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THE TRANSFORMERS: COMICS, BOOKS AND MANGA

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

TRANSFORMERS TITLES FROM TITAN BOOKS / MAGAZINES

Titan Transformers #3 (Ratchet)
Reviewed by Inflatable Dalek

Issue Review

A somewhat lacklustre start to the first multi-part Titan story, Ratchetís story is somewhat old hat and we learn so little about the combatants it's hard to care or even know which side is the "right" one (Ratchet pretty much decides the side that's losing is, which is dodgy thinking really.)

Andrew Wildman's art has been variable across the modern Transformers comics, a trend that continues here with weak character designs and dull and bland colouring.

The very definition of inessential. It's to be hoped that the focus on the more fun Devastator in the following issue will see a return to form for the fledgling title, but this is for completists only.

Notes

This is both the first original story put out by Titan to be billed as a multi-part adventure (perhaps a sign of the comic's long term future being secured by good sales) and the first to have a title that isn't just the lead characters name.

Lost In Space was of course the title of a American 1960's science fiction TV show, the watching of which will remind you exactly how good Star Trek was for the time.

In another possible TV reference, Thraal is one extra ďAĒ away from being the name of the species sharing the planet Skaro with the Daleks in Doctor Who (which is almost enough to make you wonder if A'Ovan is a play on of Avon from Blake's 7).

Andrew Wildman here continues his achievement of being the only person who's worked for as many different companies on Transformers as Simon Furman - 7 each (counting Marvel UK/US and Panini as three separate firms), with Simon having worked for Fleetway in place of Andrews stint at Devil's Due. This is the first time his company, Wild Ideas, has been credited on a Transformers title, though they have worked on projects including the British Power Rangers comic.

Though it was unclear at the time, the Foldspace Bomb used at the end of last issue can teleport its victims great distances through space. Despite being all next to each other when it went off, Ratchet, Ironhide, Jazz, and Devastator have all ended up in different places. It also clarifies that last issue's action occurred on Cybertron's second moon rather than the planet itself.

One request from Hasbro was that the colour schemes for the Transformers alt modes be more muted than their Earth modes - this comes into play here despite it causing a slight continuity error with the last issue (see Goofs). We learn that when a Transformer scans an alt-mode, they can also download any information on computers contained therein. Ratchet also gets to use the spinning blade things in his arms.

This is the first issue where the cover star, in this case Bumblebee, isn't the focus of the original comic strip. This may well be at least partly due to Ratchet looking nothing like he did in the film or in the strip.

Goofs

Last issue Ratchet was green as he is in the Movie, rather than the off white here. His head design is also different (the whole look is reminiscent of the Micromaster Big Shot.) This can't just be down to changes brought by the new alt-mode, as he looks different before scanning the military vehicle. Itís even odder when Ratchet remembers Ironhide and Jazz, they look slightly different from last issue and Jazz is brown instead of silver.

Megatron had Devastator attack the Autobots with a bomb that doesn't kill/damage them, but just moves them about a bit? That's awfully kind of him. Unless his cunning plan is to force the Autobot's to increase their carbon footprints when getting home, thus causing evil climate change, it's hard to see how much use it is as a weapon. As a means of traveling great distances in order to search for the All-Spark however...

Fantastic Free Gift!

In a cunning attempt to make people buy two copies of the issue (or more likely rob off two in Smith's) it comes with a choice of two key rings based on the Autobot or Decepticon logos.

Extras

- Profile on Ratchet
- Ironhide Vs. Starscream Smackdown (by Furman)
- A competition to win some DK published Transformer books (which seems to think Punish and Enslave is the Decepticon's motto rather than just Barricade's little joke)
- A Bumblebee poster based on the cover
- The Top Gear section covers the Soundtrack, the Megatron toy, and the Blaster (with competitions to win all) and a "review" of the Movie game
- Mech Mail

 
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