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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
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Other Books
and Titles

CURRENT TRANSFORMERS COMICS FROM IDW PUBLISHING

Transformers #10: International Incident part 2: Ranks of Bronze
Reviewed by Blackjack

Issue Review

"You guys can't convince a Korean national you're Stevedores for ten minutes? He's probably never even seen a Stevedore."

Even when I’m not considering the ever-grating problem of switching/changing body designs every bloody issue, even when I’m not addressing the problem of not picking up on dangling plot threads left after issue six, even when I’m not thinking about the stereotypical Kim Jong Du the second, there are lots of things wrong with this issue. If this is what Costa would do with the Combaticons, then their silence for nine pages last issue is much better. As it is, Onslaught acts like a total idiot when he is supposed to be either a master strategist (from his toy bio and past incarnations) or a capable team leader (from his IDW appearances). Here Onslaught acts like a total village idiot, being ordered around by Vortex and Kim Jong II. Smokescreen is also a total buffoon.

And the total idiocy of the Autobots having to fight in their vehicle modes? Also the fact that Onslaught and company have apparently been bossed around by Swindle (when it was Banzai-Tron)? It shows that Costa simply writes stuff without re-reading the issues prior to the ongoing, only that he makes random name-drops to ‘show’ that it’s in the same continuity. Jetfire’s take down is also stupid, considering that previously Jetfire has been played as some sort of everyman – a scientist and a warrior all rolled into one. The fickle-mindedness of whether Optimus Prime is still in charge or not is also irritating. And of course, the first five pages are worthless padding that tries, oh so hard, to make us laugh. Boo. At least the Skywatch crash-suits are shown to be useless against Brawl. That made me smile.

Bumblebee’s little monologue to Thundercracker at the end is well-scripted, but the big reveal that the Autobots are trying to recruit Thundercracker have been spoiled since, oh, I don’t know… issue four? Issue six? Thundercracker’s return is something to look forward to, though, if he’s taking central stage. But while this issue is fun to read (mostly because of the kiddy tone and action scenes) it’s still far from being actually good.

Notes

Again the body designs have been altered, although this time Guido has resorted to fixing IDW's error last issue. Give the man a drink. Instead of adhering to the cartoon character models, this issue everyone is has their Don-designs drawn in a more traditional style, a nice blend of the Don's designs rendered in the more conventional way of drawing like what Nick Roche did in LSOTW. Cliffjumper and Jetfire are still in their original character models, albeit more complex, instead of their IDW body designs, so we'll assume that has become a permanent change. Smokescreen and Prowl are now hybrids of their Uni-Classics designs (seen in AHM and the Ongoing) and their original character models. Optimus Prime, Wheeljack, Bumblebee and Ratchet are still in their Don bodies (granted, it's not much of a change from the original character models), but drawn in Guido style. Broadside uses the toy/IDW design.

Optimus Prime’s license plate now reads ‘PRIME’, and he has the word ‘NEON’ under his windshields, a possible reference to the fandom term for ugly clashing colours. Also, Optimus has the word ‘CYBERTON’ under his door. Cliffjumper’s license plate reads ‘CLIFF’, while Jazz’s read ‘JAZZ’.

In cue with ‘everyone with a faceplate must have a face underneath’ craze started with Optimus Prime, Onslaught and Brawl’s faceplates are revealed to be retractable as well.

Broadside’s Autobot insignia is modeled similarly to the Cybertron Elite Guard logo seen in Transformers Animated. However, the artist had stated that it’s actually a LEGO 4005-1 Tug Boat homage.

The rarely-seen-in-fiction repair bay that comes with Ratchet’s toy appears when he repairs Broadside and Jetfire.

Energon cubes are finally seen proper this issue. Other than the pre-war stories like Megatron Origin or Spotlight Blurr, artists have shied from using Energon cubes until now. And they are yellow.

Goofs

On page seven, Optimus Prime's license plate is blank. When Optimus rams Onslaught, it is blank again.

Previously the Autobots are already well-armed in their vehicle modes. So much that Ratchet, a mere medic, was able to utilize smokescreens, surface-to-air missiles, some kind of sonic weapon and a kind of glue bomb thing, all in one issue.

When Vortex replies to Kim Jong the second, the "<" signaling their talking in Korean is missing.

On page thirteen, what should probably be "tough customers" is mis-spelled as "tough costumers".

So, um, the Autobots cannot transform to clonk the Combaticons, but Skywatch crash-suits can walk around? And that’s a covert mission?

On the third panel of page 15, Cliffjumper is miscoloured as Smokescreen when Vortex slices at him. Although in alternate modes and with Cliffy not being super-deformed anymore, it’s a little hard to make out.

In the panel where they collide with each other, Broadside and Jetfire are grossly out of scale with each other. Even allowing for Jetfire to be a large-ish jet, his relative size to Vortex (a helicopter) only moments before wouldn’t make him the size of half an aircraft carrier. Sure, their toys are that large compared to each other (Broadside is probably smaller) but in real life? No way.

On the last page Thundercracker has F15 Eagle kibble for his wings and shoulder thingies, when he should be back to a F22 Raptor after the events of the Ongoing. God, is consistency so hard?

Quote, Unquote

Onslaught: “As long as he has the Energon, we have to keep this up. But don't worry, I have a plan.”
Vortex: “Oh, you have a plan? Are you learning to make Energon?”
Onslaught: “No.”
Vortex: “Are you figuring out how to capture the facility without blowing the whole thing sky high?”
Onslaught: “Well... no...look, I'm formulating a plan, okay? I will have one.”

Vortex: [to Smokescreen] “Good diversion, idiot. You can’t see through the smoke either.”

Optimus Prime: “Push them towards the sea!”
Onslaught: “The sea? What, you think we’re not waterproof?”

Spike: “How did you guys let Brawl get away?”
Campologno: “These guys are insulated against our suppressors. And… he turned into a tank.”
Henderson: “We can’t really stop a tank.”

Bumblebee: “In fact, I’ve got this ally named Drift and… well, nevermind. The point is, I know change is possible because I’ve changed.”

 
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