CURRENT TRANSFORMERS COMICS FROM IDW PUBLISHING
Transformers Animated: The Arrival #3
Reviewed by Blitzwing
In "Stiletto", we are once again introduced to a B-list human villain. The Animated universe seems to be crowded with these types of characters. Usually these characters are only good for adding comic relief to the series. The comedy angle doesn't really apply for Stiletto since her character isn't given any lines of dialog in the entire issue. Another problem with most of these human villains is that a lot of them don't seem like they should be much of a match for the Autobots. Stiletto's super-human speed is what helps her evade most of the Autobots, but there's no explanation on how she could be that fast, other than that she was a former kick-boxer. An argument could be made that these events took place early in the series, when Optimus' crew was still just a Space Bridge repair unit, and not a group of warriors. One would think that even a Space Bridge repair unit would still be able to catch a human much easier though.
In "Bots of Science" we're are finally introduced to Oilslick, who is the only Animated character to have a toy, but not appear in the cartoon series. It is nice to get some stories that take place during the "Great Wars" that we keep hearing so much about. The war climate is very similar to what most fans have been used to seeing from previous Transformers series'. Ratchet as a young, naive Autobot medic is a nice change from the grumpy old 'Bot we are used to seeing him as in the cartoon series. Oilslick's betrayal is pretty easy to see coming for the reader, but the charm of the story comes from at least the idea that maybe one day Autobots and Decepticons could co-exist. Oilslick's attitude toward Ratchet and his perceived view on "Autobot arrogance" is also interesting. The Autobots seem to genuinely not understand at all why the Decepticons have started an uprising against them. Autobot Command's orders to let the wounded Decepticon die is another example of how the Autobots are much colder and more apathetic toward the Decepticons than in previous Transformers series'.
The art in the first two issues of this series was very consistent with how the cartoon looks. The art in this issue is noticeably sharper and darker here. This style is good for a story like "Bots of Science" because of it's more mature setting. "Stiletto" would have probably looked a lot better if it was done with more "traditional" Animated artwork because it is more of a light hearted story.
The swords that Megatron eventually makes with the materials that Stiletto stole for him are seen with his new body in "Megatron Rising part 1". Most of the other materials that were used for his new body were acquired with the help of Professor Sumdac when Megatron had him convinced that he was an Autobot. Perhaps Megatron didn't want Sumdac to know about the swords because Sumdac would question why Megatron would need a weapon.
Oilslick's appearance is his first in any Transformers fiction. He is the only character in the Animated toyline so far to not appear in Season 1 or 2 of the cartoon series. There are currently no plans for him to appear in Season 3 or any future seasons.
The Cosmic Rust is an obvious reference to the Generation 1 episode from Season 2 where Megatron is infected by a rust virus of the same name.
Ratchet still has his E.M.P. generator, which means that the events in "Bots of Science" took place before he lost it to Lockdown, which was seen in a flashback in "Thrill of the Hunt".
There are several Autobots and Decepticons that are seen throughout the battlefield around Ratchet and Oilslick. I'll try to speculate on who some of them could be:
Page 12, middle panel: The transformer laying at Ratchet's feet appears to be a green version of Starscream. This could possibly be Acid Storm.
Page 17, bottom panel: The purple jet crashed into the ground looks very similar to Cyclonus' jet mode. The Autobot that is face down with a tank turret on his back could be the Sparkbot, Guzzle. The Autobot laying on his back and infected with Cosmic Rust could be Powerglide judging by his faceplate and color scheme. The purple and green scorpion with Decepticon symbols on its back is probably Scorponok, which would make him significantly smaller than his Generation 1 version.
Page 22, bottom panel: There is an orange colored Sentinel Prime who's cut off at the torso at the top left corner. The jet laying face down next to Ratchet looks like a blue Starscream, so it could be Thundercracker. The Autobot in the bottom right corner looks exactly like Generation 1 Optimus Prime.
Optimus Prime: Ratchet! Take care of the cables! I'll douse this blaze!
Ratchet: Hmph! What is it with this crew and fixing bridges anyway?
Bulkhead: The only thing I'm fixing is this Stiletto lady!
Ratchet: Hate to pull your ride out from under you, ma'am. But- naw, I take it back. I kind of enjoyed that!
Ratchet: "Bots of Science" huh? Didn't think you Decepticons gave a dirt bike's exhaust port about science. Thought you just liked blowing things up.
Oilslick: Typical Autobot propaganda. For your information, not all Decepticons are merely interested in "blowing things up".
Ratchet (thinking to himself): Looks like we can learn from one another. I certainly learned a little bit about deception from them today. I just wonder if they'll ever learn anything about conscience from us.