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THE TRANSFORMERS: COMICS, BOOKS AND MANGA

IDW Publishing
(2005-now)
Devil's Due
(2003-2007)
Dreamwave
(2002-2004)
Club/Con
(2001-now)
Titan Books
(2001-now)
Marvel Comics
(1984-1994)
Japanese
Manga
Other Books
and Titles

CURRENT TRANSFORMERS COMICS FROM IDW PUBLISHING

Transformers: Devastation #1 (of 6)
#17 of an ongoing arc
Reviewed by Inflatable Dalek

Issue Review

I think what we need here is a fresh perspective.

The middle of 2007 has been a somewhat mediocre time for IDW. The Megatron: Origin and New Avengers titles were amazingly bad, whilst the Optimus Prime and Galvatron Spotlights were entertaining enough but still only average.

Luckily, with the resumption of the ..tion arc we also get a return to high quality writing. With the exception of the clumsy info dump and slightly odd three week gap in which nothing happens, every page sings. We get decent character moments (such as Prime's irritation at being on the back foot), decent juggling of three or four ongoing plots, and a big epic action scene that creates one of the greatest cliffhangers of Transformers comics.

Hopefully this will mark the start of an upward quality turn across the board, but by itself it more than manages to wash away the unpleasant taste of a sub par summer.

Notes

Nightbeat's investigations help to clarify a few things; that the Machination had always intended that the computer to be captured by the Decepticons, but ultimately just needed any Transformer, thus didn't need to adjust their plans hugely when the Autobots captured it instead. We also learn the Machination observation of the Ark has only started after they captured the computer.

Thunderwing's body was stolen in Spotlight: Galvatron, which is where Sideswipe began his pleas to come to Earth to help find Sunstreaker. In the gap between series, Optimus has also visited Omega Supreme in his own Spotlight, but that isn't referred to here.

Hot Rod has a new alt mode based on a modern sports car. Though we don't get a good look at him, Hardhead would seem to have upgraded as well. We learnt in Spotlight: Galvatron that the Autobots had been unable to locate Ironhide's transponder. Finding it now is therefore their firs break in the three week gap.

Either as a result of the Ore-13 or his battle with Prime, Megatron is becoming increasingly unhinged. Whilst Sixshot ultimately goes along with his wishes the other Decepticons are worried enough to take the ultimate risk and reactivate Starscream - the first time the fate of the Seeker after Infiltration has been made clear.

Skywatch has enough technical know how to place Ravage under mental conditioning. He seems to be following the Transformers by smell, but hopefully it will be revealed he's also using super advanced scanners at some point as orbital bouncing Transformers won't leave a scent. Joshua Red claims he's waited 22 years for this - that would tie in with Spotlight: Soundwave being set in late 1984 and this in the first half of 2007.

It's not clear if Ratbat has just arrived on Earth or has been with the Decepticons all along but unseen. Based on his back he would seem to turn into a portable CD player, which is somewhat ironic that he finally gets a updated alt mode just as CD's are on their way to becoming as obsolete as tape players.

Bumblebee's role on the Ark when in flight (seemingly monitoring communications) would seem to require him to plug directly into the ship in a way none of the others seem to need to do.

Goofs

In the three weeks since Escalation, what have our hero's been up to? Not a lot it seems. Nightbeat has only just gotten around to looking at the computer and no one has thought to have a look round the base for spy equipment even though they know they've been compromised. And why didn't the tracker show up when the device was examined back in Infiltration? Is Nightbeat the only one who knows how to use the equipment properly? If Ironhide is still alive he should hand in his resignation as security chief for failing to spot a tracker signal being sent from their own base as well.

Also, whilst Furman sensibly wanted to bring new readers up to speed, did he have to give the pages over to Nightbeat explaining the plot so far to people who already know most of it? Hmmm, I begin to wonder if Nightbeat is the only one with any brains at all.

And one also has to wonder what the hell Jimmy and Verity have been up to in the last three weeks. Bitching at Jazz every day? And they're still in the same clothes and must stink like Johnny the Cobbler by now.

Whilst not necessarily a goof, it is inadvertently hilarious that after all his big "I can destroy planets" speeches in his Spotlight that Sixshot can't even completely destroy a small shuttle with one blast.

Quote, Unquote

Ratchet: According to their on site logs [Ironhide's] in a clutch of wrecks scheduled for the pneumatic presses when they open at 8:00 AM.
Hot Rod: Well then, given that it's now 5:17 AM we're hardly, er, pressed for time. Still, any excuse. C'mon Wheeljack, let's burn!.

Optimus Prime: We've been on the defensive long enough. It's high time we kicked back!.

Megatron: I no longer care. We are beyond the structure of phases here. Two... three... it barely matters anymore. These are exceptional circumstances and as such require extreme measures!
Sixshot: [beat] OK.

Joshua Red: They were here weren't they? Others like you!

 
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