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Transformers Spotlight: Prowl
Reviewed by Blackjack

Issue Review

"Incapacitated, but it’s still kicking."
Say what you want about the ongoing, but Prowl acted out of character. Prowl risked his life for a Decepticon when he’s supposed to be this heartless manipulator who even pulls strings on his friends. While Costa gives second-stringers (Swindle, Thundercracker, Bumblebee et cetera) some well-written characterization, it doesn’t help that most of his main characters are unrecognizable as the same guys from previous IDW series. It’s the biggest fault for Costa, really. If a character fits the role, like, say, Ultra Magnus or Thundercracker, he can write beautiful character pieces. If it doesn’t fit, like Hot Rod or Prowl, well, he rewrites them completely.

So here comes Spotlight Prowl, to try and repair the damage done to the cold and calculating Autobot strategist. Make no mistake, the issue is superbly written. Only it feels as if I'm reading a piece made for some other Autobot. Like Streetwise, perhaps. I don't know. It doesn't feel like Prowl. It doesn't feel like the calculated prick we know and love.

E.J. Su is back to form, and the more… mellowed art and colouring is an indication of the off-beat nature of the story. However, despite Costa’s character piece, it’s still a blatant character rewrite. Had it been in a different continuity or as a stand-alone story, it would’ve been enjoyable. As it is, it’s a blatant character rewrite, for both Prowl and Prime, basically ignoring the cold-hearted prick, eager to sacrifice anything for Autobot victory, which we’ve seen through the –ion series and has been re-established by Roche in his Coda piece. It’s handled clunkily at best. Can’t really see, no matter how many ways you put it, how Prime would stay on Earth for two whole years and not do anything to hunt down the Decepticons or to help the humans at least. And most ironically, Prowl spends half the issue telling himself the one million ways of how humans suck, but somehow by saving the little girl, he has turned into a ‘HUMANS ARE AWESOME’ guy. A decent piece by its own and much better than the recent spotlights (bar Jazz) in that the character takes center stage and actually has some monologue. But again, with most of Costa’s work, ignores other people's take on the character.


Thrust is mentioned as being discovered, wounded, in a building. Since Spike Witwicky revealed that proto-Skywatch agents captured him in AHM 16, Prowl must be exaggerating about his death.

This issue reveals that between the two-year gap between AHM and the Ongoing, numerous Autobots have arrived on Earth, counting for the population boost in the Ongoing. Among those seen this issue are Windcharger, Seaspray and Jetfire (still in his -ions/Classics body, instead of Don’s design in the Ongoing).

Optimus Prime has dissolved the military structure of the Autobot army, because he thinks that with the defeat of the Decepticons on one planet, the war is over. Ha.

The humans rebuilt the Statue of Liberty.

This issue implies seems that Prowl broke ranks and works with the human cops after Prime speaks with Skywatch agents, presumably following the events of a later Ongoing issue.


How the hell does Prime thinks that defeating Megatron (or even killing him, as of the ongoing pretty much everyone thinks he’s dead) on one planet means that the war is over, and weary Autobots would want to rest? What about the Decepticons attacking everywhere on the galaxy? From what we’ve seen in Spotlight: Metroplex, the second story in AHM #15 and Last Stand of the Wreckers, the destruction seems to be global. With chaos all around the galaxy and with Screamer’s band of Decepticons rendezvousing with the others, why the hell does Prime suddenly turn into Beachcomber? Need I remind you that this is the same guy who doesn’t care about Earth when a possible danger comes up?

Prowl says that Megatron subjugates Earth for over a year. While it is true from a publishing standpoint, AHM doesn’t really feel like it’s taken an entire year. A couple of months at the most.

The text on Prowl’s door windows disappear and reappear randomly throughout the entire issue.

Hot Rod’s back on his Devastation/Revelations body design for the one panel in which we sees him, although by now he should’ve be in his ‘G1’ body that we see in both AHM and the Ongoing.

Drawing an outline of a corpse with chalk isn’t what the cops really do, although you see it often enough in films. In real life, it’s considered tampering with evidence.

Jetfire’s visor is miscoloured green.


Optimus Prime: “We’ve got refugees needing asylum, and we’re a centrally located world. Plus, this is a good place to reinforce.”
Prowl: “Reinforce? To what end, Prime? Decepticon resistance on this planet is nil.”
Optimus Prime: “All the better reason for weary soldiers to come here than some other combat zone.”

Optimus Prime: “Perhaps we should become something more… democratic.”

Prowl: Five billion of them. Ten thousand of us. One of me.

Prowl: “The numbers are accurate… but they’re not right. And this moment came where suddenly I couldn’t worry any more about what’s going to happen. Sometimes you just have to do the right thing anyway.”

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