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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)
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and Titles

CURRENT TRANSFORMERS COMICS FROM IDW PUBLISHING

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

Issue Review

After the meandering of the middle issues we finally get the plot kicked into gear in time for the comic to end. This is a shame as this is most enjoyable of the four issues, despite being the continued lack of event and it not tying hugely well into the film’s continuity. It's a shame neither Titan nor IDW seem keen on filling in the four year gap that ends the issue as it's not only got plenty of scope for stories, but the Prequel ending here has a strangely unsatisfying feeling.

It does however have Don's best showing on art, with him showing some of his usual form for the first time. The shots of Starscream taking on his F22 form are a particular highlight.

Ultimately the Prequel comic is as inessential as all the early tie in books and comics are. It's probably the most readable of them, but not something that you desperately need to hunt down.

Notes

In a nicely subtle tie in to the film, Starscream and Barricade both destroy the vehicles they scan and kill the witnesses - but Blackout doesn't. This means the chopper he scanned can later be posted to Afghanistan in order to be destroyed closer to the start of the events of the Movie, as we learn in the opening scenes. This is actually a more sensible approach to the situation, that the other two's considering both the covert nature of their mission and the fact the helicopter would be based at a heavily defended base, and any overt offensive action before their military strength has been ascertained would be a bad idea. Odd to think Blackout is the sensible one.

The comic that came free with the DVD of the film in Target stores in American contains a radically different take on the Decepticons arrival on Earth, placing it right before the start of the film.

Agent Simmons confirms it was his Great Grandfather leading Sector 7 in issues 2 and 3. We also learn the group tends to hire from within families.

Ron Witwicky has banned his son from getting an EBay account until he's 16, which helps establish why Sam doesn't sell what he considers to be junk straight away.

Today on Bumblebee FM (with the correct copyrighted lyrics in brackets):

There's another ghost here. He sits down in your chair and he shines with your light and he lays down his head on your pillow at night...- Ghost in This House by Alison Krauss (1999. Oddly, this lyric doesn't seem to have been changed. Is it too late for Miss. Krauss to sue?).

No one said it would be easy, but no one said it'd be this hard. No one said it would be easy, no one thought we'd come this f...[ar]- No One Said This Would be Easy by Sheryl Crow (1993. Again, apart from cutting off the end of “Far” that seems to be the accurate chorus to the song).

I get knocked down, then [But] I get up again, you're not [Never] gonna keep me down by Chumbawamba (1997. Obviously they have better lawyers).

The road keeps winding and I get just a little closer - Now this is a tricky one, as winding roads pop up in a lot of songs. The best fit I and my elves have come up with is Everyday is a Winding Road (1996) by Sheryl Crow. If so however the actual lyric ( Everyday is a winding road I get a little bit closer) has been changed more than the others. Perhaps she has the best lawyers of all?

Goofs

The big one is that the comic again asks us to believe that Sector 7 are much more informed about the Transformer presence on Earth than the film led us to believe. It's a pity Agent Simmons never bothered to mention that one of the Decepticons was now disguised as a F22, as the battle in Mission City starts badly due to the Autobots and soldiers being fooled by Starscream...

Despite events here being set two days later than the last issue, Sam suddenly has twice as much hair. Must be puberty.

If Sam's so desperate to sell Archibald's tat now, why not simply use a friends EBay account? Milo seems to have one (as he suggested the idea in the first place), and it's not as if breaking his dad's rule about online auctions will piss him off anymore than selling the heirlooms will.

Blackout is shown to be able to hack into Sector 7's computer at a distance - the film shows both he and Frenzy need physical contact with the machine in order to do this. Normally I give leeway on small contradictions to the final film, but this one gets in because if Blackout could do what's shown here, the Qatar and Air Force One sequences become pointless.

The end of the issue is very odd as it's written as if it's showing the events of the film about to start, with everyone in place and Bumblebee driving in Tranquility. But the film doesn't happen for another four years, so what the hell is everyone doing for all that time?

 
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