CURRENT TRANSFORMERS COMICS FROM IDW PUBLISHING
Transformers Sector 7 #3: Together
Reviewed by Blackjack
"You have just been robbed by Bonnie and Clyde!"
It's not quite as good as the former two issues, but it is still self-contained. A mixed bag, really. Someone who had no idea who Bonnie and Clyde are before reading this (like me) would be confused, though. I must commend the overzealous attention paid to continuity, both in real life and in Transformers-verse. John Barber is starting to grow on me as one of the few highly competent people in IDW's employ. However, the dark, gritty feel we had from the last two issues, as well as our heroes Wells and Simmons, are gone. The change of art (to Chee, of all people) is jarring as well. Chee, thankfully, have realized how fugly his art looks without proper lines, so at least his art here is readable although at some points not-Hubcap has some odd proportions. Also, 'dull surprise'.
However, the story doesn't have much meat. While self-containing, the whole issue about not-Hubcap, carried over from issue two, doesn't seem to accomplish anything other than being a good old romp. Kind of a shame, since with Barber's skill to plug the gaps (like the NBE thing and the year inconsistency) this could've been used to fix errors in this alternate timeline like, say, the absence of Israel. Or the Smithsonian being beside the Boneyard. But I disgress, since this issue is rather fun. The plot is pretty repetitive, however, and getting rid of Theodore Wells and Walter Simmons is a bad move. The whole 'war of the sexes' thing and 'women is as badass as men' have been covered last issue; Margaret Simmons is basically an expy of Lou Hoover. Bonnie, Roy Thompson, the arrogant ranger and W.D. are dull and unengaging. Clyde does manage to be quite a ham, but overall the story doesn't feel as meaty as the past two issues. The dialogue and pacing have also suffered as well.
You just can't help but feel sorry for not-Hubcap; all the confused guy wanted to do is to rescue his friend, and the supposed good guys used Bonnie as bait and killed him. And not-Hubcap actually gunned down Bonnie! Rather cold and brutal. Add it to the weird continuity glitch by the fact that the deus ex machina Transformer-killer guns have somehow been developed in 1934 when in 2007 S7 doesn't even have anything effective short of cryogenic guns and an airstrike means that the issue fails to deliver, sort of. An average issue. However, next issue we are having Nazis! And I do hope Ransack would be featured, since the Transformer this issue isn't Hubcap per se when he would've been perfect had it not been for allegiance.
Sector Seven have been established formally as of this issue. However, the only members we see this issue is only Margaret Simmons (Walter Simmons' daughter from last issue) and Roy Thompson (again from last issue). Prior to this issue, Margaret has been married and has a son, but her husband has either died or divorced, so she retains the Simmons family name. Margaret would be the Movie's Agent Simmons' grandmama, I suppose.
This issue is dedicated to the memory of Arthur Penn. He is the director of the 1967 movie Bonnie and Clyde, and died while the comic was in production.
A note in the front cover apologizes for the name goofs, clarifying that the name of Wells is Theodore Wells (or Theodore Joseph Wells, as the recap has it).
Roy Thompson calls Walter Simmons 'the Old Man', something that Walter was referred to in the novel 'Ghosts of Yesterday', whose canonity is subject to debate.
Nobody ever hearing about Sector Seven and Roy being justifiably proud about it is similar to how Seymour Simmons would act in the first Movie.
Not-Hubcap have developed some basic intelligence, but he's still basically a brick. This would explain why all AllSpark spawns are savage beasts — they need time to grow and mature mentally. We saw Not-Hubcap last issue, of course.
Real life notes now: Bonnie and Clyde, are, of course, based on the real infamous outlaws of that time. At this point Bonnie and Clyde have done their shtick for roughly a year and a half. W.D. Jones is also based on a real person, a 17-year old kid who joined Bonnie and Clyde in 1932. The ranger leader, while not named, is based on Frank Hamer, a real-life ranger who was one of the men responsible for hunting Bonnie and Clyde down.
The shoot-out in Sowers, Texas actually happened a few months before this story was set. The incident with the giant car robot obviously is not based on a real incident. In real life, W.D. wasn't captured there.
Margaret Simmons references the Great Depression.
The poem is, again, a real life object. Bonnie loved writing poetry about her robbing escapades, and this particular one is titled 'The Trail's End'. It would be published as 'The Story of Bonnie and Clyde' two weeks after the duo's death.
The jailbreak led by Clyde happened in real life in 16 January 1934 for retaliation because his brother was murdered by Texas lawmen. Apparently Clyde committed his first homicide while incarcerated in that same prison. In real life, Clyde's jailbreak would be the straw that broke the camel's back for Texas lawmen who then proceeded to pull all the stops to hunt down the couple. However, in real life W.D. Jones, Sector Seven, giant robots and space guns aren't likely to be involved...
That's what S7 would like you to believe, anyway, since Margaret and Roy covered it all up.
In real life the duo's death happened on 23 May 1934, under rather confusing circumstances.
While not noted at the back of the book, the 'Doc Oppenheimer' referenced by Roy, is likely to be real-life scientist who is the director of the Manhattan Project which would lead to the creation of the nuclear bomb. Presumably the nuke is reverse engineered from Megatron as well.
The second alternate mode that the unnamed car mutation takes is exactly the same with Hubcap from the 2010 Transformers toy line, and his robot mode takes some hints from Hubcap. However, he is clearly not
Hubcap (and as thus have been referred to as such in the review), seen from his face and slight design differences like the position of the door. His weapons seem to be based on an unused T-Model Seeker design which would eventually be the basis of the robot mode ROTF Ransack toy.
Chee's art sometimes omits facial features from characters in the background. Especially mouths.
What do Sector Seven do in the twenty years or so? Granted, they may be busy with the AllSpark and Megatron and the Hoover Dam, but surely hunting down a rogue monster Transformer like not-Hubcap would take priority?
When not-Hubcap first transforms, his arms look unnaturally stiff.
Instead of trans-scanning like the other Transformers in the Movieverse, not-Hubcap literally tears off the body casing of the other car and somehow assimilates it into himself.
Why doesn't Sector Seven take not-Hubcap in for study and reverse engineering and stuff?
Why doesn't Sector Seven use these old Oppenheimer guns during the events of the Movies? I mean, they work in the thirties for crying out loud...
And if they could make guns that powerful in the thirties, why haven't they been developed and mass produced by 2007?
Bonnie: Hey — that engine's running!
Clyde: Car's older than you are, Bonnie...
Margaret Simmons: What are we looking for out here, anyway?
Roy Thompson: Uh. A giant robot that transforms into a car and has machine guns for hands. We, um, misplaced it twenty years ago.
Margaret Simmons: This is the job my dad expects me to use my journalism degree for? Finding renegade robots?
Margaret Simmons: Give it up, Clyde — I killed your robot!
Clyde: Well, let's hope he still drives okay.
Nothubcap: Never... Leave... Bon-nie... Behind...
Roy Thompson: Well, she's her father's daughter...