CURRENT TRANSFORMERS COMICS FROM IDW PUBLISHING
Transformers: Rising Storm #3
Reviewed by Blackjack
"See--this is what's great about all the Transformers stuff. Just when things are looking their worst--the cavalry comes riding in."
Things are going pretty smoothly. As predicted, Shockwave is on a rampage and clears out the cadet squad introduced in Nefarious, as well as some characters that won't be returning in DOTM. Knock Out and Dune Runner both get some nice lines before they die, and I was surprised that Magno would kill off Galloway so brazenly, since it would look stupid if he were to be mentioned in the third movie... or maybe Magno has access to the finalized scripts? And at least he's savvy enough not to show Jolt dying (only Shockwave shooting) in case Jolt appears as a background character in DOTM. The Arcee sisters are good material as well, although not as great as how they were portrayed in previous issues. Certainly Elita's moral compass thing doesn't feel at all engaging, although the argument with Optimus is well done, although it is a nice parallel with Optimus' own obsession with killing Megatron in Foundation. Alternating between being individuals and a gestalt mind is also great. No doubt Astrotrain and the Cassettes will make quick work of them next issue (and they kill the Cassettes, maybe?). It's also obvious that the refugees will be killed by Shockwave as well.
Optimus Prime seems a bit self-indulgant as well, but his moment with Elita-One is pretty well-scripted, as is his monologue about change. I can't even get used to how Magno draws Transformer mouths, though. Brains builds up to be more entertaining, and frankly, I wouldn't be surprised if Brains ended up appearing in the Movie proper. Toy characters are dropped and killed off, as predicted, although again as predicted Bludgeon gets to be a badass. Wheelie in particular is pretty fun, too. Sam distracting Space Case by hitting him with a pipe is stupid, and Carly using the dead Decepticon's weapon to shoot Space Case is also stupid. What do they think this is necessary is beyond me The interaction between Sam and Carly is a bit dire as well, and it isn't helped by the fact that Magno clearly can't draw humans. Bumblebee and Barricade have also been demoted into background extras, although I suppose it can't be helped. Wheeljack and Mirage, after their dramatic entrance last issue, don't do much other than show off their powers and shoot Decepticons. Poor Starscream also gets to become a whiney whipping boy for Shockwave, which I dislike. It's in tone with Revenge of the Fallen, but I like my Starscream scary. Inarguably Shockwave steals the show here, being calm and dry-witted, manipulating Starscream and clearly enjoying getting to kill Autobots.
Pacing's a bit iffy, especially in the Philadelphia scene with the Decepticons outnumbering the Autobots eight to three, but no one seems to be hunting Brains other than Space Case. Still, it is justified somewhat by Wheeljack and Mirage's special abilities vexing the stupid 'Cons. Again, there are bits of things that perfectionist geeks would appreciate, like the tie-in novels being recognized and everything. However, it does not distract at all from the story and you wouldn't know that it's there unless you're looking for it. The art is not getting better, although the colouring surely is. At this point, though, the story afterwards is a bit predictable, although I do hope Barber throws in a plot twist or two. Still, Rising Storm is much better than its preceedors, even though this isn't as strong as the last two issues. This is what a movie prequel should be. And the best thing about it? It's actually entertaining to read instead of being a chore, and makes you all geared up for Dark of the Moon.
I think I forgot to mention this while reviewing past issues, so I'll say it here. Dune Runner still has Landmine/Armorhide's toy design instead of his own toy. Not that it matters, since he's dead now. Armorhide still has his hybrid design of his original Movie toyline (Cybertron Armorhide repaint) and his ROTF toyline (Movie Landmine repaint) body.
Jolt refers to Knock Out as being on Earth longer than he has, alluding to Knock Out's role in the Veiled Threat prequel novel, as another attempt to tie in the novels with the comic continuity.
Galloway mis-phrases Knock Out as Knock Down, another often-reused Transformer name. He also says that Jolt and Dune Runner are cool, but the motorcycles are not.
The sisters are still individuals, but when they enter a battlefield they go all 'complete the sentence' again.
Everybody does the trick of parachuting off the cargo plane, human, Transformer or otherwise.
Elita-One and Optimus Prime alludes to the events that happen in Foundation, specifically the framing story where Optimus is possessed by the battle rage.
The 'pet' that Shockwave mentions in passing last issue is revealed to be the tentacle-beast we saw in the second issue of Foundation, and is likely to be the same cargo Shockwave alludes last issue. The tentacle monster has also been glimpsed in the Dark of the Moon teaser.
Mirage has the power of invisibility like his G1 namesake, while Wheeljack has force fields. Note that Wheeljack still hasn't scanned an Earth mode yet, being identical to his Cybertron body seen in Foundation, so his appearance here may not be the final design we see in the Movie proper.
Likewise, Astrotrain's design is still Cybertronian since he transforms into this funky space steam train thing. With the trailer out, sadly Shockwave would apparently trade-in from this more G1-based body as well.
Space Case is a repaint of the Terradive toy released in the 2010 Transformers Subtitleless line. While most fans had, at the time, thought that Space Case was a fan-made character, apparently he has a toy slated for him in the Dark of the Moon line, announced some time after the comic was released.
Sam met Carly at the White House under an as-of-yet undisclosed circumstances.
The NEST soldier that Knock Out was playing cards against accuses Knock Out of having 'Robo-Vision', the same gimmick that was released for a couple of Target-exclusive toys during the first Movie line.
Jolt is apparently a comic book reader, reading the first IDW issue of Godzilla, which in real life is published half a month before this issue hits the shelves. In a funny Easter Egg, the back cover of the comic features the cover of All Hail Megatron #12. AHM apparently exists in the Movieverse, then...
Blaze Master is tiny and coloured green on the first page. When he watches Shockwave kill Dune Runner, he is coloured like Longarm.
From panel two to panel three of the first page, Dune Runner and Jolt abruptly switch positions relative to Galloway.
In the spread page Mudflap's upper lip is missing.
The colouring used to colour the girl bikes makes it hard to distinguish between Arcee and Elita-One, since instead of red and purple they use pink and lighter pink.
Whether it is Storm Surge or Sonar whose corpse Carly used, it's still too small to be either of them.
Space Case refers to an incident where 'I thought I killed [Sam] one time!', which, while not necessarily a goof, never happened.