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THE TRANSFORMERS: COMICS, BOOKS AND MANGA

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

Transformers Animated: The Arrival #6
Reviewed by Blackjack

Issue Review

The Arrival series closes with this story. Originally it was marketed along with the Safeguard toy, and there were plans to release it as a single issue, but due to low sales the idea was dropped. Whilst the issue is blatantly to sell toys, it does give some backstory to Jetfire and Jetstorm -- although here comes Marty with his 'simulation' story again. What, couldn't they just try and send Jetfire and Jetstorm to battle some random Decepticons? Like Dirge, perhaps? He's a toy-only Decepticon. The opening part is rather good, with the Twins being powerful, youthful but still respectful (they listen to Sentinel and Jazz's every whim), although Jetfire and Jetstorm have no distinct personalities from each other. The bits where they train with Jazz and Sentinel Prime are good, especially Sentinel making up a story to cover up his mistakes. In fact, Magnus, Sentinel and Jazz get developed as well. Once the story goes into the virtual reality portion, however, it goes downhill. Also, Boo needs to learn how to draw big mouths properly, as they're often crooked. Not the best story, and a weak closure to Arrival.



Notes

This issue was first titled 'Rise of Safeguard', then 'First (and Second) in Flight' in the TPB.

The beginning of the comic, with Starscream escaping, is before 'A Fistful of Energon', while the ending is right after 'TransWarped'.

The Elite Guard are very dark, aren't they? First, they cannibalize Decepticons for data. Then, instead of applying the program to any soldier, they choose disposable Autobots. Jetfire and Jetstorm are near-death, and haven't volunteered in any way. Instead of repairing them, Perceptor goes on to say that Twins might be more useful, so they cannibalize the Twins without any guarantee the process would be a success. Also, Magnus thinks it's a good idea to use live ammo in training new recruits, although it could've easily resulted in the Twins dying. Cold.

Apparently Autobots don't fly until Jetfire and Jetstorm. According to the designers this is true; even guys like Cosmos, Highbrow and Powerglide (all of whom made cameos in the final season), who had airborne altmodes in G1, don't have airborne altmodes in Animated. Makes you wonder how they won the war in the first place.

According to Wheeljack, Decepticon code apparently makes an Autobot have increased size, strength, firepower and, of course, the ability to fly. Wheeljack also jokes that there would be side effects, such as an overwhelming desire to destroy Autobots. Turns out that the side effects gave the twins those funky powers.

These are the first appearances of Perceptor, Wheeljack and Red Alert.

Jazz speaks 50's beatnik slang, using phrases like 'dig' and 'clyde', much to the confusion of the Twins. He also references Metalikato (sic) and Circuit-Su.

One of the dead Autobots on page 1 is a miscoloured Sentinel Prime with horns. Two of the Autobots guarding Magnus on page four are Prowls with red and green trimmings and no horns. One of the Autobot technicians resemble G1 Highbrow, and another one resemble Animated Powerglide (with a different colour-job and minus the shoulder things). A blue and black punching bag in Jazz's training area resemble an Animated Seeker with a conehead, possibly Dirge. Jetfire and Jetstorm fight against virtual drones that resemble Diagnostic Drones from Beast Machines, but they have longer wings and shorter hands. A purple energon star is among the equipment in the VR system.

The VR combat simulator is similar in setup to what Optimus uses in 'Survival Skills'. This raises a lot of questions; see goofs.

Sentinel Prime respires his role as drill sergeant in 'Autoboot Camp', giving names to Jetfire and Jetfire. This raises the question- what are the twins known as in their former lives? Sentinel is a bit rusty, so he gives the name Jetfire to both of them until they complain.

Perceptor says that twins happen when a protoform splits into two, so Safeguard might be their true, original form. Maybe, since they are the only known gestalt in the Animated universe.

Goofs

If they couldn't find a simulation hard enough for the Twins to go through, why don't they just slap the Megatron simulation in 'Survival Skills'? It's unbeatable! Also, for a smart guy, Perceptor is pretty stupid. Instead of creating a virtual Starscream, he inserts Decepticon code into the virtual simulation.

Then again, how do Starscream's codes manage to take over the VR system but not the Twins' minds?

Okay, so the Twins' powers manifest in the real world. That's cool. Jetfire's real self catches fire, while Jetstorm's real self seemingly extinguishes Jetfire's flame. Believable, sort of. But how do they do the combining thing? They're all strapped into the simulator.

The Twins' mouths are often drawn at odd angles.

In page four, panel three, the art makes it look like Jetstorm is showing off (grinning while walking on a tightrope) while Jetfire is scolding him. However, the dialogue and subsequent art thinks otherwise. Then again, it's hard to tell with Boo.

Red Alert's left hand shouldn't be a hand, but a tool of sorts.

In the original issue, Wasp is mis-identified as Waspinator. Wasp didn't adopt that moniker until his final appearance. This is fixed in the European release and the trade paperback.

Quote, Unquote

Jazz: "A flying Autobot? All due props, sir, that's off the deep end."
Sentinel Prime: "Autobots don't fly! Period! Sir."

Wheeljack: "We don't know how their Autobot shells will react to the Decepticon code. They may experience some slight side effects."
Ultra Magnus: "Such as..."
Perceptor: "Increased size, strength and firepower."
Wheeljack: "Or an overwhelming desire to destroy every Autobot in sight." -beat- "It's a joke. I hope."

Jazz: "If these cats are Cybertron's future, I think I'm gonna stick to groovin' on the past."

Sentinel Prime: "Not bad. I'm gonna call you Jetfire! Now you! Transform!" -Jetstorm transforms- "Well, you don't get points for originality, but I'm gonna call you Jetfire!"
Jetfire: "But, sir, I am already called Jetfire, sir. Will that not be confusing, sir?"
Sentinel Prime: "Mute it, cog! I haven't done this in a few thousand stellar cycles, so I'm a little rusty with the nicknames, okay?! All right, how about Jetstorm?"

Ultra Magnus: "Sentinel Prime! What on Cybertron do you think you're doing? This is supposed to be a top secret project!"
Sentinel Prime: "Yes... Er, well, I thought it would be a good idea to test them out in a real world combat scenario. Not to mention those antiquated defense cannons could use a serious upgrade."
Ultra Magnus: "Excellent thinking, Sentinel Prime. It's that kind of initiative that will lead you to become a fine Magnus someday."

Jazz: "Name is Jazz, dig? I'm here to hip you to some cyber-ninjitsu martial arts moves. Circuit su. Metalikato. You dig?"
Jetstorm: "What is this dig?"
Jetfire: "We are requiring shovels?"
Jazz: "What I mean is, are we solid?"
Jetfire: "Solid? Yes! We are most solid!"
Jetstorm: "Except our hydraulics. They are liquid."
Jetfire: "And our engine exhaust would be gas."

 
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