CURRENT TRANSFORMERS COMICS FROM IDW PUBLISHING
Transformers Sector Seven #2: Irreplaceable
Reviewed by Blackjack
"<Even at the... edge of death... Jetfire is still.. supreme!>"
Still a good read, although not as good as the first issue. The new guys introduced to us are rather identikit. The art falters a little during the beginning (when Clara Simmons rants about Walter never giving her any letters, her forehead looks deformed). It is a nice move to bring only Wells and Simmons instead of all of the original six from the first issue. Simmons' obsession is excellently portrayed, and Wells' shock when Simmons was more concerned about the AllSpark being cold rather than the fact that he survived is well-played. Introducing Herbert Hoover, future (from this point of view, anyway) President of the United States, into Sector Seven, is a nice move that adds realism into the series. Again, the art is still mellowed and coloured in sepia tones. The Transformers are always kept in shadows, and are seldom given full-body shots. This is also true for the AllSpark. The crazed Jetfire proves a nice enough villain, as does the AllSpark mutations. While the first issue deals with the pre-Sector Seven's discovery of Megatron, this second issue deals more with their attempt to excavate the Cube. With accidents like this always happening, no wonder Sector Seven never gets anything done!
More loose ends are tied up (1902 and 1913 conflicting dates for the AllSpark's discovery), while real-life situations like the Boxer rebellion are referenced. Again, the story is resolved neatly, with each chapter tying itself up and seeding tiny plot threads that would be followed in subsequent issues and/or have been explained before. It's a safe bet that the mutated car (Hubcap from the toyline?) would feature in issue three, if coveres are anything to go by. Again, real-life events are referenced (and emphasized by the commentary at the end of the book). It's a nice story, just the right mood with the live-action Transformers set. Theodore Wells, for one is a great character, which made me sympathetic with him. Keeping the Transformers always shrouded creates the mystery and intrigue, and seeing them from a duo of human adventurer's point of view... and tying up all the loose ends with well-researched facts, both Transformers-wise and real life.... well, I never thought that I would say this, but I am really looking forward to this human-centric series.
Presumably little Margaret Simmons is the grandmother of Agent Seymour (or Eugene, depending on your sources) Simmons, our favourite loony government agent.
The Simmons residence is in Nevada, in a barren desert in the middle of nowhere. They have a high-tech generator outside their house, which the author states was because the Simmons aren't exactly regular folks.
Herbert Hoover and Lou Hoover are real-life people, the future President and First Lady of the United States. Wells meets them in Tianjin, China during the Boxer rebellion (an uprising against colonial power and Christian missionaries in China) between 1898 to 1901. In real life, the Hoovers were indeed trapped there and were funneling information on the Boxer troop movements to American forces. Their portrayal here -- Herbert a mining expert and a professional lecturer, and Lou a geologist and metallurgist -- was true in real life as well. (The real-life Lou Hoover most probably didn't shoot Jetfire in the face, though)
In the Prequel comic #2, the AllSpark was located in 1902, but in the Movie itself the AllSpark was mentioned to be uncovered in 1913. Here the two dates are tied together... the AllSpark was located in 1902, but because it is underwater in the Colorado River, it took some time for our heroes to reroute around the area by creating the Boulder Dam -- later renamed Hoover Dam in honour of Herbert Hoover, who helped build the dam. Little did the people know that Hoover did it to uncover an alien artifact...
At this stage, the group isn't called Sector Seven yet. The team seen here are:
-Theodore Joseph Wells
-Herbert Hoover -- future president of the United States, mining expert and helped get the Hoover Dam built
-Lou Hoover -- geologist, metallurgist and a rather trigger-happy woman
-Roy Thompson -- not certain what he does, but he kicks AllSpark mutations
Sector Seven would apparently draw its name from the stable ground that the Hoover Dam is built upon, if Herbert Hoover's dialogue is correct.
From the dialogue, it is implied that Jack Arden, the metallurgist that is seen in the first issue, has died off-screen. Since there are seven members, two of the guys not seen here are in the Arctic with Megatron. Reginald Danco is seen in Arctic way back in Prequel #2, so it means that one of the other two guys have either been dismissed or killed.
The bureaucrats in Washington only grant official 'N.B.E.' status to Transformers that they have solid, clear, recording and physical reference of. Thus, the blurry recordings of Starscream destroying the Beagle probe, or Jetfire (who they had no evidence that he came from space) were not counted as N.B.E.s. So until Bumblebee's discovery in the Prequel novels, the only N.B.E. is N.B.E.-1, Megatron. Thus, Bumblebee became number two when they have irrefutable proof, and Wreckage was number three when he was captured by Sector Seven in the Prequel comics. (see goofs, though)
Jetfire dug through underground tunnels from the Arctic to here. No wonder he hated this planet so much.
Again, Wells name-drops 'War of the Worlds'.
Wells notes that while Jetfire was not killed by being sunk in water, the crane mutation was.
As of the end of this issue, Colorado River is flooded again. The humans probably know by this point that Jetfire can detect the AllSpark's energy, which is why they hid it in the Hoover Dam.
Herbert Hoover continues on from this point to become Secretary of Commerce, and then the President of the United States. His chief goal is to ensure that the area around the AllSpark is rebuilt with a more permanent housing for the alien artifact. Thus was the origin of the Hoover Dam. Now you know, and knowing is half the battle!
In issue one, Wells is constantly named 'Joseph', but here he is constantly named 'Theodore'... until the very last page, where he is Joseph again. This raised some confusion on which one as the correct name. The next issue would set the record straight by letting us know (and apologizing) that Theodore Joseph Wells is the real name.
Wreckage was actually captured by S-7 earlier than Bumblebee, but since Bumblebee gets to be in the movies, poor Wreckage had to stick with the designation N.B.E.-3...
Herbert Hoover: "If my wife hadn't been watching the North Wall at that moment..."
Lou Hoover: "He would have been Mr. Quite-unWells."
Walter Simmons: "You meant I was finished with my obsession, didn't you?"
Theodore Wells: "Walter, I've missed having you at my side on these adventures. Your family has missed you."
Walter Simmons: "That's what I feared. You don't understand. Seeing this... this reminder of our past. It doesn't mean that those... misadventures were equally important..."
Jetfire: "<Who disturbs me in my... moment... of triumph?>"
Walter Simmons: "...it means it's all connected."
Theodore Wells: "Will you idiots get out of here? This isn't the time for a battle of the sexes- it's a war of the worlds!"
Roy Thompson: "Hey- um- hey you!" [kicks radio mutation] "Never was good at coming up with clever lines..."
Theodore Wells: "Walter.. thank God you came back for me..."
Walter Simmons: "He- he just vanished..."
Theodore Wells: "Walter?"
Theodore Wells: "Huff.. you... huff... you were going to leave me..."
Walter Simmons: "Never mind that... think of what we've learned from today!"