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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
Manga
Other Books
and Titles

CURRENT TRANSFORMERS COMICS FROM IDW PUBLISHING

Transformers #16: Revenge of the Decepticons Part 3: Woken Furies
Reviewed by Blackjack

Issue Review

”I’m here to offer you something much greater.”
With the focus trained at two groups: Ultra Magnus’ Autobots and the ongoings at Thundercracker’s lair, the pacing is great. Starscream and Thundercracker’s exchange is probably one of the best six-page-talky-scene in the ongoing, and the only one that doesn’t drag. Alex Milne’s art is a decent substitute for Don Figueroa, distinctive enough but not as jarring as the shift from Don to Guido or Roche. While there are a few moments of his bad action perspective—Brawn punching Starscream in the gut, for example—most of the action scenes in this issue, and indeed most of the art, is very clean, reminiscent of his work during his Dreamwave Energon days instead of his rather messy art while working for IDW. Megatron is great, being obsessed for revenge, being indestructible just like the days of the –ions series. He’s clearly enjoying blowing humans and Autobots up, and you can’t deny that proper action like this is much better than the dirge the ongoing has been feeding us so far.

The anti-transformer humans are now given much screentime, thank goodness, and is there only to die so the Autobots’ reputation could be ruined. Brawn is also great fun, beating up on Starscream savagely until he begs for mercy. Starscream himself is a great manipulator, with hints of his Armada cartoon incarnation being thrown in, in that he wants to overthrow Megatron for the good of the Decepticon cause instead of for selfish reasons. Finally Costa seems to have settled into writing Starscream after several initial inconsistencies. Thundercracker’s apathetic response to Starscream is well-scripted as well. Their arguments, Starscream’s ambitions and all, and Starscream finally losing patience for Thundercracker comparing him with the Autobots and shooting him in the back, is so well scripted that I wonder where the hell did Costa dig up the whole ‘International Incident’ rubbish. I really like Ultra Magnus as well. He deserves the large screentime he got this issue, unlike Costa’s dreary Bumblebee or Onslaught. He’s well characterized, and is trying to adapt to a role of a leader, doing what needs to be done, while being questioned by Huffer. Well, that’s Huffer for you.

It looks like Costa is getting the hang of Transformers after the sub-par initial run, and the unspeakable International Incident run. While he still has some ways to go, he’s gotten the characterization of some key players—Starscream, Thundercracker, Magnus, Brawn and Rodimus—down. I enjoyed this ‘Revenge of the Decepticons’ arc. Let’s just hope its conclusion would be satisfying and not a total disaster like his previous two arcs.

Notes

We get to see Megatron’s new alternate mode. Instead of any of his previous incarnations’ vehicular modes (tank, warship, batmobile, Osprey helicopter, fighter jets) it is now a stealth bomber, somewhat akin to that to the Generations Scourge toy. We don’t get to see a good view of it, though, since it is put into shadow by the sun.

Gears and Windcharger make their present-day appearances after being mentioned in one of the early issues as being captured by Skywatch. Hoist and Tracks are in action too, so it’s a safe bet that all Autobots captured by Skywatch has been released back into service.

For those that are wondering, Blurr is in his Don Figueroa body with a proper Earthen alternate mode instead of his AHM body. Windcharger, unseen before until now, is in his brand-new RTS G1 based toy body.

Magnus’ line to Megatron about returning to the scene of crime is a call-out to his proper job of hunting down Decepticon criminals before he was put into a command position during the ongoing.

Note that despite IDW censoring the blood-stained cellphone during its AHM run, the luckless lady reporter present during Soundwave’s attack was splattered into blood by some random debris.

‘Woken Furies’ is again the title of a book by Richard K. Morgan. Appropriately, it is a sequel to ‘Altered Carbon’, the title of last issue.

Goofs

Huffer’s main body is coloured the same blue as Ultra Magnus, Gears and Tracks instead of his proper purple colouration.

Ultra Magnus is clearly shown carrying Bumblebee and Schwalbe in his car carrier. So far so good, but when Ultra Magnus first transforms, Bumblebee is nowhere to be seen. But when Magnus transforms into vehicle mode to get away from the Anti-Transformers, Bumblebee and Schwalbe, now with Gears, is again inside Ultra Magnus’ carrier. Again, when Megatron arrives, Ultra Magnus transforms on-screen and his charges are nowhere to be seen. How did they unload/load the injured Bumblebee so quickly?

Last issue, Pennington apparently couldn’t be moved. Now he’s able to stand up and argue with Magnus, although at least he has injuries from his encounter with Dead End in issue 14.

The recap page says that the Skywatch team with Spike and Optimus Prime has been show down over the Atlantic. Why would a plane flying from Korea to America be flying over that ocean?

And, Atlantic ocean or otherwise, why the hell did they emerge in Panama Canal of all places?

Quote/Unquote

Ultra Magnus: “No matter what, we’re not stopping. You’re all trained soldiers. Things get heavy, you evade. We’re all meeting at Omega Supreme.”

Starscream: “The Decepticons under me were so much less without your fierceness to serve as example.”
Thundercracker: “I already served as an ‘example’. I was left for dead.”

Starscream: “Yes, you are powerful. That’s why I’ve come. The Decepticons need you.”
Thundercracker: “I’m sure they do. As I’m also sure it never occurred to any of you: maybe I don’t need the Decepticons.”

Starscream: “I ask you: join me. I can’t do it alone, but together we can crush Megatron and finally give the Decepticons the future they deserve. A proud vision, free of petty grudges. We will leave this world. Leave this galaxy. The Autobots are still scattered and lost. We will forget them. We will have a new path. Things will change. We will have new worlds to conquer!”
Thundercracker: “The Autobot’s pitch was better.”

Starscream: “I might have even have taken ‘no’ for an answer and left you here to rust with all the other circuit-damaged idiots who refuse to leave.”

Megatron: “Greetings, Autobots. Saw you were having some trouble with the natives.”

Megatron: “How far down the chain of command did they have to whittle before finally having to rely on you?”

Ultra Magnus: “Megatron… stop letting yourself be distracted by gnats. I’m the one you want.”
Megatron: “Magnus, you idiot. You still have no idea what is happening around you. You’re not the one I want at all. I came back for them.”
 
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