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

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