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Transformers #20
Reviewed by Blackjack

Issue Review

"What in the hell happened to him."
Pretty art, and an actually engaging story. Again, Costa proves to be able to handle individual characters like Ironhide and Rodimus very well. Say what you want, I am actually enjoying Mike Costa's potrayal of Rodimus after his near-death experience. The tying in to TF: Ironhide and Heart of Darkness isn't as elegant as it could be, but considering matters, it is sufficient. Of course, I'd rather have both miniseries printed as backup strips instead of having the 'International Incident' arc, but that's wishful thinking. Wheelie continues to be entertaining despite his rhyming, and I actually like Sunstreaker. Wheelchair bound (as baffling as it seems), having betrayed the Autobots and stuck with a memory-lost Ironhide, Sunstreaker's moment of instropection and basically just having lost all sense of sanity and going on with the flow, not pushing for anything... it's pretty nicely-written.

Do we need Bob and Garnak, though? While Garnak proves himself useful for someone that Rodimus could talk to while Wheelie is driving (thereby keeping the rhymes to a bare minimum), what is Bob for? I don't think we'll see anymore of the Insecticon Swarm in the future, what with the horrible D-Void plot looming in the distance, so Bob seems to be there to provide a gag when Sunstreaker says 'oh yeah, this is BOB.' Because, you know, Bob is funny. Galvatron is handled much better here than Heart of Darkness, mostly because he doesn't say a single word, and the Autobots are scared shitless nevertheless. A nice character piece that gathers all the disparate miniseries into the ongoing. While I am very positive that the 'Chaos' storyline, what with D-Void and all, will be horrible, this one issue is a nicely written gem. It doesn't waste too much space, it's got decent characterisation, and doesn't try to be forcibly funny like Spike Witwicky. I won't give the all clear yet, since considering IDW's track record they are experts at giving great openings and middle issues, but flopping down like dead fishes in the end. Oh, what I'd give for an IDW arc with a proper conclusion...


Ironhide and Sunstreaker are revived in the miniseries Transformers: Ironhide, as is Cybertron being inhabitable again and the Insecticons being wiped out. This marks where Transformers: Ironhide is now tied into the main ongoing. Galvatron and his little army's origin, as well as their motivations, stem from Transformers: Heart of Darkness. Along with Infestation, this ties in the Galvatron plot thread into the ongoing. Thus this places Infestation as taking place between issues 18 and 20 of the ongoing.

The experimental fuel cell, likewise, came from Transformers Ironhide.

The scene where the Sweeps pursue our motley Autobot heroes is mirrored in 'Heart of Darkness 4', albeit from Galvatron's point of view. Galvatron, who wants to recruit the Autobots to fight against D-Void... but I guess Galvatron's just too scary-shit for the Autobots to stand for. In the script Galvatron was originally going to kill the Sweep rather than heal him, but considering the inexplicable anti-hero Galvatron has been turned into, the scene is altered.

Sunstreaker and Ironhide have domesticated Bob, one of the Insecticon Swarm from AHM. Bob can be used to root out other Insecticons, so Ironhide and the hoverchair-bound Sunstreaker can track down other members of the Insecticons.

Garnak names the planet that they were stranded in LV-118. The planet Wheelie is stranded in in Spotlight: Wheelie is LV-117, so poor Wheelie might have plopped into a neighbour planet by some as-of-yet unspoken means, explaining his mental state last issue.

Despite Hot Rod being referred to Rodimus throughout all of the ongoing issues, his license plate is still 'HOT ROD'.

The title is named after a science fiction by C.S. Lewis published in the 1930s.


Last issue the title is 'Part 1', but the issue here is given 'Act 2'.

Sunstreaker calls Hot Rod as 'Rodimus', even though he died before Rodimus' name-change. Likewise for Ironhide, whose death precluded Hot Rod's name-change.

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