CURRENT TRANSFORMERS COMICS FROM IDW PUBLISHING
Transformers: The Reign of Starscream #3
Reviewed by Blackjack
This issue certainly picks up the pace, and the introduction of Arcee's team livens things up. Starscream's and Arcee's monologue, as well as second-stringers Cliffjumper and Thundercracker, are golden. However, deaths mount in this issue, with Hardtop, Smokescreen, Air Raid, Camshaft and possibly Cliffjumper killed within several pages of being introduced. It's unprofessional, as if they are there just to advertise the toys. Mowry also introduces more toy characters, including Ramjet and Stockade, who look like fun. However, the Sector-Seven stuff, which appear to be thread-hangers for the next arc (Alliance/Defiance
) could be shoved aside. Art-wise, Milne's artwork is deteriorating, especially the Cybertron scenes. They are getting grittier and look blotched in some parts. Oh, and Milne can't draw humans properly. Seriously. The agents in Sector Seven look horrible.
More augmented abilities are shown this issue. Smokescreen is able to create ion clouds. Cliffjumper can change one arm into a cannon like Bumblebee, and also use energon blades in his wrists. Thundercracker can change his arm into an axe, as well as create sonic booms. Arcee's arm can also transform into a jagged dagger.
Skids is briefly mentioned by Camshaft. He said that Skids is a better sparring partner than drones.
The two-page spread in which Thundercracker swoops down with a KRAOOOOOM! is very similar to a panel in Infiltration
#0, where TC does the same to Hunter's van. Oh, and Thundercracker transforms into a Cybertronian jet, not a comet. Arcee also transforms into a weird sort a' Cybertronian bike, while Cliffjumper's alt-mode resembles a cross between a protoform and G1 Bumblebee's War Within alt-mode.
According to Chris Mowry, the Space Bridge works 'like a series of breadcrumbs. The object to be warped goes from point-to-point until it reaches its final destination.' Oh, and on Starscream's monitor is a list of Sector Seven agents (Riley, Logan, Vine, Galani, Kunkel and Morton). According to Mowry they are his good friend's two kids, a few other friends, his cousin and Josh's friend.
The vehicles inside the Sector Seven, presumably given life by the Allspark in the Mission city or created by Sector Seven themselves, include what appears to be Salvage, Longarm, L.M.-1 (still in mid-transformation) and another Landmine unit. However, it is unlikely that they are not
who they appear to be.
This issue marks the difference between Dreadwing drone units and the 'real' Dreadwing. The drones have red eyes, while Dreadwing sports a yellow one and a more complicated head design.
The Decepticon capital city is called Trypticon, a homage to the original G1 Citybot. It remains to be seen whether this also transforms.
The floor of Megatron's palace is covered with pictures of Kremzeek. Mowry originally wanted Kremzeek on the walls of the palace. Mowry likes Milne's interpretation better, because "it's like Megatron has a child's carpet or something in his lair."
In issue 1, Starscream states that the humans' technology is "anything but advanced". Yet on page 12, he suddenly praises his "new form", claiming that it grants him new power, "as if all of [his] abilities and strengths are somehow advanced." Considering that all modern technology allegedly originated via reverse-engineering from Sector Seven studying Megatron, this begs the question: What exactly makes an F-22 Raptor so special that scanning and mimicking it actually improves Starscream's abilities?
Why didn't Cliffjumper and the others shut off their audio receptors instead of 'covering' them like us humans do?
On closer inspection, Arcee's mouth is a beak. No, really. Milne's really... weird in these designs. Oh, and no one's referred to Arcee with 'she' yet.
Ramjet and Dreadwing discuss about preparing for Lord Starscream's arrival, before bickering about rank. Then, the two gawk, surprised to see Starscream. Might be a scripting error.
So... why isn't Sector Seven disbanded yet?
Camshaft: "Oh, come on, Smoke. What do you think? Skids was a better sparring partner than these guys!"
Arcee (monologue): "The past will not repeat itself, I promise. My strength won't allow it. Not again."
Starscream (monologue): "For a time, I thought of Thundercracker as a worthy second to my command. That thought has now vanished."
Starscream: (on the Decepticon fortress) "For now I must go and claim what is rightfully mine. Besides, it's not as though the former president will be returning anytime soon."
Starscream: (after blowing up Megatron's face) "I was just making some renovations."