I can't wait. AHM #15 comes out on September 16. Don't miss it!

Posted by Fanbot at 7:34 am, SATURDAY 12 September

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

A brief reflection - TF: Tales of the Fallen covers by Alex Milne

Hellooo internet viewers! In recent light to Chris Ryall's sound verbal beating on his TF ongoing art, he has attempted to appease us with an offering of other covers from Tales of the Fallen. These four covers, by movieverse artist legend Alex Milne, are exquisitely designed and beautifully done. Here they are, in all their glory.

First up is Alex's cover for Tales of the Fallen: Sideswipe, which comes out on 9 September (click here for a preview of this):

Wow. Awesomely totally awesome. Alex said that when he was doing these he wanted to go for a more "designed" feel to the artwork. And boy does it show. I mean just look at it! The lines are clean and smoothly done, the colors are absolutely perfect. I couldn't wish for more. Rated 8.5 out of 10.

Next up is his cover for Tales of the Fallen: Jetfire:

For some strange reason this one was put out into the internet ahead of the Sideswipe one. But it is pretty cool nonetheless. The SR-71 Blackbird silhouette for the lettering is awesome, and Jetfire is in a well-drawn pose - though in one that implies he is (in the pic at least) a lot younger than in ROTF. Bit weird to think about; Jetfire, not old? Woah! But anyway, The art rules majorly. Though the colors are a bit more drab than the rest of the set. Rated 8 out of 10.

Next, the cover for Tales of the Fallen: The Fallen (lol repetition):

Now this one is probably the best of the best. The Fallen's pose looks like he's beckoning you, to come into his deathly embrace ... breathtaking artwork. Those colors are beautiful. I don't really know how to put it, they just strike something inside my inner Transfan. Nuff said. Rated 9.5 out of 10.

And finally, the cover to Tales of the Fallen: Ravage (Arcee is not provided):

This cover comes in for me at a close second place to the Fallen's cover. The layout and Cybertronian hieroglyphs make it look like some ancient engraving, prophesizing the rise of Ravage. Art: awesome. Very well set out and drawn (why isn't Alex drawing the actual comic?). Colors: great. Misty, with effective contrast in Ravage's circle that draws the eye to him. Rated 9 out of 10.

Well, that wraps it up for a while, until Transformers: Nefarious kicks in. Remember to watch out for Tales of the Fallen: Sideswipe, out on September 9. Transformers forever!

Posted by Fanbot at 4:34 pm, TUESDAY 8 August

Sunday, 6 September 2009

Review - Sir Edward Grey: Witchfinder #3

Creative team:
STORY  Mike Mignola
ART  Ben Stenbeck
COLORS  Dave Stewart

It is somewhat ironic that today, on this most holy of days, it is with great pleasure and irony that I present a comic from the creators of the greatest paranormal horror title in comic history. This is Sir Edward Grey: Witchfinder #3, a miniseries spinning out of the Hellboy universe, going under Fanbot's reviewing microscope. Let us begin ...

The Good: Oh yeah. This series is really getting interesting now. Mike Mignola and NZer Ben Stenbeck have done an awesome job on this issue as always. Mike delivers a good expository towards the end, in which we finally discover the origins of the blood-sucking monster that has been terrorizing 1879 London for the last two issues. Ben Stenbeck's artwork cranks up a notch - we finally get a horrendous dose of good ol' Hellboy-esque GORE. The first four pages have so much red in them, 8.5 on the gore scale. This is good. This is very good indeed. I love a bit of gore (well actually a lot) in my comics - Transformers G2 a prime example. Dave Stewart, Eisner-award-winning colorist extraordinaire, how could I forget. His colors are just amazing, they complement the artwork perfectly. He is the king of flat coloring. I love him (in an admiring way).

The Bad: OK ... well, I actually am pretty satisfied with Witchfinder #3. But then again I'm easily pleased. The only gripe I have is that the story, although greatly done, isn't seeming to be going anywhere fast. Dark Horse said that Mike would be really slow with the pay off for this series, but how slow? This by the way is a very minor thing. I still love the comic, don't get me wrong.

The Ugly: one solitary typo in this comic. On page 14 (in context at least), "sun" seems to be misspelled "nun". And another thing, not so much an error as an inconsistency; in the first four pages, the monster is bright red. In all its other sightings it has been a dark greyish green color. This may be because it's one of those animals that changes its skin color according to mood - and the monster was mightily pissed off at the humans. Or it may not. Who knows?

Verdict: Very very satisfying to read. The consistent creative team have done extremely well. I applaud them. Rated 9.5 out of 10.

Posted by Fanbot at 12:43 pm, SUNDAY 6 September

Saturday, 5 September 2009

IDW Transformers releases for Sep. 2009

It's September everybody! And that means more Transformers for all of us fans. So here's IDW's Transformer releases for this month:

TRANSFORMERS: All Hail Megatron #15 (w: Nick Roche,Denton Tipton/a: Roche,Casey Coller)

TRANSFORMERS: Tales of the Fallen #2 (w: Simon Furman/a: Carlos Magno)

TRANSFORMERS: Best of the UK: Prey #2 (w: Simon Furman/a: Geoff Senior, Jeff Anderson)

TRANSFORMERS: All Hail Megatron vol 2 (w: Shane McCarthy/a: Guido Guidi,Emiliano Santalucia, Robert Deas

TRANSFORMERS: Animated vol 11 (w: Marty Isenberg/a: various)

Enjoy! Have a great month, see you soon!

Posted by Fanbot at 4:21 pm, SATURDAY 5 September

Fanbot's Reflections: more TF ongoing covers

Sorry this is a bit late. But as with all my late posts, this is a very important piece of news. Yesterday, RyallTime was updated with covers for the second issue of IDW's ongoing Transformers series (original article here). This has been highly anticipated by many TF fans, me included, and I am just blown away from the biblical flood of comments that have flooded into this topic - 33 comments on Ryall's article last count). Many people have been complaining about Don's new style. Frankly, you are all a bunch of GEEWUNNers. By the Matrix, stop complaining. In the words of David W who commented on RyallTime, "...please, grow a set." Well said. But anyway, here's my thoughts on the new covers...

First up is CVR A, art by Don Figueroa with colors by James Brown:

Don, you are awesome man. This cover is great. Simple colors that nevertheless complement Don's lines well. But speaking of lines ... his movieverse style. This cover is a prime example of him overdoing the movieverse styling. Still cool, but it is quite annoying to look at. Also, Red Alert (first appearance in the IDWverse) looks like he's wearing a space helmet with the targeting sight. And last of all; WTF is up with Rodimus' design. In the first cover he has his old IDW Dodge design, but now it seems he's reverted back to his old AHM/Sunbow altmode. WTF?

Verdict: Awesome. No idea why Rodimus keeps changing altmodes though. But job well done all round, good lines + good colors = 8.5 out of 10.

Next up is the variant cover (one of six done for the first ongoing arc), art and colors by Andrew Wildman:

I have never really seen Wildman's artwork for a G1 issue - only his movieverse prequel stuff. But hell is he a good drawer when it comes to G1 (I know that he did work on the Marvel US comic in its final days). Art style is very cool and rough-looking, and his colors are very good - although his non-yellows are a bit too blue for my taste. Very well done Andrew.

Verdict: Amazing job done. Really want to get this one, but I can only get the A where I come from. Damn. Ah well. Rated 9 out of 10.

Looking forward to seeing these awesome covers hit the stores in December. Happy reading TF fans!

Posted by Fanbot at 3:49 pm, SATURDAY 5 September