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THE TRANSFORMERS: COMICS, BOOKS AND MANGA

IDW Publishing
(2005-now)
Devil's Due
(2003-2007)
Dreamwave
(2002-2004)
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(2001-now)
Titan Books
(2001-now)
Marvel Comics
(1984-1994)
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Other Books
and Titles

CURRENT TRANSFORMERS COMICS FROM IDW PUBLISHING

Transformers Last Stand of the Wreckers #2

Reviewed by Blackjack

Issue Review

You can’t beat ‘Wreck ‘n’ Rule.’ Pure poetry.

More gold. The Wreckers planning, the flashback sequences and the action sequences are endearing. Ironfist, Rotorstorm, Impactor, Kup and Magnus each have wonderful moments in this issue. Ironfist’s fanboyishness is well potrayed, Rotorstorm’s cocky fašade is so well scripted, and Kup describing Overlord’s motivations is a golden scene. It’s nice to see a villain who only wants to kill and see people suffer just for the hell of it. None of the overcomplicated bad guys we see in most of IDW’s past output. And he’s a wonderful ham. Dialogue is amazing that I think the 'Quote Unquote' section is too much. Frankly, it’s amazing that Roche and Roberts are able to fit in so much characterization in just twenty-or-so pages. The amount of dialogue is just right. It isn’t superfluous (Bumblebee) nor is it too little (AHM). The art is not as spectacular as the first issue, but it’s still damned good. It’s just that all the Decepticon jets are coloured in Predator colours, so Falcon or Skydive or Afterburner or one of the obscure late-G1/G2 ‘Cons could’ve made an appearance and we wouldn’t know it.

That aside, we get a wonderful three-dimensional character in Snare. Considering he appeared for all of five frames this issue and did not have any dialogue (let alone named) last issue, it’s a feat. And here I was, complaining that the ‘Cons didn’t get any love. Impactor being a proper character instead of a plot device also helps. Impactor and Springer’s friction is well-scripted, and Magnus turning a blind eye to the Wreckers massacring Decepticons is so true to the established character. Pyro and Guzzle, like last issue, get sidelined a little here, which might be a sign of possible death. Guzzle is apparently a simple hardcase guy, though. “Kill Overlord!” he cries, when the others are all ready to piss in their pants. It’s nice to see that even the other Wreckers (bar Springer and Guzzle) are all scared to shit of Overlord. You know, their reactions are nearly identical to those of Skyquake’s men last issue, and I like it.

Perceptor and the Jumpstarters don’t get much dialogue, but it’s nice to see the writers respecting continuity enough to keep Perceptor’s ‘crazed macho sniper’ character active. Looks like the Jumpstarters have some sort of mind link, according to their dialogue. This shall prove interesting, if a little cliched… the only problem here is Verity, then. While last issue she’s just like a sarcastic helper, this issue she’s treading dangerously on possibly ruining the story. Still, the action around her means that it’s easily overlooked. The rest of the characters are so wonderfully done at this point that it would actually be a shame to see any one of them die. In the previous IDW comics, you could kill Sludge or Tracks or Roadbuster or Arcee or Sideswipe and I wouldn’t care. But now? They did a great job at making the audience love this. There are lots of references to satisfy fanboys, but unlike Dreamwave, they are incorporated into the story that they actually make sense. And the mysterious ‘Aequitas’… what could it be? Sounds like a Quintesson name, but couldn’t be sure. The Magnificience? Grimlock? A new character? A plot device? Prowl’s long lost lover? The plot thickens.



Notes

The flashback sequence seems pretty early in the war, as Kup’s still a young soldier and Megatron has just completed designing his Infiltration protocol. Sixshot is very cheery here, like his portrayal in Spotlight: Metroplex (and when he chases Ratchet in Devastation). It’s a better portrayal than a brooding guy, in my opinion

For those who don’t know who he is, Black Shadow is a Japanese-exclusive release of Thunderwing during the Victory toyline with a new paintjob and a new shell.

Pyro’s attempts at composing a motto (his original bio's motto is 'Think of the most awful, unspeakable menace you can - and then double it. That's what we're up against'. It's... awful) are all variations of Optimus Prime’s motto, ‘Freedom is the right of all sentient beings’. It’s another joke about his resemblance to Optimus Prime. Also, he references ‘Prime’s fivefold maneuver’, meaning he might be an actual Prime fanboy.

Ironfist mentions the Chomskian race when telling the other Wreckers about the cover story for Impactor being in prison. According to the writers, this is a reference to Noam Chomsky, a linguist and political activist responsible for developing a propaganda model that seeks to explain how consent for policies is manufactured in the public's mind, kind of that Ironfist is doing for the Wreckers with his datalogs.

Ironfist really loves the old Marvel series. During his fanboy gushing, he name-drops Emirate Xaaron (Autobot leader in Cybertron of the G1 comics), the Sonic Canyons (Siren’s home) and the Sky Sleds (seen in US #75). He also refers to and old Wreckers mission called ‘Operation: Volcano’, the same mission the Wreckers carried out in ‘Target 2006’ of Marvel UK, the Wreckers’ first appearance. According to Ironfist, the mission is coded 078/088, the issue numbers that the storyline ran through. And it all still sounds like proper dialogue.

Ultra Magnus is not with the Wreckers (unlike his portrayal in Dreamwave’s War and Peace comics). He’s just giving them a ride, and then pretend he never saw them massacre Decepticons. He’ll next be seen in Ongoing #2, complete with a new shuttle (and a new alternate mode), after being called by Prowl to investigate Ironhide’s death.

Rotorstorm acts true to his ‘super skilled’ bio that his original tech specs potray him as, but Roche and Roberts add a depth to it, by making it all a fašade.

A picture of Verity, Hunter and Jimmy in their Infiltration clothes is seen in Verity’s table, as well as a Decepticon insignia (presumably Verity lifted it from the Nebraska bunker waaay back in Infiltration). She now wears an exo-suit, parts of which we’ve seen this issue and last issue (the arm gauntlets last issue, and the wheel boots this issue).

Topspin and Twin Twist talk about ‘vicarious perception’. It’s a real concept, referring to someone else perceiving your exertion and discomfort. Might be a sneaky dig to Rack’n’Ruin of the Marvel comics…

As the Wreckers leave Magnus’ ship, he says ‘May your wires never cross and your luster never dull’, the same dialogue that Prime says during the Rite of the Autobrand in Marvel #13.

The Predator-esque Decepticon jets could be anyone, really. One of the green guys could be Falcon, the pink ones might be Skydive and so on. But since we don’t see them in robot mode it’s hard to tell. I'll assume they are generic people for the Wreckers to kill.

Goofs

On page two, nearly everyone bar Kup and Overlord is block-coloured gray. Of course, they are generics, but compared to the colourful generics seen everywhere else in this issue, it’s a little jarring.

Overlord and Sixshot are shorter than Megatron when they should be taller. Overlord should be way larger (he towers over Kup and everyone else), while we saw Sixshot being the same height with Megs in Devastation. It could be an effect of the holoprojector, though.

Black Shadow is wearing his toy’s Pretender armour when Pretender armours are supposed to drive people crazy. Of course, it might not be his Pretender armour…

On page 15, Overlord seems to have slimmed down… it might be for dramatic effect, but he looks a little different than his blockier design in the earlier pages.

Quote/Unquote

(again, most of the lines are perfect. Just buy the damn thing.)

Pyro: “Freedom of thought, freedom of action, freedom… to be.”
Ironfist: “No. Too pompous.”
Pyro: “Sentience is the guarantor of autonomy.”
Ironfist: “Pyro, I don’t even know what that means.”

Impactor: “Why should I trust you? You’re a Decepticon called Snare.”

Ultra Magnus: “Look, it’s easier for me to turn a blind eye to the Wreckers’ methods when I’m not in the same bloodbath as you guys.”

Ultra Magnus: “For the last three years, G-9 has been ruled by Overlord.”
Guzzle: “Overlord?”
Topspin: “Dammn…”
Twin Twist: “Oh, slag.”
Pyro: “This is not happening. This is not happening.”

Springer: “Our second objective is-”
Guzzle: (punches fist in the air) “Kill Overlord!”
Springer: “Thank you, Guzzle, for reminding me why I recruited you. But no, the second objective is to find Aequitas.”

Kup: “Only Rotorstorm’s got what it takes to hit a weak spot on a lattice forcefield. He’s got one of the pods under control. Who’s got the other?”
Rotorstorm: “Me again, old man. Remote control. And yes, I am that good.”
Springer: “So that’s the plan, Wreckers. What could possibly go right?”

Rotorstorm: “Fly two ships at once? Hit two tiny targets simultaneously? Of course I can, Springer… shall I single-handedly liberate G-9 while I’m at it?” -beat- “You’re more of a wannabe than Ironfist, Rotorstorm. Pathetic.”

Perceptor: “Hold my legs, Topspin… I feel the urge to shoot someone.”

 
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