The Transformers Archive Skip to main content / Also skip section headers

[The Transformers Archive - an international fan site]
Please feel free to log in or register.

  • transformers toys
  • transformers comics
  • transformers cartoon
  • transformers live-action movies
  • transformers fandom
  • transformers forum


IDW Publishing
Devil's Due
Titan Books
Marvel Comics
Other Books
and Titles


Transformers Nefarious #5
Reviewed by Blackjack

Issue Review

”We’d like you to stand down as project leader.”

There are so many things wrong with this issue. It has regressed from being dull crap into complete rubbish, with plot threads that simply doesn’t make sense. Firstly, Carlos Magno’s lazy squibbles aren’t much to look at. One or two robots are drawn well in the foreground, but the rest are simply blobs. Magno’s horrible art – human and robot likewise – has certainly caused the colourist to give up trying to identify the zombie Transformers at the end of the issue. Furman seems to have also given up, since the scripting is bereft from any weak attempt at characterization we saw in the past four issues. Dialogue and pacing are abysmal. The plot is even worse. Optimus and Soundwave does things that are just there to move everyone into position, while Carter’s big plan doesn’t make sense. For a guy who hates robots so much, why even attempt to control them instead of, you know, kill everyone? So in a nutshell this issue we get lots of boring monologue, more Transformers vs Initiative robots (yawn), Carter’s insane megalomania™, dissent among the Initiative ranks (complete with murderous Appliancebots, too) and lots of random toy-only characters.

The toy-only characters bug me. Now if they were drawn properly so people who actually care about the toyline could identify them, it might have been worth mentioning. But as it is, Magno horribly distorts them that it took me nearly an hour of comparing toy pictures to identify some of the zombie Transformers. (Before you ask- I have obsessive-compulsive disorder, okay? I have a need to make these reviews perfect) But what is the purpose of using so many random toys? Reign of Starscream and Defiance had the excuse of being on Cybertron, and half of the toy-exclusive guys got several decent bits of characterization. Alliance had the dual excuse of advertisement and cannon fodder, and the toys were at least did not feel forced to the story. But here? None of the non-show guys introduced from issue one had made any impact, and it’s doubtful if Brawn, Thrust and company would even get a single line next issue other than dying screams. Dying screams- it’s what is likely to come next issue.


The Peter-Cullen-lookalike hologram that Optimus Prime employs in Alliance #1 makes a reappearance this issue.

One of the robotic drones that the Initiative employs is based off the Sector Seven Drone featured in the first Movie’s tie-in game.

Here are some speculations on the Initiative-controlled transformers. The one that jumped Bumblebee on page twenty seems to be the Scout-class Detour (a.k.a. Dead End) toy. The kibble and head are certainly correct, but he’s block-coloured silver. Page twenty-one, panel two has Thrust, Detour again and what I think might be Mindwipe. The fourth panel has Armorhide and Brawn in the foreground. The guy behind him is obviously Blazemaster, and the block-coloured guy is obviously Skystalker. Beside Skystalker is… Tankor? No idea. I don't particularly care anyway.


Soundwave transforms into a satellite, can hack satellites, yet he needs to ask for permission to borrow a satellite antenna. And how did he suddenly go from standing beside the antenna to hovering in a metallic room anyway?

On the second page, Ratchet is drawn unrecognizably and is miscoloured in a tan-and-gray shade, instead of light green. In subsequent pages, Ratchet is always coloured tan-yellow. Perhaps the colourist was given a ‘Desert Attack Ratchet’ toy?

Mudflap’s face is constantly not coloured orange, so in every robot-mode appearance he looks like he doesn’t have a face.

Dune Runner alternates between being coloured in the grayish-brown Landmine repaint colour scheme, his green-brown toy colour scheme and the tan scheme that the NEST humvees use.

On page nineteen, Jolt is entirely silver, while Knock Out is leaping sideways halfway through the air for no good reason. Jolt is again block-coloured silver on page twenty.

If my identifications for the zombie Transformers are correct, then Brawn is miscoloured.

Armorhide, drawn with the toy from the first movie, is totally messed up this issue. The black bits on his body are coloured green (confusing him with Brawn). The artist seems to have drawn his toy backwards, since the kibble are all the wrong way.

How did Armorhide even get to Earth? He was last seen with Arcee’s group on Cybertron in Reign of Starscream, and presumably killed off-screen in Tales of the Fallen #5.


[none worth quoting]

Back to the IDW comics section index

[TFArchive button]
Link graphics...

Or in FF, hit Ctrl+D.