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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: Movie Prequel #2 (of 4)
Reviewed by Inflatable Dalek

Issue Review

Then Mega-Man has a relative.

This issue would make a great pre-credits sequence to the Transformers film. Unfortunately, as something that's supposed to lead us to the halfway point of a story in its own right, it fails. All the constant and rapid time jumps means there's no real plot nor sense of momentum. Before you have time to get used to the one setting, you’re off somewhere else.

Another major problem is there's little here that you can't work out happened from watching the film, few surprises or twists to make it an essential read. What new details we do get just don't feel right (such as the idea that Sector 7 had been operating for years prior to Megatron being found) within the context of the Movie.

We also have the issue of the portrayal of Sector 7, as with all the tie in media to date the organisation is just a dull bunch of Men in Black rather than the more fun bunch of near incompetents seen in the film. It's really hard to see them as the dame group, and as such struggles to feel like part of the Movieverse.

Don's art continues to be below his best - I'm wondering if the colouring is playing a large part in its mediocrity as the B&W flashback pages are by far the best things in the issue. The rippling effect used on Megatron when he's on the ice is especially bad, and using it on the cover was a serious mistake.

There isn't anything bad here, it's just extremely average and not likely to be remembered after you've finished reading it.

Notes

The sequence of Captain Whitwicky discovering Megatron is markedly different to how it is in the final film, with his men finding a shadow beneath the ice and the Captain ordering them to start digging it out. This may be due to either IDW using a draft script or Furman and Ryall changing the scene to suit their story more.

According to Sector 7 Captain Whitwicky didn't go blind for three months after he saw Megatron's light show.

Megatron is constantly called Mega-Man rather than Ice Man by Sector 7. This is likely a result of the script being changed to avoid confusion with the Capcom computer game character.

As human characters start showing up from herein it's worth mentioning the fun that can be had from trying to work out which actors IDW paid for the rights to use the likeness off. Living legend W. Morgan Sheppard [Captain Whitwicky] would seem not to be one of them.

Though he's unnamed here, the lead Sector 7 Agent is the ancestor of Agents Simmons from the film. This comic establishes Sector 7 as having been around prior to the discovery of Megatron, they already have a three eyed skull, a alien hand, some red crystals and a manuscript with alien writing. They also have the designs of a UFO that looks like G1 Cosmos, and what seems to be the remains of the Golden Disc destroyed at the end of the Beast Wars episode Code of Hero. Sector 7 operate out of a house numbered 7. It's unclear if this helped to influence their name as well as there being 7 of them, or if it was chosen as a base out of irony. It might even be coincidence...

The Reclamation Act used by Sector 7 as a cover for what would become Hoover Dam is a real piece of legalisation. Who said Transformers isn't educational?

It's safe to assume that Bumblebee has worked his way inside the solar system, checking every planet, moon and reasonably large chunk of rock for signs of the Allspark before reaching Mars.

The control room monitoring the Hubble Telescope's output has Sector 7 logo's on the computer screen, suggesting the organisation regularly watch what comes in from it [But see goofs].

In a slightly odd visual gag, the bald Sector 7 worker who first spots Bumblebee has an insane amount of hair on his ID card photo.

Goofs

Why do super top secret secretive organisation Sector 7 have all their most precious secret stuff on display in the entrance hall of their house? Does the Postman get an eyeful every time he delivers a parcel?

Why is the Hubble Space Telescope, normally used to take pictures of distant stars and Galaxies, doing snooping on our nearest neighbour? And you've got to wander what use Sector 7 have for their tap of it anyway; no alien ships or signs of life would be large enough to show up on most of it's pictures and even if they did the bulk of what it sees is light millions of years old, so if it did spot the oncoming invasion it would be a bit late.

On the display showing images of Mars, the jump between real photos and drawn images is a tad jarring.

I've given the Prequel comics and books some leeway in how well they tie into the film, as most of them were written with early draft scripts that changed details as they evolved. However, here we see the beginnings of an insurmountable one. In the film Sector 7 is amazed and surprised to find other "Ice Men" are on Earth. Yet this comic asks us to believe they've known about others for four to five years.

Quote, Unquote

Megatron: It seemed as much as I wanted [The Allspark] Optimus Prime was determined I should not have it! Ultimately he was prepared to deny me one final time, and in the process doom Cybertron itself to a slow death. In many ways we are not so unalike.

Captain Whitwicky: I tell you I saw the face of the Devil! Its eyes burned! And that was the last thing I saw!

Simmons: What about Whitwicky's personal effects?
Sector 7 Agent: They can go to the family. After all [holds up glasses] he's hardly likely to be needing these!

 
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