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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

CURRENT TRANSFORMERS COMICS FROM IDW PUBLISHING

Transformers: All Hail Megatron: Coda #16
Reviewed by Inflatable Dalek

"THE MAN OF STEEL"

Review

You’d be surprised how often we’d find one half smashed.

Complete cack. After all the turgid prose McCarthy’s given us in the first 12 issues, it takes something special for Costa to give us the worst story the title has managed to date. Spike’s a cock (even Alexandra Burke wouldn’t love this bad boy), the Colonel’s a cock, and the nurses are cocks. The whole thing is a flaccid, old limp cock.

Guido art remains very poor, and considering he can only draw one face, letting him have a go on an almost all human story is just one of the many barmy decisions IDW have made of late. This is the point where I realised the ongoing would be more of the same crap and dropping the whole IDW oeuvre wouldn’t be a problem.

Notes

In his second and final piece for the additional issues, Mike Costa is more concerned with getting pieces into place for the ongoing rather than dealing with any of the (many) remaining loose ends from the main run. The U.N. now runs Skywatch from America (understandable as, despite the rest of the world trying to nuke America the country is in no position to stand alone post invasion), and the Witwickys are basically in charge of it. Whatever happened to Agent Red is undisclosed.

The Shockwave gun seems to have gone into mass production (its absence in the next story is one of the things that suggests the two occur in a different order to that in which they are printed, but we’ll come to that in a second…).

Thrust was also with Megatron’s troops, though he’d gone unseen up until now.

The names Frank Shin and Peter Dille are mixes of names of people involved with the original cartoon (Frank Welker, Nelson Shin, Peter Cullen and Flint Dille.

This is the last art on the title from Guido Guidi. He bows out with a final panel where Spike is likely meant to look shocked and amazed but instead appears kind of gormless.

Goofs

Well, it's nice to see the first real sign of the terrible long-term damage inflicted on the world. All the nurses uniforms have been destroyed so they're having to dress as strippers. Oh the humanity. Though I suppose Spike's the sort of guy who would manage to sneak actual whores into his room for a party, perhaps in grand 'Allo 'Allo style they were just bluffing the nursing part when they got interrupted? "You stupid government agent, can't you see she was just checking my pulse? There's a vein down there after all..."

The Colonel goes out of his way to be rude as possible to two visiting foreign dignitaries who are vital to America’s continued security. Were there no proper diplomats, or at least soldiers who aren’t cocks, who could do this? [Though him being such an overt knob cheese means we can ignore the seeming contradiction of him acting as if only America was attacked as he’s just being a berk for no reason].

Spike (and probably his Dad as well) should be one of the most famous people in America as the guy who basically won the war. What possible good is he going to be to a top-secret organisation? Plus his groin high Achilles heel makes him a grade A security risk.

More pragmatically, he’s covered in head to toe in plaster. It’ll be months before he’s in any state to command anything. Is the plan just to send all the robots a memo asking them to lay low for a bit?

Quote/Unquote

Spike: [On the poor construction of the new building] Great job, guys. Maybe should have given it another few weeks.

Shin: Well, that was the old regime. Skywatch is under the umbrella of the U.N. now. We have a new man in charge. Trustworthy.
Colonel: American.

"HIDDEN"

Review

How can it come to this? H-how can the humans do this?

The absolute nadir of IDW’s output to date. They’ve given the Bumblebee mini to a writer who doesn’t seem to have read any of the previous issues with Bumblebee in (and the guy only really has major lines in about three issues) and an artist who can’t be arsed to check what the characters look like.

Throw in a horribly twee “Idiot humans can’t tell good from bad” story that’s the sort of thing Bob Budiasky did better twenty years ago in a comic for young kids not written by self declared fans. The whole last four issues have, with the exception of the mighty Roche’s efforts, taken an abysmal series and hammered it further into the ground with a great big mallet.

And as such, though I still ended up getting the next few issues due to not getting down to the comic shop to cancel my orders over Christmas, this has persuaded me to give up on IDW. That’s after twenty years of buying Transformers comics. I’ve stuck with them through the 80-year reprint of the G.I. Joe crossover, Joe Ng art, the Avengers crossover, movie comics written by people who don’t seem to like the movies and Alex Milne. But even amongst all that we still had great, fantastic stuff (which it’s worth remembering even IDW used to manage). For the last year and an half we’ve had exactly one good story, and it was half an issue long.

That coupled with the fact the IDW editors and higher ups seem to be going out of their way to come across as complete tits in every interview (especially with their justifications of altering their barely 5 year old continuity every six weeks), there’s very little reason to carry on. Which is a shame, because having been lucky enough to meet various people who’ve worked/work on the comics at conventions over the years, I know there’s still talented, committed creators who really do care. Their efforts are basically all for nothing, though.

As this is my last IDW review (though the Titan comics will be continued as that’s silly good as opposed to silly bad), I’d like to be ever so slightly self indulgent for a second and draw your attention to some of the people behind the scenes who’ve not only helped out with these reviews but the comic section in general. Most don’t ever get a by-line and will probably never be thanked again so:

For helping just by making feedback in the relevant threads in the forum that always made good points: Cliffjumper, Blackjack, Terome, Andy Turnbull and especially Halfshell.

For being my man on the inside: Kris Carter/Drivaar. Regardless of wether my reviews of the comics he worked on were positive or not, he’d often pop up unbidden with some titbit I wouldn’t have known about otherwise and has always kicked a football over No Mans Land with good grace.

But the two most important people to bring up are Denyer and Zigzagger. They’ve been editing and putting up my increasingly meandering ramblings for five years now. If you think anything in this comics section works at all it’s down to them.

Notes

This story is by the team that will be bringing us the Bumblebee mini series. It’s also the first real sign of a problem, which will affect that title, artist Chee using completely different character models to all the other artists (not just artistic variation, but a completely different look. Most obviously here with Bumblebee who’s as he was in the original cartoon rather than the E.J. Su design the ongoing comic will continue to use).

This is most likely set in New York before the first story in the immediate aftermath of the Decepticon retreat, unless Bumblebee has a habit of wandering off by himself like an Emo child. The army is still using normal guns at this point and not very much rebuilding has been done. There’s also the first mention of places in America other than New York having been destroyed since we saw Washington back in issue #3.

Goofs

Bumblebee’s character is completely wrong. This is the guy IDW had previously treated as their smart and cool sneaky spy with a nice line in snark. The guy who in Infiltration had no qualms about sacrificing humans for the greater good. Here he’s a big crying girl who needs a good slap and can’t get his head around the idea humans might not be love and bunnies, even though he’s seen several examples of them ****ing up Transformers for no real good reason even before the Decepticons invaded.

Evil Soldier 1 claims he saw Devastator destroy the New York bridges, even though that didn’t happen.

Quote/Unquote

Bumblebee: We have to stay hidden. Repeat, we have to stay hidden. These humans are different.

Evil Soldier 1: I thought it was one of them-! It looked like a-a regular car, but it chirped at me like a bird-
Evil Soldier 2: Like a bird?! You moron, that was the security system!

 
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