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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 Nefarious #1
Reviewed by Blackjack

Issue Review

"And I yell from the top of my lungs... what's going on?"

The issue is a mess. Simon Furman has admitted that he doesn't really like the movie franchise. Even though he worked on the Titan comics, most of it is either prequels or doing alternate-universe stuff until recently. Nefarious (with a diabolical title) is a sequel to Revenge of the Fallen, like the way Reign of Starscream is to the first movie. But while Reign used only a single minor character from the movie (Starscream) and the rest of the cast are all toys, Nefarious takes place on Earth, following directly from the events of the movie. Of course, this means that none of the cast that appeared in the movie will die, so why bother? And stuff like 'confirming' Alice's death is something that really shouldn't be done by Furman. I mean, that time when he wrote that Titan story where Ironhide hunted down Scorponok and killed him? It looked real smart when Scorponok showed up alive and well in the second movie, didn't it?Plus, the art is really... well, rushed. Carlos Magno can't draw humans at all, and they are all set in lifeless postures. While he might be able to draw individual robots, putting them in group scenes really seem to tadx it out. Also, like his work in Tales of the Fallen, Magno's robots are rather stunted and lanky. They just seem... off, somewhat. The lines are not strong enough... the fact that there isn't an inker, just like the Bumblebee mini, might lend to this fact. But Magno's art here is much, much worse than his work in Tales of the Fallen. Definitely nowhere near Alex Milne's or Jon Travis-Hunt's works on the movie characters.

Soundwave has some nice monologue which are upset by unclear art and the fact that the Initiative is a bunch of uninsteresting, banal and trite one-dimensionals. At least unlike the ongoing's Skywatch, they aren't irritating. Just... dull. I actually skip all of the panels with the Initiative agents talking. And it’s overused, too, since we've already got a rubbish government organization in the main IDW G1 title. However, the fact that the neo-Cassettecons managed to kill some humans make this more realistic than the IDW Ongoing. But to make things worse, Furman shoehorns toys into the comic. While it already proved a rather bad move in Reign of Starscream and Alliance (some characters got characterization while some just show up to die) here it’s much worse. And since it's really unlikely for toys to reappear in a third movie, they'll all die. Breakaway's death is meaningless, and none of the new Autobots got any characterization. When Mowry wrote for the repaints, at the very least they got one-liners establishing their personalities. The Cassettecons (or whatever they're called) look neat. At the very least, they aren't taken down ignomiously by the humans. The only bright points in this issue are Sideswipe’s hatred for humans and Soundwave’s decent monologue. But all in all, the bad art and sub-par scripting makes Nefarious a dull read. It's simply dull and lifeless... the plot's transparent, too. Isn't making an Allspark cube the same thing Starscream tried to do in Reign? It lacks the suspense and intrigue that Furman still injects into the Titan movie comics. It's as if Furman is intentionally doing rubbish as a slap to IDW for ditching him...

Notes

The idea that having an organic alternate mode would lead to a Transformer inheriting the organic’s brand of madness is a reference to several Beast Wars and Beast Machines episodes along the same lines.

The Ravage plot directly follows from Tales of the Fallen #5.

As a reference to the often-mentioned symbiotic link between G1 Soundwave and his Cassettes favoured by fan fiction (although I can’t remember any specific fiction until now saying it outright), Movie Soundwave claims to have felt the pain of Ravage’s death.

Soundwave's minions are based on the Cassettes from G1. Buzzsaw is based on G1 Buzzsaw (or rather, Laserbeak). His design is based on the Booster x10 toy, with G1 Laserbeak's paint job. Beastbox and Ratbat are both very similar to their G1 counterparts, in the fact that one is a gorilla and the other is a bat (albeit pig-nosed). Rumble is the odd one out, being a blue rhinoceros (similar to the G1 Autobot Cassette Ramhorn) while his original counterpart is a humanoid transformer.

The Initiative uses yellow bulldozers that bear more than a little resemblance to Rampage's toy.

It seems that the Initiative sucks out spark energy (from the Appliancebot's dead bodies) to power their AllSpark Cube.

Goofs

That dune buggy uses the design of Armorhide (a repaint of Landmine from the first movie), but he is called Dune Runner, a separate, smaller mold that has a near-identical alternate mode with Landmine and Armorhide.

Directly after she transforms, Alice’s robot head is drawn with an insectoid design instead of the correct Medusa/Terminator design she sports in subsequent scenes. Of course, her human mode doesn’t look anything like her live-action actor.

Soundwave is in 'geosynchronous orbit' while in robot mode. This isn't terribly wrong, but the fact that he has several dozen computer screens circling him does make the scene awkward. Perhaps it's intended to show him in satellite mode?

Would the Twins really goof around in robot mode in front of a traffic camera?

Frankly, the fact that Theodore Galloway is able to pull strings to squeeze NEST out of existence, especially when they know well that Megatron isn't dead, is silly and impractical.

Quote/Unquote

That dune buggy uses the design of Armorhide (a repaint of Landmine from the first movie), but he is called Dune Runner, a separate, smaller mold that has a near-identical alternate mode with Landmine and Armorhide.

Directly after she transforms, Alice’s robot head is drawn with an insectoid design instead of the correct Medusa/Terminator design she sports in subsequent scenes. Of course, her human mode doesn’t look anything like her live-action actor.

Soundwave is in 'geosynchronous orbit' while in robot mode. This isn't terribly wrong, but the fact that he has several dozen computer screens circling him does make the scene awkward. Perhaps it's intended to show him in satellite mode?

Would the Twins really goof around in robot mode in front of a traffic camera?

Frankly, the fact that Theodore Galloway is able to pull strings to squeeze NEST out of existence, especially when they know well that Megatron isn't dead, is silly and impractical.

 
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