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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: Movie Prequel #3 (of 4)
Reviewed by Inflatable Dalek

Issue Review

-Primitive.
-Yes, but evidence of intelligent life nonetheless
.

The issue starts off slightly wonk as it continues the piecemeal storytelling of the second part, but thankfully when we reach 2003 again things show some improvement. The depiction of Bumblebee as a sad and lonely Littlest Hobo style wanderer is rather sweet, and helps provide a bridge between the calm and collected character seen in issue one and the nutter we'll see in the film.

However, there still is very little in the way of plot going on in the issue and it feels we could have gotten here in about half the time. The cliffhanger arrival of the Decepticons is nicely done though (despite the completely inaccurate portrayal of Beagle 2. Sigh), and holds the promise things might kick off for the final part...

Notes

Here we learn the Allspark can place visions of the future within a receptive mind, giving Captain Witwicky a glimpse of the battle in Mission City that will close the film. Furman would latter have the cube give the same prediction to Optimus Prime in the first issue of the Titan published British comic [There's something a bit odd about this though, see goofs].

Ratchet, Devastator and Jazz make their only appearance in the Prequel comic in the two page flashforward.[A quick note on names: as the tank Decepticon goes unnamed both here and in IDW's Movie Adaptation comic. I'll go with Devastator as used in both the Film and the Titan Comics that tie into these events].

Captain Witwicky describes the battle as "their World...Our War", quoting the Movie tagline (after Bumblebee came very close to doing so in issue 1).

As Sector 7 examine the road by Bumblebee's crash site, vehicles based on the G1 toys of Optimus Prime, Ironhide, Trailbreaker and Robots In Disguise Scourge can be seen driving by. A Volkswagen Beetle passes Bumblebee later in the issue as well (surely that one doesn't need explaining?).

Ron and especially Judy Witwicky look nothing like their film counterparts (Judy looks more like Sam's slightly slutty older sister). Sam does bare some resemblance to Shia LaBeouf, perhaps too close a resemblance as he'll get redesigned with more hair for next issue.

Oppenheimer and William Hayward Pickering were both prominent members of Sector 7. With crushing inevitability, the group was behind the Atom Bomb', the moon landings and Three Mile Island - the result of an attempt to extract part of the Allspark (and no doubt they made Steve Guttenberg a star as well).

Due to IDW not being product placement whores, Bumblebee uses a fictional Internet search engine called Schwiggle to research possible Allspark sightings. One of the sites he glances through is the IDW one.

Beagle 2 missed its first contact time on Christmas Day 2003. That's not a 100% guaranteed setting for these events though, as huge liberties are taken with the real probe both here and in the film (to the point where you have to wander why they didn't just make something up). Certainly there's no indication that it's Christmas anywhere else in the issue.

Starscream's appearance is based closely on the protoform toy. This will make him the only Transformer here to change colour when they scan a new alt mode. Oddly, when Optimus Prime appeared in previous issues his Cybertronian mode was of a new design despite him also having a protoform toy.

Starscream, Blackout and Barricade will remain the only Decepticons evident on 2003 Earth. Whilst it's a good bet (but by no means certain) that Frenzy is nice and snug out of sight in Barricade's chest, exactly when and how Devastator came to Earth will go unrecorded.

On Bumblebee's radio we hear the following song lyrics (all seemingly slightly misquoted, possibly to avoid paying copyright fees. The correct Lyric is in Brackets]:

Yeah, I've been looking [Waiting] for a girl like you...- I've Been Waiting For a Girl Like You by Foreigner [1981].

And I [Still] Haven't found What I'm Looking For - I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For by U2 (1987. No really, there are some less obvious ones soon...]

Who, who, who are you? [Who are you? Who who who who? Cause] I really needta [Wanna] know... - Who Are You by The Who [1978, OK the less obvious ones are next issue].

Goofs

Why does Captain Witwicky look slightly younger than he did a quarter of a century beforehand? Them crazy houses must have good living.

Exactly where do the good Captain's visions of the future come from? The intent would seem to be the Allspark (something backed up by issue one of the Titan comic), but Witwicky has never been near the Cube, he's just looked at a map of it; albeit in a very painful way. Me showing you a map of a nuclear test sight wouldn't give you radiation burns, so how is he channeling the power?

Sector 7, an organisation so secret and hush hush, they have large pictures of their most prominent and famous members in the coffee room. And the one agent's claim about NBE 1 helping America win the space race seems albeit hollow, when the Russians managed to do just about everything but putting a man on the Moon before America without outer space robot people help.

Is Bumblebee tuned into Irony FM? Every song his radio plays in the last two issues is strangely relevant to whatever is happening at that moment (and unlike in the film he's not scouring transmission to communicate with others, it just seems to be random listening for pleasure.)

What are the odds that out of the entire Planet to choose from, Bumblebee would wind up on exactly the right continent as the object of his search (and this is before Sector 7 start broadcasting the fake signal, remember)?

Quote, Unquote

Sector 7 Agent: Do you think they'll come, the others?
Simmons Sr: Not in my lifetime. Maybe not even in yours. But they will come.

Judy Witwicky: Give him some time. When he's older I'm sure he'll appreciate their [The Glasses] true worth.

Sector 7 Agent: Gah. You would have thought with all the incredible technological breakthroughs that've come courtesy of N.B.E. 1 and the Cube we could at least reverse-engineer a decent coffee-maker.

 
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