CURRENT TRANSFORMERS COMICS FROM IDW PUBLISHING
Transformers Tales of the Fallen #3: Jetfire
Reviewed by Blackjack
"You speak as if the dynasty has turned against our planet."
The Jetfire issue and the Fallen issue are supposed to take place alongside each other. However, this does raise lots and lots of problems. While this is not as bad as the next issue (which blatantly rewrites the events which happened in ROTF) it is still superfluous. The art is bad. While Mowry has achieved consistency in faces and shading/detailing, the colourist insist colouring everyone brownish-grey. And I do mean everyone... Jetfire, all four Constructicons, Fallen, the Primes, the backgrounds... Considering there are about four to five pages of wordless action, the colouring does not do the art justice.
That aside, this issue tries to repair the continuity problems that have arisen, not introduce more (like what Furman would do next issue). For one, this issue re-establishes that there are only seven Primes. Fallen (I'm calling him that now instead of adding a 'the' in front of it every time. Makes more sense) created the Decepticon faction during his time, and revived with Megatron on a larger scale it in Defiance
. And the scarophagus thing gets explained a little. It's what I like about Mowry--he fixes his own mess. Fallen manipulating Jetfire to do his dirty work and lying to him is well-played, nicely leading to Jetfire's contempt of the fiery guy. However, the dialogue isn't too spectacular, and the time-frame seems a little forced. While it conflicts a lot with what's seen in the movie, especially regarding who went to Earth and what the hell is Fallen doing on the planet, it could be attributed to Jetfire mis-remembering things in the movie. (Of course, the real-world reason is that the plot lines for Tales of the Fallen and Nefarious have apparently been based on the early draft for the film, so...) The Constructicons are dull, though. It does resolve the whole 'why is Scrapper in Egypt although he was dead?' thing. The Constructicons seem to be generic bodyforms like Seekers. Anyway, I like how Jetfire's just a conflicted guy caught in the middle of everything. While it's a little shallow on characterization, this is all in all a serviceable, if not overtly interesting, issue. Characterization is a little shallow, and it's completely skippable.
This is the first time where it's revealed that Fallen planned to kill his brother Primes in advance.
Like all comic portrayals of him, Fallen doesn't have a mouth like the movie design, instead having a facaeplate. Jetfire's mustache is shorter, and he lacks a mouth as well. Fun with early character models, kids!
The Constructicons are referred to by Jetfire and Fallen as 'Drones'. Since the concept of drones have been seen in the movieverse (Dreadwing was a drone who developed personality, according to Mowry's bio for the guy), it's safe to assume that the multiple Scrappers we saw in ROTF are similar to this. That aside, we see Cybertronian modes for the six major Constructicons, but only four (plus Overload) get killed by Jetfire. The same four models which revived Megatron. It can be assumed that the two sets of Constructicons we see in the film proper are guys with the same bodyform, or similarly built drones. Or drones who developed personality. Or their children. Or clones. Hell, you chose your own personal canon with the Cosntructicons. I give up.
A Constructicon seemingly a cross between the Overload and Scrapper designs is the first to be kiled by Jetfire.
The 'Rampage' uses the centaur design of the toy, although the hind two legs never touch the ground.
The Constructicons/Constructicon ancestors are all gray/brown.
The Dynasty seems to be a little lax, not punishing Fallen for destroying a world with life. Also, they live in their own personal sacrophagi. There are only seven Primes now, including Fallen.
Jetfire might've witnessed the battle between Fallen and the Dynasty (and perhaps their troops as well?) that he showed our heroes in the movie after finishing off 'Mixmaster'. Presumably Jetfire runs out of energon shortly after he scans the Blackbird, leaving him in stasis until ROTF.
Jetfire is sent to Earth to lead the Constructicons in making the Solar Harvester. In the film, the Primes
were the ones making the Solar Harvester, while Jetfire was sent to look for the Matrix and fell asleep due to lack of Energon. Also, if the events of this issue is taken literally, he couldn't have known about the Dynasty's battle against the Fallen, since he didn't see any of it. Of course, if one was to try and force this into the continuity, we might say that Jetfire, in his old age, forgot about his first mission (or simply too ashamed to tell it to Sam) and he mis-remembered his battle with the four Constructicons as a massive epic war. But that's retcon, and it's not what we do here. Of course, Jetfire might've watched the war between the Dynasty and Fallen from a distance, so...
All throughout the issue, Fallen is drawn with three or four fingers (or misshapen lumps for hands, thanks to Magno's ugly art) instead of the eight-per-hand we see in the movie.
Scavenger (or a drone similar to him) and Hightower are briefly glimpsed in alternate modes on the building of the Solar Harvester, and Scavenger's alt-mode is pretty prominent when Fallen teleports them away. But only the quartet plus Overload are seen in the battle.
Rampage and Mixmaster should be much, much smaller than Jetfire if we consider their alternate modes, while Scrapper shouldn't tower over Jetfire. But since these aren't
the Constructicons we know...
Instead of having all seven Primes on Earth, only Fallen and his troops are there. Apparently, this is based on an early script draft.
The Solar Harvester is much, much smaller that what it is in the film, approximately only twice as large as Jetfire.
Jetfire's Decepticon insignia is the triangle-eyed G1 version, instead of the four-edged Movieverse version. It's badly photoshopped into the gritty and scratchy Magnos art, too.
How does a group of soldiers think finding a brand-new Blackbird in the middle of nowhere would replace the one they just blew up? They dismantle Blackbirds in hangars for maintenance, no?
Not-Fallen: "Simply a word. But one suited for my group. We are the future, Jetfire. Confident. Strong. Defiant. It is my vision. And it is your choice. Won't you join us?"
Fallen: "Such a powerful intellect buried within such a fragile shell. Pity they won't have long to live on this planet."
Fallen: "On this planet, the Dynasty shall fall. I have prepared for this. Their only chance is to fight me on this planet, or remain in limbo for eternity. Either way, I win."
Jetfire: "Not if I stop you, you don't."
Fallen: "You... a mere Seeker? I am a Prime!" (blasts Jetfire) "And you are nothing!"
'Mixmaster': "You die. Crush you."
Jetfire: "Y-you..." -teleports into orbit- "...First."