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THE TRANSFORMERS: COMICS, BOOKS AND MANGA

IDW Publishing
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CURRENT TRANSFORMERS COMICS FROM IDW PUBLISHING

Spotlight: Ramjet
Reviewed by Inflatable Dalek

Issue Review

Yo Yo, R.J. Whassup?

A new comic by the writer of what is officially the worst Transformers comic of all time wasn't very appealing, nor was the idea of it focusing on a character introduced in that. Thankfully Moore redeems himself with a fun romp that, unlike his previous work, actually stays on the right side of that narrow line between "Silly fun" and "Silly crap".

The character of Ramjet shows what IDW can do so well, taking a non-entity in the original cartoon and comics (I mean, how long did Bob spend coming up with his character? "Lets see, Ramjet, Ramjet... He can be a jet that rams things. Next!"), and makes something unique and distinctive out of them. You don't think for a second any of his plans will work, but his complete self delusion is wonderful.

The comic also gives Megatron some of the dignity that he's lost back. The fact he simply kills Ramjet with no fuss or bother overcomes a lot of the stupidity he's shown over recent comics. Though perhaps worryingly the best writing he's had for a while includes no dialogue for him out of the Escalation side steps.

Robby Musso does a great job on the art chores, creating big bold and cartoony art that perfectly suits the story. And the Mini Constructicons are just too cute.

Whilst utterly throwaway, Ramjet still manages to be more entertaining than the last two "serious" arc driven Spotlights and has Moore show he can do good stuff. It almost makes you want to see what Eric Holmes could do with another chance. Almost.

Notes

Ramjet came to Earth by the same authors of the New Avengers/Transformers crossover. Somewhat thankfully, due to it not fitting in with the main canon very well, there is no reference to that here beyond Skywarp commentating on Ramjet having recently annoyed Megatron.

Ramjet's design is based near enough exactly upon his Classics toy. This makes him the first IDW Seeker to have an alt-mode based upon an F-15, as were the original toys. It's actually rather in keeping with his character here that he's chosen an out of date vehicle that doesn't blend in so well.

Skywarp seems to have picked up some Terran expressions as he describes Ramjet's plans as "Crap"- the first instance of real world swearing in a Transformers comic.

Events here take place concurrently with the attack on Braysna as seen in Escalation. Optimus Prime and Koska appear in sideways glances at those events.

The Decepticons must have files on the Autobot’s human allies that Ramjet has seen in order to be able to know what Hunter, Verity, and Jimmy look like so he can include them in his vision of the future. One of the other zombie's is based upon Sparkplug from the original cartoon - the person next to him may suppose to be Spike, but the resemblance isn't so strong there.

The Mini Constructicons appear to be drones built by Ramjet. They’ve taken on Earth speech patterns from radio broadcasts and are in the same colour scheme as the full size Constructicons. In Ramjet's fantasy, the Micro Constructicons are exactly the same but much, much smaller.

Harrison, the facsimile Ramjet has within the Pentagon, is made from an inferior process to that normally used. Not only is he very slow and in possession of a limited vocabulary, but his life expectancy is much shorter as well. As he dies his face melts as if made from plastic.

Whilst the rest of his plan is barking, the universal Cybertronic Tracker does appear to work, and Megatron ends the issue in possession of it. [Yeah, but we don't see it do anything other than find Megatron, who's right behind Ramjet. Hardly proven technology. -Ed]

Goofs

Why does Skywarp feel the need to remind Ramjet "Always bet on the leader" is a Cybertronian saying? Shouldn't he know that? It’d be like one Englishman saying to another "Remember the old English saying 'Nowt as queer as folk'?".

Presumably Harrison is based on a real person, and the facsimile has been leading his life whilst impersonating him. Do none of his co-workers, friends, family, or neighbours notice he's become a complete dribbling fool? How does he manage to do his job properly? Is it just that everyone working in the Pentagon is that dim anyway?

You'd assume that in order to work at the world's leading energy research centre you'd have to be a smart cookie. Yet none of the staff express any surprise at a military jet dropping fliers for a competition on them. They then all keep the bits of paper as told even though there's no information on how the competition works, who's running it, nor even how to get in contact with them. Perhaps these the same people that phone into late night ITV quiz shows...

As he walks away to die, Harrison's name badge is blank.

In his vision of the future, Ramjet sees Soundwave in his Earthmode as one of his followers. How does he know Soundwave is on Earth, still alive and with a cassette based alt? On the same page the word Decepticons is missing from the first speech panel.

Quote/Unquote

Skywarp: You know what Ramjet? That's the biggest bunch of crap I've ever heard.

Ramjet: [On the Mini Constructicons] It was a mistake to equip you with satellite radio receivers. You've been tainted by this planets foul culture.

Ramjet: Megatron, Megatron. Do you sense the solar winds turning against you yet? Can you feel the noose tightening around your neck?

Ramjet: Once I have activated the tracker all will be revealed. Starting with the location of Megatron- *Megatron hits him* UHHHH!

Mini Constructicon: [Surveying Ramjet's remains] Harsh.

 
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