THE TRANSFORMERS: COMICS, BOOKS AND MANGA
CURRENT TRANSFORMERS COMICS FROM IDW PUBLISHING
Last Stand of the Wreckers Character Profiles
Reviewed by Blackjack
It’s not that character profiles can be reviewed as such, but I just wanted to write about them and the little details in them. I know, I’m obsessed that way. But still, while the first five profiles are great bonuses that came with the original issues themselves, I do like how every trade paperback came with more and more profiles. In addition to, you know, all the bonus stories and whatnot. I do like how every single profile (other than Squadron X) is done from an in-universe perspective, and just how much world-building is done whilst still giving us insight to the characters. I’m a big fan of how the Decepticon writing Overlord’s profile tries so hard to lie to Megatron that he tried everything he could to stop Overlord... while still telling us of the basics of Overlord’s personality enough to be informative. Also a big fan of how a rather good chunk of Snare’s profile is telling us how hard it is to shock Snare with brutality. It’s certainly a great bonus that, while not essential, is a pretty awesome addition for the Wreckers story.
(This isn’t so much a review but more of a little continuity-notes thing.)
Rotorstorm’s profile originally came with issue 1, Ironfist with issue 4, while Impactor, Pyro and Guzzle came with issue 5. Snare and Overlord’s profiles are released only in the trades. Squadron X doesn’t get profiles so much as James Roberts dedicating a page talking about how they are these obscure cannon fodder dudes from the Marvel comics, and each character gets a single paragraph of Roberts telling us their IDW counterpart’s history.
- All five Wrecker profiles are psych reports done by Rung, marking his first appearance in the IDW canon. Rung is previously a fan character of James Roberts in his fan-novel Eugenesis, and would later be a prominent character in More than Meets the Eye.
- All the Wrecker profiles are also part of an ‘Autopedia’, something that’s basically a Transformers Wiki for Autobots.
- Rotorstorm’s swagger and bluster stops when Rung mentions the Simanzi Massacre – an event which we will slowly see throughout Roberts’ works. According to his history, however, Rotorstorm was rewarded a medal for rescuing other Autobots during said massacre. Hmm…
- Rotorstorm enrolled at the Iacon Aerial Academy (IAA), and we would see that he was heavily brutalized by another Autobot (implied to be Whirl under an alias) there in ‘Bullets’.
- In addition to serving in Polyhex, Rotorstorm had repelled an attack on Thunderhead Pass – the location of Thunderwing’s attack that devastated Cybertron.
- Pyro, and two percent of other Autobots, suffer from ‘primus apotheosis’, a disorder which causes people to emulate Optimus Prime in both appearance and a tendency to go on borderline suicidal deaths. Rotorstorm had briefly threw a joke Pyro’s way about how he’s been stealing Optimus Prime’s look in LSOTW #1, and he has indeed been showing signs of trying to emulate Optimus the best as he could throughout the series.
- Pyro’s faceplate is a recently new addition, and as we see during his death scene in LSOTW #5, Pyro has a mouth underneath it.
- Pyro was nearly a fatality of the Simanzi Massacre above, and was rescued by Optimus Prime there before he fell into ‘the Crucible’.
- The name of Guzzle’s favourite gun, the Judge, is first given here.
- As shown in Dead Men’s Boots and Bullets, Guzzle initially did not want to join the Wreckers.
- Guzzle alludes to the events of Spotlight: Kup which led to his friends’ death thanks to a less-than-sane Kup. His platoon, involving Sizzle, Siren and Pincher, had broken up and after that Guzzle had applied to the Wreckers. Sizzle and Siren were both present during the events of Spotlight: Kup.
- Guzzle had once survived having both legs severed from his body and having been shot in the head, the former alluding to his later survival from the wound Overlord gave him.
- Guzzle’s previous name was ‘Pneumatix’, initially had the alternate mode of a forklift truck, and worked in Yuss – Yuss was a city used by Decepticon commander Megadeath in the Marvel UK comics.
- The Body Augmentation Program, which Guzzle signed up for, would be later mentioned and expanded upon throughout More than Meets the Eye.
- Guzzle’s tank mode is a ‘Class 3 Ruination Tank’. Ruination is a possible reference to the Decepticon combiner of the same name from the Robots in Disguise cartoon. The increase of fuel consumption earning him the nickname Guzzle is taken from his original toy bio.
- The Cult of Black Epoch was mentioned by Pyro briefly in the comic.
- Despite the interviews being conducted prior to the events of LSOTW (both Pyro and Rotorstorm are listed as ‘unconfirmed, presumed active’ while Impactor is listed as being incarcerated in Garrus-9) Ironfist is listed as ‘unconfirmed, presumed deceased’… presumably a reference to how Prowl had expected him to die.
- Ironfist confirms that Topspin and Twin Twist were already members of the Wreckers during the Pova event, but are absent during that conflict because of a reason.
- Ironfist insists that Rack’n’Ruin must be referred to in the plural.
- A reference to how Don Figueroa had borrowed the design of Wreckers ship Xantium from a toy he had designed, Ironfist insists that it must have a robot mode.
- Rung initially doesn’t clear Ironfist for joining the Wreckers until ‘unsolicited advice’ caused him to clear Ironfist for the mission.
- Ironfist was injured by a Decepticon called Magma during the ‘Lava Wars’, and had served as Wheeljack’s apprentice.
- Ironfist designing Optimus Prime’s iconic laser rifle was seen in LSOTW #4, though Optimus miscredits the design to Ironfist’s rival, Skyfall. In Bullets it would be revealed that Skyfall had pulled strings to make Ironfist’s contribution be attributed to him.
- Among the things Ironfist had created (which is mentioned in Bullets) include cold phosphex (otherwise known as glass gas, Cliffjumper’s signature weapon) and Gideon’s Glue – though considering how horrible Gideon’s Glue was, Ironfist had denied his part in its creation.
- Ironfist’s work caters for all tastes from those that are freshly sparked or those that are academically minded. Among those written for kids include ‘The Wreckers’ Lightning Strike’ and ‘Wreckers at the Pole’, the title of both based on actual G1 storybooks for children.
- Impactor’s “Kiloton” nickname is mentioned… knowing what we do know from their friendship, probably derived from “Megaton”? Impactor himself mentions that Kiloton refers to the number of Decepticon he killed during the battle of Hell’s Point.
- Rung’s love of ship models is mentioned here, having a desk-mounted replica of Ark-1.
- Impactor absent-mindedly scratching (or rather, attempting to, since his harpoon was removed) the letter X on the floor is seen on LSOTW #1.
- Impactor lost his hand after an encounter with a ‘freelance peacekeeping agent’ that has been ‘ricocheting from universe to universe after leaping through an exploding time portal’. This is a rather fun reference to Death’s Head, another popular Marvel UK creation, which was last seen jumping into a time portal indeed.
- Furthermore, the Death’s Head incident was chronicled in Wreckers Declassified #151, the Wreckers at the Crossroads of Time. #151 is the issue that Death’s Head jumped through the time portal, and the Crossroads of Time is the title of the story when Dr. Who met Death’s Head following that particular incident.
- Impactor’s threat to remove Rung’s brain with his finger and thumb is a rather dark callback to Snare’s death in LSOTW #4.
- Snare’s profile is a troop dissection by Calcar, a Decepticon strategist released only in European markets at the tail-end of G1.
- The Predators, the toyline sub-group led by Skyquake and consisting of Snare and Stalker among others, is noted to be a ‘tribe’… though considering the amount of generic Predators seen amongst Skyquake and later Overlord’s forces, the ranks of the Predators are a lot more than just the six in the toyline.
- Having spent time in the Skomiloch territories, the Predators have developed camouflage technology… which is kind of a clever little way to poke fun at the Predators’ rather… exotic paint schemes. The Predators’ eyes are also green (the toys had green eyes) to navigate the planet.
- The term ‘reformat’, used first in Beast Machines and often used among the fandom for changing bodies, is used here.
- The Decepticons had wanted to solar-harvest the Skomiloch’s local sun, a reference to the Solar Harvester from the Revenge of the Fallen movie.
- There are mentions of Stalker’s penchant of torture (which, as is turned out, was partly Snare’s fault) and Skyquake’s subservience to Megatron.
- Overlord’s profile was in the form of an attempt for a Decepticon commander, Gorelock, trying to explain his actions to Megatron as he awaits execution on Decepticon Penal Colony Styx.
- Overlord’s function is a ‘Self-Contained Nomadic Assault Machine’, otherwise known as a Phase Sixer. This seems to be a less-clunky variation of his fellow Phase Sixer Sixshot’s function, ‘Solo Transformer Assault Group’.
- Overlord coming down and randomly taking over Gorelock’s forces seems to be one of the ‘whimsical displays’ that Skyquake referred to in LSOTW #1.
- Despite his defection, Overlord’s rank is still in place amongst the Decepticon hierarchy.
- One of Gorelock’s subordinates is the science officer Vivisector.
- Gorelock signs off with ‘Decepticons Forever’, which is Ravage’s respectful last words prior to his death in Beast Wars.
- Macabre is leader of Squadron X, succeeding defecting Wrecker Valve. Vale is spark brother to Springarm and Wheelarch, those two friends of Orion Pax that were killed by Whirl’s allies in “Chaos Theory”. The necklaces around Macabre’s neck are collected from high-ranking Autobots he’s killed over the years.
- Tornado is second-in-command, and Starscream had promised Tornado a place in High Command upon a planned revolution – a reference to “the Enemy Within”, a Marvel UK story where he’s discovered to be a traitor.
- Earthquake was responsible for destroying Sherma Bridge, mentioned several times throughout Roberts’ work. Earthquake somehow was exhibiting signs of primus apotheosis prior, and would have been terminated by Macabre if Pova hadn’t happened.
- Fang, in contrast to his Marvel counterpart, is mute after an encounter with Impactor on Styx. The Decepticon Penal Colony Styx first appeared in Spotlight: Hot Rod, and the Wreckers: Declassified log ‘the Wreckers’ Lightning Strike’ has already been mentioned before. Fang communicates with sign language.
- Triton is Violator’s second-in-command abroad the Fatal Consequence before being forcibly recruited into Squadron X. Both Violator and his ship were mentioned in Bullets.
- Ferak designed the Nightmare Engine, a Decepticon weapon mentioned several times throughout Bullets. He was an old friend of Wheeljack’s, and had wanted to made up. Prior to his death Ferak had wanted to quit Squadron X after they finished refueling at Pova, but the Wreckers attacked.
- Crosscut, for whatever reason, was often mistaken for a member of the Decepticon Justice Division – another mention to the group that wouldn’t make an appearance until way later in MTMTE. He and Triton are good friends after being welded together by Springer at one point.
The sentence ‘It is not to be circulated without the express permission of the Autobot Ministry’ at the end of Impactor’s profile has no full stop.