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THE TRANSFORMERS: COMICS, BOOKS AND MANGA

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

CURRENT TRANSFORMERS COMICS FROM IDW PUBLISHING

Transformers: Heart of Darkness #1
Reviewed by Blackjack

Issue Review

”Where does this lead?”
First off the bat, the art is horrible. Background and robot bodies are excellently detailed, sure enough, and the photoshopped trans-dimensional sphere works, but gad, the faces. With those big glowing eyes and relatively clean expression, well, all of them, bar Jhiaxus’ ugly mug, look like they come straight out of a chibi comic, or Li’l formers. I’m not saying that it is bad, but check out Galvatron’s face in the four portraits in the double-spread when they discover the sphere. Now compare it with the others below. Sans the body, he looks like a Li’l former, right? Which is kind of detracting from the dark tone of the comic. Many times facial expressions are so butchered by this hybrid style, and how stupid does Cyclonus look with that goatee and those overlarge ears? Or Galvatron with that long neck? And the scene where Cyclonus transforms looks like it is drawn by a five year old. The art is so irregular that it’s hard to take this story seriously.

This is a brave yet misguided attempt to clear out all the cobwebs left behind by Furman’s hasty ending to Revelations. We try to clear out what happened to Gorlam Prime, what happened to the transdimensional pool, to Jhiaxus, to Arcee and to Hardhead. It is a brave attempt, I grant it, and I can understand to rewrite anything Andy Schimdt had written, it is unprofessional to rewrite stuff like that when the story would’ve worked perfectly even if they had quoted AHM #14 page by page. Also, Galvatron’s been changed from his highly entertaining madman persona to a self-appointed agent of change, with vague goals and panels devoted to monologuing about how powerful Galvatron is now… Cyclonus and Scourge are impressed that Galvatron can handle a rockslide, when he could kill with a single touch and wipe out an entire alien warship without breaking a sweat… twice. It is pretty dull and repetitive, kind of how Galvatron monologues in his spotlight, but without the intrigue because we know the Heart of Darkness is making him do all this crazy shite. Cyclonus, Scourge and Jhiaxus feel like wallpaper flowers. Which is a shame, considering Cyclonus’ excellent characterization in his Spotlight. Arcee and Hardhead popping out is not a surprise, and Arcee being changed from her Milne design into this… hideous monstrosity isn’t any better. While there is a necessity for flashbacks, it takes up too much pages. Although to their credit, DNA attempted to make the flashbacks readable with commentary from Galvatron. As usual with IDW, we have great concepts, but poorly executed. It’s painful to read. Which is a shame, coming from the team that brought us the crazy ride that is Infestation.

Notes

This takes place after Revelations and AHM #14, but before Infestation.

This issue places AHM #14 as happening several years after the Solar Pool incident, with Cyclonus apparently just moving slowly.

After the several year gap between the –ions series and AHM, Gorlam Prime had had its glory age, before falling into disrepair.

The combat between Galvatron and Optimus, Gorlam Prime being a technological paradise, Hardhead becoming a zombie, Arcee hacking Jhiaxus forever, all happened in Revelations. Arcee and Jhiaxus’ history stems from Spotlight: Arcee.

The now-empty teleporting pool first appeared in Spotlight: Nightbeat. Cyclonus and Scourge rejoining Galvatron happened in All Hail Megatron #14.

Body designs: Galvatron is in a modified design that transforms into a tank ATV-ish vehicle, with the cannon becoming the exhaust port that propels him forward. He also has a new tank turret that ends up on his back. Cyclonus has changed from his IDW design (with a more chunky alternate mode and a zombie-like face) into his G1 cartoon model. Not an error because of the vague timeline, Cyclonus could’ve changed forms between here and Infestation. Scourge has also traded in his devil-like wings for more standard bat wings. Also, Hardhead now has two back mounted cannons, and Arcee is in her G1 character model, but with separate breasts.

The Darkness is called the Anti-Matrix, and once it merged with Galvatron it is now a ‘Heart of Darkness’. Know your plot devices!

Cyclonus now has a short beard.

Presumably all the Micromasters in Gorlam Prime have died. Figures nobody but me cares about the little guys. –sigh-

Goofs

Not necessarily a goof, but Galvatron compares Gorlam Prime to the human ghost ship Marie Celeste. While Galvatron have been to Earth, he doesn’t seem to be the type of guy who would want to learn about human culture. More unlikely because, well, he was undead at that time.

The recap to the AHM short story is radically different. Here ‘Cyclonus and Scourge has been slowly dying’, when in AHM, it seems like Cylonus has just arrived after ferrying in the corpses there. Galvatron also didn’t arrive in a ship, he didn’t share their power with them so much as throw Scourge into the smelting whatever. His dialogue is different as well. Here Galvatron reformats Cyclonus and Scourge TFTM-like, when in AHM Cyclonus was not reformatted, while Scourge was thrown into the smelting thing.

Why would Galvatron need a ship when he had always shown no trouble in interstellar travel in Spotlight: Galvatron and Revelations?

Also, everyone is in their wrong body designs during the flashback.

Likewise, the recap to Revelations had Arcee in her cartoon body and Hardhead with two back mounted cannons, when it is not so.

“I quit Garrus-9.” How can one quit a prison? Galvatron wasn’t even working there.

The Micromaster head that Cyclonus held is nearly the same size as Cyclonus’ own head, when Micromasters have been tiny before.

The segmented bits on Scourge’s wings disappear and reappear from frame to frame.

Can irregular art count as goofs?

Quote/Unquote

 
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