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THE TRANSFORMERS: COMICS, BOOKS AND MANGA

IDW Publishing
(2005-now)
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(2003-2007)
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(2002-2004)
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CURRENT TRANSFORMERS COMICS FROM IDW PUBLISHING

Transformers: All Hail Megatron #5
Reviewed by Inflatable Dalek

Issue Review

Whoís in charge of this mess?

To recap the story so far, issue one started with the Decepticons invading New York and the Autobots sitting around looking miserable on Cybertron. Issue 5 has themÖ still in exactly the same place. In fact, thanks to some back peddling on the idea that the Decepticons have conquered Earth the plot advancement has regressed, if anything.

All the problems of the previous issues are present and correct, to the point where itís getting increasingly difficult to find anything new to say. At this rate the review of issue 6 will just be a series of links back to the previous ones. So we have terrible dialogue, an embarrassing Americancentric slant, badly drawn humans, a lack of plot movement and poor continuity (except with random references - such as to the combiner process having been perfected or why Prowl isnít in charge - feeling like it's been forced in at the last second to shut people up). With the exception of one scene, which weíll deconstruct in a second, itís all terribly dull as well, with the only joy coming from things like wondering if Roadbuster ate all the pies.

The one section that crosses over from dull to insanely stupid is the attempt to make Jazz look like the meanest coolest mother-****ing dude who ever lived. The whole scene's horribly contrived (as mentioned elsewhere, Springer should be used to working for Jazz if he's head of Special Ops) and is 100% smug. Much like the sequence of Witwicky getting a CIA agent thumped in issue 2 itís supposed to show the hero as a maverick accept-no-crap protagonist but instead makes them seem like a lazy bully who doesnít have their priorities right. It crosses the line from dull into actually painful reading.

Weíre now rapidly approaching the end of the first AHM trade, and still arenít past the point a competent issue 1 would have finished. Save your money on this crap and go buy some paint to watch dry instead.

Notes

Casey Coller draws the five-page flashback sequence that opens the issue. In it we learn that Springer and Roadbuster were not with the rest of the Wreckers when the Autobots were defeated. Itís not clear if they were permanently transferred away from the group or on a special one off mission under Kupís command.

Yes, Kup is back. There is no explanation of his complete recovery from his state at the end of his Spotlight. If anything heís now in better health than heís been in centuries as heís returned to front line soldiering rather than teaching. Although he does have a cyber cigar stuck in his mouth that may be part of some advanced life support unit.

With two exceptions the bulk of Kupís crew consists of people on the two shuttles that escaped Autobot City in the 1986 film. The first exception is Drift, a newly created character who, as part of a cross promotion with Hasbro, is being turned into a Universe toy [despite claims in press releases he isnít the first comic original character to become a toy, Jhiaxus, Primus and the Fallen have all beaten him to the punch]. The Cybertronian mode seen within the issue has either been slightly redesigned from the cover or the first time we see him the image is reversed as heís missing the kibble on his right shoulder.

The other exception is Roadbuster, who has the distinction of being the first original G1 character to appear in the comic who was never in the cartoon. Itís not clear why this is; possibly he was the non-show toy McCarthy had as a kid. For some reason heís now five time bigger than in his previous IDW appearances. This may be subspace at work, or he may have eaten the other Wreckers. Perceptor has also had a (more minor) redesign, now having an enlarged right eye that looks like a monocle.

The Autobots control their ship by being plugged directly into it, in a similar way to Bumblebee in Devastation. The way the Decepticons are able to invade their ships systems is presumably down to the actions of the traitor (Jazz later claims the double agent gave the Decepticons their access codes, though to what isnít made clear yet).

And before we leave the flashback sequence we have two in-jokes, Kupís ship is named the Trion after TV star Alpha Trion and reference is made to the Swarm, a major part of the Generation 2 comic. Though the term is vague enough to be referring to anything here really.

Devastator injured Optimus Prime, and we have belated confirmation that the combiner technology has just been perfected [presumably from the capture of Monstructor at the end of Revelation]. Surprisingly, perhaps, we also finally get confirmation that Optimus did indeed carry the Matrix within him. Despite the Matrix succession being a major plot point of Revelation all the comics up till now have done a funny little dance to avoid saying this outright.

Jazz explains that heís in charge of Primeís group instead of Prowl due to standard procedure for unusual circumstances. For some reason the high-ranking Springer and Kup are unaware of this protocol and create something of a fuss over it.

The purple building Megatron keeps the Matrix in is likely to be yet another City of Steel reference. Unfortunately the upshot of this is it looks for all the world as if Hook has constructed a large purple phallus in the middle of the city.

Spike Witwicky was the name of the main human character in the original cartoon, and the bulk of most ďG1Ē fiction published since. Also on his team is Wilder, named after the Japanese version of the Fangry toy. In other injokery the Universe Dropshot toy is visible on the American base, and Megatron is referred to by the codename ďMegamanĒ.

Ratbat has changed his alt mode to the original toy version as well. Considering Megatron: Origin made him Soundwaveís bitch the cassette player may have insisted on this change for reasons best known to himself.

This is the first issue with no speaking role for the titular star.

Goofs

The Autobots on the shuttle feel any damage inflicted on the ship as pain through their plug-in piloting system. Thatís a bit daft surely?

Spike Witwicky has the same face as Andy, Dad and concerned onlooker in previous issues. The colourist does his best by making the hair a little darker but the only reasonable assumption by this stage is that Mama Witwicky put it about a lot.

Even though Megatron claimed to have conquered the entire Earth last issue Colonel Witwicky here talks in terms of a solely American invasion, with the other world powers all ready to nuke America at the first chance because theyíre untrustworthy shifty foreign types.

Itís really lucky that all the mass demolition and rebuilding in New York hasnít reached the place where this vital super weapon is, isnít it?

Jazz is directly referred to as the head of Special Ops. The Wreckers are the most Special Ops team possible, so why is Springer being such a cock to Jazz when he must have worked under him numerous times?

Jazz shows what a cool muther ****er he is by showing he had Mirage on invisible guard duty the whole time. One of the Autobots is a traitor, so letting anyone go out on advanced guard by themselves - let alone the prime suspect - is grade A stupid. Not to mention that at no point in any of the previous issues have any of the Autobots been unaccounted for, meaning he only bothered with a sentry this one single time.

Who thought Kupís cigar was a good idea?

Quote/Unquote

Springer: Iím a whole lot bigger than you, you know how this is gonna end.
[Jazz pwns Springer and Blurr and points a gun at Kup]
Kup: Special Ops.

Garth Marenghi: [helpfully explaining how the comicís various loose ends and unexplained results will be dealt with] I guess we'll never know. So, just to restate, that is something we'll never know, you're not going to find out later.

 
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