CURRENT TRANSFORMERS COMICS FROM IDW PUBLISHING
Transformers Bumblebee #4: Wings of Wax
Reviewed by Blackjack
"-And your clumsy metal claws have bashed it into an irreparable mess!”
A very hasty and clumsy conclusion. While not up to the emo-tastic issue three, there still isn’t much to praise this issue. You know the drill. Bad art (the one-page scene where Bumblebee leaps over some rocks looks like Pat Lee art), an overload much human scenes and a conclusion that reads as if the author has lost interest and just wraps it up without giving a shit (which, I suspect, is the case here). Skywarp is a decent and entertaining enough villain, but even then he falls short. It’s a nice gesture to have him wanting glory and power and to be recognized by Megatron. It’s a shame that after all the badassery that his previous scenes implied he’s killed rather quickly with the plot device. The humans are twats, too. Sanjay is a useless idiot, the plot device works like just another plot device, Klonowski is lifeless, and the Colonel is ultimately discarded in the first few pages. Bumblebee, meanwhile, tells the humans that he doesn’t want to be a leader. But at the end of the issue, he’s apparently ready to lead the Autobots again. Go get some consistency, Bumblebee. And while you're at it, trade your personality, please. Hell, even go back to the generic uninteresting happy cartoon boy in AHM or Costa, that way you're not an unpalatable emo bitch.
The ending has lots of loose ends, too. What did they do to Skywarp? Did they hand him over to Skywatch? Did he die? What the hell happened with Blurr from issue two? What about those Decepticons they handed over to Skywatch? (Will the Ongoing tell what’s going on?) What happened to the Colonel? (On second thoughts, that last question would’ve made a boring scene.) Ratchet and even Wheeljack, despite being decent second-stringers throughout the past few issues, are almost entirely neglected in favour for the lifeless Serena and Sanjay. Most jarringly, throughout the issue, Ratchet and Wheeljack are potrayed as heartless, uncaring assholes, when in Infiltration Bumblebee
was the one telling Ratchet that the humans were disposable. Damn it, we know the -ions are a couple years back, but that doesn't mean that new writers should piss over established continuity. While the action scenes give some readability, it doesn’t change the fact that there’s still a load of crap.
And to top it all, Bumblebee’s changed not into an updated G1 design, not into his IDW design, not a Goldbug, hell, not even into the Classics/Universe designs, but into his ‘old Camaro’ movie design. With a G1 head. A wee bit of stupidity. It kind of works with Don's busier style of art, and it's helped that the robot mode isn't too far from the IDW design, but here, with Chee's art, it looks diabolical. I am just curious whether 'Bee's new body is Hasbro's work, or either one of the authors.
All in all, Bumblebee is a rather forgettable miniseries. You could skip this and read the Ongoing, and the only difference you'll notice is that Bumblebee had a new body, he's grown some balls, Blurr's with Bee's Autobots and Skywarp is under custody. That's all. The whole shebang is a write-off. We get a decent, mediocre second issue and a semi-promising opening, but otherwise it falls apart with overzealous dialogue (it may be the right portion for, say, a text story but for a comic? Blah.), emo moments and the artist insisting to use crayons.
Sanjay’s wife appears to have been killed by Transformers, according to his dialogue with Serena, which might explain his distrust towards all Transformers.
Bumblebee’s new body is basically a G1-ized Movie Bumblebee. It looks like they used the ‘beat-up’ Bumblebee from the first movie, and slapped G1 Bumblebee’s head on it. This design has been seen on some obscure Universe flash animation as well as the Robot Heroes book, if I’m not wrong, but it looks silly then and it looks silly now.
When Bumblebee runs away by foot, Skywarp stands around for a while before beginning to search for ‘Bee, instead of, you know, teleporting in front of him like he always did?
Skywarp’s teleportation is different from all the times we’ve seen it in IDW.
Several times (I can’t be bothered to take down the page numbers) Bumblebee’s vehicle mode highlights disappear in robot mode.
On page 17, Skywarp’s purple highlights are missing.
Ratchet: “Congratulations. You’re returning to the base a hero. And as for the treatment of the girl… well, she’ll live.”
Skywarp: “Can’t outrace a teleporter, Bumblebee. Give me that control board.”
Skywarp: “-it will be me at (Megatron’s) right hand, not Starscream. Not Soundwave.”
Bumblebee: “I let my mission become more important than my friendships. I think that it might be something that leaders have to do- and it makes me realize I don’t want to be a leader anymore.”
Skywarp: “Bumblebee, stop. You’ll be destroyed too.”
Bumblebee: “Yes, Skywarp. But my
friends… will repair me.”