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Denyer
2006-11-26, 04:28 PM
Waiting for final confirmation, but this should be out on Wednesday.

Preview pages here:

http://tfarchive.com/comics/idw/previews.php?dgallery=browse&page=escalation

Commander Shockwav
2006-11-30, 01:57 AM
Read it. Liked it.

Strong start, both storywise and from E.J. His rendition of Optimus has to be one of the best to date. Nice to see Simon continue with the bold moves of either removing major players like Starscream, Cybertron, Thunderwing, etc. from the picture for a while, or killing them off altogether.

My main complaint, though, is that the blurbs and previews of variant covers that came out before this issues release allowed the plot here to be too easily deciphered and took a lot out of the shock value out of the story. It was already pretty much determined across the TF boards that Hunter and Sunstreaker were going to buy the farm, based on the soliciations for future issues, and on Klaus' cover with Verity crying over a yellow metal Sunstreaker plate with Jimmy Pink looking on.

Seriously, reconsider how future solicitations are worded and make sure that nothing crucial to an issue is so easily garnered from the frothy-mouthed rabid TF fans that we are.

I know, I know, you could say "Well why the #### are you reading solicitations?", but I don't. It's just nigh impossible to escape these spoilers when you surf the many TF boards for discussion.

Anyway, strong work guys, and a good start to Escalation. A solid "B+" issue. By issues end, I was eagerly wanting more. Can't believe its another months wait (and the TF Movie comic doesn't really do a good job of tiding me over).

Clogs
2006-12-01, 05:57 PM
Solid paced, interesting conversations, art fine by me. You can really see the links starting to come together, just as with Stormbringer. Got myself two copies of the Sunstreaker cover - one coloured, one B&W - I liked it so much, and that's very rare for me.

OK, no surprises about Sunstreaker, but it still hurt to see the egotistic pretty-boy go down.

inflatable dalek
2006-12-02, 03:51 PM
Originally posted by Commander Shockwav
[B] It was already pretty much determined across the TF boards that Hunter and Sunstreaker were going to buy the farm[B]

I don't believe for a second Hunter is dead- Furman's pulled this cliffhanger before. Anyone remember the Energon issue which ended with Alexis seemingly geting blown up in a car only for it to turn out she'd not only hoped out seconds before but had managed to outrun a massive explosion? And as for Sunstreaker, Transformers have surrvived far worse.

Not as good as the Spotlights (it's allmost as if we have two Simon Furmans...) but a nice enough scene setter. the main worry is that human authorities attacking the good Transformers is very old. All the interesting stuff was with the Decepticons this issue.

Halfshell
2006-12-02, 04:59 PM
That was okay. The ending was blatantly signposted from the cover (either variant). And there'll doubtless be some pseudo-sad gubbins with the computer game at a later juncture. Doyle's hero video it ain't.

Does it count as an homage to the original Marvel comics if Sunstreaker gets properly written out after only this many issues?

Nice (presumed) Ultra Magnus cameo.

inflatable dalek
2006-12-02, 05:03 PM
Oh, and though I didn't see it there's apparently a large visual clue as to the means of Sunstreakers survival in one frame...


Am I the only one hoping Prime plays that computer game and blows himself up when he looses?

chiasaur11
2006-12-02, 05:06 PM
Yes you are. I hope he blows himself up when he wins!

inflatable dalek
2006-12-05, 10:36 AM
More seriously though... Why would they want to play on a Sunstrekaer Vs. Battlechangers computer game even if the Autobots could knock one together that quickly? They were nearly killed in a situation very like that just a few days earlier! Would a July 7th Surrvivor be playing on a PS2 game called TUBE BOMBER! on July 9th? It's Dreamwave Spike and his poorly thought out giant robot T-Shirt all over again.





On the ohter hand: I must have been a bity grouchy on the first read through because it was a lot more entertaining second time round. I recognised Ultra Magnus, Springer and Jetfire, but who was the fourth Autobot on the conference call? I should know but can't place the face...

Oh, and not only do the Machination seem to be carrying a exact duplicate of Sunstreakers car mode about in one of their trucks (I'd assume there was a Ironhide one in there as well, just off camera), but the car that they do blow up is missing the little EMP missile thing that had been shot into the real Sunny's door a few panels earlier. Hmmmm....

Halfshell
2006-12-05, 10:54 AM
TEH FAKE DEATH UND KIDNAPPING ZOMG

inflatable dalek
2006-12-05, 10:57 AM
Of course, it could just be that of the the vehicles in the truck just happened to have a front bumper a bit like Sunstreaker, and that the EMP thing fell off...


*Attempts to add tension back to procedings*.

optimusskids
2006-12-05, 12:52 PM
i think the other face is Silverbolt's

Commander Shockwav
2006-12-06, 03:09 AM
It is Silverbolt. Confirmed by E.J. Su.

Sociopathic Autobot
2006-12-06, 05:40 AM
why is it my favorites always die first?!

inflatable dalek
2006-12-06, 04:49 PM
Originally posted by Sociopathic Autobot
why is it my favorites always die first?!

But it's allmost certain he's not dead! Unless you're talking about one of the humans killed in the big car crash...

Halfshell
2006-12-06, 04:51 PM
Originally posted by Sociopathic Autobot
why is it my favorites always die first?!

Because you suck and the universe hates you?

Sociopathic Autobot
2006-12-06, 05:08 PM
Originally posted by Brendocon
Because you suck and the universe hates you?

Well, I guess that would justify a change to emo then?

inflatable dalek
2006-12-06, 05:30 PM
Originally posted by Brendocon
Because you suck and the universe hates you?

But as no one is actually dead, does that not mean the Universe infact loves him, and it is indeed you that sucks?

Nevermore
2006-12-07, 08:23 PM
Does anyone remember anything about Ryall saying something with regard to Verity keeping the "runaway teen" look from Infiltration for the time being?

And yet, page 5 clearly has her drawn "hotter" than back in Infiltration.

Egads... Liked it. Think I've grown to like Su's style. Prime and Megs looked cool. Pacing was good as well.

inflatable dalek
2006-12-08, 03:06 PM
Originally posted by Nevermore
Does anyone remember anything about Ryall saying something with regard to Verity keeping the "runaway teen" look from Infiltration for the time being?

And yet, page 5 clearly has her drawn "hotter" than back in Infiltration.

As well as desigining PS2 games the Autobots also do boob jobs.

Denyer
2006-12-19, 02:22 AM
Should be out on Wednesday 20th December.

Preview pages here:

http://tfarchive.com/comics/idw/previews.php?dgallery=browse&page=escalation

Zombie Dave
2006-12-20, 04:14 PM
Liked this one.

Commander Shockwav
2006-12-21, 01:07 AM
Solid read, mostly positive with some negatives.

The positives? I think Simon is doing a good job with character focus, not throwing in too many characters at once. In Infiltration we got Ratchet, Bumblebee, and Prowl, last issue we got Ironhide and Sunstreaker, and this issue we get Wheeljack and Jazz. So its a nice balance and a good way to develop individual characters in this continuity.

Other positives? How bout Prime putting his foot down. Literally. I mean, when if ever have we seen Optimus do something like this? Not in prior comics, not in the cartoon. I like this Prime more and more.

The negatives? Well, there aren't too many, but I will say that Simon needs to watch the overall pace of the story carefully. Infiltration suffered from a slower pace, and I think these last two issues, though they have moved the story along, might be a little too slow for many fans. For example, last issue was about the humans taking out Sunstreaker and Hunter, this issue is about finding out they are still alive. That's the crux of the story, and though I personally am not bothered by the current pace, don't be surprised to hear some fans saying nothing much happened.

Overall, a "B-" issue. Looking forward to more.

Neuronutter
2006-12-21, 09:13 PM
Here's my review of Escalation #2. As usual OK to print.

I picked up Escalation #2 today and surprisingly I got the E.J. Su cover. Normally I’m not keen on his covers, but this one is d*mn good. As for the comic well it’s also really good. Really, really good! I haven’t enjoyed a comic this much since the Shockwave spotlight. It’s fast paced, well drawn and finally reveals some things we’ve been waiting for a while for. Thank you IDW!

Well for all the slow pacing of Infiltration, Escalation has come out roaring. With the first issue quickly dealing with the fate of Sunstreaker and Hunter, the second proceeds at a blistering pace and, in a short space of time, deals with and reveals more than any previous issues. We learn about the use of facsimile avatars, about the Decepticon Infiltration plans and the fate of Sunstreaker and Hunter. It’s all good stuff!

As for the art, well I wasn’t a huge fan of E.J.’s Infiltration work. It did the job but didn’t inspire me, however Escalation so far is excellent. This issue has some gorgeous shots along with well drawn characters, especially Prime. Also I really liked the avatars (is that the right word?) of Prime and Ironhide (Big Red!). Ironhide’s avatar expresses a lot of pain at the fate of Sunstreaker, something that comes across well, whereas Prime as a bearded trucker is hilarious! Another thing that really impressed is the design of Jazz. He looks like an alternator in robot mode and it’s really sweet! His dialogue is also spot on and feels like the Jazz from the cartoon. I even hear his voice in my head when I read his lines!

As with the previous book the characterisation is excellent. Prime comes across as an intelligent, thoughtful commander who knows the reality of war and faces the challenges he meets head on. He faces up to a lorry that is hurtling towards him without flinching and seems unphased by the injuries, which look fatal, to the driver. He puts the mission and the well being of his troops above the fate of the humans and seems all the more realistic for it, and a step away from the previous Primes who could never bring themselves to endanger any humans. But Prime also is aware of the effect of the loss of a comrade to his troops and is sensitive to their feelings, showing a more rounded commander. His long standing relationship and respect for Ironhide is also shown by the nickname he gives him!

Megs also comes across very well, as a competent commander and as someone very in control of the situation. As for the reformatting of Megs, well personally I wish they had redesigned him as something like a tank, as Megs being a tiny gun in the control of someone else never felt right, but with the new facsimile avatars it may be better than I thought.

In the last issue the Machination came across as smart, well organised and effective. They come across just as well in this issue, as well as being a little sinister and devious and were it not for the intervention of Prime, they may have completed their plan. They react to the presence of the two Autobots in a second, seem unfazed by them and come across as extremely competent. I really hope that they are just a human organisation and that there isn’t a Decepticon behind the scenes because they are much more interesting without.

All in all, this was a great issue and I thoroughly look forward to the next. Also thanx IDW for giving us two comics this week; felt like an early xmas present. If Escalation maintains its momentum then it will be a fantastic book, and one of the best TF series in many a year!

inflatable dalek
2006-12-24, 07:23 PM
This was the best of the main comic issues to date- Managing to balance the plot character and action nearly perfectly.

Downsides include the Machination agent looking like a complete idiot by driving into a giant, stationary robot right in front of him- and the fact that Prime let the crash happen in the first place. Surely capturing the agent for interogation would have been the best option?

Denyer
2007-01-01, 06:53 PM
Bearing in mind that the Decepticons can extract memory engrams -- can the Autobots do the same with a recently-deceased corpse? Either that or Prime really doesn't know how fragile squishies are, or was expecting the guy to be paying attention to the road.

Scenario: Prime's sitting by the side of the road as a truck. He transforms and steps out, expecting the trailer to... well, stop. It doesn't. Bam. Why pink thing squirt red?

Art and colouring both on form, and with an increased cast the pace is good.

I think Megs' little "it wouldn't hurt to stick around and try out my gun mode" is just his way of saying he's blatantly ignoring protocol. Not like anyone's going to gainsay him, is it?

Prime also is aware of the effect of the loss of a comrade to his troops and is sensitive to their feelings, showing a more rounded commander. His long standing relationship and respect for Ironhide is also shown by the nickname he gives him!I think it's Jazz talking, if you mean the "Big Red" bit.

inflatable dalek
2007-01-04, 02:14 PM
The whole crash sequence is the only bad bit in the comic really... "WHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!! I'm the world's top super secret spy and I love explosions so much I don't watch where I drive! SMASHHHHHHH.

Nevermore
2007-01-04, 05:51 PM
Liked it. Su rocks. Furman must have really been to some kind of rejuvenating pond.

Denyer
2007-01-04, 06:09 PM
Originally posted by inflatable dalek
I'm the world's top super secret spy and I love explosions so much I don't watch where I drive! SMASHHHHHHH. Plus Prime moves very fast despite his size, was the impression I got.

One other thing -- if he was expecting the human to be a facsimile, he'd appreciate the likelihood of getting information out of it to be about nil, possibility of them having self-destruct mechanisms, etc.

Denyer
2007-01-20, 03:41 AM
Probably out on the 24th, not confirmed, but mail-order copies may be in spreading circulation. (?)

Preview now up: http://tfarchive.com/comics/idw/previews.php?dgallery=browse&page=escalation

zigzagger
2007-01-20, 08:44 AM
SPOILER ALERT!!! YE BE WARNED!!!

edit

Here's a look at Escalation #3

In a nutshell: The issue begins with “Phase two” of Megatron’s plan of, as Ironhide stated so eloquently in the previous issue, “agitating existing international hotspots thereby provoking global confrontation”. We saw the first stage of this when Skywarp and Thundercracker bombed a power plant in El Jira, a strategic location that was under international dispute. With the aid of his newly acquired “facsimile”, Georgi Koska a Brasnan separatist, Megatron’s has set his sights on the international conflict between Brasnya (an ex-Soviet state) and Russia, by literally severing a primary oil line between the two countries. Naturally, this receives world-wide attention, including the Autobots.
Back at Ark-19, amidst the domestic squabbling within the Autobot ranks, compounded by the current situation caused by the Decepticon infiltration unit, Ratchet, Verity and Jimmy decide to go against Prime and Prowl’s wishes by further investigating the mystery surrounding the real Sunstreaker’s whereabouts.
As the situation in Brasnya continued to escalate, Prime called for further reinforcements after realizing the gravity of the unfurling events; Sunstreaker is considered missing in action and phase two of Megatron’s plan is well underway, with Ore-13 giving him a significant advantage.
The issue concludes with Prime, Jazz, Prowl, and Wheeljack arriving on the scene, via orbital bounce, with the purpose of detaining the facsimile, Georgi, and drawing out Megatron, who is well aware of the Autobots’ presence in Brasnya. Back on the Ark, as Ratchet, Verity, and Jimmy continue their sleuthing, Ironhide intervenes.

Points of Notice: Megatron puts his new duds to the test by giving Georgi “the unprecedented honor of wielding the galaxy’s greatest living weapon”. That’s right folks, a pistol of mass destruction! The most vehement of trans fans will also be happy to know that an explanation is finally offered regarding Meg’s magically shrinking alternate mode. Megatron himself refers to using “mass-displacement” , thus allowing him to shrink down into an earthling-sized weapon. Prime also deduces that the process of mass displacement consumes a considerable amount of energy, which could mean only one thing; Ore-13.

Blitzwing’s tank mode is described as a Soviet armored model. Seems appropriate considering the circumstances.

The Autobot reinforcements are none other than Nightbeat, Hardhead and Hotrod (edit:bad, me, bad!).

Megatron claims to already have several facsimiles operating as important figureheads.

Prowl confronts Ironhide after Prime briefs the Autobot crew. What they discussed has yet to be revealed. My suspicions point to keeping tabs on Ratchet.

Development: Notably, there is a lovely character dynamic between Prime and Prowl, just seen in the manner in which they interact. Though Prime is indeed in charge, he takes Prowl’s advice sincerely, giving Prowl the respect that a 2nd in command ought to have. Optimus Prime himself has become rather stern, in my opinion, and is almost uncompromising when it comes to addressing the lower ranking Autobots, as he seems awfully quick to dismiss any advice from them. Optimus has definitely come a long way from the lovable, compassionate, John Wayne from the 80’s! Ratchet’s involvement with Verity and Jimmy is quite touching, notably by his eagerness to solve the great Sunstreaker/Hunter mystery.
Less noteworthy, Megatron through out most of the issue is seen as a talking gun that barks out orders to his soldiers and to Georgi. For example, when Russian forces arrive to confront the Brasnan separatists, Megatron tells Georgi, who is holding Mega-gun, to “hurt them”.

My two cents: This issue is, more or less, a precursory for what is to come in the next three issues. It’s build up for the grand finale; Prime vs. Megatron and yes, “Devastation”. To be perfectly honest, though I very much did enjoyed this issue, the idea of Megatron acting covertly behind the scenes causing, basically, World War III as a gun was pretty frickin’ hilarious at moments. Be that as it may, I couldn’t help but adore the quasi-cartoony quality about Megatron’s master plan, Furman executed it well enough that it was believable. Aside from my gripes of it being kind of silly at moments, issue 3 was a very fun read. B+

Denyer
2007-01-20, 09:12 PM
Cheers for that. :up:

Denyer
2007-01-23, 02:25 AM
Preview. :)

http://tfarchive.com/comics/idw/previews.php?dgallery=browse&page=escalation

Commander Shockwav
2007-01-25, 03:33 AM
Read it.

Solid issue, but read kinda short.

Nice little bits and pieces added to the overall story, such as the tension between Prowl and Ironhide, Prime's trust in Prowl, the concept of mass-displacement, more info on the human constructs, and the arrival of the new bots. However, the overall story seems to be moving a bit slow for my taste.

I particularly like the way Simon is taking well known concepts from the past, in this case "mass displacement", and putting a new spin on it. As he did with the Pretender and Headmaster technologies, Simon puts some newfound signficance on mass displacement, making it something not of the ordinary, but rather, something likely to be achieved with only the greatest of resources (in this case, Ore-13). I can't wait to see what Furman has in store for us with the concept of Micromasters.

I think Simon is doing the right thing focusing on the same cast, all the while adding a trickle of new characters to the mix. As Transformers fans, we want our cake and want to eat it too. In other words, we ask for character development, but demand to see new players enter the game all the time. Bob Budiansky can tell you all about what that does to the sanity of a Transformers comic writer. I think Simon has struck a nice balance here with the cast.

However, like the last two issues, I'm a little concerned about the overall pacing of the story. It may be treading a little bit in the 'slow' department for some fans.

Again, a solid issue, with some pacing problems. A "B-".

inflatable dalek
2007-01-26, 08:54 PM
Generally a very good issue, bar some horrid exposition (why does the facsimili of the Russian guy need to be told all this? Why would he want to when he's just Megatrons slave bitch?).

I really like how the mass displacement thing was left nice and vauge, no mention of subspace or any other equally odd theory. It was a nice touch to have Prime's trailer beam down after him as well, nicely explaining how it gets from place to place.

I did find it odd everyone bar ratchet and Ironhide gave up on Sunstreaker so quickly. Surely one of your troops in enemy hands, no matter who the enemy may be, is a bad idea. Especially when it's the one most likely to blab if threatened with torture.

And why is Prime talking as if he's just decided to summon reinforcements, when he brought Hot Rod and co to Earth with him (and Nightbeat, and Possibly Hot Rod, were summoned to meet him on route, so he must have allready decided to reinforce the Earthforce before this)?

Neuronutter
2007-01-27, 12:42 PM
Well the wait for the the third instalment in the excellent Escalation miniseries is over and this comic doesn’t disappoint. It builds on the story well, adds to the characterisation of some of the key players, and left me in eager anticipation for the next part of the story, pretty much everything I wanted it to do.

The story advances nicely in this issue and you’re left admiring the plans of Megatron as well as the planning and foresight of Furman and IDW, now that the story has advanced sufficiently. The plans of the Decepticons are well thought out, as is the response of the Autobots. Every action is well measured and appropriate and you’re left thinking that the Autobot strategy to counter the cons is better thought out than it seemed. After all they’ve probably had a long time to perfect it and hopefully this time it will work.

Another point of the story is we finally get to see Mass Displacement. Personally, I still find its use a little quirky, but it’s well dealt with. One thing that I would love for someone to explain is firstly how it works and secondly why doesn’t Megs weigh the same in gun mode as in robot mode. Anything I’ve ever seen that featured shape shifting always stated that the weight of the shape shifter remained the same whatever the size, making something like a human wielding a gun that weighed the same as a huge robot impossible. I’m not sure how this works with TFs but I’d love to see it explained.

A lot of the character development in this issue is given over to Megs and it’s all good. He comes across as cold and calculating and very clever indeed, a long way from the Megs of old. He refers to the “decommissioning” of his facsimile, a cold way of saying goodbye to the tool that has served its purpose, and at one point instructs Blitzwing to fire on Op if he gets the chance. Now, Megs has gotta know that Bliztwing doesn’t stand a chance against a big hitter but he offers him up to the god of sacrifice anyway. Again cold and calculating and probably designed to simply piss off Prime. We’ll see next issue what becomes of it. Ops also comes across as quite cold and calculating and obviously well used to the reality of war, something that has forced him to develop a hard shell. He’s well aware of the importance of Earth and knows that things have to go smoothly leading to the arrival or reinforcements in the shape of Nightbeat, Hot Rod and Hardhead. Their arrival adds another layer to an already increasingly interesting story line and with the events that occurred in the respective spotlights I’m looking forward to seeing how they change the course of events on Earth.

One of the other nice aspects of this comic is that most of the characters and storylines get some development including the humans. Each story is meshed together quite expertly and no one is left out. The result is that the comic feels quite balanced and rounded. Although the main story focuses on Megs and his escalating conflict, they find time to explore the Machination side story and everything advances nicely. Well done IDW!

The art as always is great and I’ve really been loving EJ’s work since we hit Escalation, however there are one or two quirks. The soldiers attacking the Soviets on page 7 mostly don’t have faces which is just odd. A comment on the facelessness of the average cannon fodder or something that was just left off? Also Prowl, Jazz and Wheeljack lack faces after their Orbital Bounce. A running theme? Apart from these tiny niggles the art is great as usual and I’m very glad that they have kept just one artist on the ongoing, ensuring good continuity. One nice touch though is that when the Autobots use the Orbital Bounce system to get to Brasnya, Op Arrives sans trailer and then the trailer arrives behind him, beamed in after he was. It’s a nice reference to the amazing appearance of the trailer in the cartoons that was never explained.

So this series is three for three, so far an impressive run and with things heating up in the next few issues this series looks to be outstanding! I’m left in eager anticipation. Roll on the weeks till the next issue!

Nevermore
2007-02-03, 09:57 AM
Wooh. Loved this issue. Not a groundbreaking OMFG-Bestest-Awesomest-Thing-I've-Ever-Read-At-Least-Until-The-Next-Issue-Comes-Out kind of thing, but a solid story with good dialogue and decent art. In other words, good entertainment.

So many little details I enjoyed. Characterization was very good. Particularly the bit with Jazz on page 18.

Prime and Megatron are being portrayed as realistic leaders. And the dialogue between Prowl and Prime on page 13, I couldn't help but hear Peter Cullen say those lines in my head. "Mass-displacement. Haven't seen that in a long time." Prime's a 'bot of few words with maxiumum dramatic effect. Reminds me a damn lot of the cartoon. WHatever IDW are giving Furman to smoke, I hope they never run out of it.

Other people mentioned the pacing, but personally I think a LOT went on in this issue. Sure, it's not like in a Silver Age Marvel issue where we have the exposition finished in two or three pages and then roll straight into the action.

Big question, of course, is: Did Prowl order Ironhide to keep tabs on Ratchet, or die he piss him off so Ironhide decides to team up with the equally pissed Ratchet?

Su's artwork is also nothing short of amazing. I've never been a huge fan of Don as other people are (though I surprisingly liked his rendition of Prime in Stormbringer), and I love the realistic approach Su is taking here. My favorite scenes were the Prowl/Ironhide confrontation in the last panel on page 6, and the transformation on page 17.

Simply put, "Ecalation", like "Infiltration" before it, reads like the Transformers version of the Busiek/Pérez run on Avengers had they done an "Ultimate" style continuity reset rather than a continuity-heavy story. Just solid, decent stories month after month.

Originally posted by rubicon
The Autobot reinforcements are none other than Nightbeat, Hardhead and Hotrod. It should be noted that the conversation between Nightbeat and Prime at the end of Nightbeat: Spotlight occurs during this issue. We catch the last portion of that conversation.

No, we don't. See below.

Originally posted by inflatable dalek
And why is Prime talking as if he's just decided to summon reinforcements, when he brought Hot Rod and co to Earth with him (and Nightbeat, and Possibly Hot Rod, were summoned to meet him on route, so he must have allready decided to reinforce the Earthforce before this)?

Prime arrived with the Ark-27 (see end of Stormbringer #4). Supposedly, the ship dropped him off on Earth and then departed for its next mission.

Once he got a grasp of the situation on Earth (Escalation #1), and Sunstreaker has gone MIA (Escalation #2), he calls for reinforcements (off-panel in Escalation #3). One of the 'bots he called was Nightbeat who was on board his own shuttle (end of Spotlight: Nightbeat). Nightbeat was told to rendezvous with Ark-32, which arrived on Earth at the end of this issue. So it's not the same conversation (especially since we see Prime's head on a monitor in SP:NB).

Everything clear now? :)

Escalation #1 does feature a conversation from the end of "Spotlight: Ultra Magnus", though.

zigzagger
2007-02-03, 10:21 AM
Checks own copy on Nightbeat: Spotlight
.......oh....
Well, how about that....
Oh well, an understandable mistake on my part...

fixed

inflatable dalek
2007-02-03, 02:15 PM
Wait, I thought Prime asked Nightbeat to rondezvous with him on the shuttle that was going to Earth? Or is my memory playing tricksies?

And where was the Magnus chat then? [Not that I doubt of course, I just don't have both issues to hand to compare...]

Nevermore
2007-02-03, 11:44 PM
Originally posted by inflatable dalek
Wait, I thought Prime asked Nightbeat to rondezvous with him on the shuttle that was going to Earth? Or is my memory playing tricksies?

OPTIMUS PRIME: "Nightbeat, this is Optimus Prime..."
NIGHTBEAT: "Go ahead, Prime."
OPTIMUS PRIME: "I want you to rendevous with Ark-32 for onwards transit to Earth. I... have need of your special talents."

And where was the Magnus chat then? [Not that I doubt of course, I just don't have both issues to hand to compare...]

Spotlight: Ultra Magnus (page 22, panel 5)

Epilogue: The Planet Buras, twenty-nine stellar cyles later:
[Ultra Magnus has caught Swindle again]
ULTRA MAGNUS: "... Up to his old tricks again. I'm bringing him in. I'll rendezvous with the Decepticon High Justice on Karashi-Delta."

Escalation #1 (page 10, panel 1)
[Optimus Prime is getting reports from four different viewscreens]
JETFIRE: "... found something. I'm fasttracking it to your scanpoint system..."
SPRINGER: "... stabilized. But we have escalating flashpoints in..."
ULTRA MAGNUS: "... up to his old tricks again. I'm bringing him in..."
SILVERBOLT: "... infiltration unit has gone underground. Again."

inflatable dalek
2007-02-06, 07:42 PM
Ah, reading these things helps, yes? Still, in my defence, unlike the chap on the leters page I wasn't confused by the flashbacks in Hot Rod...

Terome
2007-02-25, 01:13 PM
I thought this one was pretty cool. I wasn't too thrilled about Megatron being a gun again from the previews and such, but they've really spun it into a concept that works just enough to be great fun. We've got Megatron barking orders at a slightly confused Chechnyan, then blowing up some Russians in super-manga mode. That's awesome no matter which way you slice it.

And Jimmy and Verity get to use their powers again. I felt good for them.

Why do the Autobots need big, chunky security cameras again?

Terome
2007-02-25, 01:18 PM
Oh wait! I think I just figured it out! Prime told Ironhide to not rescue Sunstreaker because he was going to put Nightbeat (and possibly Hot Rod) on the job instead. Because a detective is a better guy for tracking down an MIA than a security guard. Good thinking, Prime.

Why is mass displacement such a big deal, but teleportation is done every day of the week? Surely to displace mass, you'd effectively need to do some teleportation? Isn't displacing the mass of Skywarp and Blitzwing, or the mass of the entire Ark-32 across interstellar space, actually a much more impressive feat than displacing almost all of Megatron? And aren't those Seekers growing quite significantly when they transform into jets anyway?

Oh well, back to work for me.

Denyer
2007-02-27, 05:56 AM
Due out on Wednesday 28th.

Preview: http://tfarchive.com/comics/idw/previews.php?dgallery=browse&page=escalation

Spoiler review: http://tfarchive.com/comics/idw/escalation4b.php

Commander Shockwav
2007-03-01, 03:58 PM
I read #4 last night.

One of the following is the source of the problem here:
A) The pacing of this story is still too slow
B) The problem is my perception of the pacing as being too slow

So which is it?


I just felt somewhat bored by this issue, to be honest. Yes, we have some action, but its action without real substance. The battle here is very similiar to the battle from Infiltration, with Bumblebee and Ratchet going at it with Skywarp and Blitzwing flying around. An air to ground show of firepower that wasn't anything spectacular.

The scene with Ironhide and Ratchet sneaking around the wheel outlet facility was like Jazz and Wheeljack sneaking around a similiar facility in an earlier issue.

Moreover, do I really care if Jimmy and Verity got gassed? I don't find that kind of cliffhanger too exciting.

And for the first time in a while, I thought E.J. was off his game. The pencils just weren't as clean, and the coloring was bland.

Cool to see Roller though, I will say that. And what an intro.

Overall, I give it a "C-" on my first reading. Not up to par with the previous issues, and I'm still waiting for the pace to quicken a bit.

Denyer
2007-03-01, 06:57 PM
It's more a transition issue than those before it, is the only criticism I'd make.

Does seem to be going down well:
http://www.allspark.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=25054
http://www.tfw2005.com/boards/showthread.php?t=124849
http://seibertron.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=1785

What would you find exciting, d'ya reckon? More characters? Robots shooting at each other? (That isn't an entirely facetious question, at least not meant to be.)

another tf fan
2007-03-02, 06:37 AM
I'm enjoying escalation more than infiltration. Thats probably to be expected just by the titles.

so,

Whats with the recent variant covers? the variant for esc #4 is a new take on pat-lee-prime.

I have been loving the "regular" covers much more. they are colorful and feature soldiers in the army, not just the leaders.
The cover of esc # 2 with Wheeljack is one of the coolest looking pieces of tf art ever

As far as issue #4 goes, it was fun and the humans seemed to be useful. The fight scenes were a little bland, but roller has a heroic moment.

The infiltration/stormbringer/spotlight/escalation arc is rich and plausable. I just wish the comics came out quicker.

Neuronutter
2007-03-02, 09:07 AM
Man, did I enjoy this issue. At the rate this book is going it will be one of the finest TF books in a very long time, up there with Stormbringer and War Within. Sitting reading it I had to force myself to savour each page knowing that it’d be a very long wait till the next one. Now, to the actual review.

Well as I said I loved this issue. The story progresses nicely, the art was consistent as always and the comic on the whole is very shiny! The paper the book is printed on seems even better quality than usual, I’m not sure if it’s my imagination or it’s been changed but the whole package seems a little more bright and shiny than usual, which is good. It may have been the colouring, whatever it is I really like it.

E.J.’s art is on form once again in this issue. He seems to have massively stepped up a gear in Escalation and the one thing that really stood out for me in this issue was perspective. There are a lot of panels that really demonstrate his grasp of action combined with great perspective and the ability to make you feel right in the heart of the action. I just wish the first shot of Hot Rod in vehicle mode had shown all of him.

The story moves on in this issue with pace and definitely left me wanting more. The advertised fight between Megs and Prime is of course left till next issue but this comic reassured me that it won’t be the disaster for Prime that I thought it may be. One thing I really loved about this issue is that there was a lot of things that made me laugh. From the “Idea and Design Works Custom Wheels” garage to Bliztwing getting thrashed at the hands of Roller. The scene featuring Jazz, Prowl and Wheeljack battling Astrotrain and Skywarp was also great, as was the presence of baffled humans who couldn’t understand any of it.

The characterisation in this issue was also great. Hotrod came across as the arrogant and foolhardy TF we all know and love, Prowl actually came off better under fire than previously and Megs is just brutal. I’m curious to know how much damage TFs can withstand as Blitzwing has been trashed twice, Skywarp once and Starscream was positively mangled. So how much does it take to kill a TF? That question is sure to be answered by the end of Escalation.

As before the characterisation of both Prime and Megs is excellent. So far it’s felt like Megs has had the upper hand in dictating strategy and that Prime has been left responding. This issue seemed to change that balance and it felt like, not only did Prime know where this conflict was going, but that he was three steps ahead of Megs and happy with the direction things were heading. Maybe he won’t be as battered by Megs as I thought. Hmmm.

The scenes at the start and end of the book dealt with our ever present humans and the idea that Scorponok is behind the Machination and that his kidnapping of Hunter and Sunstreaker is leading to some Headmasters style reformatting seems ever more likely. If this is the case then I hope Furman does the same great job of reimagining that he’s done on the other unlikely TF tech.

So overall this is one fine comic, well drawn, excellently presented and Escalation is shaping up to be a brilliant book. It’s such a shame we’ll have a long wait till Devastation. I also can’t wait to see how Furman manages to bring together all the threads he’s spun in the Spotlights. All the extra players should make it very interesting. I can’t wait!

inflatable dalek
2007-03-03, 03:48 PM
So Blitswings camoflage thingey (do we have to call it a cloaking device just because Star Trek does?) turned out to be utterlu useless after all. If only he'd thought about those highly visible tank tracks...

A very good issue that actually felt as if it was designed to be read on it's own rather than in a trade latter on (the bits showing the otherside of the Megatron/Blitswing conversation from last issue and optimus redoing his exposition on why they need the facsimili), which is great- because they should be playing to the strengths of the format it first appears in- and felt very Mavely at times.

The gas sequence reminded me of the Faceless Ones, but that's got to be a coincidence.

zigzagger
2007-03-04, 06:19 PM
Overall, I found it a pleasant read, though, as stated earlier, this was more of intermediary story – like the previous issue, actually. Though, I have no qualms about the story’s slower pacing, that's actually why I enjoy this series, I just didn’t find it as suspenseful as Furman and company probably had intended. The pacing in this issue left me feeling like the action was deliberately drawn out, at least with the situation in Brasnya, not making much of a stride from issue #3. Highly doubtful but, an issue quota maybe? The Jimmy and Verity sub-plot did a better job at this, I think. It left me wondering (and caring) about what had been done to Hunter, and to some extent Sunstreaker, considering that measures had been taken to prevent anyone from finding out.

On another note, has anyone else noticed how easily the Decepticons are taken down in this series? Seriously! To recap: Skywarp, Blitzwing, and Starscream are severely punished in Infiltration, Thundercracker, Runamuck, and Runabout also receive fair damage from the Autobots through out that series as well. In Escalation # 4, we see Astrotrain and Blitzwing getting scrapped. Okay, fine, it adds a healthy element of realism; you get shot at, you blow-up. Fine…..and yet, Ratchet can be blasted by a tank at close range, treaded over by it, but still walk way with a few scrapes and a cracked windshield, just as Jazz had received a dent after being shot by a bazooka!!! The Decepticons must be constructed from a thin, light metal, which allows them to be more aerodynamic but doesn’t do much for armor, I guess

Denyer
2007-03-04, 06:25 PM
Since it's triple-changers taking a lot of damage, who else thinks that they're weakened by having more moving parts? [/rationalisation]

Commander Shockwav
2007-03-06, 04:27 AM
Originally posted by Denyer
It's more a transition issue than those before it, is the only criticism I'd make.

What would you find exciting, d'ya reckon? More characters? Robots shooting at each other? (That isn't an entirely facetious question, at least not meant to be.)

Good question.

Do I miss the bigger cast? I do understand the quandry of developing individual characters when there are more of them to go around. So its not that.

And it's not 'robots shooting at each other', because there's been plenty of that.

I think it might be because I'm a Decepticon fan at heart and like to see the infighting that has always been a part of the story. That, and I think the pastel coloring turns me off. It has almost a sedating quality next to Don's inking and Joshes coloring job on Stormbringer. I much prefer that darker, grittier style.

For the first time in a long time, the artwork (coloring) has taken more wind out of the sails of a comic for me than I would have thought.

I'm almost certain that if there were darker inking and coloring, I'd be singing the praises of Escalation, as most are doing.

inflatable dalek
2007-03-06, 03:02 PM
Originally posted by Denyer
Since it's triple-changers taking a lot of damage, who else thinks that they're weakened by having more moving parts? [/rationalisation]

Well, Starscream and Skywarp have taken bad hits in similar circumstances in previous issues so I'd say they're all on a fairly level playing field. From a story point of view I think Furman's just clearing the decks a bit before we get a whole load of new arrivals on Earth in the third arc.

So, how confident are we that the Machination is in league with Scorponok and Hunter's being preped for that funky flesh/cybertronian hybrid process that may or may not lead to Headmasters? Ironic really he had a "I want to believe" poster on his wall back in Infiltration considering Scully was also kidnapped by the Government to create a alien/human hybrid...

zigzagger
2007-03-06, 05:06 PM
Originally posted by inflatable dalek
From a story point of view I think Furman's just clearing the decks a bit before we get a whole load of new arrivals on Earth in the third arc.


Killing characters is not the best plot device but I suppose that works, after all Shockwave and Soundwave are still considered missing in action, they're bound to show up sooner or later.

inflatable dalek
2007-03-08, 02:21 PM
Oh, and whilst it was funny, the "American police car being attacked by... a space shuttle" line effectively shows how useless the whole robots in disguise thing is.

Nevermore
2007-03-08, 10:36 PM
While I enjoyed the issue (to me, the Furman/Su TF titles are like the Morrison/Porter JLA era or the Busiek/Pérez Avengers run, i.e. just plain fun), I have to agree that Su's art was somewhat lacking as compared to previous issues.

Also, I've seen complaints about "pixel-y" artwork somewhere before. This issue seems to have "rough edges" syndrome on its cover.

Did anyone else catch all the hidden easter eggs?

zigzagger
2007-03-09, 02:52 AM
I noticed the the book titled "TAKARA" on the desk that Verity was rummaging through on the final page.

inflatable dalek
2007-03-09, 06:40 PM
And the sale advrtised in the shop window coming to an end (in that wacky back to front American dating style) on July 4th 2007.

So, would I be right in infering that megatron is definately imobile/unable to fire himself in gun mode? Because he has to order that Facsimili to go kill himself (and he makes a poor job of it considering that he's walking across a bloody battlefield) rather than just shooting him. Mind, I'm not sure why he doesn't just Transform as the whole electircal light show that accompanies this would probably fry the little human clone.

Nevermore
2007-03-09, 07:05 PM
Anyone noticed the name of the store yet?

The "Seibertron" magazine or the "Binaltech Airfilter"?

inflatable dalek
2007-03-09, 07:16 PM
Originally posted by Nevermore
Anyone noticed the name of the store yet?

We on't see te full name ofthe store do we? Just "-dea & Design Works Custom Wheels". I don't spot the injoke, unless "Design works" is supposed to sound like Dreamworks...

dotCommunism
2007-03-09, 08:30 PM
Originally posted by inflatable dalek
We on't see te full name ofthe store do we? Just "-dea & Design Works Custom Wheels". I don't spot the injoke, unless "Design works" is supposed to sound like Dreamworks...

Idea and Design Works

inflatable dalek
2007-03-09, 08:37 PM
Originally posted by dotCommunism
Idea and Design Works

Oh, yeah. Is that what IDW actually stands for?

Nevermore
2007-03-09, 11:38 PM
Originally posted by inflatable dalek
Oh, yeah. Is that what IDW actually stands for?

Checking out the masthead of any given IDW issue should give you a clue. :)

inflatable dalek
2007-03-09, 11:41 PM
Originally posted by Nevermore
Checking out the masthead of any given IDW issue should give you a clue. :)

Wll look at that, they have little, ickle words on the inside front cover!

I am so qualified to be reviewing this with my amazing insight.

Denyer
2007-03-28, 03:21 PM
Due out on the 28th.

Previews: http://tfarchive.com/comics/idw/previews.php

Commander Shockwav
2007-03-28, 11:36 PM
Read it.

Read it and savored it like the great Marvel comics of old.

Dan responded to my comments in the letters page expressing his hope that I would be moving up from my "B-" level reviews of the Infiltration/Escalation storyline thus far. Mission accomplished, Dan!

From start to finish, Simon was solid as a rock, a great example of how a writer should balance action with story to keep the reader fully engaged from cover to cover. Where I felt the pacing lagged a bit with issue 2, 3, and 4, issue 5 was just right in the pacing department.

One can look back at this issue and count so many things that happened within just these 22 pages. Despite so many battles between Prime and Megs in the past twenty years, Simon somehow was able to give us this very same fight, yet keep me on the edge of my seat like I had never seen them clash before. Sometimes, we TF fans, no matter how mature a story we crave, need that gut wrenching metal-on-metal fix that lasts four or five pages just to remind us why me love TF so much. Simon gives us that in full with panel after panel of hardcore battle scenes. Again, Simon surprises us by having Prime not just lose, but get his tailpipe handed to him in such a way he may never quip "roll out!" again. How do I feel about that? Damn good!, that's how. Not that I don't like Prime, but I like that Simon is mixing things up, keeping us on our toes.

Aside from the Prime/Megs fight, Simon gives us other tidbits of other subplots that are slowly unravelling-that mysterious Decepticon head, Prowl and Hot Rods teamwork, the excavation of Shockwave and the Dinobots. Again, all in one issue. I know there are a lot of DW haters out there, but I felt one of DW's strongpoints was that they created numerous subplots that they slowly unravelled. I think that works well, and I think Simon is doing it just as well here.

If I could cite any fault with the issue, I would have to say E.J. pencilling was again a little substandard for him. And the coloring still suffers that bland pastel style. Not that these a big problems, just minor flaws.

Overall, a definite "A" issue. Between this issue and the second issue of the prequel, I really feel like IDW has treated me extra special this month.

another tf fan
2007-03-29, 02:47 AM
Really I can't say it any better than Shockwave just did. This issue was amazing.

And lets not put too fine a point on it... Prime got his ass handed to him. Megatron was as bad as he should have ever been. Roller comes in and you think Prime might get a second chance...nope, he gets slaughtered.

The subplots were really in the backseat this time...uh under the grocery bag in the trunk really, the Prime Megatron fight took most of the issue. Cool.

Sir Auros
2007-03-31, 02:39 AM
I finally caught up on the series up to this issue, and I love it. The art's good, the pacing is fine (in my opinion, I mean, I'm not expecting a standalone book here), and the plot isn't insulting my intelligence at every turn. The dialogue's been tightened up significantly since the first arc, and there were even a few parts I found clever.

Great ****ing job to whoever at IDW might still be reading these threads.:up:

Ballplayer
2007-03-31, 05:55 PM
Just read it and I find it difficult to keep both the russian armies apart in the story...

and btw Soviets? Hasn't Furman figured out the Soviet Union has fallen apart :D

Great read tough, almost made me feel like an old cartoon...

the one with Skyfire for example (the first 1)

Nevermore
2007-04-02, 04:03 PM
The choreography of the Prime/Megatron battle puts the animated movie to shame. DAMN, was THAT awesome. Also enjoyed the other sub-plots, especially the excavation of Shockwave we got a glimpse of at the end of his Spotlight issue.

LKW
2007-04-02, 11:32 PM
Yes, an excellent issue! Poor... fusion cannon ;) Well, maybe after it's repaired (if possible), it'll look more like itself...

Not too much I can add which hasn't already been said. Great working in of many subplots - I liked the interplay between Ironhide and Ratchet, too. And, quite possibly the most awesome fight between Optimus Prime and Megatron ever. Impressive. I don't really believe this is the end of Optimus Prime - but Furman would certainly surprise most (if not all) of his readers by introducing Rodimus Prime so soon...

inflatable dalek
2007-04-04, 04:14 PM
My brother read this and was actually shocked at Prime's seeming death (he's not one of us, he doesn't realise how often that happens).

Great issue that's building up to something very special.

Though you'd think the Men in Black would realise that wearing black suits in the middle of the dessert just makes you stand out.

Brimstone
2007-04-04, 05:55 PM
The only thing I didn't like about the Shockwave/Dynobots showing up at the end is that the Dynobots are being shown in their old G1 forms there (metallic robotic bodies) when the spotlight had them in more of a Beast Wars organic alt form. (although maybe this is saying that the organic part of their alt forms has decomposed...which is actually an interesting thought).

So...nevermind, it doesn't really bother me that much.

Denyer
2007-04-04, 08:55 PM
Originally posted by Brimstone
maybe this is saying that the organic part of their alt forms has decomposed...
Shockwave blasted most of it off them in the Spotlight issue, which is why they began to shut down. A few thousand years under soil would've done the rest.

Osku
2007-04-21, 09:04 AM
Eh, I liked, but not as much as of earlier issues. I've enjoyed reading a story where the battles are kept short and on the back ground.

I'm a bit worried of the power balance favouring Decepticons too much. After Prime gone, Autobots really don't have fighting change against seemingly unstoppable Megatron.

I'd be ready to bet a largish amount of money that OP trasfered his core consciousness to Roller. "You two always come as pair", and being buried under rock intead of getting a direct hit hinting healily at that.

IIRC there were reports of dinosaur-like creaturesin "Infiltration", which would mean that at least one Dynobot is not trapped anymore. Possible continuation error?

Hunter's surgery leaves nice opportunities for the future stories.

1) Most likely scenario. Hunter becomes Nightbeat's headmaster partner after the implant in Nightbeat's cranial section is discovered.

2) Also possible. If Nighbeat is a diversion, there's also Hardhead, who has no role and/or characterisation in the story so far.

3) Unlikely scenario. OP becomes a powermaster and a large part of readers stop following IDW's continuity. :p

Edit: Would it be possible to get Denyer's and Inflatable Dalek's reviews meant for the site posted also in these discussion threads? There are usually some points I'd like to comment.

inflatable dalek
2007-04-21, 12:29 PM
Originally posted by Osku
IIRC there were reports of dinosaur-like creaturesin "Infiltration", which would mean that at least one Dynobot is not trapped anymore. Possible continuation error?

I'd just assumed the dig had uncovered part of a Dynobot before Shockwave (one of the characters in his spotlight claims he's better than anything they've found before don't they?). Swoop and one other don't seem to have been revealed yet though so they may well be on the loose.


And as you asked so nicely (and all feedback-especially any blatant mistakes- is more than welcome):

Escalation Issue 5- A Review By Inflatable Dalek

Written By:Simon Furman.
Art By: E.J. Su.
Colours By: Zac Atkinson.
Letters By: Robbie Robbins.
Edits By: Chris Ryall & Dan Taylor.
Cover By: E.J. Su.
Variant Cover By: Klaus Scherwinski.

Synopsis:
At a secret base in Florida Mr. Dante of the Machination is reporting to a mysterious, extremely badly injured (he's just a head) Decepticon. He reveals that their latest test subject is responding well to the implants.

in Brasnya Optimus and Megatron start a huge battle, but whilst Prime draws the first blood by blasting Megatrons fusion cannon off the Decepticon leader has larger reserves of energy thanks to the Ore 13, and quickly gets the upper hand.

Meanwhile Prowl and Hot Rod try desperately to stop Koska walking over to the Russians and goading them into shooting him. Despite the best efforts of Skywarp and the badly damaged Astrotrain they succeed and convince the humans to retreat, though they once again have to reveal their robot modes in order to do so.

In Indiana the Autobots get worried about the humans who's last check in is overdue. Ironhide smashes through the shops window and, as ratchet picks up on incoming police, risks sending his simlucrum into the secret room- finding Jimmy and Verity and the computer countdown now down to three minutes.

In Brasnya the super powered Megatron ultimately overcomes Optimus, destroys Roller and seemingly knocks Prime off line- leaving Megatron disappointed at the lack of any notable last words.

In Eureka Skywatch have taken over the archaeological dig that has uncovered Shockwave and the Dynobots.

Characters Featured: Mr. Dante, Big Giant Head, Megatron, Optimus Prime [Pushed to the point of shut down, Roller is destroyed], Skywarp, Wheeljack, Jazz, Hardhead, Astrotrain, Hot rod, Prowl, Ironhide, Ratchet, Verity, Jimmy, Koska, Shockwave [Deactivated], Snarl [Deactivated], Grimlock deactivated], A third Dynobot is also visible in the pit but so little is showing a ID is impossible, it doesn't seem to be Swoop though.

Notes:

Though he isn't named the successful test subject is almost certainly Hunter. The unnamed Decepticon refers to a test "Transformation", backing up the theory that this is a adaptation of the Headmasters process seen in Spotlight: Ultra Magnus, with said Decepticon being Scorponok (he certainly has the head antenna). A Decepticon who's nothing but a head was previously featured in the Marvel UK strips written by Furman around issue 100, in the shape of Lord Straxus.

Megatron's strength and stamina is greatly increased by the Ore 13, he's also a lot more cocky and arrogant according to Prime.

Megatron describes Roller as a "drone", and unlike in the original comic Prime doesn't seem to be mentally linked to the little fellah, he doesn't feel any symbiotic pain when Megatron blasts it.

Skywarp makes a reference to reinforcements at one point, suggesting more Decepticons will be joining us soon.

Shockwave and the Dynobots were buried several million years ago, and then uncovered in the present day, in the one eyed monster's Spotlight. The dig at Eureka was one of the things on Hunters computer screen in the flashback in Infiltration issue 1. Skywatch made their debut digging up Laserbeak from the rubble at Mt. St. Helens in Spotlight Soundwave. The main speaking role here may well be the same Joshua Red we saw there, but that's as yet unconfirmed (if it is him he hasn't aged much in twenty years).

In jokes this month are a bit thin on the ground, but Megatron claiming his bear hands will suffice in crushing Prime is a reference to one of his most famous lines in the 1986 theatrical film. The last line from the Skywatch agent about their work being in "The National Interest" refers to the title of a Furman written Marvel UK arc that run from issues #74-77. Characters in that story use the phrase in a similar context throughout the story.

Goofs:

It's a shame the faux shop doesn't have a similar device to that seen in Ultra Magnus that destroys simulcrums, considering they've got access to so much advanced technology this seems an oversight on the Machinations part.

Prowl's claim about the geo-political situation being resolved seems rather naive, surely without any clue as to who the robots are each side will just blame each other? Or at the very least file reports on these robot invaders with American vehicle alt-modes that will piss of their respective governments and have them blaming the USA (especially as Hot Rod runs down the Russian general at one point).

Skywatch are so secret and stealthy they wear nicely inconspicuous black suits in the middle of the desert. You'd have thought the men in black would have adopted a different dress code since The X-Files. No wonder Hunter finds it so easy to track their movements.

Review:
As you can probably tell from the slight synopsis, this is effectively a big fight issue between Prime and Megatron. It's a well drawn and written confrontation that avoids cliché (no dramatic last words for Prime) but it does mean that the other plot points don't move very much, nothing happens in the human sub-plot at all, though at least Prowl finally catches the facsimile after two issues of chasing him.

The most interesting stuff comes at the beginning and end with the two interludes introducing new players into the game, the mystery presented by the Machination is potentially the most interesting thing IDW have done.

So, an action issue, but still entertaining and hopefully the conclusion will regain some of the momentum of the previous few instalments.

[two and a half out of five]

Osku
2007-04-21, 12:46 PM
Originally posted by inflatable dalek
[B]In Brasnya the super powered Megatron ultimately overcomes Optimus, destroys Roller and seemingly knocks Prime off line- leaving Megatron disappointed at the lack of any notable last words.

-snip-

Megatron describes Roller as a "drone", and unlike in the original comic Prime doesn't seem to be mentally linked to the little fellah, he doesn't feel any symbiotic pain when Megatron blasts it.
IIRC Megatron doesn't seem to hit Roller, instead Roller is buried under rocks. I don't have the issue at hand to check though, but I still stand by my "OP's mind is in Roller claim". :o

Megatron's strength and stamina is greatly increased by the Ore 13, he's also a lot more cocky and arrogant according to Prime.
Possible side effects of Ore 13? :) Starscream also acted arrogantly after his dose of Ore 13. No, this is not Starscream from original cartoon -> we don't know if it's his normal behaviour in this continuity.

inflatable dalek
2007-04-21, 12:56 PM
Originally posted by Osku
IIRC Megatron doesn't seem to hit Roller, instead Roller is buried under rocks. I don't have the issue at hand to check though, but I still stand by my "OP's mind is in Roller claim". :o

You're probably right about the rocks thing (I don't have the issue to hand right now), it's probably something I paraphased in the first draft and forgot to fix. prime still doesn't seem to feel Rollers pain thoguh either way (compare to his reaction in That Annual Story With The Insecticons in It, which was a lot more like the relationship between a bot and his Simulcrum according to Ultra Magnus). I still like your theory though.


Possible side effects of Ore 13? :) Starscream also acted arrogantly after his dose of Ore 13. No, this is not Starscream from original cartoon -> we don't know if it's his normal behaviour in this continuity.

That was my thought, though we really need to see a few morte examples of it with already established characters first though 9we don't really know what IDW Starscream was like before, and Megatron could just have changed naturally since the last time he meet Prime).

Denyer
2007-04-21, 01:02 PM
Originally posted by Osku
Edit: Would it be possible to get Denyer's and Inflatable Dalek's reviews meant for the site posted also in these discussion threads? There are usually some points I'd like to comment.
Yup. Just need to get back on track; filling out applications and preparing for interviews, etc. at the moment.

inflatable dalek
2007-04-21, 01:03 PM
Ive fixed the Roller thing in the main review thread now. Horah!

LKW
2007-04-21, 02:01 PM
Um... as long as you're cleaning up, dalek... unless Megatron has an additional, beast, mode, you may want to change the part about attacking Optimus with his "bear hands" :). Though the thought of Megatron swiping at Prime with paws is somehow kind of amusing...

Another very nice review, btw, including keeping track of all of the increasing Spotlight tie-ins to the story, and pointing out Prowl's political naivete. :up:

Prowl1984
2007-04-23, 12:12 AM
Originally posted by inflatable dalek
That was my thought, though we really need to see a few morte examples of it with already established characters first though 9we don't really know what IDW Starscream was like before, and Megatron could just have changed naturally since the last time he meet Prime).

i wanna see a Starscream spotlight, that'd be most awsome...as long as there's more depth to him than "i wanna be leadeeerrrr nowwww"

awsome issue, loved the fight scene and the shockwave bit, i'm really looking forward to devastation now, it's all amounting to something epic :D

Osku
2007-04-23, 06:15 AM
Originally posted by inflatable dalek
You're probably right about the rocks thing (I don't have the issue to hand right now), it's probably something I paraphased in the first draft and forgot to fix. prime still doesn't seem to feel Rollers pain thoguh either way (compare to his reaction in That Annual Story With The Insecticons in It, which was a lot more like the relationship between a bot and his Simulcrum according to Ultra Magnus). I still like your theory though.[/B]
I checked and Megatron hits the cliff(?) with his hand-> Roller is buried under it. I thought Prime doesn't show pain because at that point he's not in his main body anymore...

the_escaflowne_2k
2007-04-23, 12:44 PM
the reason prime doesn't seem hurt by what happens to roller could be that rocks falling on him just not being that painful, instead being more of an hindrance than anything.

inflatable dalek
2007-04-23, 06:38 PM
Assuming that all three are linked in the same was as they were in the tech specs, then it would make more sense for Prime to put him mind in the Command Deck, which is out of harms way.

Osku
2007-04-24, 09:05 AM
Originally posted by inflatable dalek
Assuming that all three are linked in the same was as they were in the tech specs, then it would make more sense for Prime to put him mind in the Command Deck, which is out of harms way.
True, but there hasn't been (at least yet) any indication that OP shares as strong link to it as he does with Roller. :)

inflatable dalek
2007-04-24, 06:27 PM
True- but then there's not really any indication that Roller is anything other than a remote control drone either.

I'll now fix the bare hands and Iguanus things in the main thread...

Osku
2007-04-25, 12:56 PM
Originally posted by inflatable dalek
True- but then there's not really any indication that Roller is anything other than a remote control drone either.

I'll now fix the bare hands and Iguanus things in the main thread...
Touche.

I'm propably blind, but... Where is the main thread? :o

Minor nitpicking. Despite me liking the inclusion of Roller and some kind of rationalization for mass replacement, it's irritating that Furman isn't consistent with these new and/or old concepts.

You already mentioned Soundwave's mass replacement without ultra energon / ore-13 in your review. The importance of Roller and combat deck seems odd. After all we've already seen OP in Stormbringer and there he had no "trailer" nor "drone" to accompany him.

inflatable dalek
2007-04-25, 05:11 PM
Originally posted by Osku
Touche.

I'm propably blind, but... Where is the main thread? :o

http://tfarchive.com/community/showthread.php?s=&threadid=21981

Must be just about every review I (and LKW) have ever done in there. Ah, nostalgia.

The importance of Roller and combat deck seems odd. After all we've already seen OP in Stormbringer and there he had no "trailer" nor "drone" to accompany him.

Perhaps the electrical interference on Cybertron meant he couldn't take them with him as the mental link wouldn't work?

Denyer
2007-05-03, 02:11 AM
Out today. :)

Preview: http://tfarchive.com/comics/idw/previews.php?dgallery=browse&page=escalation

Sir Auros
2007-05-03, 03:06 AM
Was actually in a comic shop on new release day, so I'm not late to the party this time.

Good conclusion to the arc. Art and writing were top-notch, as usual.

Will edit in deeper thoughts when I have time to mess with spoiler tags and, well, thinking.

Commander Shockwav
2007-05-03, 03:10 AM
Good solid comic. Didn't live up to issue #5, which I felt was the best of Escalation, but a nice wrap-up to this chapter in the story. Like the last issue, things seemed to really get rolling, like we're really getting somewhere in terms of moving the story along.

As I could see Prime downloading himself into his trailer from a mile away, Prime's return really didn't have any shock value for me, although that interaction he had in limbo with....whoever that was, was certainly intriguing.

I also expected that the "fascimile cargo" wasn't going to make it out 'alive' this issue, as it would make the remainder of the job the Autobots have to do on Earth too easy. Again, too predictable.

But again, the biggest problem I have is the dialogue. I hated Primes "Megatron.....burn!" I still think Simon uses too many cliche comments scattered throughout the story, too many casual Earthen phrases that somehow irritate me. I think that scene would have been much better if he had simply said "Megatron..." then show Megs face looking down the barrel and BLAM. No need for Simon's favorite word, "burn". IMO, Simon at times doesn't let the art tell the story.

As far the actually script, dialogue aside, I think Simon is doing a very good job though. I like the character interactions (Prowl and Hotrod, for example). I was concerned with the pace early on, but it's really moving and I'm looking forward to Devestation and the arrival of Sixshot.

Just Sixshot........no Reapers. Everytime I see them, I hear circus music.

A solid "B" issue, capping off a six-issue arc that surpasses the first.

Keep it up!

another tf fan
2007-05-03, 10:45 AM
The more i read these reviews the more ignorant i feel. I am not a comic book fan and I only by tf comics because they are Transformers related. I am often illuminated by the other readers about nuances and plot taht i miss by looking at the pretty pictures.

This issue was a great wrap up, Lovin Hot-Rod and the seekers blind alegiance to Megatron. Like stated earlier, issue five was more action packed but there is the Ironhde cliffhanger in this issue.

A very good issue in a great miniseries.

DrSpengler
2007-05-03, 08:26 PM
I liked the issue and the whole arc, but I felt the resolution suffered from Furman's inability to conclude any story without the use of MacGuffins or out of the blue built-in weaknesses. I mean, I've come to expect this sort of thing from Furman, but that still doesn't make it okay.

Prime's discovery that Ore-13 has a built-in weakness is the new "Last Autobot".


Still, barring THAT, I absolutely loved the thing. I thinkit's great how Furman's tying in those Spotlight issues and I look forward t seeing more Sixshot and Deathbringer.

The idea of Hot Rod being the same rank as Prowl, though, seemed kinda weird.

Anyway, save for an ending stolen from "Roll For It", great miniseries.

Zisteau
2007-05-04, 02:42 AM
:up: They seemed to have found their rhythm with the IDW comics now. I was a bit iffy about the whole new IDW style and universe with Infiltration but Escalation has been much better, aside from the whole predictable Furmanality of the thing as Spengs mentioned.

Denyer
2007-05-05, 01:20 AM
It'd flow better without big gaps between the main arcs, and I'm not thrilled to see the Reapers again -- they just aren't menacing.

That aside, there's some great stuff here. Elements such as Ironhide's use of his holo-projector, the tech war (over-extension of Ore 13 / Super Energon powered reactions as a power source causes swift depletion and burn-out), 'Streaker clones, and the impression that Nightbeat may actually have had a hand in liquidising the facsimile...

The way Megatron talks it's almost as if there's a tacit agreement that Autobot and Decepticon forces don't introduce large strike forces to a planet that's being contested. Why's Astrotrain considering it unthinkable? Hope this is explored in the next arc.

Laughed out loud at Megatron being stuck with a useless alt-mode. It does make you wonder why he picked it, although "arrogant enough to think he'd never be without a weapon" covers things nicely.

3.5/5

Sir Auros
2007-05-05, 03:26 AM
Originally posted by Denyer
It'd flow better without big gaps between the main arcs, and I'm not thrilled to see the Reapers again -- they just aren't menacing.


I either forgot or don't know who they are. Mind, I'm up to date on everything IDW with the exception of Stormbringer (never got issue #2).

Zisteau
2007-05-05, 04:13 AM
Originally posted by Sir Auros
I either forgot or don't know who they are. Mind, I'm up to date on everything IDW with the exception of Stormbringer (never got issue #2).

They were the guys in Sixshot's spotlight that he beat up.

Sir Auros
2007-05-05, 05:08 AM
Originally posted by another tf fan
The more i read these reviews the more ignorant i feel. I am not a comic book fan and I only by tf comics because they are Transformers related. I am often illuminated by the other readers about nuances and plot taht i miss by looking at the pretty pictures.


That's ok, and I think we'd probably all be glad that you're reading and enjoying them, because that's why they exist. Don't pay too much mind to us dissecting them and (especially) nitpicking. We do have a bunch of comic snobs here, but even they aren't opposed to you picking up some issues and enjoying them.

We like the pretty pictures too.

inflatable dalek
2007-05-05, 01:07 PM
Well, Megatron really is rubbish isn't he? Poor chap goes from certain victory to utter defeat in about two panels. Mind, the Autobots just standing about watching as he escapes insetad of-say- blasting more crap out of him and leaving Primes exposition for latter doesn't do them any favours either. I'm afraid to say after a good start in making Megs menacing for the first time in ages the IDW version is now officially a plank.


I'm betting EvilNightbeat fried the clone. and possibly did some more damage to Hot Rod to make sure he wouldn't be able to say Koska was fine when he came on board.

The way Megatron talks it's almost as if there's a tacit agreement that Autobot and Decepticon forces don't introduce large strike forces to a planet that's being contested. Why's Astrotrain considering it unthinkable? Hope this is explored in the next arc.

I'd say the Decepticons would normally have stripped the planet of anything they might find valuable before calling Sixshot in as he just toasts the place. I'd assume by not taking energy/natural resources beforehand in this case the cons won't get back what they've expended on taking the world in the first place leaving them at a deficit.

Whowas it in Primes trippy vision?

another tf fan
2007-05-05, 09:06 PM
Originally posted by inflatable dalek
Whowas it in Primes trippy vision?

Rodimus Prime passing on the wisdom of the matrix?

MegatronIDW
2007-05-06, 12:12 PM
No offense Inflatable Dalek but I don't see how him being defeated by a weakness he had no way of knowing of makes him "A plank". Considering that he damn near killed Optimus Prime, is responsible for setting off numerous war zones, survived a barrage of Autobot fire power that would have destroyed any other decepticon on earth PLUS surviving everything Optimus Prime could throw at him, I'd say he's still menacing.

Sir Auros
2007-05-06, 03:03 PM
Of course you'd say that. I mean, you're him and all.

MegatronIDW
2007-05-07, 06:07 PM
I have no idea what you're talking about fleshling...er, I mean, Sir Auros. I am a typical human vermin, spending my time online for the usual normal human reasons and not to, say, gather information on your pimitive species for my fellow Decepticons. (Shifty eyes) anyway, as I was saying, there is no way that I...uh, HE could have known about Ore 13's weakness...though the scene was a little rushed. Furman shall be having the null ray turned on him MANY times, as punishment for making me appear weak.

another tf fan
2007-05-07, 08:55 PM
so you ARE megatron?

wait, i'm confused....

Don't you have a conflict to escalate right now?

inflatable dalek
2007-05-08, 12:28 PM
Originally posted by MegatronIDW
No offense Inflatable Dalek but I don't see how him being defeated by a weakness he had no way of knowing of makes him "A plank".

He was defeated by not hearing a giant 50 tonn robot sneaking up behind him. And not killing Prime properly in the first place (he can't even have done that much damage to the body if oppy could reinhabbit it so soon). And not having an alt mode that depends on someone being their to hold him. The guy's is indeed, a plank.

Denyer
2007-05-08, 12:42 PM
Incidentally, I think this conclusively proves the Decepticons don't have/use holomatter technology.

corwin90
2007-05-09, 08:52 PM
Originally posted by another tf fan
Rodimus Prime passing on the wisdom of the matrix?


'Cuse my ignorance, but close up, those eyes look a lot like the big man himself, Unicron...?

Denyer
2007-05-09, 10:13 PM
Rest of the head doesn't look like him much at all, though...

Furman is, as far as we know, avoiding Unicron in the main book. We may see Unicron tie into the next Beast Wars series, but that isn't in the same continuity as the main IDW universe.

Denyer
2007-05-10, 10:24 PM
http://simonfurman.wordpress.com/2007/05/09/talkin-bout-my-devastation/

Some talk of Escalation, and some about future plans:
Effectively, this falls under the script (w)rap category, as I’ve just put the finishing touches to issue #2 of Transformers Devastation, the third (fourth if you count Stormbringer) arc of the ‘ongoing’ IDW G1 series. But, as my blog wasn’t entirely up and running when the script to issue #1 was wrapped, I figured it was best (first and foremost) to go back and intro the whole series. As always, these are teases rather than spoilers. I’ve been reading, with great interest, the feedback on Escalation (the final issue of which came out last week), taking onboard the good and the bad. A lot of people felt that enough stuff wasn’t conclusively wrapped up to merit calling it a final issue. Now, although I don’t tend to think of these issue #6s as ‘last’ issues, I do appreciate where they’re coming from, especially as Devastation doesn’t kick in until September. Devastation, I swear, will endeavour to draw a line under a several of the dangling plot threads (even as others kick in/off). So, what can we expect from Devastation? Well, for starters, Sixshot. He’s the spur that sets off a whole heap of other stuff, very much the cat among the pigeons. His appearance on Earth heralds… the return of Starscream (and yes, for those who’ve wondered, he’s been in a regenerative C.R Chamber since Infiltration #6, repaired but ‘on ice’ as it were), the Reapers’ (final?) rampage and Skywatch’s (first?) pre-emptive strike against the Transformers. Also, our ‘B’ plotline focuses very much on the Machination as we reveal (yes, reveal!) startling developments for Hunter, the fate of Sunstreaker and, yes, the ‘head’ of the Machination. Oh, and the IDW-verse Headmasters make their presence felt. Then there’s the build-up to Revelation, with more on Galvatron, the Dead Universe, [blank] Prime, (Double)Dealer (!) and Nightbeat (did he kill the Koska facsimile? You’ll have to wait until Revelation for that!). As mentioned previously, the Galvatron and Optimus Prime Spotlight issues (July and August respectively) are pretty essential reading and do actually bridge the gap between Escalation and Devastation somewhat. Sideswipe’s appearance in Galvatron is the foreshadowing of his ‘ongoing’ debut and the two (IDW) debuts in Optimus Prime set up the titanic fifth (sixth if you count Stormbringer) story arc. Anyhow, I’ve said enough (for now at least). I’ll be back with a formal (w)rap on Devastation #2 in due course.

inflatable dalek
2007-05-11, 12:44 PM
One thing I did consider as flaw with E6 is the so called "Head of the Machination" not be shown on page. Considering the revalation of the Headmasters effectively remove the very small chance of it not being Scorponok it seems pointless draging it out more.

Neuronutter
2007-05-12, 12:06 PM
Here's my (late) review of Escalation #6.

Wow. Just wow. I really enjoyed this comic. It’s a great round up for the superb Escalation series and gives us an update on a few ongoing threads from other Spotlights as well as leading nicely into Devastation. Now, I understand the artists involved with this series are in need of a rest and time to catch their breath but a four month hiatus is just cruel. I know they’ll be other TF comics in the meantime but I want to see the continuation of this as soon as possible! Ah well at least there’s the Op and Galvatron Spotlights.

So, the story rounds up the scrap in Brasnya with the revelation of Prime’s fall back plan and a very interesting journey through “transitional infraspace”, whatever that is. The sight of an unknown face that looks suspiciously Prime-like should make for an interesting reveal later and we also get a nice battle involving Megs against the ‘bots and the expected comedown of Megs on Ore-13. Personally I’m glad Prime’s not dead and that he manages to best Megs by using his military experience and tactical planning and not by brute force. It wouldn’t have seemed right for this Prime to casually enter a likely defeat against Megs without a wonder stroke that would save him. There’s also a great point about how useless Megs alt mode is, something that’s been debated for a long time! Oh and the Machination story also gets developed a little.

Once again Furman does a great job of developing the characters in play. Prime’s “”I’m back in play” and “Burn!” said when blasting Megs both made me smile and gives Op the feel of a more emotional and involved leader. Hardhead wanting to avenge Prime also gave him a passion not seen with the other ‘bots, whilst Hot Rod getting blasted protecting the facsimile further painted him as someone who will get the mission done whatever the cost. I’m glad IDW has kept the cast list relatively small thus giving time to develop the characters in the available space.

I also like how the ‘bots win the battle in Brasnya, but lose the facsimile, so it comes out a draw, also leaving the question of what the ‘bots will do next. With the impending arrival of Sixshot and a number of ‘bots out of commission, including Prime, Ironhide, Sunstreaker and Hot Rod, the ‘bots look to be outnumbered. Megs bringing Sixshot into play bodes very badly for Earth and makes for an intriguing setup for Devastation. With all the factions currently in play; Skywatch, the Machination, the ‘bots and Deceps, and Sixshot and the Reapers, it’s going to be great to watch Furman weave all the plots together.

One thing I do consider to be a shame is that the whole Infiltration gambit has been abandoned so quickly, and with the Reapers and Sixshot on the way I think that will be well and truly forgotten. Having said that Earth has become too important for the TFs to continue lurking in the shadows and it looks like Earth will need all the help available with the impending arrivals. I like the way the story has expanding and feels like it will continue to do so leading to an epic scale in the near future with Devastation and Revelation.

The art as usual is excellent. Su continues to provide a realistic take on the Transformers, one that provides a nice contrast to the styles of the Spotlights and other titles. I really hope that IDW keep Su on the ongoing through Devastation, Revelation and any other series as he’s got an excellent eye for this series. The one picture that did make me laugh is on page 3 when the ‘bots are firing on Megs and he has a wicked smile on his face. Megs looks like he was drawn by Roche or Wildman more than by Su demonstrating his ability to draw in different ways.

One thing I did wonder about was what does “kneel my a-“ mean on page 2. It’s said by Hardhead as he blasts Megs but I have no idea what he means. Anyone? Is it a mistake or am I missing something?

All in all an excellent end to an outstanding series that will hopefully lead onto even more astonishing things. I know we keep saying it but IDW have come up with a wonderful universe and hopefully will continue to delight us with superb stories for a very long time!

inflatable dalek
2007-05-12, 02:51 PM
Originally posted by Neuronutter

One thing I did wonder about was what does “kneel my a-“ mean on page 2. It’s said by Hardhead as he blasts Megs but I have no idea what he means. Anyone? Is it a mistake or am I missing something?

It's a variation on a long standing gag a lot of TV Shows and Movies do where a character starts to swear but then gets cut off. The word Hardhead was starting to say was "Arse". Making him a Cybertronian Father Jack.

Neuronutter
2007-05-12, 06:53 PM
Nope still don't get it. What does "kneel my arse" mean?

Clogs
2007-05-12, 07:51 PM
Originally posted by Neuronutter
Nope still don't get it. What does "kneel my arse" mean?

On page 1, Megatron, believing Optimus to be dead, orders the Autobots to "Kneel before me or share his fate." After a few exclamations, Hardhead blasts Megs and exclaims "Kneel my a...". There should probably be a comma after the 'kneel' to make it a bit more obvious that he's telling Megs he would rather not, as it were.

Yes? OK?

Neuronutter
2007-05-13, 07:58 AM
Originally posted by Clogs
On page 1, Megatron, believing Optimus to be dead, orders the Autobots to "Kneel before me or share his fate." After a few exclamations, Hardhead blasts Megs and exclaims "Kneel my a...". There should probably be a comma after the 'kneel' to make it a bit more obvious that he's telling Megs he would rather not, as it were.

Yes? OK?

Now I get it. It's a not understanding the flow thing, not a what's the missing word thing. I didn't understand he was replying to what Megs just said, not to Jazz who had actually just spoken. My mistake! Thanx Clogs!

Civ
2007-05-14, 09:22 AM
Originally posted by Neuronutter
There’s also a great point about how useless Megs alt mode is, something that’s been debated for a long time!

Yeah, which is a shame. Both Sixshot and Shockwave were both shown flying (okay, Shockers was more like jumping) and firing on their own in the IDW-verse but not Megatron. I hope for either he is capable of doing so and just didn't feel the need to transform since he was high on Ore-13 and the Autobots weren't doing s*** to him till the seizure or he gets an upgrade to fly and fire on his own. If neither of those happen, then yeah, we're back to Megatron having a useless mode while his minions/rivals have a useful gun mode.

Denyer
2007-05-14, 01:02 PM
Originally posted by inflatable dalek
The word Hardhead was starting to say was Aft?

trilobitepictures
2007-05-22, 04:03 PM
Has anyone read Escalation #6 yet? I have some questions about some of the art...
(I can wait if not many people have, as to avoid spoilers...)

(and, silly me, I don't have the issue in front of me... how dare I not bring it to work with me!)

zigzagger
2007-05-22, 04:21 PM
So....what do you need to know? I'm home at the moment, and definitely near a copy.

trilobitepictures
2007-05-22, 04:24 PM
The question that stands out at the moment is who/what is that watching Prime while he's in limbo/the matrix/his trailer at the start of the issue? The face that looks like Prime but with the Galactus-type prongs on the side of his head...

zigzagger
2007-05-22, 04:55 PM
Oh, that.

Your guess is as good as anyone’s - that’s one thing I can’t answer. The identity of the disembodied head, at this point, has yet to be revealed. Though, there has been plenty of reader speculation towards who it might be, Sentinel Prime being one of them. That theory, I’d imagine, has been brought on by his upcoming appearance in Megatron: Origin. Nemesis-whatever has been another one, though personally, I hope it isn’t. Besides, that doesn’t seem to fit with the current continuity. Sorry I couldn't be of much help.

trilobitepictures
2007-05-22, 05:04 PM
No, no... that's actually a big help. I was thinking that maybe it was some kind of reference to a Japanese character (kind of like those statues the Megatron stands under in the Dreamwave comics where he's talking about why he no longer trusted the Autobot council... issue 10, I think). Seeing that I'm basically a 'geewunner'... not putting down other storylines, but G1 came out when I was the right age, so I relate to it the best...

If nobody else knows and is as in the dark as I am, then great. I don't feel anywhere near as bad now.

I know I had at least one other question, but I'll need to flip through and find it.

Zisteau
2007-05-22, 10:23 PM
My guess would be either a previous prime or Primus himself, either way the implication I got was that it was a drifting within the matrix kind of thing.

Ballplayer
2007-05-27, 06:38 PM
Perhaps it's that guy from Troop, when Prime enters the matrix to find a cure for the Hate plague. You know that guy that seems to only consist of yellow lines ;)

inflatable dalek
2007-05-27, 07:20 PM
For Osku:

The Transformers Escalation Issue 6: A Review by Inflatable Dalek

Written by: Simon Furman.
Art by: E.J. Su.
Colours by: Zac Atkinson.
Letters by: Robbie Robbins.
Edits by: Chris Ryall and Dan Taylor.
Cover by: E.J. Su.
Variant Cover By: Klaus Scherwinski.

Synopsis:

Brasnya: Megatron gloats over the dead body and orders the Autobots to kneel before him. Jazz, Hardhead and Wheeljack launch an all out attack on the Decepticon leader but barely make a mark thanks to his Ore-13 power up.

A short distance away Prowl orders a reluctant Hot Rod to stay with Koska and wait for Nightbeat to use their teleport to take him back to the ship. Prowl himself goes to join the battle, hoping Prime isn't really dead.

The Autobot Leader is in fact still alive, having moved his mind into his Command Deck. Whilst en route in Transitional Space he has a strange vision of a unknown Transformer calling his name.

In Indiana Ironhide and Ratchet are working on getting the humans out of the cellar. Ratchet cuts a hole in the floor and Ironhides Simulcrum lifts them up through it. Ratchet manages to get clear just as the countdown reaches zero and the building explodes. But Ironhide had to be much closer to get his Simulcrum in the room and he gets badly damaged by the blast. All they have for their troubles is the Machination calling card.

Back in Brasnya, Hot Rod comes under attack from a returning Skywarp and new arrival Thundercracker before Nightbeat can retrieve him.

Prime contacts his troops and explains he knows the weakness of Ore 13 (thanks to his experience with Tunderwing in Stormbringer) and knows how to stop him. Putting his mind back into his body and blasts Megatron in the back of the head at point blank range. A now powerless Megatron is forced to retreat. But despite the slight victory the main object of the mission a failure. Not only was Hot Rod so badly damaged he had to be put into a CR Chamber but, according to Nightbeat the Facsimile of Koska didn't make it.

At the Machination Headquarters Mr. Dante shows a now conscious Hunter to the Big Giant Head and explains the procedure is now a success. Telling Hunter his purpose is now served, Dante ponders if perhaps he could be part of their New World Order, which involves several Headless Sunstreaker duplicates.

In Washington Skywatch leader Joshua Red learns of what has happened in Brasnya. The dig at Eureka won't give them anything useful for a while, but the long captured and chained up Ravage and Laserbeak are ready and raving to go.

Back at Deceptcion HQ a angry Megatron demands Sixshot be summoned even though it's to early for his level of devastation to be used on a World. On Muma Obscura the Reapers prepare to follow him to Earth...

Characters Featured: Megatron, Optimus Prime [Dead, then alive], Hardhead, Jazz, Wheeljack, Prowl, Hot Rod, Koska Facsimile [Dead], Giant Floating Head [The first of two this issue], Ratchet, Ironhide , Jimmy, Verity, Skywarp, Thundercracker, Nightbeat, Hunter, Mr. Dante, The Other Big Giant Head, Joshua Red, Ravage, Laserbeak, Astrotrain, Sixshot, The Reapers.

[B]Notes:

Ahhhh, the many deaths of Optimus Prime. Prime surviving by putting his mind elsewhere is similar to what happened in Marvel US #24 Afterdeath, though there it was an ordinary floppy disc he put his mind into. Though it's slightly hard to say due to most of his "Deaths" not being anything of the sort (as here), this is probably the shortest time he's ever spent "declared" dead.


Prime, wisely, has practised this before, though not over such a distance or under combat conditions. Megatron presumably doesn't know Optimus is capable of this.

We have confirmation that Megatron can't do anything without help in gun mode. He seems to be about to use his 'ol Anti Matter eyes at one point before Prime blasts him.

Prowl and Hot Rod are the same rank, but on Earth the local commander has seniority.

The floating head in transitional space is as yet unexplained (though he does have a strong Big Convoy/Nemesis Prime look to him). Furman has said he's planning to avoid using Unicron, but that doesn't rule out this being Primus.

Prime learnt that Super Energon can be countered by strong concentrated fire power at close range in Stormbringer. This is much more of a leap of faith than Prime lets on though, Thunderwing took a lot more concentrated fire from a far larger army over a longer period of time. Megatrons lack of a Pretender shell probably hinders him in this regard.

When a Facsimile dies they turn into green goo. This is a long standing SF staple, the two most obvious influences being the infiltrating aliens of The Invaders and the alien/human hybrids of The X-Files. Considering he's (unknown to himself) a brainwashed double agent one has to wonder if Nightbeat killed Koska, as well as damaging Hot Rod enough to ensure he won't talk for a while (though in that case killing Hot Rod outright would have been the obvious choice).

Skywatch captured Ravage and Laserbeak in the spotlight (which was Joshua Red's debut). Presumably they're going to be used to track the Transformers to their various bases and have had their brain modules tampered with in some way to make them more servile. The fact the attack on Brasnya is the first they've heard of the planets new arrivals is firm confirmation they're not associated with the Machination at all.

Astrotrain is shocked at the thought of bringing Sixshot to Earth, presumably the Decepticons would normally strip the planet of energy before having him toast it. Muma Obscura and the Reapers first appeared in Sixshot's [i]Spotlight.

Oddly enough both Hot Rod and Megatron reference the *ahem*popular*ahem* British reality show I'm a Celebrity- Get Me Out of Here! when calling on someone to, well, get them out of there.

The Giant Head running the Machination is almost certainly Scorponok, the Sunstreaker doubles being used to replicate the Headmaster process.

As usual the first five pages were previewed online. Events will continue latter this year in Devastation after IDW spend the Summer concentrating on the Live Action Transformers Movie...

Goofs:

So, doesn't Megatron notice the giant robot sneaking up behind him? Was Optimus on tip toe? I bet he's regretting that choice of alt mode now as well. Even without knowing Primes special skill you think he'd kill the Autobot leader a bit more definitively as well, Prime doesn't have to spend more than a few minuets out of his body before he can reoccupy it. If Megs had ripped his head of it would have gone very differently.

Why are Ironhide and Ratchet going through the elaborate cutting through the floor thing rather than Ironhide just carrying them out of the building, which he could easily do in less time? If they're to heavy for him to carry both Ratchet could send his Simulcrum down as well. And why does Ironhide need to be so much closer to the shop than Ratchet when the medic is parked right over our human heroes?

The Decepticon cloning technology really is a bit rubbish if the Facsimiles turn to green goo when they die. Even if you assume that the Decepticons replace them quickly when they die asleep in bed what if one gets hit by a car or has a heart attack in McDonalds?

Skywatch- A top secret Government agency dedicated to tracking aliens with a vested interest in the Transformers doesn't hear about the Brasnyan incident until after it happens from a spy in the country. Don't they have people watching satellite recording like prowl was a few issues ago? Aren't they hacked into all the main government mainframes and monitoring military communications for just such a thing? It's not as if Russia going to war is a small obscure thing they might have overlooked. No wonder Skywatch is so dependant on the Cassettes to do their work for them.

Sixshot is completely grey on the last page.

Not a goof as such, but does anyone else find the idea of a army of Sunstreaker hilarious? Obviously the Machinations New Order will involve a lot of personal preening and saying how great you are all the time.

Quote, Unquote.
Megatron: Hear me Autobots! Optimus Prime is dead! The final battle in this long and bitter struggle belongs to Megatron! Kneel before me or share his fate!

Hardhead: Knell my A- [Very Joss Wheedon that].

Prowl : Seems Megatrons got no real long-range weaponry at his disposal and no way to access his alt-mode without someone to hold him.

Prowl: And if Starscream and his little infiltration unit have ironed out that little quirk [From the Ore-13]?
Optimus: Then we're as good as dead.

Optimus has his Arnie moment: Megatron... BURN!

Ratchet: Sunstreaker, Ironhide, who's next? And still we have no idea who's behind all this!

[B]Review:
I did not invite debate. Let there be Devastation!.

One of Simon Furman's big weaknesses as a writer is that the conclusions to his arcs often fall apart after a strong start. Thankfully this isn't quiet the case here, things aren't as good as the previous few issues but generally this is good stuff.

The nicest thing is the subtle differentiation between Optimus and Megatrons attitudes. The Decepticon goes in gins blazing and without thinking things through (the useless alt-mode could even be seen as an acceptable extension of this flaw if it weren't so insanely stupid), but Prime takes time to think things through, plans them out in advance (such as his mind transfer) and has taken the time to study Ore-13 properly.

We also get a fun Megatron/Autobots battle, an intriguing turn in the Skywatch saga and some nice mystery over Nightbeats motivation.

The flaws include Megatron descending into full comedy stooge mode (he goes from certain victory to utter defeat in less than 22 pages, a record even for him), the plotline with the humans having treaded water for two issues now and the fact that it's the weakest of the initial Spotlights that seems to be going to play the biggest part in future events (did anyone want to see the Reapers again?)

Still, a good solid conclusion that sets things up well for the next phase.

Clogs
2007-05-27, 08:32 PM
Quote from Inflatable Dalek:

"Not a goof as such, but does anyone else find the idea of a army of Sunstreaker hilarious? Obviously the Machinations New Order will involve a lot of personal preening and saying how great you are all the time."

LOL indeed! I never thought of that!!! :laugh:

Osku
2007-07-04, 03:55 PM
Got it on Monday, it was quite a torture to wait for the issue so long.

Not much to add to previous reviews. A rather solid issue with some nice characterisation. Ending would have been OK, if we didn't have to wait four months for the continuation. Showing Scorponok's head would have been a vice move as well.

I'm not exactly thrilled to see Sixshot and Reapers again, but I guess I'll have to wait and see if they come across better than in the Spotlight issue.

Inf. Dalek: Thanks for posting the review in this thread as well.

I'd have to disagree with your "Megatron is a plank" summary though. I see Megatron in Escalation suffering from Ore-13 side effects (power drunk, arrogant) and doing things he wouldn't necessarily do otherwise. I'd almost want to see Megatron mentioning his choice of alternate mode (back in his tank mode naturally) "Anyone mentioning my... not so well chosen alternate mode will be slagged, understood?". ;)

Halfshell
2007-07-19, 12:32 PM
Right. I finally sat down and read this, en masse, yesterday.

I enjoyed it. That's all I've really got to add.

Liked the "mass-shifting is only really possible with ore-whatever" thing.

Hated the "if you shoot lots and wait a while, the superpowered monster will just stop" reprise.

Really hope the head isn't Scorponok. Maybe it's Flywheels?

The floaty space head looked like Big Convoy to me.

Maybe it's connected to whatever Galvatron represents?

Liked the small inference that Nightbeat squished the squishy... but does it really tie in with him working for Galvatron? Ooh, exciting.

Definitely works better as a "trade story" than Infiltration did in issues.

inflatable dalek
2007-07-20, 06:03 PM
Originally posted by Brendocon


Liked the "mass-shifting is only really possible with ore-whatever" thing.

Except in the Soundwave Spotlight where Soundwave can do it simply because he's mother ****ing cool.

Hated the "if you shoot lots and wait a while, the superpowered monster will just stop" reprise.

It's slightly worse here, it took a bloody big army to zap Thunderwing down. All Prime needs to do is shoot Megs once in the head. It can be rationalised (Megs doesn't have a Pretender shell, the Earth Ore isn't as good, Prime got round to reading the instructions on his gun...) but it still seems odd.

Really hope the head isn't Scorponok. Maybe it's Flywheels?

based on what's in the other Spotlights (not sure how many you've read so I won't go into huge details) that's unlikely.

The floaty space head looked like Big Convoy to me.

My thoughts as well. I'm assuming it's a case of EJ looking at his shelf for inspiration for a "Prime style head" rather than Furman actually planing a big crossover.

Liked the small inference that Nightbeat squished the squishy... but does it really tie in with him working for Galvatron? Ooh, exciting.

I'm thinking he's just under general orders to **** up the Autobots plans and keep them on a back foot until he gets activated for his main purpose.

Halfshell
2007-07-20, 06:10 PM
Originally posted by inflatable dalek
based on what's in the other Spotlights (not sure how many you've read so I won't go into huge details) that's unlikely.


Do I need to tag this? Oh, sod it, I have done.

I'm actually fully up-to-date on everything now. I can see why it's probably Scorponok... but one thing IDW have done really well so far is **** about with the standard expectations - they've swerved us twice already on the binary bonding score by decimating Nebulos and killing Zarak... so it would take the sheen off for them to turn round and do Scorpy as a HM anyway.

I live in hope. Actually I live in England, but the other sounds better.

inflatable dalek
2007-07-20, 06:29 PM
Well, as you've set the standard:

An amazing twist where it isn't Scorponok would just about explain the odd choice not to reveal him here when it would seem the natural place to end his Blofeld impression. But then, it would have to be someone with roughly the same head shape. maybe the new guy from the Entirely Canon New Avengers crossover?

Halfshell
2007-07-20, 07:02 PM
[the spoilers were re Zarak]

Yeah, that's the thing though. If it was Scorpy, they could just reveal it on the grounds that it's obvious. The fact they haven't is what lets me hope it's not.

My initial thought was Soundwave, given that we know he's on Earth... but the dialogue just doesn't fit with the character. It's going to need to be a character that's well known / established, otherwise there's little drama to the reveal. "OMG... it's Krok!1" just doesn't wash. Sadly Scorps is the only viable option.

inflatable dalek
2007-07-20, 07:19 PM
Actually, Krok being behind it all would rock and tie in with all the Action Master cameos (well, two, but that's two more than the world needed).

I'm betting Scorpy has no plans to become a Headmaster himself, he just wants a new body. It looks as if the Sunstreaker army are going to be the only headmasters we see.

Halfshell
2007-07-20, 07:23 PM
Originally posted by inflatable dalek
Actually, Krok being behind it all would rock and tie in with all the Action Master cameos (well, two, but that's two more than the world needed).

**** you. Banzai-Tron's appearance is the greatest thing in the IDW universe so far. The only thing they could do to top that would be a Flywheels spotlight.

It looks as if the Sunstreaker army are going to be the only headmasters we see.

Which I can live with. Variations = teh rawk. I was actually quite disappointed at Megatron becoming a gun.

inflatable dalek
2007-07-20, 07:30 PM
Originally posted by Brendocon
**** you. Banzai-Tron's appearance is the greatest thing in the IDW universe so far

I want him to show up again if only to find out if making his name one word was deliberate or not...


The only thing they could do to top that would be a Flywheels spotlight.

Considering we've had Generation 2 characters show up to pad out crowds I'd say it can only be a matter of time. But what would IDW be able to do next to keep reader interest?



I was actually quite disappointed at Megatron becoming a gun.

I wouldn't have minded if they'd made it work, but it just made Megs look a tit.

Halfshell
2007-07-20, 07:35 PM
Originally posted by inflatable dalek
But what would IDW be able to do next to keep reader interest?

A prequel series where you can actually tell what the ****'s going on?

inflatable dalek
2007-07-20, 07:47 PM
Originally posted by Brendocon
A prequel series where you can actually tell what the ****'s going on?

Shockwave did it.


I'm surprised you didn't go for the "Flywheels ongoing" option. Banzaitron could be his arch-enemy in search of the missing hyphen.

Oh, and could Jimmy and Verity please be allowed to change their cloaths, or at least refer to having washed them fairly soon?

One other thing I didn't get but forgot to mention in my reviews: Why do the Machination go to the effort of setting an explosive death trap for anyone that enters their headquarters, but provide a ten minuet countdown before exploding anything so as to give anyone outside the room with the gas in a chance to escape?

Clogs
2007-07-20, 08:24 PM
Originally posted by inflatable dalek
One other thing I didn't get but forgot to mention in my reviews: Why do the Machination go to the effort of setting an explosive death trap for anyone that enters their headquarters, but provide a ten minuet countdown before exploding anything so as to give anyone outside the room with the gas in a chance to escape?

Why, sir! I thought one understood that there are certain conventions one's villains' plots have to contain! Please refer to Pterry for further enlightenment.

Halfshell
2007-07-21, 03:22 PM
Originally posted by inflatable dalek
I'm surprised you didn't go for the "Flywheels ongoing" option.

It's not mutally exclusive...

inflatable dalek
2007-07-21, 03:30 PM
Originally posted by Brendocon
It's not mutally exclusive...

Leadfoot was cooler than Flywheels anyway.

Cliffjumper
2007-08-10, 02:26 PM
Got all six for £4 including P&P off ebay. Second-hand means I stop IDW getting the money too - nothing to do with Escalation, but a minor pleasure seeing as they spread the waffer-thine plot of Immobilisation across 22 issues.

It was... alright, on first read. Nothing staggering, and it seems to have "War & Peace" syndrome from a lot of the reviews I've read ("This is better than the first one! And as we went easy on that one, that means this is better than Miracleman!!!"). The pacing, however, is much improved - not the moronic 21 pages of space/here comes the infodump! style of Incapacitation, but not stupidly OTT like Dreamwave's 2nd/3rd series... it build nicely, and the final battle was genuinely well done. Nice to see three relative wild cards in there as well - something DW largely failed to capitalise on, what with their apparent insistence on introducing characters in original release order.

The Adventure Kids weren't quite as annoying this time round - at least they served some sort of purpose, and at least Verity has the new character development of Shutting The **** Up for whole pages at a time.

I still think Furman's attempts to prove himself as part of the Birtish Invasion (conspiracies to cause a diplomatic incident and so on) are a bit embarassing, and take away from his strengths. It also looks a bit stupid when he then goes all 80s Marvel on us with Brasnya. Wonder whether it was him or the company that lost their balls on that one?

The Transformers are superb - I like the slightly cold Prime especially. As with Inactivation, they aren't the problem... This time it's the government super-suit Roadjammer types I could do without... I get that humans (and human governments) would have some sort of role to play, and some sort of response to give, I just wish it wasn't spooks with super-duper guns. Also, some government agency is never going to be as strong or interesting a threat as some well-written Decepticons, which this story demonstrated fairly brutally.

Overall, I actually enjoyed reading it, which was good, as with Infiltration I felt kinda obliged to buy it, and was glad when the thing stuttered to a halt having built up a whole 2mph. Good stuff. Let's hope Thirdseriesation is another step up.

Halfshell
2007-08-10, 02:32 PM
Have you been reading the Spotlights? Escalation feels a lot better with the depth added by the other material.

Originally posted by Cliffjumper
Also, some government agency is never going to be as strong or interesting a threat as some well-written Decepticons, which this story demonstrated fairly brutally.

Well, to be fair, of the two Agency interests, one of them is about to unleash some Decepticons, and the other is apparently run by one... so we'll see how it all pans out.

Cliffjumper
2007-08-10, 02:43 PM
Yeh, I'm prepared to wait and see, now there're signs of IDW actually showing me something to see. I just think the whole thing is, based on what we have so far, a little unnecessary and not particularly interesting.

The Spotlights? Read the first two, largely got put off by a raft of largely uninteresting characters. They're on my list, but pretty far down - I wouldn't mind reading them, but there are better things out there to buy. 'Sides which, if the bastards are giving it a banner title and publishing it as a six-issue mini-series, it shouldn't really need lots of other little comics to hold it up - the page count's higher than Olympus, after all...

One thing I forgot to say is all the action sequences are much sharper - I'm not sure if the problems in the first one were down to Furman, Su or the need to pad out a gossamer-thin plot out to ~140 pages in order to shift TPBs, but it's sorted now - it actually feels like there's some energy in the sequences, rather than two groups of robots very slowly moving around.

Halfshell
2007-08-10, 02:54 PM
Originally posted by Cliffjumper
The Spotlights? Read the first two, largely got put off by a raft of largely uninteresting characters.

They're best read as plot device introductions than for characters... they're introducing elements that give other stuff context. Besides, the books are usually just as much about the supporting cast than the title figure.

Sixshot and Hot Rod are the only ones I've not been impressed by, tbh. The former because it's rubbish, the latter because the twist was obvious. Though Sixshot's obviously is now important.

Soundwave's is more a prequel to Stormbringer than it is about him. Galvatron's fleshes out Nightbeat's... and also gets points for doing something relatively original with the character.

The Shockwave, Soundwave, Sixshot and probably Ultra Magnus issues are likely to be referenced in Devastation. But they probably won't be required reading. The Reapers are introduced in Sixshot's issue, but it's not like we know anything about them beyond the vague concept... which is likely to be readily apparent as soon as we meet them.

'Sides which, if the bastards are giving it a banner title and publishing it as a six-issue mini-series, it shouldn't really need lots of other little comics to hold it up

Yeah, that's a valid issue. I try to approach the whole shebang as an ongoing story, where we occasionally get standalone stories as interludes to the main. The numbering doesn't help, though. But I suppose, as alluded to, for the bulk of it you don't have to have read the Spotlights. It can stand alone (and does, imo) - the Spotlights are just sort of "further reading" to add a bit more context.

I wonder if my scanner works. What? I'm just thinking aloud... has nothing to do with anything...

So far the only thing IDW have published which I don't think is worth the effort on any level is the Megatron mini...

inflatable dalek
2007-08-10, 03:03 PM
Originally posted by Brendocon
So far the only thing IDW have published which I don't think is worth the effort on any level is the Megatron mini...

The original Movie adaptation will take a whoooole lotta beating. If we're talking main continuity, the New Avengers thing has been known to kill bunnies, it's that bad.

When a friend who wanted to check out some of the new trades asked for some advice I actually reccomended the Spotlight one as a good starting point.

Sixshot and Hot Rod are the only ones I've not been impressed by, tbh. The former because it's rubbish, the latter because the twist was obvious.

Wait... are you saying that there's some sort of link between Dealer and Double Dealer? :eek:

Halfshell
2007-08-10, 03:06 PM
Originally posted by inflatable dalek
The original Movie adaptation will take a whoooole lotta beating. If we're talking main continuity, the New Avengers thing has been known to kill bunnies, it's that bad.

Yeah, sorry. I meant stuff I've read.

You know what you're getting into buying the Movie adaptation. And if you hold out any hope of a TF crossover ever being good in this day and age, you deserve everything you get.

Oh, Hearts of Steel was wank, too. But we all know that.

inflatable dalek
2007-08-10, 03:10 PM
Originally posted by Brendocon
You know what you're getting into buying the Movie adaptation. And if you hold out any hope of a TF crossover ever being good in this day and age, you deserve everything you get.

Are you saying I deserve this ulcer? :(

Oh, Hearts of Steel was wank, too. But we all know that.

I'd forgotten actually, there goes the repression.

I'm looking forward to the inevitable threeway TF/Doctor Who/Star Trek crossover. They could call it Wank.

Zisteau
2007-08-10, 09:55 PM
Originally posted by Brendocon

You know what you're getting into buying the Movie adaptation. And if you hold out any hope of a TF crossover ever being good in this day and age, you deserve everything you get.



I'd agree, although I quite enjoyed the TF/JIJoe crossover (but then I love anything Jae Lee draws).

Denyer
2007-08-10, 10:39 PM
Originally posted by Cliffjumper
The Spotlights? Read the first two, largely got put off by a raft of largely uninteresting characters. They're on my list, but pretty far down Best comics IDW have put out, IMO. With the exception of Sixshot... not so keen on that being a major plot point next story arc. In general short and self-contained works best for my money.

It's a shame the series can't be published as a numbered ongoing, but it does boil down to comics stores not being prepared to stock things from an indie they can't package as #1 issues or near to a #1. Certainly not after the DW crash and burn.

Am I the only person here who actually enjoyed HoS?

Cliffjumper
2007-08-10, 11:12 PM
Originally posted by Denyer
Am I the only person here who actually enjoyed HoS?

Yup.

Might get Kup soon, just because BritDon's art does look tasty. Though, that said, I might just spend the money on really weird Gobot knock-offs instead...

For Devastation I'd personally like the MIB stuff bought out into the open, finished off and closed down as a #1 priority, then writing out the pointless two of the Adventure Kids (maybe with one... oooh, random pick-a-name... Verity?) getting killed on the way. The stuff concerning the Transformers themselves is looking after itself nicely, though I still think there's a lot of extraneous stuff that the book just doesn't need. The improvement over the first batch of issues has been pretty sharp, but it's still got some way to go... I think condensing the two "mini-series" down into one action-packed six-parter, dropping some of the clutter, would have made an absolute cracker of a series - my main problem is it's got the same sort of feel as Furman's Energon comic, there are just so many parallel strands none of them are really moving particularly quickly - let's be honest, it's taken, what, a year or so to get us this far :)

inflatable dalek
2007-08-11, 12:13 PM
Originally posted by Cliffjumper
Might get Kup soon, just because BritDon's art does look tasty. Though, that said, I might just spend the money on really weird Gobot knock-offs instead...

Surely there can't be that many wierd Go-Bot knock off's left in the world you don't own?

For Devastation I'd personally like the MIB stuff bought out into the open, finished off and closed down as a #1 priority, then writing out the pointless two of the Adventure Kids (maybe with one... oooh, random pick-a-name... Verity?) getting killed on the way.

The Kids are one of two things that annoyed me about Escalation (the other being the attempts to remove any threat whatsoever from Megatron). The stuff with them drags out (they spend what, two issues asleep?), is horribly contrived- why bother with a ten minuet countdown rather than just blowing the building up straight off? Who go through that cutting through the floor thing to get them out when the Similucrums could just carry them out in less time? A top secret door in a top secret hidden hideout that can be opened by wedging a ruler in it?.

The MIB stuff doesn't bother me so much, mainly because the Machination subvert the form somewhat by turning out to be Decepticons as well rather than a Government agency. Though the fact that any Movie tie in stuff will also be featuring MIB's it might get dropped to avoid covering the same ground.

Denyer
2007-08-11, 02:43 PM
Originally posted by inflatable dalek
why bother with a ten minuet countdown rather than just blowing the building up straight off? Mmm, falls rather flat because there's no question of the characters actually dying from what we've seen so far.

I think it's fairly realistic there are lots of human factions vying for TF stuff, though...

Only thing I'm worried about is, as I say, Sixshot.

inflatable dalek
2007-08-11, 03:52 PM
Originally posted by Denyer

I think it's fairly realistic there are lots of human factions vying for TF stuff, though...


We've only one human faction though, the other is Decepticon with human minions. Though who knows, Joshua Red might rip off a rubber mask to reveal Flywheels yet...

Halfshell
2007-08-11, 03:58 PM
It's not Sixshot I'm worried about... it's the Reapers.

Originally posted by inflatable dalek
why bother with a ten minuet countdown rather than just blowing the building up straight off?

In the event that one of their own accidentally knocks the business card off the sensor, thus giving them enough time to reverse the polarity take countermeasures?

inflatable dalek
2007-08-11, 04:07 PM
Originally posted by Brendocon
It's not Sixshot I'm worried about... it's the Reapers

I'm hoping Johny 5 turns out to be the leader.


In the event that one of their own accidentally knocks the business card off the sensor, thus giving them enough time to reverse the polarity take countermeasures?

How would they do that after being knocked out by the gas first? It just seems odd- we'll gas you first, but then wait a while before blowing you up so anyone outside can rescue you. BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

The system is probably designed by the same person who came up with the burglar alarm on Bond's Lotus in For Your Eyes Only...

Halfshell
2007-08-11, 04:10 PM
Maybe they're immune to the gas.

Eh? Ever think about that.

MAYBE THEY'RE IMMUNE TO THE GAS.

Maybe it's a gas mask only zone. Maybe the experiments that [the Decepticon who's probably behind the Machination] is notorious for include making humans immune to the gas.

Eh?

Eh?

A?!!!!!11oneohenee

inflatable dalek
2007-08-11, 04:14 PM
Maybe they're immune to honking big explosions as well?

And wouldn't it make more sense to trigger the gas/bomb when people break into the secret door after hours rather than letting them see inside first?

Halfshell
2007-08-11, 04:17 PM
You'd be a shocking Bond villain, you realise that?

inflatable dalek
2007-08-11, 04:22 PM
What, just because I'd kill him in the first act and spend the next hour and a half bonking Barbara Bach?

I don't mind big operatic Bondian style villains, it's just that most ofn the Verity/Jimmy stuff seemed less in service of this and more about shoving them off to one side for a bit whilst the real plot gets on elsewhere.

Cliffjumper
2007-08-12, 01:04 PM
Re-read the first couple again, and for some reason skipped this little gem of COMPLETELY DEAD ORIGINAL AND NOT AT ALL SECOND-HAND JUBILEE CHARACTERISATION for Avril: -

"I've not been wanted anywhere, by anyone, since I started crawling"

Boo-hoo-hoo. Don't you just want to stab her in the face?

Which one got kidnapped again? Fox Mulder or No He's Not Spike Honest? Is it me, or are they the same basic person, taking it in turns to be a foil for Avril?

Also, somehow missed the exposition at the start of the second one, where Ironhide calls Prime, tells him he has nothing to add, but Prime asks him to repeat himself because

That's not sledgehammer, that's ****ing ICBM exposition. Heh, clunky old Furman :)

Hot Rod's a complete dick as well...

I did like the way Jazz picked up his gun when transforming, though. Su's art's really good this time, not just "not bad and he posts here", but actually pretty damn good.

I did like the story, I'm just not all that sure why. Oh no, wait, Roller.

inflatable dalek
2007-08-12, 02:35 PM
Roller's had more character than Wheeljack.

Oh, and it was Mulder.

Cliffjumper
2007-08-13, 02:59 PM
Originally posted by Commander Shockwav
But again, the biggest problem I have is the dialogue. I hated Primes "Megatron.....burn!" I still think Simon uses too many cliche comments scattered throughout the story, too many casual Earthen phrases that somehow irritate me.

Got to wholeheartedly agree with this. I mean, considering there's a fair bit of effort gone into keeping most of the Autobots a bit more aloof and cold than usual (Prime's completely thoughtless totalling of the getaway truck is like something out of Robo Machines, a great big sign saying "the rules have changed - isn't that great?"), and yet against that we have Jazz talking like Scatman Crothers for no ****ing reason. i get that there might be a little cultrual rub-off from the Adventure Kids, but stuff like "Oh-kay", "hardcore", "m'man, "Is this a prviate party, or can anyone crash?" and so on just jerks you out of the mood, while phrases like "mortal remains" and "hell to pay" just sound like these are big people in armour. It's just so needless, and adds to the impression that Furman is duplicating style but not understanding it.

It's like there's two people in there fighting it out... one can win a whole issue or just a couple of frames, and the result is a mad collision between 1980s Marvel exposition-driven stuff and bang-up-to-date widescreen... both styles really work, but not together. The balanace is a bit more sorted than in the quasi-comatose Infiltration, but there are still some downright moronic spells where people just stand around and tell each other stuff they must already know for no readily apparent reason. Why does Skywarp need reminding that he shot at Megatron and had to be put into CR?

I am enjoying the tweaked characters...

Ratchet's good fun. Completely knocked off from Bob's early work, but then why break it if it isn't fixed? Ironhide actually has a personality you couldn't write in one word as well, while I'm loving the non-sentimental Prime - he's not the idiot so ludicrously bound by his morals as in the cartoon or some of the comic, which makes him a lot less frustrating. The edgy, plucky Prowl is a nice refinement as well, and works a lot better without Furmlock standing around going "Me Grimlock do whatever me want". I mean, you can see the guy's point with this stuff, he isn't just there to make Grimmers look BADASS d00d!!!!!

It's a ****in' shame Grimlock's going to turn up, really. I like the guy, don't get me wrong, but his characterisation had run its' course by the end of G2 (at the very latest) and there's no evidence that Furman has any new ideas for him. Sunstreaker's still in the antagonistic, shallow cock mode he had in the DW brainfart, but hopefully we'll get a bit more out of him. Jazz and Wheeljack are still a little empty - Jazz just talks like he's from the Rat Pack, and Wheeljack's just sort of there. bit of a shame they made Hot Rod such an utter wanker, though - I was really hoping Furman would up the stakes a bit and have Megatron just kill him. If Nightbeat did put the boot into him after he got back, that's yet another good point down for the 'tec. Most of the 'Cons are still a bit empty, but then they always have been - this is why we have female Transformer fans, so they can extrapolate long, meandering fanfics to tell us what exactly the difference between Skywarp and Thundercracker actually is.

Megatron's not too bad... Every now and then, Furman comes close to capturing the slightly whimsical (not really the right word, I know), fatalistic G2 version that seems aware he's not taking the most sensible option, but does it anyway... It's a shame they cut Megatron's balls off so quickly after such a promising start - it's possibly a shame they didn't have him simply taking off after knocking Prime out, dismisssing the others as a potential threat and leaving him undefeated. Now we know you just have to walk up to him and shoot him in the face... Big, big shame they went for the gun mode too. It's about the first concession IDW have really made to the fanboys, and it actually shows in the writing - I really don't think Furman made the decision by himself... A tank would have fitted the plot better, IMO (why do the rest of the Brasnyan insurgents not question the tank-busting pistol?). Hopefully Megs, having given the idiots their 1984 fix, will reconfigure into something useful for the next bout.

Could the head be Starscream?

Halfshell
2007-08-13, 03:31 PM
Originally posted by Cliffjumper
Ironhide actually has a personality you couldn't write in one word as well

That said, I do like the movie characterisation of Ironhide, though it can be summed up in one word. Just for the juxtaposition of it.

... bollocks. You've still not seen it, have you? You realise how difficult you're making things? ;)

this is why we have female Transformer fans, so they can extrapolate long, meandering fanfics to tell us what exactly the difference between Skywarp and Thundercracker actually is.

Normally I'd make a snarky "the colour" comment, but seeing as I'm pretty sure Skywarp was miscoloured for a full issue in Escalation, I won't...

Could the head be Starscream?

Can't see it myself. It wouldn't really scan with Infiltration... and I think Starscream's in a CR chamber.

The whole Machination thing fits almost perfectly with Scorponok's MO established in the Ultra Magnus spotlight. But it's just too obvious for my taste.

Cliffjumper
2007-08-13, 04:13 PM
Yeh, dunno what I'm going to do about seeing the movie... finding a day when both Sar and I are off and up for going to Southampton is proving tricky :(

Spotlight Ultra Magnus... that's one of these forty-odd other comics I've got to read in order to get this self-contained mini-series, yeh? I shouldn't bitch, actually, judging by their scruples, we're lucky IDW don't publish #1-5 in single form, and only put #6 in the trade... At least Micromasters had no bearing on Vol. 3...

Halfshell
2007-08-13, 04:33 PM
I still maintain you don't need to read the Spotlights in order to get the mini. It's just added depth.

It's like you don't need to have read Bendis' Daredevil in order to know what's going on in Alias. Sure, it enhances context, but it's not really essential. Expanded background - not integral.

You could easily say that, in order to get the most out of Planetary, you need to have read absolutely everything ever... but that would be harsh. ;)

[EDIT] Ooh, Marvel comparison.

The Spotlights are the proper series. Infiltration, Escalation, et al are the big crossover events. They stand alone, but make more sense if you're following the other books.

And, to be fair, have IDW ever actually claimed that it's self contained? Officially it's #11 through 16 of the "main" title. Their approach to numbering is ****ing appalling, though.

Complaining that it's self-contained yet relies on the Spotlights is about the same as complaining that you need to have read Infiltration. Which is a far more valid complaint given that Infiltration was dull as dishwater whilst the Spotlights have overall been quite fun.

Cliffjumper
2007-08-13, 04:53 PM
The Marvel one was an ongoing! They didn't lie and call UK #261-270 "Flatulation" or something! S'dffrunt... IDW should give me free copies of stuff to cover their own sloppy "lack of timelines/suggested reading orders in favour of cock in hilarious costume/fanboy ranting".

More seriously, if I hadn't read over this thread, and got "Devastation" without getting any more Stealth Sales issues, the head being Scorponok would feel like a cheap, implausible piece of Bradmickery.

Maybe they could make the main series just a series of non-sequential frames of random action, like a poster book, and each main "series" could be accompanied by about a dozen Spotlights that link to each one and explain what the Hell's going on? Factor in the vital 60,000 variant covers (Spotlight Hot Rod Cover B - Version We Didn't Bother Colouring In!), and that's something like four million extra, advert-packed issues IDW can ship :)

Halfshell
2007-08-13, 04:57 PM
Originally posted by Cliffjumper
The Marvel one was an ongoing! They didn't lie and call UK #261-270 "Flatulation" or something!

I meant Marvel X-Men / Middle East Avengers / Whoever's In the Fantastic Four This Week stuff... :(

More seriously, if I hadn't read over this thread, and got "Devastation" without getting any more Stealth Sales issues, the head being Scorponok would feel like a cheap, implausible piece of Bradmickery.

Yeah, I think I alluded earlier in the thread that I really hope it's not him. It's too obvious. And yet also forced.

"OMG Krok" would be far better.

Factor in the vital 60,000 variant covers (Spotlight Hot Rod Cover B - Version We Didn't Bother Colouring In!)

At least Nextwave had the class to call it "Crayon Butchery Variant" and make it into a glorified art competition.

Clogs
2007-08-13, 07:35 PM
Originally posted by Cliffjumper
Most of the 'Cons are still a bit empty, but then they always have been - this is why we have female Transformer fans, so they can extrapolate long, meandering fanfics to tell us what exactly the difference between Skywarp and Thundercracker actually is

:(

I thought we were the tolerated minority!

(Although I'll grant I have read some very disturbing fanfic written by women who need to see a very special type of psychologist.)

I want the head to be Scorponok just to get it over with already!!!

Cliffjumper
2007-08-13, 07:56 PM
Originally posted by Clogs
(Although I'll grant I have read some very disturbing fanfic written by women who need to see a very special type of psychologist.)

Yeh, i'd love it if I was stereotyping, but it does always seem to be femmes who are writing utterly mental essays about Thundercracker.


And I'm gradually getting it about the minis and the spotlights... However, they need to get it sorted, bascially... Both myself and other people have suggested all sorts of ways to get a discreet, "unofficial" overall number or similar on the front. It seriously feels like they're just being stubborn at the moment. Maybe I'm wrong - maybe all those Marvel comics with two numbers on the front sold really, really badly.

Halfshell
2007-08-13, 08:06 PM
I think it's a bit late to introduce any sort of consistent numbering across the board now.

Problem with the Spotlights is that they're not in any form of chronological order. Overall, it's the sort of thing that you'd once have got split in three as a supporting story tucked in the back of the ongoing.

Denyer
2007-08-13, 09:07 PM
Originally posted by Brendocon
Problem with the Spotlights is that they're not in any form of chronological order.
Sod chronology, people just need an accessible list of what stories constitute the continuity / what's printed where, and not just if they're obsessed enough to read fan/official websites... first question people ask when they look at comics is what they'll be buying into.

If I can't remember, say, how many Spotlights there've been off the top of my head, the people / sales staff looking at a rack containing #1s for Target 2006, TF Magazine, Escalation, etc. are unlikely to have enough of a grip to reassure them. Saturation on shelves is fine as long as there's guidance for those who want it.

Anyone genuinely think a printing order (with "hey kids, these issues are out of print but here's the ISBN for the trades") is a bad idea?

Halfshell
2007-08-13, 09:16 PM
It's not my problem. I take the Nolan Brothers approach to linear chronology. I just meant that it's the major contention to applying some form of all encompassing issue order.

You can't sit down and say "right, this is the absolute best chronological reading order" because they're not finished yet and, as it stands, we're darting about all over the place. Which is great for freshness, but tricky for thrashing things out.

Shockwave and Soundwave we can say definitely occur prior to Infiltration. Ultra Magnus is prior to Stormbringer and Galvatron after. Nightbeat can be sort of worked into the Escalation chronology, yeah? The rest... eh. I can't be arsed.

Obstacle was probably a better word than problem.

Clogs
2007-08-13, 09:51 PM
I'm agreeing here and nodding my head vigorously. I'm quite famed for remembering characters and plotlines, but I lost this one a while ago, what with the convolutions. That said, I still regard this as a very clever attempt to move away from a single linear timebound story and the ol' 'meanwhile', as I've said before. Some guidance on what part of which storyline fits where might be nice, though - just don't expect me to try making one before the whole sequence runs its course!

inflatable dalek
2007-08-14, 06:56 PM
I'd say not having read Ultra Magnus probably helps Escalation- in that the latter tries and presents what's going on as a big mystery even though the former spells it all out for you (and if it isn't Scorponok it's someone with the same shaped head...).

Cliffjumper
2007-08-14, 07:24 PM
All this stuff about stores being afraid to order issued with double-digits aside, I personally feel from a strictly narrative point of view that the Spotlight stuff could work best sprinkled among the pages of the regular series - imagine how much better Infiltration would have read with, say, the Nightbeat spot-light worked into it as a parellel event...

chainy
2007-08-21, 09:53 AM
hey wzzup guys im kinda new to the comics and the forum so im kinda in the dark here... juz had a few questions about this group skywatch and machination. are they the same group??? wat are they up 2?

Halfshell
2007-08-21, 10:12 AM
Beware: Here lie spoilers for all that has gone before.

Skywatch are presumably a government run "Men in Black" style operation. If you've seen the new movie, they're essentially Sector 7. Kidnapping robots for an as-yet unknown purpose (so far they have Ravage and Laserbeak at their disposal, and have recently uncovered Shockwave and the Dinobots). Presumably for use in defence of the planet should all-out war kick-off between the 'bots and 'cons (which, going by the promotional info for the next arc, looks likely).

The Machination were initially introduced under the pretense of being something similar - but with a distinctly aggressive anti-robot stance. Attempting to kidnap Autobots, etc (so far they've successfully bagged Sunstreaker). It's since been revealed, however, that the power behind them isn't the Corporations or the Government, but an as-yet unidentified Decepticon (well, the disembodied head of one at any rate). Most people reckon it's Scorponok (and it probably is). They're currently lining up an army of Sunstreaker clones for a Headmaster-style arc (human Machination agents with an Autobot body).

That cover everything?

chainy
2007-08-21, 09:38 PM
Originally posted by Brendocon
Beware: Here lie spoilers for all that has gone before.

Skywatch are presumably a government run "Men in Black" style operation. If you've seen the new movie, they're essentially Sector 7. Kidnapping robots for an as-yet unknown purpose (so far they have Ravage and Laserbeak at their disposal, and have recently uncovered Shockwave and the Dinobots). Presumably for use in defence of the planet should all-out war kick-off between the 'bots and 'cons (which, going by the promotional info for the next arc, looks likely).

The Machination were initially introduced under the pretense of being something similar - but with a distinctly aggressive anti-robot stance. Attempting to kidnap Autobots, etc (so far they've successfully bagged Sunstreaker). It's since been revealed, however, that the power behind them isn't the Corporations or the Government, but an as-yet unidentified Decepticon (well, the disembodied head of one at any rate). Most people reckon it's Scorponok (and it probably is). They're currently lining up an army of Sunstreaker clones for a Headmaster-style arc (human Machination agents with an Autobot body).

That cover everything?

ohh.. damn i didnt know it was going down like that. so those were all sunstreakers were we saw in the buildings at tampa? wat are they tryna plan with em???

inflatable dalek
2007-08-22, 06:12 AM
Originally posted by chainy
so those were all sunstreakers were we saw in the buildings at tampa? wat are they tryna plan with em???

Well, as Brend says a army of Headmasters, to probably be used for world domination.

chainy
2007-08-28, 03:32 AM
something i forgot to ask before. whats seige mode? i know im abit behind, ive only just started to read the 2nd issue of escalation but i still aint sure what this whole siege mode is.

Denyer
2007-08-31, 01:09 PM
Well, the second point in the orderly infiltration of a planet is when the Decepticons try to get its peoples to wipe each other out (and with them, any effective response to the Decepticons), so that they don't have to risk any resources and can just harvest whatever is left.

Siege mode is skipping ahead to openly operating on a planet and assuming nothing is there to stop them. Starscream's being arrogant since he has the Ore-13.