Friday, 2 October 2009

Going Backwards - Transformers: All Hail Megatron #1 review

And so it begins ... welcome back to Going Backwards reviews, where those of you too slagging lazy to dig out your old issues to go over past events. This week I present to you my gospel on All Hail Megatron #1. This issue divided the fandom in half, some loving, some hating. I loved it. It amazed and shocked me. And by the way, I'm doing these more often than once a week as it's getting very close to November and I need to review everything before the ongoing kicks off in about six weeks. So read on.

Synopsis: One year after the events of Devastation, a quiet day in New York is interrupted by the arrival of the Constructicons. The locals assume a movie is being filmed, until the Constructicons start blasting people.They are soon joined by Starscream and the Seekers who add to the destruction. Starscream's gloating over his superiority to Megatron is disturbed by the arrival of his leader, who shows how hardcore he is by destroying a skyscraper.
At a nearby USAF base a squadron of pilots is launched, though they don't believe in the reports of giant alien robots until they see them with their own eyes. Megatron and the other Decepticons make fast work of them.
On Cybertron a depressed and battered group of Autobots watch over a badly wounded Optimus Prime.

The Good:  Well, let's start with the art. Guido Guidi on lines with Josh Burcham coloring. Guidi's simplistic yet well-drawn style collaborates with Josh's amazing bright though washed out colors to convey the shocking, almost surreal mood. Shane McCarthy's writing talent (or lack of, some might say) is shocking and intrigues the reader to read more. The silent sequence of the Autobots watching over their battered leader needs no words. There is a distinct sense of despair and tension in the panels. Very well done. The Megs-Screamer dialogue is very funny and evocative of each character - Starscream sucking up to Megs while subtly mocking him, Megs answering coldly and blowing lots of stuff up. Very cool.

The Bad: Not much bad stuff here. But the issue doesn't have a lot of stuff. Looks more like a preview than an actual issue. Kinda like Infiltration #0. All it does is show us what will happen for the next 11 issues. Not very exciting. Shane says the first issue was meant to "ask questions, not answer them. Hmmm...

The Ugly: In the flashback panel on page 1, Jazz is missing his car doors on his forearms. It doesn't appear to be battle damage, and he has them later on in the present. Remember those big public Transformers battles and that giant dinosaur robot stomping around in broad daylight? Well, the people of America don't. The Air Force squadron say they thought the Decepticons were a hoax, though whether they meant the Decepticons in general—whom the Air Force have seen and bombed—or this specific attack is unclear. Neither makes much sense. Next issue reveals that the Transformers were public knowledge, but everyone believes they were tools for a terrorist group, which means the Air Force thinking they were a hoax and the people of NYC not recognizing them with fear makes even less sense. In the real world continuity family, there is no such rank as "commander" in the United States Air Force. Shane McCarthy is Australian, and their national air force has a "wing commander" rank, so that might be a real-life explanation for the existence of the rank in this continuity. This is not the first time this has happened. DJ has a "soul patch" beard, which, in the real world continuity family, is not allowed for U.S. military pilots.

Verdict: Very interesting, but the overall story has little substance to it which doesn't satisfy. The art makes up for this though - Guidi's silent ending sequence is totally awesome. Rated 8 out of 10.

Posted by Fanbot at 9:33 pm, FRIDAY 2 October

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