CURRENT TRANSFORMERS COMICS FROM IDW PUBLISHING
The Revenge of the Fallen Movie Prequel: Alliance #2
Reviewed by Blackjack
"Does this pose a problem?"
Yay, action. The arrival of a new character, the resolution of the Wreckage story arc, and lots of action scenes. The cliffhanger, with lots of Decepticon protoforms flying towards Earth, is a hint at increased action scenes and, knowing Mowry, death toll. The plot is being moved forward. The Wreckage subplot never worked out well anyway, so it's nice to see it tied up here by killing him off, simple and clean. It's just a shame that it hadn't been done earlier, since Wreckage is far from interesting and his plot is starting to grate. There's also some explanation for the L.M./Landmines seen in Reign of Starscream
, which is a bonus. Mowry does need to stop his Furman-esque habit of dropping plot threads he's not likely to follow up, though, or they will end up feeling like a half-assed attempt like the Landmines here. Although the pacing is still a bit too slow, and Ratchet is mysteriously absent except in one panel, it's definitely picking up. Milne's art is okay in here. He's definitely better at drawing colourful scenes on terra firma than gritty scenes of Cybertron, though he did fudge up a lot of the human expressions again. The use of the AllSpark piece MacGuffin is limited; it's central to the plot but doesn't shape it, although it is very reminiscent of Animated's Allspark Key. Not as good as it should've been, but it's definitely getting there.
Simmons still sticks to his 'N.B.E.' speech, refusing to refer to Wreckage by name and 'he'. For some reason, Vine thinks otherwise. The two get into an argument over this.
Wreckage woke up after his arrival to Nevada in the flashback last issue. Afterwards Wreckage gave Sector Seven some information, probably for him to buy some time and learn things; Simmons said they learned from each other. This was seen in Reign of Starscream
issues 2 and 3. Wreckage then runs amuck, before being deactivated by Salazar. Salazar uses the info to build the L.M. Units, which was used (ineffectively) against Starscream in Reign #2.
When Wreckage wakes up, he scans an identical military vehicle, repainting himself in a green, purple and brown scheme. Originally it was believed that Wreckage was about to receive a repainted toy in that colour scheme after the repainted toy was shown. Later, the repainted Wreckage turned out to be the toy for ROTF Bludgeon, not Wreckage. Oh well. At least Mowry tried.
Optimus Prime still carries the G1-esque trailer that contains Jazz's body. He dislikes Simmons constantly referring to them as N.B.E.s.
Simmons is worried that the 'lubricator' would make a repeat performance. This is hilarious. Also, Simmons gets seasick. That's why he isn't going with the Autobots. (Another reason is so that he wouldn't get blamed if something goes wrong. Bastard.)
Bumblebee speeds forward, leaving Ironhide behind. This harks back to his speed-hungry Animated potrayal. His side mirror has the words 'objects in mirror are slower than they appear', while showing ol' Ironhide. He's a bastard. But it's damn cute.
The behaviour of the Allspark piece, jumping out at Wreckage like that, is very similar to the Allspark Key in Animated. Is this a spoiler for ROTF? Who knows?
The Landmine units are apparently drones developed by Salazar, and are activated by the Allspark sliver. So this means the Landmines aren't buggies brought to life by the Allspark, unlike what the toy bios said. We don't know whether Landmines are real Transformers or just drones, although since Wreckage killed them all it doesn't matter. It's worth noticing that the Allspark sliver, so far, looks like it can only reactivate dead transformers (Wreckage) or activate things with a transformable body (Landmines). It also glowed when brought near to Megatron's corpse, which is the reason that Prime placed it in the humans' care.
Frenzy's body was destroyed when Wreckage slashed Screamer's chest. Frenzy contained a large amount of info, including that which Screamer used to create his fake AllSpark. It's a bit weird Starscream being worried that Frenzy was destroyed considering he has a backup of the data on Cybertron.
In the highway scene, the Autobots pass a truck similar to a G2 Laser Rod Optimus Prime. They also pass a yellow Volkswagen Beetle (G1 Bumblebee), and the G1 Hook-esque crane makes a reappearance this issue. Surely not?
Ironhide passes a green panel advertising Arbco, with the slogan 'Put a snake in your tank'. The logo is a modified Cobra logo from the G.I. Joe series, and Arbco is an almagram of Cobra, obviously.
In the final panel, there are eleven protoforms headed towards earth. However, two of them could be tail-flames on a larger protoform. Make of it what you will.
For some reason, Bonecrusher's body is not shown among the deactivated Decepticons, only Megatron, Brawl and Blackout. Bonecrusher hates being left out of his own funeral.
Speaking of the Decepticons, when the convoy enters the highway, they didn't cover the Decepticon bodies with anything, leaving them all exposed for everyone on the road to see.
Ratchet is absent for the entire issue, other than being mentioned by Prime in dialogue and being barely seen behind Ironhide on the highway scene.
Simmons is very fickle-minded. Last issue, Vine and he were planning to wake Wreckage up, and planning on utilizing Lennox to do so. This issue, he's very scared of Wreckage (and Decepticons in general) and does all he can to keep the AllSpark fragment secure. He looks very anxious, and is very surprised when the AllSpark sliver jumps out of his hand. He also shouted 'Grab it!' meaning he didn't want Wreckage to be revived. So what the hell does he want?
Another unclear Milne action scene happens this issue. Panel one: Starscream fires. Panel two: Wreckage falls. Panel three: Wreckage transforms and drives away from Starscream. Panel four: Starscream lunges forward, while some laser beams (Sector Seven?) blast him from the back. Panel five: somehow, a small mech rams Starscream. The characters in this panel are silhouetted, so it's hard to tell who the smaller mech is, though after comparing the toys, it's safe to say it's a Landmine. Whether it is thrown by Wreckage, or it jumps to Screamer is not clear.
Does anyone else find it weird that Soundwave, the Decepticons' head of communication, doesn't know about events that took place a month ago?
Simmons: "Did NBE-3 come back online yet?"
Vine: "Wreckage? He's asked you to call him that, you know."
Simmons: "I'll call them what they are. And what's with this 'he' stuff? More of that 'scientific evaluation' thing?"
Lennox: "Come one, Simmons, do you really have to be here?"
Simmons: "Antsy for your alien date, Lennox?"
Lennox: "Look, when they get here, I'd rather you not be here. Get what I'm saying?"
Simmons: "Worried that the Lubricator is going to make a repeat performance?"
Bumblebee: "I'm faster. I can get there and get back in no time. Just keep following and I'll keep the coms up."
Starscream: "You've betrayed us all, Wreckage! The punishment for treason is-" -Wreckage cuts his shoulder- "-AARRGH!"
Wreckage: "Shut up, Starscream. You first."
Wreckage: "Ha! Mighty Starscream. Megatron's finest warrior. Look at you now! You spark shall be my gift to him. You life will no-" -Bumblebee blows up Wreckage's hand-
Starscream: -kills Wreckage- "Megatron is dead, just as you soon shall be. Give my regards to Dreadwing."
Starscream: "It also seems that the Autobots are working with the humans."
Soundwave: "Does this pose a problem?"
Starscream: "I have destroyed both before
. I can do it again."