The Transformers Archive Skip to main content / Also skip section headers

[The Transformers Archive - an international fan site]
Please feel free to log in or register.

 
  • transformers toys
  • transformers comics
  • transformers cartoon
  • transformers live-action movies
  • transformers fandom
  • transformers forum

THE TRANSFORMERS: COMICS, BOOKS AND MANGA

IDW Publishing
(2005-now)
Devil's Due
(2003-2007)
Dreamwave
(2002-2004)
Club/Con
(2001-now)
Titan Books
(2001-now)
Marvel Comics
(1984-1994)
Japanese
Manga
Other Books
and Titles

DREAMWAVE TRANSFORMERS COMIC ISSUE GUIDES

Armada #1-10

|Preview|#1|#2|#3|#4|#5|#6|Free Comic|#7|#8|#9|#10|

Preview

[cover]
Cover: Pat Lee
Cover Date: April 2002
Script: Chris Sarracini
Pencils: James Raiz
Inks: Rob Armstrong & Erik Sander
Letters: Dreamer Design
Colours: Alan Wang, Gary Yeung & Ramil Sunga
Later Reprinted In: Transformers Armada Vol. 1.

Synopsis: Millions of years ago, a representative of the Universal Peacekeeping Committee named Fflaxl visits the planet of Cybertron with his bodyguard Bix in an attempt to settle a dispute between the Autobots and Decepticons. As soon as they arrive, Bix is flattened by the flying Optimus Prime, the Autobot leader, locked in battle with his Decepticon counterpart Megatron. The latter is able to use a smaller robot to boost his power, gain the advantage and escape. Fflaxl, clearly shaken, decides some conflicts are best left untouched, and leaves Cybertron.

Notes: Armada is an alternate universe, initially set 1 million years in the past, and on Cybertron. Optimus Prime and Megatron are the usual different-characters-but-sharing-the-same-basic-attributes. The story concerns the fight for smaller Transformers called Mini-Cons, who can be merged with larger Transformers to form weapons and the like. The Preview happens somewhere in the prologue of Armada #3.

Transformers Featured [in rough order of appearance]: Optimus Prime, Megatron.

Mini-Cons featured [in rough order of appearance]: Leader-1 [Powerlinked to Megatron].

Production Notes: The Preview was only available in the bumper reprint of the Generation 1 Preview.

Review: A nice little scene setter. A preview comic is actually justified if it's the first media released to deal with an effectively new concept, and this serves as a reassuring taster. It's still Prime vs. Megatron, Good vs. Evil, with an intriguing new twist. Insubstantial, but then this isn't meant to satisfying, just enough to get you to buy Armada #1. There's enough here to interest all but the "G1r00lz" crowd in the series, and Raiz is a less bombastic, grandstanding penciller than Pat Lee. Interesting.

[image][image][image][image][image][image][image][image][image][image]

#1

[cover] [cover]
Gatefold Cover: James Raiz
Holofoil Cover: Don Figueroa
Cover Date: July 2002
Script: Chris Sarracini
Pencils: James Raiz
Inks: Rob Armstrong & Erik Sander
Backgrounds: James Raiz & Edwin Garcia
Letters: Dreamer Design
Colours: Alan Wang, Gary Yeung & Ramil Sunga
Later Reprinted In: Transformers Armada Vol. 1, Transformers Annual 2004 [UK].

Synopsis: The scene is Cybertron, one million years ago, and the Autobot Hot Shot hurries into Cyber City to report to his leader, Optimus Prime. He plays Optimus a recording, made by a Mini-Con named Leader-1, whose village, A10, has been taken by the Decepticons. Meanwhile in Village C52 the Mini-Cons work desperately to erect a force shield to protect themselves. Longarm tells his friend Jolt about the horrible conditions and experiments the Decepticons carry out on captured Mini-Cons. The shield is erected in time, but the Decepticons Cyclonus and Demolisher overcome it with ease. The village falls, and the Decepticons report back to their leader, Megatron, who is preparing to declare war.

Notes: The Decepticons are almost mythic creatures to the Mini-Cons. They have the technology to rewire Mini-Cons. into weapons and other enhancements. The Autobots dwell in a large settlement named Cyber City, with the Mini-Cons living in smaller villages outside the city. The motto on Autobot Headquarters is "Truth - Justice - Freedom". Wow, they're, like, the Avengers. Hot Shot outranks Scavenger and Smokescreen.

Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Hot Shot [first appearance], Smokescreen [first appearance], Scavenger [first appearance], Optimus Prime, Cyclonus [first appearance], Demolisher [first appearance], Megatron.

Mini-Cons featured [in rough order of appearance]: Leader-1, Swindle [first appearance], Rollbar [first appearance], Sparkplug [first appearance], Incinerator [first appearance], Jolt [first appearance], Longarm [first appearance], Dirtboss [first appearance], Crumplezone [first appearance], Blackout [first appearance].

Review: Good stuff. Raiz' art continues to impress, much less clunky than Lee's poster-wannabe stuff. He uses the sequential frames which were such a turn off in the G1 series to good effect - notably Leader 1's message, or Sparkplug hurtling over the walls of C52. Talking of Sparkplug a) doesn't he look like Bumblebee? and b) the poor fella gets knocked out twice in 9 pages... the new Bluestreak? It's no classic, but remember it's the first time an entirely new TF mythos has been introduced via a comic in 18 years [G2 was a sequel, whereas Generation 1 just drew popular characters from the Marvel comic/Sunbow series, and chucked them in a rerun of "City of Steel"], and it's a more resounding success than Transformers #1 by some considerable margin. While the improvement in artistic consistency is just a sign of industry standards and the tight creative team, the clarity of the plot and the steady introduction of characters rather than three pages of "I am Destructor, my powers will destroy you!" are remarkable work by Sarracini.

[image][image][image][image][image][image][image][image][image][image]

#2

[cover]
Cover: James Raiz
Cover Date: August 2002
Script: Chris Sarracini
Pencils: James Raiz
Inks: Rob Armstrong
Backgrounds: Edwin Garcia
Letters: Dreamer Design
Colours: Alan Wang, Gary Yeung & Robert Ruffolo
Later Reprinted In: Transformers Armada Vol. 1, Transformers Annual 2004 [UK].

Synopsis: The Autobots are surveying the derelict Village C52, Mini-Con sector. They find no sign of life. Back in Cyber City, Megatron and the Decepticons invade Cyber City. Meanwhile, the Mini-Con Sparkplug has been rescued by a trio of Mini-Cons who have escaped from the Decepticon HQ - named Runway, Sonar and Jetstorm, who have taken him to their secret base, under the Garbage Disposal District. They show him their ship, with which they plan to break into the Decepticon HQ and rescue the other Mini-Cons. Meanwhile, with the Autobots away, Megatron declares himself leader of Cyber City. Optimus Prime, Red Alert, Hot Shot, Smokescreen and Scavenger arrive back in time to face them, but the Decepticons use Mini-Cons to boost their powers, and have the upper hand in the battle. Meanwhile, the free Mini-Cons are able to release their comrades. Back in Cyber City, Prime reluctantly orders a retreat. The Mini-Cons, meanwhile, leave Cybertron, but as they do, a booster on their ship fractures.

Notes: The Decepticons' radar can't penetrate the Garbage Disposal District. The Autobots are guardians of the Transformer population of Cyber City. Prime and Megatron have never met, which means the Preview takes place somewhere later in the series.

Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Hot Shot, Optimus Prime, Smokescreen, Scavenger, Red Alert [first appearance], Megatron, Starscream [first appearance], Cyclonus, Demolisher.

Mini-Cons featured [in rough order of appearance]: Rollbar, Crumplezone [later Powerlinked to Megatron], Sparkplug, Jetstorm [first appearance], Sonar [first appearance], Runway [first appearance], Buzzsaw [first appearance], Dualor [first appearance], Drillbit [first appearance], Swindle [Powerlinked to Starscream], Blackout [Powerlinked to Demolisher], Jolt, Longarm, Incinerator.

Review: Another efficient, enjoyable piece of work from Raiz & Sarracini. The latter strangely seems to write very well for this book but not G1, which raises the question of how much input Lee actually allowed him to have for that series. The Autobots and Decepticons as super-heroes and super-villains is a great idea, much overdue. The art is great throughout, and never overpowers the interesting story. Wonderful stuff.

[image][image][image][image][image][image][image][image][image][image]

#3

[cover]
Cover: James Raiz
Cover Date: October 2002
Script: Chris Sarracini
Pencils: James Raiz
Inks: Rob Armstrong & Erik Sander
Backgrounds: Edwin Garcia
Letters: Dreamer Design
Colours: Alan Wang & Ramil Sunga
Later Reprinted In: Transformers Armada Vol. 1.

Synopsis: After the departure of most of the Mini-Cons, the handful Megatron has are enough for the Decepticons to sweep all before them, taking control of Cybertron and leaving the Autobots in hiding. The escaped Mini-Cons drift in space for ages after the booster explosion, before crashing on planet Earth, one million years ago. One million years later, a trio of children named Rad, Carlos and Alexis are goofing around, harassed by bullies Seth and Sid, who destroy a project they've made which involves pushing a go-cart covered in balloons off a cliff. While trying to recover the helmet [from the fake pilot, naturally], Rad falls down a hole, and ends up in the long forgotten Mini-Con shuttle, accidentally reactivating them, and sending a signal back to Cybertron. The Mini-Cons return Rad to his friends. Back on Cybertron, both Megatron and Optimus Prime prepare to lead their forces via the Spacebridge to Earth to recover the Mini-Cons. Meanwhile, the kids debate what they are going to do about the four Mini-Cons living in Rad's garage. The Mini-Cons thank the kids by building them a flying sky bike Sparkplug also explains that in the crash the rest of the Mini-Cons were scattered across Earth. As they begin to set out to look for them with the kids in tow, Megatron looms behind them...

Notes: The Mini-Cons found by the kids are Sparkplug, Grindor, High Wire and Sureshock. Mini-Cons seem to be roughly 6 feet tall.

Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Megatron, Demolisher, Optimus Prime, Red Alert, Hot Shot, Cyclonus, Starscream.

Mini-Cons featured [in rough order of appearance]: Longarm, Jolt, Sparkplug, Sureshock [first appearance], High Wire [first appearance], Grindor [first appearance].

Notable others: Alexis [first appearance], Rad [first appearance], Carlos [first appearance].

Review: I tried my hardest to keep at least the Synopsis objective, but it wasn't easy, and I think I failed. Rather than respond to the release of The War Within #1, and give us a dark and gritty tale of civil war and exodus, Sarracini folds, and gives us about 15 pages of three annoying kids mucking around with projects and 'secret agent' names. Then there's also the fact that the Decepticons have a million years of ruling the roost on Cybertron without seeming to inflict any casualties [okay, so Smokescreen and Scavenger aren't seen, but they will turn up again]. The pages on Cybertron, though, aren't too bad, it's just that there are maybe a half-dozen, the rest concerning the bloody adventure kids. Sparkplug's a nice character, appearing to be halfway between Bumblebee and Cliffjumper, but the other trio of Mini-Cons just fade into the background. Hopefully the kids won't have centre stage to such an extent again, as their scenes are frankly awful. Very disappointing, though hopefully this isn't bad news for the long term status of the title.

[image][image][image][image][image][image][image][image][image][image]

#4

[cover]
Cover: James Raiz
Cover Date: November 2002
Script: Chris Sarracini
Pencils: James Raiz
Inks: Rob Armstrong & Erik Sander
Backgrounds: Edwin Garcia
Letters: Dreamer Design
Colours: Alan Wang, Ramil Sunga & Felipe Smith
Later Reprinted In: Transformers Armada Vol. 1.

Synopsis: The Autobots arrive on Earth at the Allspark power station Meanwhile, Megatron is chasing Sparkplug and the kids across a city, but they shake him off by ducking down a handy tunnel. The other Decepticons attack a local military complex, scanning the vehicles there for Earth alt modes - Starscream takes a fighter jet, Demolisher a tank and Cyclonus a helicopter. The quartet of active Mini-Cons do the same at Rad's garage, High Wire choosing a dirt-bike, Grindor a flying skateboard, Sureshock a scooter and Sparkplug a car. Starscream give Megatron a download which includes a new robot mode, and they set off in pursuit of the Mini-Cons. Starscream and Cyclonus appear to have them cornered in a ravine, until Optimus Prime and Scavenger intervene. However, Megatron and Demolisher arrive, the former showing his new mode, a massive tank.

Notes: The Decepticons and Mini-Cons appear to be able to upgrade the vehicles they download into their system.

Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Optimus Prime, Red Alert, Scavenger, Smokescreen, Hot Shot, Megatron, Starscream, Cyclonus, Demolisher

Mini-Cons featured [in rough order of appearance]: Sparkplug, Sureshock, High Wire, Grindor.

Notable others: Alexis, Rad, Carlos.

Review: Not especially good, but then to be a big step up from last issue it didn't have to be. The return to the plot of the Autobots and Decepticons is welcome [though Scavenger's one to talk about faces... Doctor Doom is going to be so mad when he finds out Scavenger's nicked his mask...], but there's still too many kids involved, and the return of the Lame Transformers Comedy Standby, shocked human encounters. Sarracini isn't gifted with a good comedic touch, so he should really stop using it constantly. Still, it zips along happily enough, and Raiz' artwork is outstanding once again, including a great cover. Overall, not bad, but not great either.

[image][image][image][image][image][image][image][image][image][image]

#5

[cover]
Cover: James Raiz
Cover Date: December 2002
Script: Chris Sarracini
Pencils: James Raiz
Inks: Rob Armstrong, Erik Sander & Fred Poblete
Backgrounds: Edwin Garcia
Letters: Dreamer Design
Colours: Shaun Curtis, Alan Wang, Ramil Sunga, Rob Ruffolo, David Cheung, Chris Walker & Elliot Kravchik
Later Reprinted In: Transformers Armada Vol. 1.

Synopsis: Four Mini-Cons [Longarm, Jolt, Rollbar and Liftor] have been hiding out at a scrap yard, but they see Megatron pursuing Sparkplug on a TV, and head to help their friend. Back in the canyon, Optimus keeps Megatron talking long enough for Smokescreen to demolish his perch, and Megatron and Prime engage in a fight, while Starscream and Cyclonus combat Scavenger, Red Alert and Hot Shot. Demolisher tries to capture Sparkplug's group in the chaos, but the other Mini-Cons arrive in the nick of time, and bond to the Autobots. Realising that even with his own Mini-Cons, the Decepticons are no match for the powered-up Autobots, Megatron retreats to Cybertron via the Spacebridge. The Mini-Cons confirm their alliance with the Autobots, and prepare to establish a HQ on Earth while they find the remaining Mini-Cons.

Notes: Jolt Powerlinks to Hot Shot, Longarm to Red Alert, Rollbar to Scavenger and Liftor to Smokescreen.

Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Megatron, Optimus Prime, Scavenger, Starscream, Cyclonus, Smokescreen, Demolisher, Red Alert, Hot Shot.

Mini-Cons featured [in rough order of appearance]: Rollbar, Longarm, Jolt, Liftor [first appearance], Sparkplug, Sureshock, High Wire, Grindor, Swindle, Blackout, Leader-1, Crumplezone

Notable others: Alexis, Rad, Carlos.

Review: Better once again, but still not as good as the opening pair of issues. Some nicely drawn fight scenes by Raiz, and it's a shame Lee's grandstanding clutter will take over from him as of next issue. The kids are kept to a minimum, but Sarracini's comic touch sways violently from mildly amusing to vomit-inducingly bad. It wouldn't be a shame to see Furman come on board for #6. That said, it's a reasonable conclusion to the opening story arc, and as Lee would only be doing #6-7, with Guido Guidi to take over then, it's a promising basis for a title that could grow into a lot of fun.

[image][image][image][image][image][image][image][image][image][image]

Free Comic Book Day Edition

[cover] Cover Date: May 2003
Script: Brandon Easton
Pencils: Don Figueroa
Inks: Elaine To
Colours: Alan Wang, Rob Ruffolo, David Cheung, Stuart Ng, Susan Luo & Felipe Smith
Letters: Paul Villafuerte
Cover: James Raiz

Synopsis: Carlos and Rad are out exploring in the woods when they run into a Mini-Con named Swindle, who is on the run from the Decepticons. He asks them to take him to the Autobots. Rad is insure, but Carlos persuades him to trust Swindle. Just then, Cyclonus and Starscream arrive to recapture Swindle. They try to escape, but are caught by Demolisher. However, Hot Shot arrives with Red Alert and Smokescreen in tow. It seems like the Autobots have the upper hand until Megatron appears. He calls to Swindle, who then apprehends Carlos and Rad. The Mini-Con has agreed a deal with the Decepticons to gain information about Earth in exchange for his freedom, much to Rad and Carlos' anger. But the Decepticons double-cross Swindle, as Optimus Prime arrives on the scene. He gets the kids to safety before tackling Megatron, but is shot in the back by Starscream. Swindle finds the kids, and offers to help as an apology for his earlier behaviour. The Mini-Con uses Hot Shot's discarded gun to free the Autobots. The Decepticons retreat, but take Swindle with them.

Notes: The issue most likely takes place somewhere between Armada #5 and #6. Carlos and Rad are already friends with the Autobots, while Smokescreen has yet to be relocated to the desert observation post [see #12].

Errors: Backtrack, of the Street Speed Mini-Con Team, is seen briefly in the flashback leaving Cybertron, though he's coloured wrong.

Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Megatron, Starscream, Cyclonus, Demolisher, Hot Shot, Red Alert, Smokescreen, Optimus Prime.

Mini-Cons featured [in rough order of appearance]: Runway, Wreckage, Backtrack [first appearance], Jolt, Sparkplug, Swindle.

Notable Others: Alexis, Carlos , Rad.

Review: Good grief! Dreamwave doing something nice... while the rather uninspired cover [the last page of Armada #3] isn't very nice, I'm impressed at DW putting out a 22-page original story for Free Comic Book Day when they could have just reprinted the Preview or #1. The script and storyline are pretty average, a general trailer for the series with small stakes and slightly clumsy introductions for each character [Cyclonus and Demolisher get to be dumb, Megatron merciless, Starscream gets his universal leadership sniping, Red Alert gets to waffle about strategies, Hot Shot gets to be enthusiastic and Op gets to be all noble], and a rather predictable moral lesson. That said, it's not bad, aside from the rather sudden ending where the Autobots beat the Decepticons into a retreat inside one panel, topped off with a little sentiment for Swindle, though I'm not sure he deserves it - he only helps the humans after it's clear Megatron isn't going to fulfil his bargain. The best bit's the art, though. Figueroa seems to actually work a little better with the restriction of existing character models. Everyone looks crisp and well-proportioned, even Swindle, unlike the bulkiness of some of Figueroa's TF:WW designs. The only slight problem again is that some of the panels feel somehow cramped, like a photograph that's had the edges cut off. Overall, though, it's a better read than about half of the Armada series to date, and it's free. Pick up a copy. Better, pick up a few and give them to friends.

[image][image][image][image][image][image][image][image][image][image]

#6

[cover]
Cover: Pat Lee
Cover Date: December 2002
Script: Simon Furman
Pencils: Pat Lee
Inks: Rob Armstrong
Backgrounds: Edwin Garcia
Letters: Dreamer Design
Colours: Espen Grundetjern, Felipe Smith, Trang Dang, Mike Majestic, Gary Yeung & Rob Ruffolo
Later Reprinted In: Transformers Armada Vol. 2, Transformers Annual 2004 [UK].

Synopsis: In the new Decepticon base in Nebraska, Megatron decides Leader-1 isn't giving him the power he needs, and focuses on getting more Mini-Cons. He decides to pick on Jetstorm, Sonar and Runway, who've been hiding out in South Dakota since the crash. Meanwhile Optimus announces to Rad, Carlos and Alexis that for their own safety they are to stay away from the war, just as Sparkplug picks up a distress signal from Jetstorm's team. Sparkplug moots a rescue plan which is denied by Prime, though he, Jolt and Longarm go ahead with it anyway. However, they run into Starscream, and in the following scuffle the roof collapses. Meanwhile, Megatron has succeeded in converting Jetstorm, Runway and Sonar into the Star Saber.

Notes: Laserbeak seems to be speaking on page 13, but isn't shown... The Autobots also have a base, on the outskirts of Lincoln.

Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Megatron, Optimus Prime, Hot Shot, Cyclonus, Starscream, Demolisher.

Mini-Cons featured [in rough order of appearance]: Leader-1, Sonar, Runway, Jetstorm, Sparkplug, Sureshock, High Wire, Grindor, Jolt, Longarm.

Notable Others: Alexis, Carlos, Rad.

Review: Disappointing, truth be told. I'd feared the worst when Pat "Perspective" Lee took over, and once again the alleged "superstar" artist delivers his usual unappealing fare - the Transformers are ridiculously over-detailed, tend to look like inflatable figures, toy designs are used to a fault [e.g. Longarm's head is clearly visible on the back of his crane mode], and some of the action is near-incomprehensible. But what's a real letdown is Simon Furman's writing... the whole issue seems to be very short [it's 20 pages, but feels like 10] and even at this cut length, there's padding - the sequence with the kids on pages 5 & 6 is unnecessary, having nothing to do with the plot and adding no characterisation - we all know Rad's a bit of an idiot "sk8r boi", Carlos is his bitch and Alexis is The Sensible One. Some of the characterisation is very annoying - Starscream's instant reversion to the "Classic" [used in the 'total crap, but it's old and therefore must be classic' sense] traitor undoing the nice double-bluff Sarracini set up. It's not bad per se, I just get the feeling all the interesting stuff could be compacted into about six pages.

[image][image][image][image][image][image][image][image][image][image]

#7

[cover] [cover]
Regular Cover: Guido Guidi
Incentive Cover: Pat Lee
Cover Date: January 2003
Script: Simon Furman
Pencils: Pat Lee
Inks: Rob Armstrong
Backgrounds: Edwin Garcia
Letters: Dreamer Design
Colours: Espen Grundetjern, David Cheung, Rob Ruffolo, Ramil Sunga & Felipe Smith
Later Reprinted In: Transformers Armada Vol. 2.

Synopsis: Outside the Decepticon base, Rad activates a device given to him by Sparkplug, summoning the Mini-Con Land Military Patrol - Knock-Out, Bonecrusher and Wreckage. Meanwhile, Megatron attacks the Autobots, who are currently without Mini-Cons, his powers boosted by the Star Saber. The Decepticons have them on the ropes before Sparkplug, Jolt and Longarm arrive to turn the tables. At the end, both the Land Military and Air Defence teams depart, unwilling to get any more involved in the war.

Notes: Where the Hell are Smokescreen and Scavenger? And Liftor and Rollbar?

Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Megatron, Cyclonus, Demolisher, Starscream, Optimus Prime, Hot Shot, Red Alert.

Mini-Cons featured [in rough order of appearance]: Jetstorm, Runway, Sonar, Sparkplug, Jolt, Longarm, Knock-Out [first appearance], Bonecrusher [first appearance], Wreckage [first appearance], Leader-1.

Notable Others: Alexis, Carlos, Rad.

Review: Another unsatisfying issue. Lee's art suffers from the same old failings - bad proportions, lifeless faces, etc., etc. While the plot is slightly less scant this issue, a lot of what happens is old ground - the Mini-Cons' decision to stay and fight is directly lifted from #5, and if the only storyline Dreamwave have for us is "Decepticons have more Mini-Cons, kick Autobots' arses until more Mini-Cons turn up, Autobots kick Decepticons' arses" then it's going to be a very dull series... Still, there's less blatant padding, and it does zip along in a much better fashion than #6, though the ending feels very rushed.

[image][image][image][image][image][image][image][image][image][image]

#8

[cover]
Cover: James Raiz
Cover Date: February 2003
Script: Simon Furman
Pencils: Guido Guidi
Inks: Elaine To
Letters: Dreamer Design
Colours: Shaun Curtis & Alan Wang
Later Reprinted In: Transformers Armada Vol. 2.

Synopsis: A meteor lands in Kansas and makes a big crater, from which a monolith emerges, setting up a radar dish and a force-field Meanwhile, Sparkplug, angry at Optimus for ordering him and the other Mini-Cons around, storms out of a meeting with the Autobot. As he talks with Jolt and Longarm, he comes to realise how unlike the Decepticons and Autobots the Mini-Cons are and just how far from home they truly are. At school, Rad gets into a fight with the Sid and Billy, but High Wire jumps in to help. Rad, Alexis, and Carlos take off on the Street Action team. At the Decepticon Base, Cyclonus checks on the Mini-Cons. He finds that none of them are there, and that they have activated the security system to attack him. At the end of a long afternoon, the kids head home, but the Street Action team stops responding to them. At Decepticon base, Megatron is puzzled that the Mini-Cons have left. He wonders why they would risk being recaptured. Optimus is shocked that the Autobots' Mini-Cons have left also. At the monolith, the Mini-Cons gather, all in a daze. Suddenly Megatron and the Decepticons are there, ready to take all of the Mini-Cons for themselves. Rad is able to access Sparkplug's com-link though, just as the Decepticons attack. But their attacks are reflected by the Monolith, taking down the Decepticons, just in time for Optimus, Red Alert, and Hot Shot to arrive in a shuttle. During the fight between the Autobots and Decepticons, the Monolith opens a door and the Mini-Cons all file in. Rad, annoyed that the Autobots are too busy fighting to worry about the Mini-Cons, races in to join them as the monolith takes off, leaving a Mini-Con symbol in the ground.

Notes: Guido Guidi includes a number of Transformers references - on page 3, there's a statuette of Metroplex, plus cars modelled on Trailbreaker [page 9], 1984 Optimus Prime [pages 9 & 10], Crosscut [page 9], Ox, Black Convoy, Ratchet, Outback and Bluestreak [all page 10].

Errors: Liftor and Rollbar? Where are they? Why aren't they summoned by the beacon?

Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Cyclonus, Megatron, Starscream, Optimus Prime, Red Alert, Demolisher, Hot Shot

Mini-Cons featured [in rough order of appearance]: Sparkplug, Jolt, Longarm, High Wire, Sureshock, Grindor, Wreckage, Knock-Out, Bonecrusher, Sonar, Jetstorm, Runway, Crumplezone, Swindle, Blackout, Leader-1, Jolt, Longarm, Sparkplug.

Notable Others: Alexis, Carlos, Rad.

Review: A nice steady build-up to whatever's coming. Furman builds up suspense nicely, and Guidi's art is very nice, picking the right balance of detail, clarity and dynamics. It's good fun, and there's a real feel of the storyline going somewhere great. Furman's writing is more economic this issue, and the mix of pleasing visuals, nice [if slightly unoriginal] ideas and a tight plot means the book reaches its highest point since the first issue.

[image][image][image][image][image][image][image][image][image][image]

#9

[cover]
Cover: Guido Guidi
Cover Date: March 2003
Script: Simon Furman
Pencils: Guido Guidi
Inks: Elaine To
Letters: Dreamer Design
Colours: Shaun Curtis, Alan Wang & David Cheung
Later Reprinted In: Transformers Armada Vol. 2.

Synopsis: On Earth, Optimus Prime and Megatron both ponder the disappearance of the Mini-Cons, both realising they've been taken to the Moon by Mini-Cons left when part of their ship crashed there in 1,000,000 B.C. It turns out the leaders of the Moonbase Mini-Cons are the Destruction team - Buzzsaw, Dualor and Drillbit. Meanwhile, the Decepticon Thrust arrives from Cybertron, kitting Megatron's team out with rocket boosters, and they set off for the Moon, leaving Demolisher to stand guard. On the Moon, Dualor shows Runway, Sparkplug and Leader-1 around his base, which is filled with Mini-Cons, but Sparkplug is riled that the Destruction Team would make their choices for them. The Decepticons attack the Moonbase and meet fierce resistance, while at their base, Demolisher is jumped by Hot Shot and Red Alert, allowing Optimus Prime to activate the space bridge. After forcing back the Decepticons, Dualor reveals he's holding Rad prisoner to prevent the Autobots trying to take any Mini-Cons.

Errors: The Destruction Team were clearly shown to be taken by the Decepticons to battle the Autobots in #2, and thus weren't freed by Sparkplug and the Air Defence Team. The #13 letters page glibly passes this off with the excuse that they escaped at a later date - but how? After the initial escape, Mini-Con security would have gone up 500%.

Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Optimus Prime, Megatron, Red Alert, Hot Shot, Cyclonus, Demolisher, Starscream, Thrust [first appearance], Laserbeak [first appearance, though he had lines in #6].

Mini-Cons featured [in rough order of appearance]: Drillbit [first appearance], Bonecrusher, Sparkplug, Leader-1, High Wire, Jolt, Swindle, Longarm, Crumplezone, Wreckage, Blackout, Sonar, Runway, Jetstorm, Sureshock, Dualor [first appearance], Buzzsaw [first appearance], Knock Out, Grindor, Dune Runner [first appearance], Dirtboss, Mirage [first appearance], Spiral [first appearance], Oval [first appearance], Astroscope [first appearance], Payload [first appearance], Sky Blast [first appearance], Ransack [first appearance], Comettor [first appearance], Crosswise [first appearance], Rook [first appearance].

Notable Others: Rad.

Review: Very good stuff... there's a nice atmosphere, and while the dilemmas facing the Mini-Cons and the debates between Sparkplug and Dualor are nothing new, they're well-handled, even if the last page makes the denouement a bit obvious - I was actually thinking Dualor might talk Sparky over until it turned out Rad was being used as a deterrent... now it seems pretty obvious that friendship will win [though I'd be pleased if Sparky went against type and let Rad die]. But Guidi's pencils give a very nice atmosphere, the story's nice and clear and moves at a nice place. Furman's still bringing out his same old "crisis of allegiance" platitudes, but they fit the storyline. All in all, probably the best Armada issue so far.

[image][image][image][image][image][image][image][image][image][image]

#10

[cover]
Cover: Guido Guidi
Cover Date: March 2003
Script: Simon Furman
Pencils: Guido Guidi
Inks: Elaine To
Letters: Dreamer Design
Colours: David Cheung & Shaun Curtis
Later Reprinted In: Transformers Armada Vol. 2.

Synopsis: Optimus Prime takes the Spacebridge to Cybertron, with Hot Shot and Red Alert covering him from detection at the Decepticon base. Meanwhile Dualor explains his plan to Rad, unaware that Megatron is burrowing under the Moonbase. The until-recently Earth-based Mini-Cons debate their fates, unaware they are observed by Mirage. Starscream and Thrust arrive back on Earth, forcing Red Alert and Hot Shot to hide. On Cybertron, Jetfire is unable to give Prime any reinforcements, but agrees to let him take equipment. Megatron meanwhile breaks into the Moonbase. Leader-1 seems ready to join him, and Sparkplug is whisked away by Mirage. Back on Earth, Starscream and Thrust are jumped by Hot Shot and Red Alert to prevent them tracking the returned Prime to their base. Optimus himself prepares to go to the Moon in a shuttle acquired from Cybertron. On the Moon itself, the Destruction team are knocked out by Leader-1.

Notes: Mirage can cloak into invisibility. Jetfire is leading the Autobots left on Cybertron. Optimus' shuttle is clearly based on the type from TF:TM.

Errors: If Prime needs help, why not recall Smokescreen and Scavenger? Or even Red Alert and Hot Shot, seeing as how Rad's life should be more important to him than the secrecy of the base?

Transformers featured [in rough order of appearance]: Red Alert, Hot Shot, Optimus Prime, Megatron, Cyclonus, Starscream, Thrust, Demolisher, Jetfire [first appearance], Blurr [first appearance], Sideswipe [first appearance].

Mini-Cons featured [in rough order of appearance]: Dualor, Drillbit, Buzzsaw, Runway, Swindle, Knock-Out, Bonecrusher, Sparkplug, High Wire, Sureshock, Blackout, Sonar, Wreckage, Longarm, Jolt, Leader-1, Jetstorm, Mirage, Payload, Astroscope, Sky Blast, Iceberg, Dune Runner, Ransack.

Notable Others: Alexis, Carlos, Rad.

Review: And the quality continues. Another good story, with crisp, effective art by Guidi, fast becoming a personal favourite TF artist. The pacing's nice, and Leader-1's getting some good character development. It's a nice twist at the end, and it's nice to see Jetfire have something of a new personality - he's not an Optimus-worshipping soldier, but neither is he a brash Grimlock-a-like. Furman still has to slip in a few clichés, but Armada's a very good book to be reading at the moment.

[image][image][image][image][image][image][image][image][image][image]

 

To Armada/Energon intro | Dreamwave Guide Index | To Armada #11-18 |
 
 
[the-hub.co.uk]
[transfans.co.uk]
[oneshallstand]
[unicron.com]
[counter-x.net]
[ntfa.net]
[allspark.com]
[transformertoys.co.uk]
[tfu.info]
[botchthecrab.com]
[obscure_tf]
[tfradio.net]
 

[TFArchive button]
Link graphics...

BOOKMARK US
Or in FF, hit Ctrl+D.