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THE TRANSFORMERS: COMICS, BOOKS AND MANGA

IDW Publishing
(2005-now)
Devil's Due
(2003-2007)
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(2002-2004)
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(2001-now)
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(2001-now)
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(1984-1994)
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CURRENT TRANSFORMERS COMICS FROM IDW PUBLISHING

Transformers: Heart of Darkness #2
Reviewed by Blackjack

Issue Review

“Don’t let her torture me again!”
After being thoroughly disappointed (more than usual) with this month’s Ongoing issue, I thought that the Heart of Darkness miniseries might have some little bit of potential. There was this little glimmer of hope that it won’t be a complete disaster like Ongoing #18. After all, while the first issue was misguided, it was mediocre. I could use mediocre, if you can’t manage good. It appears that hope is naught, then. First of all, after all the hype of showing what a crazy awesome badass Galvatron was from the first issue as well as the Infestation series, Galvatron goes down with two shots this issue. And needs to be reformatted from the vague Heart of Darkness thing. The monologue is all reeking of random crap pulled out of a failed spirit-horror novel. There are plot holes so massive that it hurt to even think that veterans like DNA can overlook these.

And the art. God, the art. It is much worse than before, and what probably is supposed to be a crazy, Alice-in-Wonderland style tumble down the rabbit hole becomes a hodgepodge of random floating bricks and fiery globes, it’s so badly rendered. And what is the purpose of having all those Megatron and Galvatron heads, I ask you? How stupid it is to have Galvatron spend half the issue with his ‘skin’ stripped off like a Terminator? And D-Void is hardly an original concept; insert in the Swarm or Unicron and it’ll be the same. Mighty stupid name, too. What the Darkness is supposed to be, what the Dead Universe is, how powerful are our heroes are, are all bowdlerized. Art is simply terrible, with Arcee in particular looking constipated every panel we see her, and Jhiaxus looking like a frog whenever viewed from the side. And the dialogue is so lame that I can’t believe a comic in this age… look, it would be embarrassing to see this kind of dialogue in a Marvel-era comic, let alone now. Let’s take a sample. ‘Back you go, Cyclonus, until there’s nowhere to go!’ ‘Dear Primus!’ or, when Arcee comes at Jhiaxus: ‘Not immediately. Payback first.’ ‘Dear Primus! She’s so fast! Eaaaaargh my hand! My hand!’ There are worse, I just can’t be assed to type it all out here. Not to mention that Jhiaxus feels so blasted useless as Arcee charges him. I mean, we know he’s been through hell with Arcee hacking him up while he’s still alive, but cutting off his arm alone (when it used to be his entire body) makes him cry like a baby… and Cyclonus, previously able to take on an entire squad of elite Autobots, go all ‘Dear Primus!’ this and ‘she’s really moving!’ that.

Galvatron is uninteresting, Arcee is uninteresting, I don’t care what happens to any of the second stringers, D-Void is a poor man’s Swarm… Galvatron will probably try gathering the Autobots and Decepticons, continuity headaches will arise with the ongoing and stuff… D-Void will probably end up being the mass of zombies transported to the beginning of the Dead Universe in Infestation… like the ongoing, this is a general mess, made even worse by the terrible art and dialogue. The whole journey into D-Void’s realm is terrible as well, making no sense whatsoever. As convoluted as the ongoing was, at least dialogue is still readable while the art is pretty. How do you go lower than zero, I ask you? This is how. There are absolutely no redeeming qualities whatsoever here. Art? Nope. Story? Nope. Plot? Nope. Dialogue? Nope. Characterization? You wish. Wrapping up of loose ends? Nothing that the last issue didn’t cover.

Notes

Arcee has gained herself a new alternate mode, some sort of Mega Man/Tron light cycle thing. Hardhead now transforms into a twin-barreled APC.

The way Galvatron is repaired by the Dead Universe/Heart of Darkness is another tired homage to the reformatting scene in the 1986 Movie.

So all the Micromasters are dead now, eaten by the D-Void. That’s the way to wrap up a loose end?

Galvatron’s Heart of Darkness is apparently the Anti-Matrix, given to him/Nemesis Prime to fortify them against something. Probably it was the reason D-Void didn’t eat them during their stay in the Dead Universe.

D-Void really bears lots of similarities to the Swarm and Unicron. Like both of them, D-Void is a force of darkness which wants to consume things. Like the Swarm it manifests in dark tendrils, and like Unicron it’s quasi-godlike at times. And like both Unicron and the Swarm, a bad guy realises that the only way to beat it is to gather all the Autobots and Decepticons.

The crazy multiversional Dead Universe splash page contains a crazy amount of cameos which serve no purpose whatsoever. In addition to the staple pyramids-with-eyes and giant burning skulls, we have some floating disembodied heads of Galvatron and Megatron. From left to right, we have G1 Megatron and Galvatron’s voice Frank Welker (an ugly drawing of him, too), Megatron with a blue helmet like his Marvel G1 comic, Galvatron as he was drawn in the Marvel comic, the early circular Megatron head design seen in early Marvel comics coloured yellow, Megatron as he appeared in the cartoon, the BW alligator Megatron head, Spock played by Leonard Nimoy who voiced Galvatron in the movie, Galvatron’s G1 toy in cannon mode, Galvatron as he appeared in the G1 cartoon, two boxes of the G1 Galvatron toy, Galvatron with the ugly toy-based head, the early Galvatron cartoon character model with a different helmet, and the head of Universe Galvatron. Plus two tiny Galvatron heads that have no details whatsoever.

Among the wrecked ships in the Dead Universe, we can see both the Ark-1 (last seen in Revelations), and hovering beside it, the Enterprise of Star Trek. You know, because Leonard Nimoy is Spock.

Goofs

Jhiaxus has been spending millennia in the Dead Universe, yet D-Void’s call affected him more than Hardhead, who has only been dipped into the Dead Universe for all of one or two years.

Arcee is horrified that Galvatron can drive both her and Hardhead back with one blast… when previously Galvatron could kill with a touch. What the frak.

There are some action scenes which defy the laws of Physics by virtue of bad art, such as Hardhead batting Scourge aside.

Galvatron was never Megatron in the IDW universe, making the inclusions of Megatrons in his crazy vision whatsit a random fanwank.

Scourge said Arcee ‘fell into the abyss’. So how did she climb up then? The bridge collapsed and all…

 
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