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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: Heart of Darkness #3
Reviewed by Blackjack

Issue Review

"They are gone. Even with my power, I cannot revive them as I revived you."
To be fair, it's an improvement over the first two issues, and I appreciate the fact that the authors acknowledged that the war has been going on for a long time across the galaxy, unlike the Earth-and-Cybertron approach the main titles have been taking. However, the executino is hardly stellar. While the crab aliens quite makes menostalgic for the old Marvel comics with ugly anthromorphic animal aliens, must we spend one-quarter of the entire issue dealing with what seems to be a piss-poor knockoff of a sailor story? And we have so many spread pages. While this illustrates the scale at which Galvatron is gathering his forces, the less than stellar artwork does not really help. At the very least it is not as cringe-inducing as the past two issues, and dialogue is toned down. No more 'great Primus!' and stuff. Thankfully Dan and Abnett did not go the tired way of going to Optimus and Megatron and force them to create an alliance but rather gathers his own forces from the fallen. While a ripoff from TF: Prime's Dark Energon zombies, or indeed any undead army story out there, it is still executed serviceably. I'm not sure about reintroducing Nemesis Prime, although hopefully DnA could pull off an Impactor and make the second death much better than the first.

The titular Heart of Darkness is still uninteresting. What the hell is it? It's the ultimate plot device, I tell you, even overshadowing the various Matrices. When it needs to be a holy hand grenade, it becomes one. It can also function like Dark Energon, or the Matrix, or the Oracle, or any one of other plot devices in Transformers lore, giving Galvatron magic knowledge and power and everything. It makes you wonder why Galvatron doesn't just go off and shishkebab D-Void with all the magic power of the Heart of Darkness. And you think Simon Furman handled the Darkness badly...

Art is still grating in many places, as Ulises has yet to master consistency and body proportions, but infinitely better than the trash from last issue. It is a great relief that both Arcee and D-Void, both dire characters, do not make an appearance here. However, Galvatron feels bland, like some sort of puppet being used to get things together. This leads to a pretty uninteresting main character, not helped by the cardboard cutouts that are Jhiaxus, Cyclonus, Scourge and Thinkbox. The repetitive scenes and monologues means that so little happens this issue. Too many spread pages too... is it necessary to have two pages so Galvatron could say stuff about the Realm of whatever? Is it necessary to waste five-odd pages for the crab aliens? It's not necessarily a bad thing as it sets the mood, but it is unnecessary and leaves the readers with a feeling that this issue has no 'meat', so to speak. The strongest of the three issues so far, but that doesn't say much. I do hope DnA can pull things together for a mediocre ending at best...

Notes

Galvatron is able to fly in robot mode with engines from his back kibble and his foot.

Spindrift and Dykayra are places where the Autobot/Decepticon civil war has occurred, recognising, unlike the main titles, that the Transformers war had spread all over the universe. Thinkbox is older than the other combatants, because he recognises Galvatron personally.

Thinkbox, an all new character, is identified by Galvatron as one of the 'lost ancient Headmasters'. While he does indeed transform into a big boxy chunk that could somewhat pass as an ugly head, Thinkbox is is not in any way similar to the Headmasters in the IDW continuity, nor is he affliated to Scorponok in any way. Of course, 'Seeker' alone has three separate meanings in the IDW continuity, so why not Headmaster?

The first Transformer in the Realm of Wrecks is reformatted by Galvatron the way his G1 cartoon counterpart was reformatted from Megatron. You know, those grid structure things running all over the skin...

A nice touch to his role in the Furmanverse series, Jhiaxus is able to maintain Space Bridges.

One of the planets that Galvatron visits in the spread page is the planet of Junk. While it is not named as such, the depiction would be blatant to anyone who has watched the 1986 movie. Plus, the revived dead uses the Junkion cartoon models. One of them uses Junkyard's model, albeit with a blue helmet. This is somewhat lampshaded by Galvatron noting in passing that he has recruited 'robotic life forms from other races', since Junkion have not been explicitly stated to be Cybertronians proper until the Dreamwave era.

While he is not identified or speak, Hardhead is among Galvatron's forces, still under his control (or perhaps convinced to join?) since the events of last issue.

Galvatron is able to resurrect the dead or hibernating Transformers. This ability is limited, however, since he cannot resurrect the dead in Dykayra because the D-Void's power is too much there.

Goofs

The facial hair on the captain of the alien crabs vary from panel to panel.

At many points over the course of the issue, Galvatron's breastplates vary in size and how they are curved.

When he first transformed, Thinkbox is massive compared to Galvatron, who reaches to his crotch. In the next page Thinkbox is double Galvatron height. But as they arrive to the scrapyard, Galvatron reaches Thinkbox's chest easily.

When he contacts Jhiaxus, Galvatron mis-spells his name as 'Galavtron'.

Nemesis Prime's hand is orange and clawed for no good reason. Also, last we saw, Nemesis was killed by Galvatron shooting him in the back, and at the time of his death his face and chest weren't torn apart the way they are now.

 
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