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Denyer
2006-11-15, 10:52 AM
Out today!

Preview pages here:

http://tfarchive.com/comics/idw/previews.php?dgallery_show=previews/spotlights/spotlight03_hotrod_cover.jpg&page=spotlights

Commander Shockwav
2006-11-16, 03:24 AM
Read it.

Wonderful stuff all around.

To make a Hot Rod hater like myself thoroughly enjoy this story, well, a lot of things had to go right, and they did.

Simon continues to impress with this well-written, self-contained tale. If ever there were a comic to take us back to the UK Marvel days, this story did just that. Simon has taken a naggingly annoying pubescent character, and made him kickass cool this time around. This ain't the Hot Rod we have all loved to hate. Nope, this is a Hot Rod that I look forward to seeing a lot more of, a Hot Rod who strikes a nice balance between being impetuous and being altruistic. Moreover, I can actually start to believe that this is a bot that some day would deserve to inherit the Matrix as his own.

But as good as Simon's writing is here, on this issue, Nick takes the gold medal. The guy can draw. And by draw, I mean he can tell a story. We have seen some fantastic artists in the past few years, Don Figueroa most notable among them. But can anyone convey movement and action, can anyone tell a story, as well as Nick Roche? I am hard pressed to come up with one.

A solid "A" comic, a conglomerate of #### good art and a #### good story. Out of IDW, only the Shockwave Spotlight is better.

another tf fan
2006-11-18, 04:39 AM
indeed this comic gave me anew respect for hot rod.

Transfannabeel
2006-11-20, 05:05 PM
I haven't read too much of the IDW comics, but decided to give it this book a shot.

I was impressed by the art. Roche did a fantastic job with this issue, nothing like Dreamwave style. Glad to see a change. The story itself was just meh for me. I found it boring at times, but the art made up for that.

inflatable dalek
2006-11-20, 08:28 PM
The main bad point: Hot Rod's team is three no ones and [Double]Dealer. That made the last page about 50 million times more obvious than it might have been.

Still a great read though. I want Gizmo to have his own comic.

Oh, and Furman's love of 24 shone through again. It's hard not to read that last panel without hearing those beeps.

Halfshell
2006-11-20, 09:18 PM
Originally posted by inflatable dalek
The main bad point: Hot Rod's team is three no ones and [Double]Dealer. That made the last page about 50 million times more obvious than it might have been.

Aye.

I spent the entire book thinking "gosh, I wonder what the big finish is going to consist of..." and that was before we discovered that the purpose of Hot Rod's mission was to bust out Dealer.

Shock shock horror horror shock shock horror.

It's like the completely unexpected and leftwing arrival of Spike at the end of Conviction. That was slightly ruined by him being in the opening credits and spending the entire episode thinking "right... when does Spike turn up, then?"

I suppose as part of a TPB it'll work better, as it's just a brief segment. As an issue on its own, I felt a bit cheated storywise. Though if I didn't know the character of Dealer already, I'd probably feel differently.

Huge points for Banzai-Tron, though.

inflatable dalek
2006-11-20, 09:23 PM
Originally posted by Brendocon
Huge points for Banzai-Tron, though.

I love the fact that after writing Bludgeon out in Stormbriger Furman goes and introduces a character whos prfile is basically "Wants to be Bludgeon".

I do think peeps not so familiar with the latter comics/toys will not find the twist so obvious. It would have been nice if they'd all been toy based characters though...

Halfshell
2006-11-20, 09:38 PM
To be honest, I spent the whole thing thinking "he's playing with my expectations... he wouldn't be so blatant... there's going to be a twist... it's all an elaborate double bluff and he's not going to end it how I think he is..."

Then BAM, big time deflation and sense of "oh... right, okay then."

Reading the issue felt like treading water waiting for the inevitable sting, with the only tension being derived from the hope that it wasn't all going to be so predictable.

And yeah, if the other characters had been ones we'd heard of, it wouldn't have been so obvious.

It's like Jamie in the first series of 24. The only thing we know about her is that we've been absolutely assured that she's the one person we can trust. Therefore it's unexpected when we find out she's the mole - we've got no reason to think she's anything other than on the level.

The only thing any of us know about DoubleDealer is that... well... he's a doubledealing swine. Therefore the shocking revelation that he's a doubledealing swine doesn't quite pack the cliffhanger punch.

Still, at least Furman's doing a better job at "cram as many characters into the continuity as possible" than McDonough managed. Even if it means telegraphing things.

Potatobot
2006-11-21, 06:21 AM
as someone who didnt know who [double]dealer was i found it to be a pleasant read.

also what kind of name is banzaitron???

optimusskids
2006-11-21, 07:28 AM
Continuing the Marvel tradition of hi then die characters.

Wasn't too sure about the orange bus grounded heli alt mode.

A good story a different spin on Hot Rod

and another piece in the bigger picture hopefully

Halfshell
2006-11-21, 08:49 AM
Originally posted by Potatobot
also what kind of name is banzaitron???

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banzai_%28disambiguation%29

Banzai literally means 10,000 years. Also associated with a last ditch attack.

With "Tron" on the end because it's a Transformer and some TFs have Tron stuck on the end for that roboty feel.

Like it makes any less sense than half the names TFs have been given in the past... like, f'rinstance... Galvatron?

Denyer
2006-11-21, 02:40 PM
Very satisfying. Yes, the story proceeds according to expectation, but the wealth of incidental information and characterisation are what provide the interest -- holomatter disguises, projections, virus espionage, Doubledealer at the start of his career, and a bevy of (sadly short-lived) new characters. Plus a couple of formerly-known-as-Actionmasters, generic 'Cons and Grecian-looking golems, and I'm sure I should recognise what Backbeat transforms into...

Did find some of the details and expressions on Hot Rod himself a little OTT, which only added to the feel of it being an immaculately presented fan effort -- which I mean the nicest possible sense; you can tell that everyone putting this together had fun doing so. Enjoyed it as much as the Shockwave one. Limabean's big on glow highlights, and it fits the environments the story takes place in very well. Wouldn't know that this is a first piece of pro work (and second full issue for Nick) if not otherwise aware. Solid work.

Digging a little deeper, I'm curious why the Decepticons keep prisoners, unless it's a general practise "we can trade them back in exchange for some of our own" thing. And considering the purported power of the device (possibly a database or relay rather than the almost-magical artifact it's described in revering tones as) getting in to snaffle it was quite straightforward; maybe it's the TF elevated tech level that makes it so, or maybe it's been a well-kept secret up until now? Anyway, I don't reckon this spotlight is going to tie into events in Escalation directly, only in the general sense that Hot Rod is a special ops, derring-do type. He's also more competent than a lot of US comic-only/cartoon fans will be familar with, without sacrificing any of the bravado that makes the character. Keen on the idea that the Decepticons are counter-monitoring the Autobots and could feed them misinformation about Dealer convincing enough to prompt a rescue mission... intel warfare adds layers and intrigue, and it's one I hope will be kept up with elsewhere -- who knows how many longterm sleeper agents there are?

My only (tiny) complaint is that the paper/cover stock isn't quite as good as that used for the Shockwave and Nightbeat ones.

optimusskids
2006-11-21, 03:07 PM
Gizmo's Alt reminds me a bit of Countdown

The tank one not sure if it's Backbeat or Download without my copy at hand reminds me some of Demolishor.

Who was the other Actionmaster will have to go back and reread my issue

Denyer
2006-11-21, 03:17 PM
Gutcruncher. He's running security at the prison.

http://tfu.info/1990/Decepticon/Gutcruncher/gutcruncher.htm

Halfshell
2006-11-21, 03:42 PM
Was Hot Rod's disguise meant to be Treadshot? I'm rubbish at Actionmasters...

Denyer
2006-11-21, 03:52 PM
Nah, it was a copy of the generic 'Con trooper manning the shuttle. That design had wings and air intakes.

Treadshot's legs suggest he transforms into an Earth gun.

Cliffjumper
2006-11-21, 03:54 PM
Originally posted by Denyer
Treadshot's legs suggest he transforms into an Earth gun.

I mean, he could at least add liquid to the mix and be a Mud gun. What does he do, tow a dumper-truck trailer full of soil around with him? Treadshot = TEH L@M3.

Halfshell
2006-11-21, 03:55 PM
Cool. Was just flicking through the TFU mugshots and comparing from memory.

Wasn't sure if it was a cipher or an actual character. Not that there's much difference where Actionmasters are concerned. ;)

Cliffjumper
2006-11-21, 04:01 PM
Watch it, Krok's AWESOME and DEEP. He spent the last six months of the US run asking Blugeon what he was doing so Bludgeon could provide exposition. Now that's character.

Halfshell
2006-11-21, 04:16 PM
Seriously, I love the Actionmaster line. If only for the wacky proportion of characters in the range of "robots who lost their transformation" who we'd never even heard of.

The whole thing's split about 50/50* between "classic" characters and ones who've blatantly been made up on the spot. I just love the awesome polarity of it - rather than a spread of characters from throughout the series, we get the cherry pickings from the pre-movie years... filled out with Krok, Gutcruncher, Kick-Off and Axer.

Awesome.

* - a guess. somebody with less of a life than me can check that.

inflatable dalek
2006-11-21, 05:33 PM
Originally posted by Brendocon
It's like Jamie in the first series of 24. The only thing we know about her is that we've been absolutely assured that she's the one person we can trust. Therefore it's unexpected when we find out she's the mole - we've got no reason to think she's anything other than on the level.thin


But as soon as you're told someone is the only person you can trust you know they'll turn out to be teh evil. It was more of a suprise that the second Mole was actually the first person Jack suspected.

Digging a little deeper, I'm curious why the Decepticons keep prisoners, unless it's a general practise "we can trade them back in exchange for some of our own" thing.

I'd assume it's a combination of high profile prisoners for interogation and simple slave labour.

Even without knowing he's a spy I found it hard to believe there'd be no problems with Dealer coming back to work after he's healed up, have the Autobots never heard of Stockholm Syndrome?

Halfshell
2006-11-21, 06:14 PM
Originally posted by inflatable dalek
But as soon as you're told someone is the only person you can trust you know they'll turn out to be teh evil.

The original draft of that paragraph contained the phrase "unless you're a cynical bastard"... why I dropped it, I'll never know...

have the Autobots never heard of Stockholm Syndrome?

We don't know when the story's set... Stockholm might not even have existed by then. :o

inflatable dalek
2006-11-21, 06:21 PM
Originally posted by Brendocon
We don't know when the story's set... Stockholm might not even have existed by then. :o

They'd be aware of breaking prisoners/brainwashing though surely?. Hell, even taking out Dealers brain module and sticking a Decepticon one in there.

And the people who aren't cynical bastards in 24 are dead.

Neuronutter
2006-11-23, 10:56 PM
Hey guys. Here's my late review for this comic!

The third spotlight falls on Hot Rod, the young daredevil Autobot who never says no to an impossible mission. This story is written by Simon Furman with pencils by Nick Roche.

Like the Shockwave Spotlight, the art of this comic is fantastically fluid and lithe and Nick manages to portray motion extremely well. There are aspects to his style that I donít like as much, such as the tendancy of Hot Rodís chin to be a little over pronounced, but on the whole I really enjoyed this comic and it makes a welcome contrast to the styles of the other TF comics. Another mention should be given to the colours of this issue. They are really well executed with a range of different scenes from a bright and vivid atmospheric entry, to dusty plains, to the dark and dingy interior of a Decepticon prison. Each are portrayed really nicely and add something to the feel of the art. As for the future, well I would love to see IDW give Nick a whole series of his own to pencil.

Another thing that deserves a mention is the redesign of Hot Shot into a sleek cybertronian looking car and that his team mates all resemble TFs from the last few series Ė Dealer looks like CD Red Alert, Download looks like Armada Demolisher, Backbeat looks like Energonís Tow-line (and his face looks a lot like Energonís Hot Shot too!) and Gizmo looks a little like G1ís Wheelie. Its nice seeing extra characters that you know are gonna end up as cannon fodder resembling something familiar!

The story is similar to the other Spotlights in that it is short and self-contained while adding another layer to the ongoing series and another piece of an ever expanding puzzle. The story is split into past and present, the present a mission to retrieve a comrade lost on a mission in the past that is shown in a series of flashbacks. Hot Rod is portrayed as a conscientious young leader whose unit is infiltrated leading to the loss of the soldiers under his command. This changes him into a reckless commando whoíll attempt any mission however unlikely the odds of success, but whoíll only risk his own life. Heís a really interesting character, a lot more rounded and realistic than the original Hot Rod and itís great seeing a character reinvented this way. I thoroughly look forward to his arrival in the ongoing series.

Furman really seems to have found his muse with these Spotlights and with the combination of great artists like Nick Roche, the Spotlights are shaping up to be some of the finest TF comics we have seen in years. With this and Stormbringer, as well as Beast Wars, IDW have produced some amazing series. Hereís hoping they can keep this up for many a year and the continuation of the Spotlights next year is something I will look forward to with great delight!

Ballplayer
2006-11-24, 11:56 AM
Just picked it up a couple of days ago...

The story couldn't get to me at first, mainly because I couldn't figure out exactly what was going on, and secondly I didn't know most of the characters (that's not a bad thing)

I found the transitions between past and present to be badly done, most of the time I had read half the page to find out such a transition had taken place.

I find the idea of the machine that turned Hot Rod into a decepticon a bit awkward and I find it strange the Autobots hadn't used it more often.

All in all, the idea of the story could have been done better and much more clearer... so a C for the story

As for the art, I liked Nick Roche with his Shockwave spotlight...

I don't like it here tough... Hot Rod looks like a caricature of himself, and he looks to be laughing half of the time. Hot Rod sometimes just looks like it's been drawn by that guy from Super Deformers, the other Transformers do as well...

The art should also have been a lot clearer to make the story easier to follow.


All in all the art was very weak, luckily I had the Escalation preview at the end of the magazine showing an awesome Prime...

Neuronutter
2006-11-28, 08:48 PM
One thing about the comic that did strike me as odd was that the Autobots hadn't used the Magnificence themselves. Surely even they would see the advantage to be gained from using it. "Our job... is to keep it from temptation"?? The Op portrayed so far is one of competent commander, willing to do what has to be done for the greater good, and that thing could be useful! Hmmmm.

Nevermore
2006-12-18, 12:11 PM
Originally posted by Denyer
Nah, it was a copy of the generic 'Con trooper manning the shuttle. That design had wings and air intakes.

Treadshot's legs suggest he transforms into an Earth gun.

http://tfu.info/1990/Decepticon/Treadshot/treadshot.htm

http://www.geocities.com/futuristgroup/vgunrobos.html