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THE TRANSFORMERS: COMICS, BOOKS AND MANGA

IDW Publishing
(2005-now)
Devil's Due
(2003-2007)
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(2002-2004)
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(2001-now)
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CURRENT TRANSFORMERS COMICS FROM IDW PUBLISHING

Transformers Tales of the Fallen #5: Ravage
Reviewed by Blackjack

Issue Review

Who dares disturb your remains?
A surprisingly nice read from what I expected to be a boring retcon, although it does take too much space. Has anyone noticed that Ravage is Furman's second-favourite character next to Grimlock? Budiasky throws Ravage into a mine to get him out of the way for new toys. Furman revives him in Time Wars (and later Marvel US). Beast Wars killed off Ravage. Furman revives Ravage for his Beast Wars story. ROTF killed off Ravage... are you sensing a pattern? In any case, though, this issue is not a mess like the last two issues. Milne's art does not disappoint as much as what he did in Reign of Starscream, although there are some awkwardly drawn moments like where Ravage stands on two legs. However, the lack of dialogue means that Ravage doesn't have much characterization given to him. Although considering how he acts in the movie, this might be a sign of Furman respecting Ravage's movie interpretation, unlike what he did with Fallen. In fact, the dialogue-less issue makes it work better than the exposition-laden but ultimately meaningless issue for Fallen. Milne's busy art also fits the movie aesthetic better than Carlos Magno's messy art, in my opinion. Sure, he can't draw G1 transformers and sometimes his action scenes is clunky (for example, that scene where Ravage stands on two legs), but it works for the movieverse.

Ravage's revival is no doubt the work of the mysterious human organization slated to come out in the upcoming Nefarious mini-series, but it's not make clear here. In fact, from Milne's art, it seemed like other Decepticons have done it. Look at the panel where Ravage wakes up- there's those hatchling egg things on the background, no? But without the cliched human organization background, it's rather nice to read. However, the action scenes do get dull after some time. But I'm a little worried with Furman randomly killing off Decepticons not shown to be killed in the movie, like Reedman here. Didn't he learn from Scorponok when he wrote that little strip with Titan? See how it looks stupid when Scorponok reappears in the second movie? Oh, and Obama's inclusion is a surprising and impressive little easter egg. It does feel too long and superfluous, though, despite my praise for it. Best seen if you get the whole thing as a TPB, or browsed in the comic shop. As a story, it delivers.



Notes

Ravage's death is a very late change to the movie, according to IDW. And by the time the movie came out, the scripts for Tales of the Fallen and Nefarious had been finalized with Ravage as a key player (which might account for last two issues. Almost.) so a quick retcon was necessary, hence this issue.

This issue used nearly no dialogue save for Soundwave's single line, and the human agents. The 'Quote, Unquote' section is the sum of all the dialogue in this episode, barring the dull human military people.

Rampage is red as he was in the movie, so the yellow Rampage in the movie adaptation might be retconned.

One of the jeeps is based on G1 Hound.

Ravage displays his ability to swim underwater. Originally in the film, he was set to do this before infiltrating the NEST base in Diego Garcia, complete with a transformation into a fish-like Protoform (rough animation of this scene was included in the DVD) but it was apparently dropped.

The Appliancebots' bodies (Ejector, the blender, the vacuum cleaner and all those guys) are revealed to have been stored by NEST. Ravage took them.

Reedman (the combined form of the Microcons/Marblebots) are frozen by NEST agents and presumably killed. Although, like Scorpopnok's 'death' in Titan comics, if Michael Bay decides to re-use Reedman in the third movie, it'll take some retconning...

Barack Obama makes his first fictional appearance in Transformer canon, although he is seen from the back. If you don't know who Barack Obama is, well, that's just sad.



Goofs

Bumblebee's battle mask should be partially destroyed in the flashback.

Why are the Appliancebots neatly folded in their alternate modes despite being blown to shit by Bumblebee in the movie?

The Microcons' combination is a little oddly drawn compared to the one in the movie.

On the first frame in page 20, the satellite is orbitting Earth without anyone on him. On the second frame, it's the shot of the same satellite, but with Soundwave already latched onto it like he was in the movie.



Quote/Unquote

Ravage: (monologue) "Death. Pain. Life? Master? New target. Searching... target located. AllSpark energy signature detected. Escape. New objective... escape. Deliver to new master... New master? Soundwave? Sit. Wait. Sit. Wait. Wait for new mission..."

Soundwave: "Ravage? Operational? Who dares disturb your remains?"

 
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