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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: Maximum Dinobots #3
Reviewed by Inflatable Dalek

Issue Review

Time was Grimlock, you talked and we listened. But that’s changed, everything’s different now, a whole new world.

Another absolutely gorgeous issue, the lad Roche once again showing he’s the best of the current Transformers artists. Even the ungainly designed Monsterbots look damned good here.

There’s also lots of nice action dialogue and little character moments scattered throughout the issue, especially Hot Rod laughing his arse off as Scorponok’s plans fall down around his ears.

There are a couple of problems here though. First up Swoop’s character arc is extremely perfunctory, he decided he’s had enough of Grimlock before coming back in the space of about three pages. It’s almost as if Furman has released there’s no real space here for the original idea of a “mini-Spotlight per issue” but has still tried to fit it in somehow.

It also has to be said that there’s been very little plot progression here. The situation at the end of the issue remains pretty much where it’s been since about the halfway point of issue 2. It’s a old problem that much of IDW’s output has had as least as far back as Devastation, and is virtually a pandemic in All Hail Megatron and it’s especially frustrating that there’s not enough plot here for five issues where the Revelation mini became overly crammed at four.

On the plus side, unlike All Hail Megatron, despite the lack of plot there's still lots of great stuff happening here. It’s a big breezy fun comic that’s hugely entertaining. It might not be progressing the overall Master Plan™ terribly well but is still nifty stuff. The problem is that unless the final two issues really pick up the pace the climax can only be a disappointment.

Notes

Shockwave is now active for the first time since his Spotlight, and is able to inform Red of the proper names for both the Dynobots and Laserbeak and Ravage. Despite his agreement to hunt down the escaped Transformers he instead pretty much goes straight to Soundwave, who’s been sitting on a shelf in a retro kids room since his Spotlight.

Grimlock gets to say his TV catchphrase of “Me Grimlock…” but in a context where it almost makes sense grammatically.

Hunter appears in the flesh for the first time in the series. Oddly (though it’s hard to say it’s a goof) he uses the same light yellow speech bubble his simulacrum normally uses.

Rather nicely, the expendable Red Shirt Headmasters decide they’re not being paid enough to get sliced and diced and choose to just run away instead.

After hiding in the shadows last issue the Monsterbots make their first full on appearance here. Repugnus’ Spark was seen in Garrus-9 back in Spotlight: Arcee. There’s nothing to say he hasn’t escaped though (after all, Garrus was less a prison and more a hotel with a revolving door), which would tie in with him and his colleagues being outlaws here.

Hot Rod has the ability to “Flame Out”, heating up his exterior to the point it fries anything touching him. It does seem to take a lot out of him, which would explain why he doesn’t do that sort of thing more often. The final Star Trek: Deep Space 9 episode also has a sequence where a “Take him outside and kill him” order is the lead villain's undoing as it lets the heroes waiting outside into their secure headquarters with minimal fuss.

The teenager who owns Soundwave also has James Roberts' unofficial (but very good) Transformers novel Eugenesis, most likely a Nick Roche joke, as he had been a member of the same Transmasters fan fiction group. For reasons also likely known only to Roche the kid has a book named after the first Starship album as well.

On the Roche cover the debris has landed on the Fallon sign to change the O to an E. Do you see what they did there?

Goofs

After a few issues of seeming almost smart Agent Red falls off the wagon back into full-on stupidity here. His actions so far: first he sends Ravage and Laserbeak to check out the other Transformers on Earth -- they escape their conditioning; then he sends Grimlock after them -- he escapes his conditioning; then he sends the other Dynobots after Grimlock -- they escape their conditioning. Does he really think any good is going to come out of sending Shockwave after everyone else? Especially as a human-made bomb probably wouldn’t give him much trouble to disarm.

Also, it’s not very logical of Shockwave to make gloating “Do you know how much damage I could do in 24 hours” style comments before he flies off... what if he’d scared them enough to just detonate the bomb there and then?

And does no-one notice the giant purple gun flying over American houses?

Hot Rod makes two Headmasters basically explode right outside the command room; doesn’t anyone hear this inside?

The real Hunter is very clean shaven; has he popped into a Walmart to pick up some Gillette despite being on the run or does the Headmaster process stop beard growth?

Quote/Unquote

Shockwave: Twenty-four hours Agent Red, do you have any conception of how much damage I could do to this insubstantial world in that time?

Grimlock: It’s us Swoop, against the world, same as always!
Swoop: No. I can’t speak for the others, but I can’t forgive or forget what you did.

Grimlock: Fine. Frag you all. I don’t need you. I never needed you. From now on it’s all about me… Grim- [gets blasted] OHK!

Headmaster 1:They’re not paying me enough for this!
Headmaster 2: Hell no!
Headmaster 3: R-Right, I signed up for a turkey shoot.

Shockwave: SIGNAL CARRIER CODE CONFIRMED. IDENTITY/SOURCE SOUNDWAVE.

 
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