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Denyer
2006-10-04, 12:44 AM
Since it's technically already out (advance copies were available at BotCon.)

There's an advance review here: http://fractalmatter.com/main/?p=402

And yup, Mark Bright is the guy who did the cover to Marvel US #5 (http://tfarchive.com/comics/covers/?dir=Marvel+US&gal=01-40&img=US+05.jpg).

The release date for the rest of us is apparently the 18th (http://forums.idwpublishing.com/cgi-bin/ikonboard.cgi?act=ST;f=21;t=1916;st=10).

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

Clay
2006-10-04, 01:28 AM
Picked up a copy for Osku while at Botcon.

Eh. It's a comic with Nightbeat, but his story is almost empty except foreshadowing something that'll happen in the other comics in a few months.

I was more impressed with the Shockwave one-shot because it told the back story of how he and the dinobots ended up on earth in the tar as in the original comics. In other words, it fills in a gap. Nightbeat's comic just creates one. :\

Cunning Ravage
2006-10-18, 09:47 PM
Originally posted by Clay
I was more impressed with the Shockwave one-shot because it told the back story of how he and the dinobots ended up on earth in the tar as in the original comics. In other words, it fills in a gap. Nightbeat's comic just creates one. :\

On the other hand you can't answer a question till you've posed one. Overall I'm still on the fence about it. On hand I have to say am very intreged by the questions rised and want to know what is going to happen. On the other the art, well, decent over all has bloated faces, not Pat Lee bloated, but bloated all the same.

Commander Shockwav
2006-10-19, 12:11 PM
I liked it. Not an overly verbose tale, it was mysterious, and as far as telling a story in one issue, it did it's job.

Some have been critical of the art, but I didn't think it was too bad. I liked that the pencils seemed finer, and the coloring I thought was very good. I was particularly fond of how the planet was drawn. It really looked like a busy place on the surface. Not sure what happened to Nightbeats "ears" though.

Obviously, this is a set-up story for bigger things to come. My only major gripe would be it read kind of short.

So overall, I give it a "B". Not on par with the first spotlight, but that would be a standard too high for comparison perhaps.

inflatable dalek
2006-10-20, 07:24 PM
On the first read through I was rather disapointed with this- Mainly because it wasn't what I expected. I was looking forward to another fun Marlowesque detective romp. Instead it's Lovecraft meets 24 (a brainwashed mole who doesn't know they're a mole is right out of that show). I was annoyed that the mystery itself is a bit rubish- Because they want to trap Nightbeat there isn't much actual detection for him to do, just to go where the large clues point.

However, second time through, accepting it's not Chandler, it stands up much better. Nightbeat is still a fantastic character (though he works better with Siren to bounce off), the new enemy is out of left field but has potential and the brainwashing was actually fairly nasty.

The only real problems are the art, which to me is the worst we've had from IDW so far (hard to believe it's the same guy who drew the most iconic TF comic cover), and the fact that the mysterious purple glowing thing underground feeling like a Dreamwave hangover.

Which Micromasters were those btw?

Lambda prime
2006-10-22, 06:09 PM
Loads of Sci Fi have shown this sort of thing with Nightbeat brain implant.
What I wish they had developed more on is the planet he was investigating, oragnic beings becoming cybernetic. Reminds me of the Borg, Cybermen and Cylons (well, they were flexible, first they were reptilian, then mechanical then making humans and the reimagined series shows them creating synthetic human copies).
Then there's the shadowy figure, on the IDW boards it's speculated he is Galvatron.

Halfshell
2006-10-23, 08:10 PM
You need to cite speculation on the IDW boards to say that it's Galvatron? I'd have thought the fact that it's blatantly Galvy would suffice...

Originally posted by inflatable dalek
Which Micromasters were those btw?

The Awesome Patrol.

I mean Sports Car Patrol.

Detour, Blackjack, Roadhugger and Hyperdrive.

Or The Yellow One, The Black One, The Purple One and The Blue One. And no, I didn't have to look that up.

Enjoyed the issue. Nice little short-story romp.

@ Clay - I don't see much of a distinction. The Shockwave issue explains how the characters ended up buried on Earth and sets up the energon seeding stuff that bridges Stormbringer into Escalation. This one explains how Nightbeat ends up as a sleeper agent and sets up the impending arrival of the Big G.

It also has The Awesome Patrol in it, and that immediately makes it brilliant.

inflatable dalek
2006-10-23, 08:13 PM
I pumped for it being them in the review as I recognised the colour scheme. Though the one having a (toy accurate?) face plate threw me a bit.

I completely failed to recognise Gavlatrons chin though. So I'm hoping it's not him.

Halfshell
2006-10-23, 08:24 PM
Originally posted by inflatable dalek
I completely failed to recognise Gavlatrons chin though. So I'm hoping it's not him.

You can see his forehead! You can see the crown!

The snatches of dialogue may as well say "I'm big and purple/grey and I'm wacky crazy!"

Unless Furmo's got a big swerve up his sleeve. Much as I love Si Furman's work, and as much as he manages to come up with something original and unique once in a while, he always manages to fall back to the same devices in the end.

Denyer
2006-10-24, 12:50 AM
Not sure it's Galvy, personally.

Enjoyed this despite the spoilers I got from proof-reading... the two spotlights so far dovetail into Escalation very neatly... am guessing the next two or three may cast the net wider.

Didn't have any real problem with the art, although I'll concede I do tend to pay far more attention to words.

Halfshell
2006-10-24, 08:33 AM
Originally posted by Denyer
Not sure it's Galvy, personally.

Hey, I'd love to be wrong. But the series so far hasn't quite been Astonishing X-Men in levels of "okay... I have no idea what's happening..."

Still, it's not signposted as blatantly as Sixshot's introduction into the DW stuff.

Didn't have any real problem with the art, although I'll concede I do tend to pay far more attention to words.

Same here. It's very rare that artwork ruins it for me... and then it's only in instances where you can't tell what's going on. Stormbringer #4 looks beautiful, but the sequence with Thunderwing's feet makes it almost impossible to work out what's happening from where I was sat.

Mediocre art that still conveys the story > Beautifully rendered art that doesn't.

Denyer
2006-10-24, 09:13 PM
Particularly liked the focus being on the spotlight character (Shockwave was as much about the Dinobots as Shockwave -- not that I'm complaining, I'm glad we're getting a range of styles and stories.) Rauch's colours work better here than they have in Infiltration, particularly his technique of defaulting panel backgrounds and non-foregrounded parts of characters to grey. Meshes with the art well too, after expecting the worst reading a few reviews -- very sketchy and Marvel UK-ish, and Bright captures scale (the cities, the cavern with the "pool") effectively.

inflatable dalek
2006-10-26, 11:25 AM
I think it's because my mental image of Nightbeat is of the Senior variety- lean and mean. The Spotlight Beat looked like he'd enjoyed a few to many pies.

And even if the one guy is Galvatron, who's the other phat headed one ?

Ballplayer
2006-10-26, 12:12 PM
Kinda liked the story, about how the planet evolved and stuff...

but about Nightbeat being a detective, it was really unclear to me what he was investigating all the issue long...

and euhmmm Galvatron??? Where??? I mean a purple hand it could be anyone...

as for the art...

I can be short... I don't like the old school marvel, let's color the main character, and make the rest look purplelish or brownish. It's one of the main reasons I liked the cartoon better than the marvel comic...

With all the advances now days why make an ugly comic :S

I also don't like the pencilling. Nightbeat seems to be very unclear about how he looks ;)

and well for Prime, this guy must have never watched or read any Transformers because even my mother could draw Prime better.

Halfshell
2006-10-26, 12:32 PM
Originally posted by Ballplayer
and euhmmm Galvatron??? Where??? I mean a purple hand it could be anyone...

The face. The dialogue.

and well for Prime, this guy must have never watched or read any Transformers because even my mother could draw Prime better.

To his IDW Cybertronian character model?

inflatable dalek
2006-10-26, 12:35 PM
Originally posted by Brendocon
To his IDW Cybertronian character model?

For just his head?

The fact that the cerebral implant looked so big you'd have had to remove Nightbeats entire brain to fit it in was my favorite art madness moment.

Denyer
2006-10-26, 03:28 PM
Originally posted by Ballplayer
With all the advances now days Honestly, most modern comics don't look better than 80s and 90s stuff (i.e. artists with a better grasp of anatomy) -- they're just covered with Photoshop effects. Look at something such as The Authority: Human On The Inside... absolutely sumptuous colours, but the art isn't hot stuff.

it was really unclear to me what he was investigating
The first ark, an ancient space shuttle that disappeared and is now almost legendary. Says in the first few pages. He goes to the planet because he's been tipped off that there's a lead.

Prime... is it possible we're seeing what Nightbeat sees? He's just had half his noggin ripped off. Works for me as an explanation, anyway.

Ballplayer
2006-10-26, 03:40 PM
Honestly, most modern comics don't look better than 80s and 90s stuff (i.e. artists with a better grasp of anatomy) -- they're just covered with Photoshop effects. Look at something such as The Authority: Human On The Inside... absolutely sumptuous colours, but the art isn't hot stuff.

Well I really like those photoshop effects ;) I mean Don's and E.J.'s comics didn't have that flaw, altough it's probably a coloring
"problem"

I mean even the cartoon looked better than this issue... (excluding city of Steel ;))

Prime... is it possible we're seeing what Nightbeat sees? He's just had half his noggin ripped off. Works for me as an explanation, anyway

Might be an explanation, but euhmmm this shouldn't be something we are left to explain, but should be clear from the comic...

but I must point out I also don't like the art of Nightbeat throughout the issue ;)

Denyer
2006-10-26, 04:47 PM
Originally posted by Ballplayer
even the cartoon looked better than this issue
Apart from the movie and occasional episodes with more time devoted to them such as Call of the Primitives, Transformers was typical for its time.

So I'd call bull**** on that, personally...

Ballplayer
2006-10-26, 08:00 PM
Apart from the movie and occasional episodes with more time devoted to them such as Call of the Primitives, Transformers was typical for its time.

Okay this might be going to just a discussion about taste so let's just discuss something else ;)

Denyer
2006-10-26, 08:32 PM
"Better" doesn't mean the same as "I prefer" -- it's a claim to authority and an assessment of quality.

http://cybertroncelarchive.rubberslug.com/gallery/master_query.asp?SeriesID=3297
http://cybertroncelarchive.rubberslug.com/gallery/master_query.asp?SeriesID=3632
http://cybertroncelarchive.rubberslug.com/gallery/master_query.asp?SeriesID=3722
http://cybertroncelarchive.rubberslug.com/gallery/master_query.asp?SeriesID=5111
http://cybertroncelarchive.rubberslug.com/gallery/master_query.asp?SeriesID=26217
http://cybertroncelarchive.rubberslug.com/gallery/master_query.asp?SeriesID=12738

These are some of the 'better' examples of cels. They're designed to be flicked past your eyes at between five and fifteen images a second. Scale, proportion, depth of field and detail unsurprisingly tend not to receive as much attention as images intended to be viewed statically.

MeGrimlock
2006-10-27, 09:04 AM
The "Big Three" (misteries) mentioned at the end: I suppose the first is the fate of the Firts Ark; the second could be the origins of the Transformer race; the third... ?

Ballplayer
2006-10-27, 10:14 AM
Interesting to see those cells but I stick to my point...

Nightbeat in this comic, often was drawn different and incorrect... altough he might he drawn right if we're talking about perspective and stuff

and well I just can't stand it, when in entire scene's all the other cars in the city are colored purple and the entire city is colored brown...

I mean how much work is it do just color them differently (of course it's more work than this)

inflatable dalek
2006-10-27, 02:16 PM
Originally posted by MeGrimlock
The "Big Three" (misteries) mentioned at the end: I suppose the first is the fate of the Firts Ark; the second could be the origins of the Transformer race; the third... ?

Something like the start of the war, or the cause of the fractioning into Autobots/Decepticons perhaps?

Halfshell
2006-10-27, 02:29 PM
Or maybe it was a throwaway comment designed to flesh out what Nightbeat does with his time and we're not meant to pay it too much heed...

inflatable dalek
2006-10-27, 02:50 PM
Originally posted by Brendocon
Or maybe it was a throwaway comment designed to flesh out what Nightbeat does with his time and we're not meant to pay it too much heed...

A bit like deciding a characters identity because he looks a bity purple in a very purple room you mean?

Halfshell
2006-10-27, 03:05 PM
Not like that at all.

Nowhere have I based it being Galvatron on him being purple. Hell, I've just re-read the thread and I haven't even claimed he is purple.

The only thing I've said that's even remotely close to that is that his dialogue may as well say he's purple...

inflatable dalek
2006-10-27, 03:08 PM
And where in my post did I say you said that? I just just said that the Ark thing would be like someone doing the purple thing. Clearly that was the intent of my post and no court in the land will prove otherwise.

Halfshell
2006-10-27, 03:15 PM
Oooh, score one to the West Midlander... but beware - I'm smarter than you, we both know it... I'll win through in the end...

inflatable dalek
2006-10-27, 03:23 PM
Originally posted by Brendocon
Oooh, score one to the West Midlander... but beware - I'm smarter than you, we both know it... I'll win through in the end...

So now I'm the Joker to your Batman? Shouldn't you be picking the weak and cowardly as your arch foes?

Halfshell
2006-10-27, 03:29 PM
I'm not Batman anymore. I always knew I wouldn't be Batman forever... it won't be long until Christian Bale's Batman returns... I can't think of a Batman Beyond pun... I'm The Shadow now. Or an analogue thereof.

Maybe the Spider or the Green Hornet. Possibly The Shadowy Spider off of Planetary. I'm not sure yet.

I'm definitely somebody mysterious who wears a fedora, though.

inflatable dalek
2006-10-27, 03:31 PM
Originally posted by Brendocon
I'm definitely somebody mysterious who wears a fedora, though.

The Man from Del Monte? You have the work experience after all...

MeGrimlock
2006-10-27, 03:41 PM
The original Galvatron written by Furman used to manipulate minds (Jazz in Target: 2006, the Autobots in Perchance To Dream), so maybe Furman quoted those stories as he did with Spotlight: Shokwave.
By the way, the first time I heard of Spotlight, I though it would have been structured just as Perchance To Dream.

Cliffjumper
2006-11-05, 08:36 PM
Ace, the first two Spotlights have been a massive improvement on Stormbringer, which was a galactic improvement on Infiltration. I loved the purposefully daft Dinobot origin, and the whole thing was just superb.

Now, you see what happened here, though? We had a 'new' set of characters completely fleshed out and put into a certain situation in 22 pages. Both of the Spotlights and Stormbringer have covered exactly what was wrong with Infiltration, and shown that you don't need to treat the audience like retards to explain stuff. Escalation is going to have to be actually good to not look like crap off the back of this lot.

inflatable dalek
2006-11-05, 08:37 PM
That's two recent TF comics Clify's liked a lot. If I were Furman I'd be worried...

Denyer
2006-11-05, 10:34 PM
Originally posted by Ballplayer
I just can't stand it, when in entire scene's all the other cars in the city are colored purple and the entire city is colored brown...

I mean how much work is it do just color them differently Deliberate.

We could colour parts of your face in all of the shades of the rainbow, but it'd probably detract from the focal points (eyes, etc.)

The character's surrounded by the hum and bustle of a civilian alien culture; the Marlowe figure moving amongst them is the focus.

Ballplayer
2006-11-06, 09:45 AM
That's true, but there are other less lazy ways to do that ;)

I mean the non-autobot cars are also colored in Infiltration indepently... Yet I can still easily identify Ratchet... even if I didn't know him from before these comics...

Unless you're going for the film noir style which I would dig (e.g. Sin City)... Color Nightbeat and leave the rest black and white that would rock, but this... hmmm...

Cliffjumper
2006-11-06, 03:28 PM
Originally posted by Ballplayer


Unless you're going for the film noir style which I would dig (e.g. Sin City)...

Y'know, I'm going to make a wild, crazy, insane notion based on ****-all (it's not like Nightbeat's been the main character in two film noir influenced strips written by Simon Furman or anything like that, I am basing this on nothing), but I think that might have, y'know, BEEN THE ENTIRE ****ING POINT.

Ballplayer
2006-11-06, 05:33 PM
I know it was... Cliffy

I just said it could have been done better

Halfshell
2006-11-06, 05:35 PM
Nightbeat, for all intents and purposes, may as well be drawn in a trenchcoat and fedora as standard.

Come to think of it, that would make an awesome cover... hang on... I'm deja vuing again...

Osku
2006-11-07, 11:43 AM
Longish post after so many posts, but this is also meant as review for NTFA. :)

I got the Botcon version thanks to Clay, thanks once again. Very nice, to my delight it contained also all the 3 "normal" covers.

I liked. I'm not familiar with "film noir" movies (closest thing in the last few years could be "Discworld Noir" game) Nor do I read detective stories, so some of the little details might have gone unnoticed.

Anyway, story was well constructed and flowed naturally. I liked the inner monologue concept (same as in Shockwave issue). Nightbeat's character was sort of familiar from Marvel UK, but fortunately a little different. After Nightbeat's line of "being upgraded from biological beings to mechanical" (or something like that, don't have issue at hand), I was expecting introduction of headmasters concept. Maybe later, to repair the damage caused by that surgery?

What I didn't like was portraying micromasters as silent, drone like(?) characters. If they were meant to portray as brain washed, it didn't work well. Didn't care about the talkative, mysterious character behind the scenes character either, but I suppose it's justified as a hook for readers to pick up "Escalation" story arc.

"Portal pool" was delightfully fresh concept for dimension jumping, also visually. I'm not a fan of splash pages, but that page/panel worked surprisingly well for me. But to be honest, I wouldn't have wanted to see other dimensions thrown into IDW continuity so early.

I'm sure art won't be to everyone's liking, but in my opinion it fit the story very well. Bright's pencils & inks felt at points almost sketched, but story telling wise it worked well. Some of the visuals from an alien world were very well done, and succesfully created an illusion (correct word?) of Nightbeat being on an alien planet. Only complaint would be of changing head design during issue (antennas -> non antennas -> antennas).

Rauch's deliberately monotonous colours were well done and fitted the story. Definitely improvement from "Infiltration" (of which I had no serious complaints either). The choice to keep micromasters following Nightbeat in the city coloured like rest of the population was a nice little detail I didn't catch until rereading the issue.

In short: Strong issue with few problems.

inflatable dalek
2006-11-07, 03:07 PM
I still say it's not that film noirey a story and owes more to Lovecraft than anything...

Ballplayer
2006-11-07, 03:17 PM
Lovecraft? Is that some weird version of warcraft? :P

Ozz
2006-11-07, 03:29 PM
Yeah, one for the pacifists. You know, "make love, not war" and stuff like that...

inflatable dalek
2006-11-07, 03:38 PM
It's a bunch of trolls siting round, holding hands and playing fondly with each others hair.

Neuronutter
2006-11-08, 04:02 PM
I picked up Spotlight #2 Nightbeat the other day. Here’s my review.

So this comic has been pencilled and inked by unknown (except for one comic cover in the Marvel run) Mo Bright. The art in this issue is very hit and miss unfortunately. The first couple of pages are very nice with a lovely shot of Nightbeat standing over the corpse of Krakon. The perspective in this picture is great and you get a real sense of the size of Nightbeat compared to Krakon. After that the art is sporadic. On the whole its ok but there are whole pages of not much going on and kinda dull drawings of the indigenous population. While it’s nice to get a variety of styles in the Spotlights, I prefer the comics of Don and EJ to this one. Some of the pages come across as a little too sketchy, especially the shot of Prime talking to Nightbeat at the end of the comic, which is awful, and has to be one of the worst Primes in history. What’s worse is that he looks nothing like the Prime of either Infiltration or Stormbringer, so doesn’t really fit anywhere. Also, Nightbeat’s ears or helmet, or whatever they are, suddenly disappear halfway through the story which is a little odd.

The story is actually really nice and makes a change from the styles of Infiltration and Stormbringer. Furman obviously likes Nightbeat and has had fun writing a detective story as a change. The character of Nightbeat comes across very well, faults and all and the way in which he is manipulated by outside forces is well written. The story also ties in nicely with the ongoing and should provide an interesting twist somewhere down the road. Its good to see a single set up issue introducing another element into the ongoing, although how Furman is going to bring all the pieces together and maintain coherence while throwing in lots of other elements is anyone’s guess. I look forward to it and finding out who the mysterious villains of the piece are! Overall I enjoyed this issue, faults and all.

Halfshell
2006-11-08, 04:47 PM
Originally posted by Neuronutter
Mo Bright.

Mark Bright. It's a D, not an O.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M.D._Bright

Denyer
2006-11-08, 04:52 PM
Originally posted by Ballplayer
Lovecraft? Is that some weird version of warcraft? :P Rather bigoted American horror writer (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lovecraft). Tentacles from beyond time, etc.

Neuronutter
2006-11-08, 04:59 PM
Originally posted by Brendocon
Mark Bright. It's a D, not an O.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M.D._Bright

Thanx Brendocon. It really looks like an O in the comic. It's virtually identical to the O in Simon above in the comic with just a tiny change. Very hard to spot! Incidentally, how much work did Bright do in the Marvel run?

inflatable dalek
2006-11-08, 05:53 PM
He did the ...Are All Dead! cover to US #5.

Halfshell
2007-07-16, 11:37 AM
Originally posted by Brendocon
Oooh, score one to the West Midlander... but beware - I'm smarter than you, we both know it... I'll win through in the end...

Just did.

Galvatron Spotlight FTW.

inflatable dalek
2007-07-16, 06:37 PM
Originally posted by Brendocon
Just did.

Galvatron Spotlight FTW.

Congratulations, you were right. That must be a novel experience.

Halfshell
2007-07-16, 07:17 PM
Don't be bitter. Have rum instead. I have. It's nice.

Seriously, though - just pulling your leg. I only dredged up the thread as a sly "hey, look - told you so." Of course once I saw that post I couldn't resist.

And we now know more details about the Ark. :)

inflatable dalek
2007-07-16, 07:20 PM
Oh I'm not bitter. The fact it's took you nearly a year to find something on which I've been wrong actually gives me a warm glow. ;)

Halfshell
2007-07-16, 07:23 PM
Oh, you're frequently wrong. It's just taken a year for El Furminator to prove me right on this particular issue. You should have all just listened to me in the first place - would have been so much simpler.

inflatable dalek
2007-07-16, 07:28 PM
Originally posted by Brendocon
Oh, you're frequently wrong

Not liking Liscence to Kill is an opinion, not an inacurate fact :p

[The last post but one was random Avon quotage rather than sheering rage. I have Paul Darrow on the brain this week].