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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 Universe #23
Reviewed by Inflatable Dalek

Review: Revolution Part 1

The closing stages of the alternate Universe arc starts with a lot of promise. There’s not a huge amount of action but there is a building sense of foreboding and some nice character moments, Bumblebee and Mikaela trying not to talk about Sam, Seward’s reluctance and Optimus playing his cards close to his chest are all well done introspective bits. As is Starscream going almost giddy with glee as his plan starts to come together.

Whilst the plot machinations to get the Autobots on the shuttle are flawed, at least Prime goes on with a plan (unlike in the cartoon episode that inspired this) and whilst you don’t believe for a second the Autobots are dead, how they’ll get out of it is a interesting enough mystery and Mikaela’s reaction is genuine enough to be moving.

Throw in some excellent work from Lee Bradley and we have a top-notch installment.

Review: DiveBOMB

The Animated comics that made it into that title were, for the most part, fairly dull and unrepresentative of the TV show. It’s ironic therefore that the first strip post cancellation is where they found their feet. The Afterburner arc is still dull and obvious (and worse confusing for readers who haven’t followed the sister comic), but the entire business with Swoop is wonderful, sweet, funny and just a little daft. Exactly like the TV show.

Notes

The main strip in this issue kicks off a three-part story that will wrap up the alternate Universe story arc in time for the arrival of the sequel film in the UK.

The idea of the Decepticons tricking the Earth authorities into getting the Autobots off Earth before blowing up their ship is taken from the stunningly bad original cartoon story Megatron’s Master Plan. It’s also a minor subplot in the little seen film Revenge of the Fallen (not the first time Furman has sneakily used ideas from an upcoming film, the “truck crashes into Optimus Prime” bit from the first movie was pre-empted in Escalation).

The tank Decepticon is called his toy name of Brawl on the cover despite the film name of Devastator being used in the characters previous appearances. This change was likely mandated by a different Devastator featuring in Revenge of the Fallen. Despite the fact this is an alternate Universe where the character could well have a different name, I’m sticking with the previous moniker as the character isn’t referred to by name in the strip itself. Incidentally, despite his presence being promoted by the cover, Mr. Tank is only in one page.

Wreckage has bumper stickers saying “wreck” and “rule”, a nod to the motto of the Wreckers from the Marvel comics.

Dropkick is nearly run off the road by another of those trucks that looks just like G1 Optimus Prime. Perhaps it’s the same unlucky truck every time?

The Shuttle the Autobots board is basically the Ark.

When Titan’s Animated comic was cancelled three strips were in various stages of development, starting here they find a home in the Universe title. This means the comic has a full 22 pages of crotch throbbing UK originated comic material. The Animated section is presented as a pull out with its own cover (which was originally to be the cover to issue 4 of the Animated comic) and puzzles that were presumably left over as well. The cover image on the “Next Issue” page of #22 made no mention of the Animated content suggesting it was a late in the day decision.

The title, DiveBOMB is a nod to Swoop’s original name in the Marvel UK comics. General Macadam takes his name from a pub in the same continuity.

Swoop and Snarl’s ability to speak has come and gone randomly across Titan’s strips. Here it’s presented in a way akin to Morn on Deep Space Nine, Grimlock keeps referring to them as chatterboxes but they never get a word in.

Afterburner is specifically called Sparkless, no doubt so kids won’t worry at a proper character being killed.

The comics average circulation for the period July-December 2008: 24617. Though still impressive by IDW standards, they’ve lost half their readers since the title launched. However, we’re only three months away from a certain film being released that may well give them a boost…


Goofs

Optimus knows Allen is under mind control, he has the means to break it and Seward is sympathetic to the Autobots. How hard would it be to explain the situation, give Seward the cerebro circuit-destroying machine and ask him to test it?

President Allen himself now looks exactly like John Voight.

Afterburner is calling Megatron on a hologram phone thing, only for it to turn out the Decepticon standing right outside the building. How did he get that close without anyone noticing?

The Cybertronian Residency Exam is a bit muddled continuity wise and makes some odd errors, including claiming Metroplex is on Cybertron.

They’re reprinting Megatron: Origin.

Fantastic Free Gift!

A film related pen and sticker set and an Animated sticker roll thing (likely left over from the cancelled comic).

Extras

Cybertronian Residency Exam, the wet dream of the BNP for tests your knowledge of life on the planet (with some errors);
Trans-Doku, picture-based version of the game with Animated Prowl;
Competitions for a Nintendo Wii (and Sonic game) and Transformer bed sheets;
Way Past Cool;
Profile for Beast Wars Magmatron;
Top Gearcovers The Tales of Despereaux and a couple of Nintendo DS games (some sort of sponsorship deal with Nintendo this month?) with competitions;
Artobots Assemble! drawing page, with a caption competition for Starscream and Megatron on the back;
Starscreams has a 17 year old send in a pic of his 240 toys, something to aim for there kids. Also includes the baffling Arcee’s Soulmates.

 
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