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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)
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and Titles

CURRENT TRANSFORMERS COMICS FROM IDW PUBLISHING

Transformers: Maximum Dinobots #1
Reviewed by Inflatable Dalek

Issue Review

The opening few pages are awful, a pointless recap of the story so far that could have been covered in half the time in a story that needed to hit the ground running. Thankfully this is a brief lapse before the comic kicks off proper.

There’s no depth or subtlety here, there’s the bare minimum of plot to pay lip service to the threads that need tying up but other than that it’s all non-stop action. And with Nick Roche on art it’s dynamic beautiful action at that. What we have here is everything All Hail Megatron wants to be, a well paced fun story with no pretensions.

This does leave some warning clouds on the horizon though. Despite Revelation taking on more than its fair share of loose plot threads there’s still a lot of stuff to deal with here that might get sidetracked by non stop action and leave us with a unsatisfying end to what is almost certainly going to be the final part of this arc (if for no other reason than because the sales figures for this issue were below 10 000). But on the other hand, is there anyone left who actually cares about these plots after the various crapy comics we’ve had to endure set both before and after this? So perhaps making the title unrelenting action with the rubbish stuff sidestepped is indeed the best bet.

Put your brain on neutral and pray to whatever gods you believe in that Furman doesn’t screw this one up.

Notes

With Revelation having tied up (or tried to tie up, anyway) the various Dead Universe related plotlines, the purpose of Maximum Dinobots is to leave in a more complete state as many of the other outstanding Furman plots as possible. Mainly the fate of the Dinobots (and Shockwave), Huntstreaker and Scorponok.

Some time has obviously elapsed since this storyline was last dealt with in Devastation, Scorponok having built a great many more Headmasters and Hunter and Sunstreaker following the Machination trail through various shell companies (similar to the Auto shop seen in Escalation). Whilst Revelation has almost certainly happened by this point the exact period of time elapsed (and how far into the “one year later” that leads into All Hail Megatron we are) is currently hard to say. Hunter and Dante still seem fairly new to the whole joined minds lark though.

Grimlock has been slightly redesigned; this is explained as being due to him failing to adapt a new alt mode due to the lack of power on the Skyfire. Note how these minor changes in a character’s appearance is dealt with in one line, and bemoan how after six issues we still don’t have any offer of an explanation for why many characters in All Hail Megatron are drawn like their toys.

Skywatch seem to be using a dinosaur based amusement park as cover for testing the other Thunder Lizards. The logo for the T-Rex ride is in the same font as the Jurassic Park film logo.

Dante looks totally different to how he has before; it’s hard to tell if this is a goof or due to the Headmaster process (this is the first time we’ve seen him fully out of the armour since the merger). The Sunstreakers he has built now come in red, blue or white colour schemes taken from the original toy's Diaclone variants. Rather nicely the way the white ones are used for snow camouflage provides a nice in story rational for the different colours (even if it is hard to think of a situation where a red car would blend into the background better).

As with the other Headmasters in Devastation, Hunter travels inside the workings of the car when in vehicle mode. The body does come equipped with a “holo-avatar” generator that projects the illusion of a driver and allows him to have conversations with the Sunstreaker part of his personality. The image must be customisable as it wears the outfit we first saw him in rather than his current clothing. There’s still no explanation of why he just doesn’t ride about in the drivers seat for real, though. Hunter becomes the first person in IDW to say “Dinobot”. It’s unclear if he misreads the report or if the Machination have renamed the group for their own reasons.

We don’t have any clue as to who Grimlock is summoning for help, beyond them being a disreputable type. Whoever it is he must be fairly confident they can be contacted at the same place after several eons. Rather nicely the message he sends is in Cybertronian (bar a stray IDW logo) rather than English.

Agent Red’s comment about cutting all communications in and out of Fallon (the town Grimlock materialises in) is likely an attempt to synch up events with All Hail Megatron where the Transformers are barely known and thought to be terrorist weapons. Of course, this doesn’t really deal with people with handy camera phones.

Goofs

Sludge manages to misquote Julius Caesar several million years before he’s born.

How inconspicuous is a bright yellow sports cat? Surely the local police could make a better job of tracking it from site to site? If Huntstreaker is following a trail why can’t the Machination work out the next logical attack and have Headmasters waiting?

Dante continues his worrying habit of loudly explaining his thoughts and plans to people who either already know them or aren’t likely to care. Perhaps he’s talking to us?

Quote/Unquote

Grimlock: And if, well, sometimes we sidestepped the chain of command and went our own sweet way, the ends justified the means. Of course it couldn’t last. Our unit motto was “crash and burn”.

Agent Red: I think we’ve been here before. Apparent success followed by mysterious failure. What’s to say that cycle won’t repeat for these four?
A.N. Scientist: Well, we’ve made significant improvements to the inhibitor web. Don’t ask me how, but any software kinks we’ve encountered in the past seem to have, well, ironed themselves out.
Agent Red: Strangely I find that far from reassuring.

Hunter: Think about it Sunstreaker… holo-avatars notwithstanding aren’t we, well, talking to ourself?

Scorponok: Before I truncate his miserable existence, Hot Rod shall bear witness to an evolution - The doom of the Dynobots and the dawn of the Headmasters!

 
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