Monday, 16 November 2009

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

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