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Transformers #3: A Rude Awakening
Reviewed by Blackjack

Issue Review

"I hope you know where you’re going, Hoist. I don’t want just want to drive around aimlessly."

Much better than the second issue and less painful to read. It's starting to look up for the ongoing. Ultra Magnus and Bumblebee are well-scripted, and the Bumblebee/Magnus portions had more impact than the entire Bumblebee miniseries combined. We get to see Bumblebee’s troops and Magnus not holding him in high regard, we get to see him stumble when faced with Magnus… Ultra Magnus plays the whole ‘neutral investigator’ card again. While it doesn’t make sense, at least it flows on smoothly from where we last saw him in Maximum Dinobots. Oh, and Magnus going all ‘I’m here to investigate stuff. Important stuff. Handle your own problems’ like his iconic appearance in Target: 2006 is nicely done. Magnus and Bumblebee are probably the only major Autobots that Costa had successfully written so far.

Spike Witwicky manages to be readable, although that conversation between him and Optimus Prime is very dire. Prime still suffers from bad scripting and over-emotional characterization. Meanwhile, Jetfire’s reason for wanting to leave Earth (it’s too slow for his advanced mind) is well played on, while Hot Rod wanting to rescue the others is true to form. Costa still hadn’t gotten a hang on Optimus and Hot Rod yet, and considering how much he likes to use the two, he better find it fast. More Decepticons have joined the scene, mostly combiner group members, hinting at what’s to come. Don’s art is much better, with actual expressions coming in. I don’t like his redesign of Jetfire, though.

Still, the Skywatch parts, while not bad as the Gundam ripoffs (and a bad ripoff at that) from the first issue, are dire. Epps-wannabe and cocky-spiky-dyed-hair-guy are not much better than tough-girl and other-guy in AHM. Plot moves on, with Magnus heading off to find Hot Rod while Spike seemingly trying to get Prime to cooperate. Blurr dashing off and leading into the Bumblebee miniseries is lame, though. For all the shit they made about both series tying into each other while still standing alone, it fails. Some parts are beginning to grate (especially the Spike/Prime brouhaha), but things are starting to look up after a weak opening. It will need more than this to save the series, though.


This issue takes place after LSOTW #1 but before Bumblebee #1, according to the blurb. Actually, Magnus arriving on Earth should be after LSOTW #2.

Magnus uses the same monocle-thing that Nightbeat uses in Devastation when looking at Ironhide’s corpse.

Presumably Beachcomber had been repaired after the events of Spotlight: Blaster.

Among Hot Rod’s party, the new Decepticons include Hook, Mixmaster, Onslaught and the rest of the Stunticons. Hook and Mixmaster (along with Scrapper and Scavenger) are presumably repaired during the interim between AHM and the ongoing, while the rest could presumably be on Earth offscreen during the whole invasion thing.

Blurr has gained an Earthen alternate mode, and his new redesigned robot mode seems to be a cross between G1 and a less spiky version of Animated. Dead End’s new alternate mode really, really looks like it should be called Classics Cliffjumper. Sideswipe is a stylized and Don-ized version of the toy, while most of the other toyless Autobots are Don-ized versions of their G1 selves. Ultra Magnus has obtained a tweaked alternate mode, accounting to his new robot mode design. No more big red missiles, sadly…

Presumably, guys like Red Alert and Hoist and Beachcomber and Seaspray all arrived on Earth during the one year gap. This is confirmed in Spotlight Prowl.

Mirage’s Autobot emblem is back after all that crap in AHM.

Henderson (Epps-wannabe) and Campologno (spiky-hair) are based off real-life friends of write Mike Costa.


If so many Autobots could arrive on Earth, didn’t any of them think to bring a shuttle with them? Or did Omega Supreme have to ferry everyone back and forth?

The ‘tow’ decal on Hoist has different white highlights in the same frame when he forcibly transforms.

They keep Prime in a cage. Energon cage. It looks daft and stupid.

It’s weird that Red Alert is actually wanting to work with the Decepticons.


Spike: “I’m being stonewalled by a talking truck with self-flagellation issues.”

Bumblebee: “Hot Rod is gone. He actually did defect.”
Ultra Magnus: “You couldn’t keep him here?”
Bumblebee: “We… we thought he should be free to go, if he wanted. I’m not going to hold anybody against their will.”
Ultra Magnus: “Despite him being involved in a mission with a fatality? You are the leader here, right?”
Bumblebee: “Well, yeah! Yes.”

Ultra Magnus: “That’s not what I’m here for. I’m here to investigate. If you’re having a hard time keeping things together, that’s not my problem.”

Red Alert: “Can you believe this? This is crazy, right?” –Swindle grins at them-
Mirage: “Yeah. Yes it is. But it’s a new world, I guess."

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