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Transformers #11: International Incident part 2: Hawk Among the Sparrows
Reviewed by Blackjack

Issue Review

“What makes you think this time will be any different?”

Good lord, things just get worse, don’t they? Costa does his ‘six page repetitive dialogue’ thing, although Bumblebee and Thundercracker is a wee bit more interesting than Optimus Prime and Spike. Guido’s art does convey more emotion than Don’s designs, but the inconsistencies of character models pisses me off. However, any interest in this issue is immediately killed by the still-rubbish plot that seems not to go anywhere, lame jokes trying to be funny, over-winded conversations, Onslaught being an idiot, and what is basically a repetition of last issue’s fight. It’s dull and really reeks of padding. That scene with Brawn and Bluestreak is precious, but again it’s overlong and should’ve replaced half of the monotonous dialogue between Thundercracker and Bumblebee.

The point is that 'International Incident' is hardly necessary. Even without the plot threads that Costa had seeded himself in the ongoing (Hot Rod's adventure, Ultra Magnus, the aftermath of the Autobot cold war, whatever happened to the Decepticons, Megatron, Razorclaw, Starscream) there are still lots of loose ends from McCarthy and Furman's previous stories. Instead of making a sub-par, repetitive story, why not develop those plot threads?

Sadly after Costa’s brilliant work with Thundercracker back in issue four, he blotches things up by simply making Thundercracker the next deus ex machina with Jetfire down. He’s “the strongest Cybertronian on Earth”? With Omega Supreme and Optimus Prime around? And is he the only one who could fly? What, Powerglide and the Aerialbots aren’t available? Omega Supreme has a day off? Sideswipe lost his jetpack? And with Cosmos being able to hack satellites… why didn’t they do that from issue nine and spare us all the grief? And the Predacons, despite being featured prominently in all the covers, only appear for all of one frame at the end, giving no impact. And since when could you reach the border of China from South Korea by driving? It’s a pathetic attempt to recreate the ‘realistic international’ feel of the movieverse, spliced with random pathetic gags. The only good thing is Bluestreak’s little dialogue with Brawn. Otherwise this issue is repetitive, boring, and all it leads to me wondering why I still keep up hope in this. It’s slightly ever so better than last issue, but if we keep going on like this we won’t need to wait long for the series to plummet.


Cosmos’ body is based on his Universe/Classics 2.0 Legends toy, only more detailed and with G1-esque kibble. He has an astronaut’s helmet now, for unexplained reasons. Red Alert is a cross between his Generations body design and his Sunbow model. Bluestreak is, like Prowl, an amalgation of his Universe/Classics design that Don Figueroa based him off and his Sunbow character model. Mostly Sunbow. The Predacons have finally adapted beast modes.

Thundercracker sticking himself in a place, watching television and absorbing human culture, is possibly inspired by the Junkions from G1 and/or Movie Bumblebee.

Four months had passed between issue six and the ‘International Incident’ arc. While it’s true in real life, in a narrative sense it’s kind of big a leap.

After doing the whole ‘no Primus and Unicron in the IDW verse!’ thing, Bumblebee finally references Primus during his dialogue with Thundercracker.


Thundercracker has adapted an F15 as his alternate mode again, despite going back to being a F22 jet in previous issues of the ongoing, something that could not be passed to simple art style or repainting. I suppose we could just hang the whole inconsistent bodies error and treat these guys as if they could change their body designs every minute? Eesh.

The yellow energon cubes were boxes last issue, but now they are glasses.

Ratchet is already in robot mode before Cosmos does his little sabotage thing.

On page sixteen, Prowl is blue where he should be black. Kind of like the Marvel comics’ colour palette for him.

Apparently you can reach the border of China by driving from South Korea.

Quote, Unquote

Bumblebee: “But this moping, emo-bot transition period is over now.”

Bluestreak: “You bother people. I have a positive attitude. And because of that, I’m basically indispensable.”
Brawn: “Except you weren’t invited along either. You’re sitting on your can right here along with me.”
Bluestreak: “Right. Because, obviously, I’m more needed here. You, on the other hand, are just unpleasant to be around.”
Random Skywatch Guy: “Stop it, both of you. Aren’t you like seven million years old or something? I swear, all of you guys act like babies.”

Ratchet: [to Vortex] “Let’s start the procedure by clipping those wings.”

Vortex: “Death from above!” [Thundercracker flies past, Vortex falls]
Ratchet: “Indeed.”
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