CURRENT TRANSFORMERS COMICS FROM IDW PUBLISHING
Transformers Nefarious #4
Reviewed by Blackjack
”So, in a nutshell… we’re right back where we started!”
Let me sum up what Nefarious did. Issue one wraps up some loose threads and establishes Soundwave’s persona, and introduces us to the oh-so-mysterious Initiative. In issue two Soundwave clashes with NEST and works out a deal. In issue three, Soundwave breaks free from NEST. And now? We’re back where we started, with Soundwave approaching NEST for help. Things are going down the drain in terms of storytelling, and it seems that Furman is scraping the barrel dry. I mean, re-using another
giant big Transformer head? In a story with shifty organizations? It’s as if Furman couldn’t even be bothered to write this thing and just plucked random elements from his previous work and plonked them into a blender. And the Initiative members are just dull as ever. Galloway’s little moment of humanity as he saves random-guy-impaled-by-a-girder is nicely written, but since it’s more than likely that Galloway will turn out to be a dick again in the third movie it’s all for naught.
The art is inconsistent in places. The bits with Soundwave, Dirt Boss and the not-Cassettecons are beautifully drawn and coloured, but the rest are shit-ugly haphazard. The humans look like shite, and the Twins are drawn horribly. Ransack, in particular, had been given a horrendous
makeover. While I don’t expect them to adhere exactly to the toy (Alex Milne's redesign of the Cybertron/Energon repaints look similar enough to their toy counterparts while having the movie aesthetic, and Magno's redesign for Brakedown, Reverb and Knock Out are ace), Ransack here looks like, well, crap. A little redesign to differentiate repaints, like what they did with Reverb, is a nice thing. But turning a decent design like Ransack into, well, something that basically has a clock for a face? It makes the action scenes lousy. It’s sad to see Ransack relegated into just another mute Transformer under the Initiative’s control (I think it’s safe to say that the Initiative has quite a number of Transformers they control like Ransack and Ravage) after seeing the work Furman did for the fella in the Titan comics. The Twins are fun for the short while we see them, though. But the rest… nope. It's a huge mess. Does Dirt Boss die? Do the Cassettes die? Do I care? Still very dull.
Since they never appeared in subsequent issues, and they seem to be pretty beat up by the Initiative forces here, we could assume all the not-Cassettes bar Buzzsaw and Ravage are all either killed or captured by the Initiative. In particular Rumble os captured, while Ratbat seems to be blown up, while god knows what happens to Beastbox with the ugly art. Dirt Boss was last seen sailing into the sky, presumably killed as well since he is absent for the remainder of the series. For review purposes I'm assuming they are all dead.
Well, as of the writing of this review that was what I thought, anyway. Apparently their vague fate has been retconned to be not-dead as of Rising Storm. Dirt Boss is still dead, though.
Ransack and the giant big head (whose body seems to be the old-style car) seem to be Seekers captured by the Initiative. This might explain why Sector Seven were not able to get their hands on any Seekers, but it’s a far stretch.
It is confirmed that the Odessa base is not sanctioned by Galloway or any of the higher-ups. And after the events of this issue, it’s a safe bet that NEST is operational again.
Carlos Magno has redesigned Ransack into a horrendous-looking, grosteque creature whose robot mode is nothing like the toy design. He doesn't have a proper head, for one. Sadly, as the series progresses, Magno will do more of this.
Ransack shoots lasers out of thin air. Literally. The toy has these little machineguns and missiles, but he’s drawn with none of them.
The colourist loses track of which parts of Ransack should be dark red and which ones should be tan. Considering the art, though, it’s not really his fault.
Skids and Mudflap’s heads are consistently block-coloured silver like the kibble on their neck/torso. And the placement of silver parts on their bodies vary from panel to panel.
Ironhide's head is deformed at one panel.
Galloway: “Oh, sweet mercy. Frank, we’ve got to get you to a doctor.”
Frank: [impaled through the stomach] “Nnn – know a good one hereabouts?”
Ironhide: "Galloway! Bah! That man's been a king-sized pain in the aft since day one!"
Skids: [on Ransack] “It’s a fashion catastrophe, dude!”
Mudflap: “Wait! Come back! Five minutes of extreme makeover time with us…”
Skids: “And you’ll almost be relevant again!”
Mudflap: “Or not.”