CURRENT TRANSFORMERS COMICS FROM IDW PUBLISHING
Megatron: Origin #2
Reviewed by Inflatable Dalek
It's recently come to light that when this was originally submitted to Dreamwave it was as a six issue mini. The loss of material is nowhere more obvious that here, where it seems as if massive amounts of story has been skipped between issues as we jump from Megatron being on the run to being a Gladiator. It's a huge, jarring jump and leaves you reading the rest of the issue expecting a flashback covering the missing time (which could be anything from weeks to years...)
But that's not the only problem here. The many brief fights are dull and badly drawn leaving you with little idea what's going on. We also have Transformers behaving either out of character with their previously developed IDW persona's (Soundwave), or acting is as dumb a way as possible (just about everyone). We also have no real insight into Megatrons psyche, the leap from his reluctant first kill to him merrily ripping apart Autobots is a large one.
Frankly, this is rushing towards being the worst main continuity book the company have done, and will need an amazing upturn to save it now.
The Gladiator origin of the Decepticons was first put forward in the 1986 Marvel UK Annual story State Games
. In that Sunstreaker was one of the other Gladiators, by way of tribute he's in the crowd here. Dreamwave also used this back story in flashback during the War Within
comic and had Go-Bots
character Cy-Kill in one of the fights. Again, here we have him as Megatron's first kill. Go-Bot Crasher also appears.
Bumper is a character based on a variation on the Bumblebee mould that was accidentally released on packaging for both him and Cliffjumper back in the 80's. Though more commonly called Bumblejumper by fans he appeared under the Bumper name in various issues of the Dreamwave ongoing.
Megatrons team badge is a early form of the Decepticon logo.
Ratbat is a Autobot senator. His more humanoid robot design is different from that seen in The War Within
, being more inspired by the Victory
look that's also influenced most of the new characters in the comic. Despite his status he's involved in many illicit activities to make money on the stock market, including- Encouraging hostilities between workers and managers to prolong a labour dispute so as to allow him to buy major ownership cheaply, and causing a company with new levitation technology to crash so he can buy it at a low price.
"Till all are one" was the Autobot battle cry in Transformers the Movie
- Here's it's twisted for use by the Decepticons.
Amongst the weapons he has Soundwave offer Megatron are what will become Shockwaves gun arm, the Seeker arm guns, and Megatrons mace.
The two down and out Transformers seem by where the Constructicons build the arena are based respectively on Scrounge from Marvel US #17 The Smelting Pool
and a decrepit inhabitant of the Dead End region of Cybertron seen in US #58 Back From the Dead
. Scrounge being thrown into a smelting pool to provide material for the arena is similar to his fate in his Marvel appearance.
Artist Marcelo Matere was drafted in to help bring the comic back on schedule after Milne's pneumonia pushed the launch of issue one back.
Sentinel Prime's plan to track down the Gladiators seems needlessly complicated. Surely the fights must be advertised somewhere? Or the people selling the recordings could be tracked down. Or at a pinch, the recordings give a good look at the crowd- Surely it wouldn't be hard to track down, say, Sunstreaker and interrogate him?
Ratbat also seems to be having a bad day plan wise. He wants to make money from the fights, but doesn't seem to realise that the profit is in the selling of the recordings. But rather than try to get in on the distribution deal he instead heavily arms Megatrons team- So they'll win faster making shorter, less exciting matches that will sell less well. It's like a American Senator deciding to make some money from dog fighting by giving Mick Vick Uzis to make the fights more exciting.
Megatron goes from being a lowly new recruit to seemingly running the whole show just by killing his own team captain. Don't the other teams have issue with a rival choosing and supervising the building of the fight arenas?
Soundwave uses his TV speech patterns rather than the perfectly normal style he used in his Spotlight
When Sentinel Prime enters the room Prowl says "Prime on deck!". They'd only be on a deck if they were on a ship. they're in a building.
Ratbat is interested in a firm that's developed a levitation machine. But the ships we saw in issue one had artificial gravity, and if the Transformers can do that they should already be able to make anti-gravity just as easily.