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THE TRANSFORMERS: COMICS, BOOKS AND MANGA

IDW Publishing
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CURRENT TRANSFORMERS COMICS FROM IDW PUBLISHING

Transformers: Drift #1
Reviewed by Inflatable Dalek

Issue Review

"Like I need a disease."
Alright. The ever-controversial topic of fan-character-turned-official Drift. Now most people are pissed off with Drift's over-publication that he would be 'something we have never seen before in Transformers fiction', even though ninjas and defectors and race cars have been with us since the original series. But what made people even more pissed off was that Drift immediately got a Spotlight to himself when, say, guys like Hound and Windcharger were left unsung. So when a mini-series was announced for Drift, the reaction was definitely negative. Even Optimus Prime never had a mini-series to himself.

But let's admit it, there are people out there that actually like Drift. Personally, I'm annoyed at him and his over-cliched backstory, but I don't really hate him the way I hate, say, the Energon cartoon, or Kiss Players. After all, re-reading All Hail Megatron again, Drift isn't that bad of a character; it's his Spotlight that's absolutely dire. I have grown to tolerate him, mostly due to owning his toy, and even picked him up at the RPG out of morbid curiousity.

So how does this issue fare? Well, even when I try to review it without any prejudices against Drift, it fares very poorly. Deadlock/Drift is terribly bland and unengaging as a protagonist. And while Alex Milne's art has improved compared to Megatron: Origin or Spotlight: Arcee, it's really annoying that he should Gundam-ize Deadlock and Wing so. The action scenes with the fugly alien slavers are also very dull and reek of padding. But art aside, there are many things wrong with the issue. The first issue of a miniseries is supposed to set the mood and engage the reader to the titular character. We have what passes for the plot and the mood set up, but neither Deadlock nor Wing are engaging characters. Deadlock's very one-dimensional, and his motivations aren't clear. Plus a Transformer in a Jedi cloak never worked the first time. Looks stupid as well here.

The supporting cast — Turmoil and the late-G1/G2 Decepticons — could be replaced by generics and there wouldn't be any notable difference. The random deaths of nearly half a dozen pre-existing characters like Electro doesn't really help the readers to like Drift. After reading this issue, I still doesn't know more about Drift's character compared to before. And they had to have Drift shoot a guy looking like Carnivac in the face, don't they? To piss off everyone who says 'Drift should be replaced by Carnivac'. It might have potential if Shane buckles up for his reportedly last hurrah with the Transformers, but face it — I was more interested at seeing obscure G2/late G1 like Aquablast and High Beam than seeing Drift. If nothing else, Alex Milne does know his obscure characters.

Notes

Since Sunstreaker isn't on Earth yet, and Roadgrabber is still alive, this puts the events of this issue considerably some time before the -ions series.

Skyjack and Ransack (the G2 Rotor Force guy) are still up and running here, so they haven't been captured and incarcerated in Garrus-9, as seen in Spotlight: Arcee.

Road Rocket is in his Earth body (wheels on his shoulders) instead of the Guido Guidi design seen in the -ions series, where his wheel is on his hand like a shield.

The G2 versions of Dreadwing and Smokescreen are around, so in IDW continuity they are not a recreated Darkwing.

While there were some speculation whether Wing is the guy from the Japan-exclusive G1 series Multiforce (he has the right paintjob, similar but not identical kibble and Alex Milne surely knows who the Multiforce are), McCarthy reveals that he only uses the name Wing because he thought it 'sounded cool', and he is in no way related to Multiforce.

During the flashback scene in the gutters, a can with Kremzeek drawn on it could be seen.

In an actual show of good editing (!), the editors actually realized that Manta Ray had been killed (in Spotlight: Doubledealer), so what was meant to be Manta Ray in the first page was recoloured as a generic. The guy next to Sunstreaker that got blown up is supposed to be Skram, but because Skram was supposed to be still alive during Furman's -ion series, he was intentionally miscoloured. Good editing, for once! Now if only they could be this observant for the ongoing...

Goofs

Not-Carnivac has his back towards Deadlock when he does his 'I will tell Turmoil!' line, but in the next panel Deadlock somehow shoots him in the face.

When Deadlock kicks Turmoil's gun, his leg is out of perspective.

How could a cloak hide the fact that Wing's a Transformer? In Spotlight Drift, Drift fools organic aliens. But surely Deadlock/Drift has sensors and whatnot that could detect Wing?

The shape of Wing's cloak couldn't possibly hide his pointy wings and kibble. I mean, look at that his body design, and look back at his Jedi cloak. Can't fit.

Why would Deadlock need to steal guns from the aliens when he clearly already carries several on his person?

Quote/Unquote

Drift: "I'll need a gun... two guns".

Wing: "Helping another is the highest calling one can aspire to".
Drift: "You sound like an Autobot".
Wing: "What does an Autobot sound like?"
Drift: "Weak."

 
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