Wednesday, 25 November 2009

IDW Transformers solicits for Feb. 2010

A couple weeks back Transfans were provided with covers for Last Stand of the Wreckers #2 and Transformers #4. Now IDW has gone the whole cyber-hog and provided the full Transformers solicits for February 2010 -- that's slaggin' ages away, but you don't hear Fanbot complaining. Here's the full TF scoop for Feb:

Covers by Figueroa, ANDREW WILDMAN

His ambivalence cost him his allegiance. His unexpected betrayal set the stage for Autobot victory. His name is Thundercracker, and this issue reveals what he's been doing these past three years after his brutal expulsion from the Decepticons in All Hail Megatron! Costa and Figueroa show you perhaps the most unique transformation of all...

32 pages, $3.99.

Covers by Chee, GUIDO GUIDI

"Things Fall Apart," Part 3: After leaving a decoy for the Skywatch colonel, Bumblebee embarks on a solo quest to find the device that will free the Autobots. He befriends the child of the one man who holds the device they need, and finally has to ask himself if what he's doing is right.

32 pages, $3.99.

Covers by Roche, TREV HUTCHISON

The Autobots' finest begin their descent into hell, and all bets are off. The true nature of the Wreckers' mission is revealed and the reappearance of an old enemy drastically reduces the chances of anyone making it back alive.

32 pages, $3.99.

OK, that's it for another month, Watch this space for all the newest info on everything Transformers and comics, and if you missed out on your copy of Transformers #1, be sure to get the second printing, out on December 2nd.

Posted by Fanbot at 7:01 pm, WEDNESDAY 25 November

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Going Backwards - All Hail Megatron #12 review

And so it ends ... well, at least until Coda and the ongoing series comes up. But for All Hail Megatron, the train stops at 12 issues. And what a wired journey it has been. A wonderful and intriguing strart quickly descended into a chaotic, inconsistent creative team that failed to impress at all. In the words of Christopher Lee; "let's see what the damage is..."

SYNOPSIS: A synopsis of this issue is available here at TF Archive.

THE ART: They've really done it this time. The creeative team really, really sucked in this issue. Guido for once does all the art, but the one man who has made this mess of a series bearable--Josh Burcham himself--has practically disappeared out of the issue. For the first 7 pages or so his awesome colors grace the pages (IDW previewed this to fool us into believing Josh was doing all of it, the deceitful skidplates), but then James Brown has to step in and completely ruin it with his sub-par coloring. He basically just does flat blocks that make Guidi's lines look messy and unprofessional. On top of that he makes loads of coloring errors--see errors section for the full story. So the art is terrible and frankly makes me sick. A despicable end. Good riddance to this issue.

THE STORY: I a rare display of half-decency, Shane doesn't actually do a bad job. Some good plot twists (Thundercracker saves the day!) and a story that feels reasonable. But Spike being a douchebag to the Autobots when they just saved NY from certain annihilation? Spike, you are a disrespectful spawn of a glitch. And Megs not killing Ops but leaving him to die (therefore not being able to confirm Op's death) is kinda creaky. And he killed off Hunter! I loved that guy. He was just starting to become an interesting character too. So for once, Shane McCarthy saves the day with this issue. But his convenient plot devices leave a bad taste in the mouth. Disappointing.

ERRORS:In the description of the Coda issues, #16 has Bumblebee's story as a second "Story 1" rather than "Story 2". Also, Guido Guidi is misspelled as "Guido Guido". When Prime talks to Spike on page 21, he's probably supposed to start with "Your people are free," not "Our people". James Brown continues to demonstrate his coloring fails by coloring the sides of Bumblebee's face yellow in one panel, making Thundercracker's vent-boobs boobs blue (they should be light grey), and Skywarp's vent-boobs dark grey (they should be light grey). Get it right, Brown.

FAVE QUOTE: Devastator: "No! You will not defeat Devastator! You are nothing!"
Omega Supreme: "Wrong. I am Omega Supreme!" [Omega gives his considerably more awsesome version of "I'm Batman."]

VERDICT: So, the damage is -- bad coloring, yucky messy art,  and even more convenient plot devices. Not better than last issue, but somehow more satisfying. But overall a sub-par end to what seemed to be a cool series. Next month: well, now it's on to reviewing all my old issues. See you soon. Rated 6 out of 10.

Posted by Fanbot at 4:17 pm, TUESDAY 24 November

Monday, 23 November 2009

Tales of the Fallen: the Fallen preview

OK, here's four pages of the fourth issue of Tales of the Fallen, with the spotlight falling on ... THE FALLEN! Here's the five pages:

Posted by Fanbot at 6:28 pm, MONDAY 23 November


Finally, after three years of miniseries and over 80 issues, IDW has launched an ongoing Transformers series. For the first time, the issue no. will keep rising, which for a fan like me is immensely rejuvenating. So here's my in-depth review of IDW's Transformers #1...

THE ART: This issue features the long-anticipated return of artist legend Don Figueroa. His new controversial movie-esque style was done- he says, to make the bots look less cartoony. Now, that aside, his drawing prowess is second to none. The strong, bold lines intricate detailing looks exquisite. I was immediately in love the moment I looked upon this issue. But the thing that ruins it for me is the faces. They make everyone look fugly and grotesque. Drift is perhaps the worst, looking just wrong. No more stoic ninja expression for you Mr Drift. But Prime and Roddy look just awesome! Prime with his silent, venerable stance, and the bold, badaft Roddy getting up Prime's tailpipe. Very well done. James Brown has met a lot of controversy for his coloring skills and I have to say he could do better, but his coloring is very adequate and looks very good with Don's lines. He subtly complements and enhances the art without dominating the page. So the butt-ugly faces annoy, but overall the art is plainly awesomely beautiful. Very good job.

THE STORY: Mike Costa has done some very interesting things with the situation on Earth and the character's reaction. Though in a very different way to Furman way back in Infiltration #0, Mike has gone back to basics, while at the same time turning everything on its head. The Autobots are back to hiding, though this time from the humans. The characters have reverted back to their essential, G1 cartoon personalities. Optimus is weak and over-protective of the humans, and Rodimus is no nonsense, badass that gets things done no matter the cost. This is a very good example of what happens when two very different Primes come together in the same continuity. So Mike is doing very intriguing things with this direction he is going in, and I'm interested to see how it develops. The dialogue isn't as  smooth as I'd like, but otherwise it's a very well done issue.

ERRORS: Wheeljack's flaps flow yellow instead of blue now. This may be just a coloring error (James Brown seems to make a lot of these) or a deliberate thing. Oh, and Ratchet's lower chin is colored red in one panel but its normal grey for the rest of the issue. Huh?

VERDICT: A well-exececuted (though nowhere near perfect) start to what looks to be a very promising ongoing series. WOOHOO!! Rated 9.75 out of 10.

Posted by Fanbot at 6:11 pm, MONDAY 23 November

Friday, 20 November 2009

Going Backwards - Transformers: All Hail Megatron review

It's kinda warming to see my stack of posts for this month as I write. With the release of the Transformers #1 imminent I had to finish up my GBR reviews of All Hail Megatron. Here's Fanbot's gospel on the penultimate issue of AHM...

SYNOPSIS: A synopsis of this issue is available here at TF Archive.

THE ART: The art is good in the sense that Guido is finally back to drawing the comic solo, but atrocious with the art quality. On many pages Guido has done a horrible job of drawing. It looks like he did it in under an hour, like a speed drawing. This gets better toward the end, but it makes a good half of the issue an amateurish, simplistic eyesore. And Felix Serrano's awful fuzzy palette further destroys Guido's sub-part pages. Thankfully, his good pages are colored by savior Josh Burcham, who for the umpteenth time has pulled an AHM issue out of the dumps. But overall the art was a deep disappointment from a talented artist. Sad, so very sad.

THE STORY: Once again Shane McCarthy fails to impress with his creaky writing. The dialogue between Screamer and Megs, and Megs and Ops, feels clunky and unnatural. Meg's reasons for creating Devastator and the Cons doesn't seem very plausible. Feels extremely cliched and not real. Overall I'm very unsatisfied with this issue and hope to never see its like again. Though two solitary line in the issue is perhaps the best TF quote--EVER (see below).

ERRORS: Why is the plane (aka Tankor) carrying the nuke a propeller-driven one? Even the EU doesn't use these relics--they went out in the 50's and are little used anywhere. And why does Ops call out Meg's name from behind when he could have shot Megs in the back and be done with it? His "protect life" weakness strikes again? Lastly, when Dropshot reveals himself and starts destroying stuff, Hawke mistakenly gets a word bubble clearly meant for General Daniel Witwicky. ("Where else...")

FAVE QUOTE: Optimus Prime: Freedom is the right of all-"
Megatron: "Oh, SHUT UP."

VERDICT: Another disappointing instalment in what has become a half-assed, eyesore of a maxi series. Next month: Megs gets one hell of a headache, and the Autobots are saved by a broody Con. Rated 7 out of 10.

Posted by Fanbot at 4:07 pm, FRIDAY 20 November

Thursday, 19 November 2009


If that's spoiler enough for you my fellow Transfans, the read no further. Ryall has updated us with an article from the USA Today (viewable here) and a picture of Optimus Prime doing spoiler-ish stuff. I look at spoilers, I admit it, but IDW really has crossed the line! Giving us the last page is sheer blasphemy. It only came out yesterday and I haven't got it so I'm a bit pissed off. But anyway, that's all for now. See you soon!

Posted by Fanbot at 4:21 pm, THURSDAY 19 November

Going Backwards - Transformers: All Hail Megatron #10 review

A shocking thing occurs in this issue--something actually happens! After five or so issues of pissing around doing bugger-all, Shane McCarthy finally gets the Autobots off Cybertron and the Cons fighting with each other in a poor attempt to tie up the series with what little time he has left. Read on, fans, for Fanbot's review of All Hail Megatron #10...

SYNOPSIS: A synopsis of this comic is available here at TF Archive. Sorry, it's just too much to fit into one review and let's face it, you don't really want to read that much, do you?

THE ART: I'm in two minds about this issue. For the first thirteen and last four pages the art are great--Guido is back with Emil and their art styles don't clash at all. The fact that Emil did sequences on a totally different location makes the creative team slip less blatantly obvious (a la issue 9). And because Josh Burcham colors both artist's lines, the transition is almost seamless. But for pages 14-19, TF Ongoing colorist James Brown (whose colors leave something to be desired) has to step in and screw it up with his fluro, badly-Fotoshopped background colors. The art looks terrible and ruins the issue for me. But wait, there's more!

THE STORY: Shane has outdone himself this time. The story is perhaps the worst seen in this franchise . Once again Shane gives an extremely convenient plot device--Omega Supreme, a thousand times bigger than in Spotlight: Optimus Prime, swoops in and slags the Swarm. WTF??? And the dialogue between Screamer and Megs on Earth is clunky and unrealistic. The good thing about comics is that the character are always good actors, but these two sound like they're improvising like in those cartoons where the goodies try to trap the baddies by speaking very unconvincingly. This is a big disappointment Shane, you have let the fans down with this one.

ERRORS: On the inner cover, "grisly" is misspelled "grizzly". On page 10, Scavenger's chinplate is purple like the rest of his face when it should be silver. In All Hail Megatron issue 8, the point of Sunstreaker's bridge-detonating sacrifice was that it destroyed "the only way to and from" the Autobots' bunker. Yet now Kup says that the Insecticons have "found their way around as expected." Worse, Emiliano Santalucia accidentally drew the Swarm crossing... a bridge. Doesn't that kinda make Sunstreaker's sacrifice for absolutely nothing?! What the hell?

FAVE QUOTE: Wheeljack: "[This gun] was never designed to be removed from the Trion so the power relay is bound to fry in seconds. You'll only have a few shots, so make them count."
Roadbuster: "Do you think we should give it a name? I think we should give it a name..." [Roadbuster reminds us of his mad love of blowing slag up.]

VERDICT: Even worse than last issue, which is saying a lot. James Brown ruined it with his amateur colors. Next month: Next stop, Earth! Rated 6.5 out of 10.

Posted by Fanbot at 4:09 pm, THURSDAY 19 November

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

TF covers for February 2010

AWWWWESOME!!! Jubilation! In another spur of advance grace, IDW has gifted to the Transfans Andrew Wildman's variant cover for Transformers #4 and Trev Hutchison's variant cover for Last Stand of the Wreckers #2! BTW Thundercracker's appearance on this means that he survived getting blasted by Skywarp back in AHM #12. Also, Trev Hutchison pwns all with his cover! So cool that words are not worthy to describe it. Only grunts of surprise; "Guh..." and such.

Oh, and to refresh your memory, the covers for Transformers #3 and Last Stand of the Wreckers are viewable here and here respectively. See you next time!

Posted by Fanbot at 4:19 pm, WEDNESDAY 18 October

Going Backwards - Transformers: All Hail Megatron #9 review

I really liked this series when it started off. Good art, great colors and a reasonable story that made me want more. With this issue, however (though Trev Hutchison's cover, shown left, is pretty awesome) the cool professional creative team is flushed down the crapper. Read on for Fanbot's views on the decidedly sub-par All Hail Megatron #9 ...

Synopsis: A synopsis of this issue is viewable here at TF I'm sorry but there's just too much info to fit into one article. Maybe next time.

THE ART: This issue is a very big disappointment and shows the lack of organisation that the creative team has. Intstead of Guido, we get Emiliano Santalucia and Robert Deas. Now I have no objection to Emil--his art is well-drawn and, though smoother than Guidi's, still serves the purpose very well. But for the sequences on Earth, I feel extremely let down. Robert Deas is really bad at drawing Transformers. His computer generated look completely jars with anything we've seen before and he could use some work on his figure drawing skills. And he frankly just SUCKS at drawing Transformers. I'm an amateur who's been drawing TFs for two years, and I can do better!

THE STORY: Once again, this is where the writing standard goes seriously downhill. The story is very clunky and feels like a badly edited video. A human-sized gun capable of taking out a Transformer? Goodbye reasonable plot, hello TF pwnage! I know that they got it from Shockwave, and the barrel is the right size but the power pack is piddly and wouldn't be able to power it. And Optimus Prime is back, fully revitalised. I'm glad this has happened but really? Ratchet got him back in an issue when he's just spent the past half of the series standing around. Here's where Shane uses his convenient plot devices to the extreme. Disappointing.

FAVE QUOTE: Spike: "You know what I hate? Button flies. I swear I could SEW a whole pair ... in the time it takes me to do these up." [Spike discusses his crotch problems with two complete strangers (one a girl!)]

VERDICT: A disappointing issue that fails to impress. I'm depressed. Next month: Something finally happens! And Omega Supreme turns up. Rated 7.5 out of 10.

Posted by Fanbot at 4:11 pm, WEDNESDAY 18 October

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Going Backwards - Transformers: All Hail Megatron #8 review

I'm kinda eating my web words right now. I declared, at the start of Going Backwards Reviews, that I'f have AHM wrapped up and fully reviewed by the time Transformers #1 came out. It comes out tomorrow! Slag, it's gone fast ain't it? One minute we're passing the halfway point on AHM, and all of a sudden Transfans are sitting on the cusp of a new era! But anyway, onto the review of All Hail Megatron #8...

Synopsis: Sunstreaker was been separated from Hunter, but was clearly traumatised and refused Ratchet’s request to see the human. The present: On Cybertron, Kup chews out Ironhide for attacking Mirage, but also explains the frustration he feels about not seeing this betrayal coming. As they finish, the group is suddenly attacked by the Swarm and flee once more.
On Earth, the Reflector robots have fun dissecting some humans as Starscream approaches the Insecticons to both apologise for the behaviour of the other Seekers and sound them out about the potential of moving against Megatron.
On Cybertron, Kup has set up explosives along the route they’re following that Perceptor detonates to destroy a bridge they are crossing and slow the pursuit down. The place where Kup’s team had set up their base is accessible by only one bridge, so doing the same trick there will give them a degree of breathing space. But after the Swarm injures Perceptor they are left with no one with a gun capable of detonating the explosives. As they debate this Ironhide suddenly notices Sunstreaker is gone…
On Earth, Starscream talks to a mysterious stranger about how his plans are ready to be set in motion.
Back on Cybertron, Ironhide finds Sunstreaker has gone to the explosives on the bridge and is preparing to detonate them. He explains that it was him all along that betrayed the Autobots. He did a deal with Starscream where the Autobots would ambush Megatron alone and kill him in exchange for the Autobots letting the Decepticons have Earth, and thus doing what Sunstreaker wants most, killing all the humans. Ironhide is shocked but can’t react further as the Swarm attack them. Drift appears and saves Ironhide, leaving Sunstreaker to detonate the bombs, blowing up himself, the bridge and the Swarm in range. As Ironhide recovers in a medical bay, Drift points out to him Sunstreaker couldn’t have given the Decepticons the codes they used to defeat the Autobots. They must have had more help.
On Earth, Bombshell watches over his captive, Hunter O’Nion, plugged right into the Decepticon computer…

THE ART: Guido Guidi kicks his art quality up three of four notches with this issue. The lines (partially inked by John Wycough) are simple and elegant, the extra grittiness adding the mood of disarray on Cybertron. The death scene of Sunstreaker and his flashbacks with Screamer are extremely well done, and it reads like a well-shot movie. Very good. Josh Burcham does his usual amazing job on the colors, putting lots more grit and flecks into the art which looks plain cool. The sole art disappointment is Kris Carter.  I have nothing against him, and I love his colors, but he just shouldn't be here. His coloring style totally uglifies Guidi's work and the tones do not suit the comic's mood at all. Big annoyance for me.

THE STORY: This is probably the last issue where Shane actually does a very decent job. The story has good pace and flows pretty well. it doesn't feel clunky or unrealistic and the events/ dialogue make it very clear (though in a subtle way) that the Decepticons are getting ... well, bored of winning. Reflector tears some humans up but gets little satisfaction. Starscream finally starts his usual plotting against Megs, with the Insecticons of all bots. There's a movie-esque car chase scene, and Sunstreaker being the traitor seems to fit. His reasons were not evil; I'd do the same thing if all it would cost is one world (Yes, Earth included).  So a misguided traitor. Good job ShaneI applaud you ... for perhaps the last time on this blog. For the rest of AHM, it's all downhill.

ERRORS: The speech letters on the first page are a size or two too small, which is kinda weird. No veritable explanation is forthcoming from IDW.

FAVE QUOTE: Ironhide: "You tryin' to get yourself killed?!"
Sunstreaker: "Yes." [It was a rhetorical question, Sunstreaker!]

VERDICT: A well-crafted and excellently written issue. Unfortunatley, it won't last very long. Next month: the creative team falls apart! Guido leaves and is replaced with Emiliano Santalucia and a guy who just can't draw Transformers. Rated 8.5 out of 10.

Posted by Fanbot at 4:03 pm, TUESDAY 17 November

Monday, 16 November 2009

IDW releases for November 18

Pictured here is IDW's comic haul for November 18. What's important is that we get a look at a special cover of the Transformers #1, and a new book of AHM cover artiste Trevor Hutchison's art. Here:

24 Omnibus
Angel: Only Human #4
Legion: Prophets #1
Rip Kirby, Vol. 1
Robert Block's Lori
Star Trek: TNG: Ghosts #1
Transformers #1

Posted by Fanbot at 7:25 pm, MONDAY 16 November

Going Backwards - Spotlight: Drift review

Hello again, my nonexistent fans. Fanbot will not piss around here. Let's get straight into Fanbot's dissection of Spotlight: Drift...

SYNOPSIS: In a bar on an alien planet, a clocked figure buys access to the local spaceship-docking platform on the black market. The seller warns him the ship he wants is Cybertronian and they’re a species best avoided, but is then shocked when she touches the buyer’s arm, realising that it’s metal and that he must be a Transformer as well.
The disguised Transformer is Drift, and the ship a Decepticon one carrying prisoners. Using the access codes and his own ninja skill, he manages to get onboard unseen. Such subtlety is wasted however when the Wreckers, led by Kup, just blast their way in through the side.
On the bridge, Commander Turmoil is alerted to the breech and instantly knows it can only be Kup. Below decks, Drift fights alongside the Wreckers, with Perceptor being incredibly impressed by his recently upgraded body. Drift tells Kup he has also come to rescue the Autobot prisoners, and leads them straight to the cells where the captives, a mixture of Wreckers and regular Autobots are held.
Perceptor keeps the Decepticons out by scrambling their locking system, but Turmoil simply blasts through both the door and Perceptor. Drift rushes Turmoil in an attempt to retrieve the fallen Autobot, but only succeeds in being recognised as the former Decepticon Deadlock. Turmoil then blasts through the floor with such force that both Drift and Kup are knocked to the floor below. After recovering from their fall, Kup reveals he knows Deadlock by reputation, and that he killed a lot of Autobots. He then adds that in the early days of the war there was a third faction who refused to take sides and left Cybertron never to be heard from again. The design of Drift’s sword suggests he found them. Drift agrees and explains that the consequence of that meeting led to him leaving the Decepticons and changing his outlook on life. Kup acknowledges the importance of second chances, and Drift offers to help him blow up the ship. He knows how as he used to be Turmoil’s second in command.
Soon they have reached the engine room and rigged it to explode, but are interrupted by an angry Turmoil. Drift pushes Kup out of the ship to safety, and the two former colleagues fight. Drift soon succeeds in pinning Turmoil to the wall and gives him a lecture on how much both sides have degraded each other. He then proves how much of a better person he is than Turmoil by not killing him personally, instead leaving him to die in a massive explosion instead. Before the detonation, Drift rescues Perceptor and gets out just in time. As the Wreckers head back to the Trion, Kup offers Drift both Autobot membership and the chance to join a new team he’s putting together, despite Springer’s misgivings. Drift accepts.

THE ART: The art. Hmm. Where does Fanbot start in his review of the art? I know, I'll start at the beginning, with Casey Coller's lineart The art is simple and serves the purpose well, albeit Coller could do with some facial lessons. Not quite dull surprise (that would be downright insulting), but not very expressive either. The panels flow well and he draws the 'bots very well, but there's virtually no different tier angles than 90 degrees. The fight scenes don't look very dynamic and this kinda makes them seem dull, which is a pity since Casey did a very good job of Drift fighting Turmoil. New girl Joana Lafuente uses a new, flatter, softer coloring style than her previous shiny glowy one used on the AHM covers. Personally Fanbot thinks it fits in with the comic's brooding, almost Alien-ish feel to it. So all in all the art is reasonably well done. Feedback to Coller: be more expressive and put more dynamics into your fight scenes. That is all. You have done very well overall.

THE STORY: For once, I have nothing bad to say against Shane McCarthy's writing. The story is credible enough with no annoying convenient events that prop the story up. The plot flows like a well-made action movie and is satisfying to read. That's right, I positively loved it! Very good, Mr McCarthy, very good indeed. The Aussie done well!

FAVE QUOTE: Kup: "Deadlock."
Drift: "I don’t go by that name anymore."
Kup: "That’s helpful, considering Deadlock happened to have slaughtered quite a lot of Autobots." [Drift changes his name and presto! He's an Autobot.]

VERDICT: Shane McCarthy does a good comic. Not an oxymoron apparently. In all areas a great comic that's worth buying. Rated 9 out of 10.

Posted by Fanbot at 4:17 pm, MONDAY 16 November

Going Backwards - Transformers: All Hail Megatron #7 review

Welcome back! I'm feeling slightly depressed as of now - virtually no-one has found this site and my follower Shadow has dropped off the face of the Earth. So here's my review of All Hail Megatron #7, even though no-one's reading... (BTW Trev's cover is just so cool I just had to make it exta big).

SYNOPSIS: Before: On Cybertron, scientist Deluge has created the Swarm, nearly three thousand twisted deformed Decepticons, in the hope of producing the perfect breeding ground for evil genius. Though Thundercracker is unhappy at the treatment of fellow Decepticons it has produced one notable success, in Bombshell. Megatron takes the new Transformer to meet someone … Now: On Cybertron, the Autobots race to find a more secure base before the Swarm find them. As they travel, Jazz explains how they came to their current predicament. Having both Prime and Megatron on Earth had resulted in a stalemate, with the Decepticons eventually vanishing from sight. Eventually the Autobots received word via Mirage that Starscream had made a power play resulting in a broken split force. Preparing a raid on what they expected to be a small group of ‘Cons, Optimus lead his troops into a textbook ambush by the full Decepticon force. Despite this, they managed to hold their own until Devastator tipped the balance, resulting in everyone falling and Megatron taking the Matrix.
Kup interrupts the story to order a brief rest, allowing Sideswipe to get Sunstreaker alone. He tries to persuade his teammate that he and Ironhide need to leave Mirage alone as it’s ripping the team apart. He then tries to talk to him about his terrible experience as a Headmaster, but Sunstreaker  brushes him off.

Jazz continues recounting to Kup, explaining that after they were defeated Megatron gloatingly told them that the Autobots had been betrayed by a traitor within their own ranks. After breaking them with this news, the Autobots were forced into a Space Bridge to Cybertron with the intent of them being fed to the Swarm, but last man in Prime did something that destroyed the Bridge but badly damaged him as he was thrown through. This effectively left the Autobots trapped on Cybertron.
As this conversation continues, Sunstreaker angrily tells Ironhide how Sideswipe has told them to back off. This so outrages the security chief that he goes off to where Mirage is standing alone and starts arguing with him. Though Mirage protests he’d reported the information in good faith, Ironhide refuses to believe him and beats him to the ground.

THE ART: Guido Guidi does his usual great job on the art, and captures the tense mood of Ironhide beating the crap out of Mirage (nice reference to the G1 cartoon with the "blame Mirage" affair). But the absolute star of this issue (sorry Burcham, it was close) was prolific E J Su. His flashback scenes are just beautiful. I've never thought about it before but I miss his complex, lots-of-hatching style. The shot of Megs ripping the Matrix from Prime's chest is just fraggin' exquisite! Kinda reminiscent of his shot of Megs standing over Prime in Escalation. Josh Burcham, I love you. Your colors are amazing, and take Guidi's and Su's lineart to a higher level of existence. Well done all around. I'm extremely satisfied with this issue and would have paid more than what I got for it happily ... OK, maybe not.

THE STORY: Shane's story is good enough--any writer who puts an obscure G2 character like Deluge (pictured left) knows something about what he's doing. But there are a lot of little details that make the story a bit incredible. Jazz says the storms on Cybertron are getting better and they can walk around normally, albeit in pain (remember Cybertron is a metal wasteland with electrical storms abundant). This is highly convenient for the Autobots as they arrive on Cybertron just as the storms stop. This one I'm prepared to take, but all the earth-bound Autobots going into a steep, enclosed canyon is just nuts! I mean come on, Shane McCarthy, do you actually think us Transfans are that stupid? It's like something out of the G1 cartoon. Not good. But if you ignore these, and you can with reasonable and surprising ease, then the story is very well done and makes me want more. But Fanbot is easy to please, as regular viewers will know.

ERRORS: Josh Burcham mixes up Skywarp and Thundercracker's colors in panel 1 of page 2. TC's on the left in panel 1 but in the rest of the page he's on the right. Honest mistake. In Su's flashbacks, Cliffjumper is missing his chequerboard patterns that go on the sides of his forearms.

FAVE QUOTE: Skywarp: "Hey. [Megatron] knows what he's doing."
Thundercracker: "That's what bothers me." [It's taken TC how long to figure out he's on the wrong side?]

VERDICT: a well-executed though slightly clumsy exposition of how the Autobots got the crap beaten out of them. E J Su's return is a definite win for AHM. Next month: Sunstreaker dies! And Bombshell begins to doubt his creator. Rated 8 out of 10.

Posted by Fanbot at 3:37 pm, MONDAY 16 November

Sunday, 15 November 2009

TRANSFORMERS #1 8 page preview!

IDW just doesn't know when to stop, do they? First those mind-shattering pages of Ironhide getting slagged, then this! AN EIGHT PAGE PREVIEW! This is too much and I'm lovin' it! Bring on November 18! Here's the eight pages:

Posted by Fanbot at 12:31 pm, SUNDAY 15 November

Friday, 13 November 2009

Review: And Another Thing...

AND ANOTHER THING... (Eoin Colfer) Douglas Adam's Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, book 6 of 3

When sci-fi writer extraordinaire Douglas Adams died in 2001, fans across the world were shocked. He had planned to write a final sequel to the very bleakly ended Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: Mostly Harmless. We were left hanging with Ford, Trillian, their teenage daughter Random, Ford Prefect and an alternate version of Trillian about to be blown up on an alternate Earth by the Grebulons. Needless to say, all your characters about to die is a pretty frustrating ending, so Doug's wife asked Eoin Colfer (Artemis Fowl) to write the last book. And here it is. The title is an in-joke line from HG2TG: So Long, and Thanks For All the Fish:

"The storm had now definitely abated, and what thunder there was now grumbled over more distant hills, like a man saying "And another thing…" twenty minutes after admitting he's lost the argument."

Funny to those of us who have read the series. Anyway, here's the review:

Well, technically, because Eoin wrote this and not Adams, And Another Thing... is fan fiction. But it is an exquisitely done fan fiction. The story flows well and is gripping, with believable, complex characters that fit the story perfectly. Colfer has written in Adam's style to the letter. It actually sounds more Hitchhiker's-esque than the other books (though Guide Notes replace the random, narrative comments). The story ticks along in the same backwards, insane way that Adams wrote for all the books past Restaurant at the End of the Universe. You never see any of the events coming until they actually happen; Wowbagger's re-appearance, the room made of sky, and even some Norse Gods (the piece de resistance) thrown in. The ending, which I won't spoil for those of you, is very Adamsian in its ridiculosity (is that a word?) and kind of fits in a weird way. Because this one's written in postmodern times, there are a lot of references and subtle plot devices that reflect the time it is written. Wowbagger's uber fast Sub-Etha connection leaves our superfast broadband in its wake. Throw in some multiple universes, alternate selves, a virtual world and previous events that haven't happened yet (with who else but the ONE-headed, three-armed Zaphod), this is Colfer at his finest. Douglas would be pround of you. "You have done well Lord Vader."

VERDICT: An exquisitely executed end to the best sci-fi series in the world. I'm proud to own it. Rated 10 out of 10.

Posted by Fanbot at 4:36 pm, FRIDAY 13 November

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Going Backwards - Transformers: All Hail Megatron #6 review

Welcome back to Going Backwards reviews, and the illustrious Fanbot apologizes to you, his viewers, for not posting a GBR review in such a long time. For those of you who have just joined us, we're up to issue 6 of the controversial All Hail Megatron. Let's dive in without further ado, shall we?

Synopsis: On Cybertron, Kup and Jazz discuss both the loss of the Matrix and the way the Decepticons broke their computer codes to bring their systems down. However, Kup’s attempt to take leadership of the group and exert his authority over Jazz creates a rift between them.
In Israel, Megatron surveys the devastation and recalls a conversation he had with Starscream where the Air Commander gloatingly points out that winning is the worst thing the Decepticons could have done as they now have no purpose and have beaten the only worthy foes they are ever likely to have. He points out the entire attack on Earth is little more than a distraction to keep the troops busy.
This seems to be born out in Beijing, where an argument erupts between Skywarp and Bombshell that nearly turns into a full fight between the Insecticons and the Seekers. Even after the Insecticons have been driven off, Skywarp and Thundercracker argue over the latter’s lack of interest in carnage.
Back on Cybertron, Kup decides not to tell the others about the Matrix as they need the unity of faith in it brings. He also decides to use the Energon left over from the Trion to fix Prime. Outside their base, Ironhide is about to broach the idea of dealing with Mirage to Roadbuster when they are disturbed by a member of the Swarm – part of a vast army of Insecticon clones that had been dumped on Cybertron as a failed experiment that only produced three useful Transformers. Perceptor and Drift take care of it before it can bring others, but Kup decides they’re too exposed and prepares everyone to move.
In France, a meeting of representatives of the major world governments leads to the decision to destroy New York.

THE ART: Well, the art is still very well done. I'm pleasantly satisfied with Guidi's lines. The action is well-set out with good pace, and the picture in picture device of Megs beating the slag out of Israeli military (so much for the greatest army in the world) looks almost weird next to the cold and quiet flashbacks of Megs and Screamer talking. Very well done. I especially like the scene with Skywarp (love that guy) and the Insecticons, the art is probably the best there. Josh Burcham, as always, is just truly awesome at his coloring duties. The moods are conveyed to perfection; Earth's bleached, sun-drenched chaos and Cybertron's gritty, grey disarray. Exquisitely done.

THE STORY: Shane, being the unpredictable Aussie that he is, actually does quite a good job with this issue. The pace starts to pick up--not much, but enough--and the story flows well with good use of sequence and panels. Woah, I actually find myself thanking him for this issue (cue ripping of the fabric of universe).

ERRORS: This first error is kinda weird. The flashback sequences of Megs are extremely inconsistent: Meg's helmet is drawn in some panels in the normal, G1 way, but in others it is drawn in Guidi's more bevelled, less smooth style. Why? On page 8, Shrapnel is to Kickback's left at first, but on the next panel he is suddenly to Kickback's right. On page 12, the word "feuds" is misspelled "fueds" twice. Page 12 also sees a tense error: the feud is meant to be in the possible future, yet 'gave' is used rather than 'give'.

VERDICT: very well done, a well-crafted issue. The Megs' helmet thing niggles and annoys though. Good job all round. Rated 8.5 out of 10.

Posted by Fanbot at 6:34 pm, THURSDAY 12 November

Extra Transformers: Continuum page

From the reactions seen on many Transformer fansites, I'm guessing that Transformers: Continuum was pretty crappy in standard. All Ken Christensen did was a cover, and even that has met lots of critiscism from Transfans. Personally I'm very disappointed, but I like the art so it's nice for me to look back once in a while. Anyway, above is an extra page that's been put out. The original article with the other five pages is viewable at this URL:

Posted by Fanbot at 5:23 pm, THURSDAY 12 November

Last Stand of the Wreckers update! Final press release from IDW

Finally! IDW gives us their final, detailed press release for their extremely promising five issue mini, Last Stand of the Wreckers by Nick Roche, Nick Roche and Josh Burcham. Here's what IDW has to say on Last Stand (edited slightly for space:

Fan-favorite writer and artist Nick Roche helms this five-issue series, which spins out of IDW's new ongoing Transformers series. This story line gives fans a taste of what's been happening off of Earth as the Wreckers investigate a prison planet that fell to the evil Decepticons three years ago. "Transformers fans craving that outer-space action need look no further," said IDW editor Andy Schmidt. "Wreckers is straight science fiction and action-robots in space with the highest of stakes! But don't look for all cheery fun and games here. It's not called 'Last Stand' for nothing!"
Transformers: Last Stand of the Wreckers plots a course to a prison planet conquered by the Decepticons during the war on Earth. With no communication in three years, the Wreckers face an unknown foe, who just might tear Springer, Kup, and their cadre of Autobot heroes apart. Roche and All Hail Megatron's Trevor Hutchison will provide covers.
Wreckers rounds out IDW's new trifecta of Transformers comics, which starts with the new Transformers ongoing series on November 18th and includes Transformers: Bumblebee, coming in December. "While Transformers the ongoing series and Bumblebee are both firmly rooted on terra firma, Wreckers gives fans a good indication of the impact the end of the Autobot vs Decepticon war is having on the rest of the Transformers universe," added Schmidt. "There is something great for every Transformers fan right now in the IDW line-up of Transformers comics."

Now does that sound pretty cool or what? Lots of hardcore Transformer action, and zero organics! This is Stormbringer all over again - pure TF action by an extremely talented artist? Nothing to dislike, really. Last Stand of the Wreckers comes out in stores January 2010. Don't miss it. Oh, and here's that fully colored page from issue 1 I showed you guys a couple months back:

Posted by Fanbot at 7:58 am, THURSDAY 12 November

Sunday, 8 November 2009

Witchfinder loses the plot

And so yet another mini series from Mike Mignola comes to an end. But definitely not the end I anticipated from a prolific writer such as Mignola. Read on ...

THE ART: Ben Stenbeck and colors by Dave Stewart. A very high quality standard of work from these two for the issue. The art flows well and is horribly gory, though not in the enormous splashes of blood everywhere kind of way. Everything's more disgusting and has that wince factor; the death throes of the monster and the mental patients bursting their heads open from banging against the cell bars - ewww, it's so icky. Awesome. Dave Stewarts colors, as usual, enhance Ben's lines to great effect, conveying the moods perfectly (namely the nice sepia sequence at the comic's end). Although the art doesn't go into my mark for the comic as a whole, it is still exquisitely done. Mignola's cover just looks fragging beautiful (I've recently seen his Hellboy work, and I now support those who complain of him not drawing Hellboy anymore). Very good use of light and shadowing. But unfortunately ...

THE STORY: Unfortunately, this is where Mignola lets himself down. The story flows well in itself and there are some good fight scenes - not to mention a nice, simple kill of the monster - but the end seems very truncated which makes me wonder if Mignola could have done with another issue to really tie up this series. I was told by Ben Stenbeck at NZ Armageddon that another Witchfinder series was in the works, but the end to this series seems like a rushed attempt to tie up a stand alone mini. Disappointing, but not totally worthless. The issue's front two thirds are written beautifully. It's only the end I hate. So the story is what affects my score for this issue.

VERDICT: a slightly disappointing end to what was all in all an exquisitely done series. But it was still pretty good. Bring on the next series please, Mike! Rated 7.5 out of 10.

Posted by Fanbot at 8:46 pm, SUNDAY 8 November

Transformers: Continuum preview

Mine fellow Transformers fans. These next few months (Nov to Jan) will be the most revolutionary, shocking and jam-packed (not to mention expensive) of our fan lives. And now IDW has granted us a peek of the 80+ comics-encompassing one shot, Transformers: Continuum. Though we are given nothing of newcomer Ken Christensen's art, there's some nice panels from past issues (Megatron Origin, Stormbringer, and Spotlight: Blurr among others). Here's the five pages below:


Cool, eh? Look out for this promising one shot in a comic store near you, out in stores almost everywhere on November 18 You do not want to miss this. I ain't.

Posted by Fanbot at 2:21 pm, SUNDAY 8 November