View Full Version : Transformers Spotlight: Jazz

2009-03-29, 09:30 PM
Jazz gets his chance to shine in a tale recounted by Tracks. This is your all purpose Transformers Spotlight: Jazz reac....you know the drill. So tell us what you thought.

Scheduled to arrive April 1st along side Maximum Dinobots #4

http://img525.imageshack.us/img525/3738/jazz11.th.jpg (http://img525.imageshack.us/my.php?image=jazz11.jpg)http://img207.imageshack.us/img207/4874/jazz12.th.jpg (http://img207.imageshack.us/my.php?image=jazz12.jpg)http://img72.imageshack.us/img72/7199/jazz13.th.jpg (http://img72.imageshack.us/my.php?image=jazz13.jpg)http://img11.imageshack.us/img11/6981/jazz14.th.jpg (http://img11.imageshack.us/my.php?image=jazz14.jpg)http://img222.imageshack.us/img222/8306/jazz15.th.jpg (http://img222.imageshack.us/my.php?image=jazz15.jpg)

Commander Shockwav
2009-04-02, 02:33 AM
Before I read this issue, I was torn on what kind of approach I should take in judging it, knowing that some 'newbie' fans like myself were the ones breaking it out.

I decided, "Hey, if I'm paying the $3.99 to read it, then I should not evaluate with kid gloves on, I should evaluate it just as I would any other Spotlight comic".

So I did just that.

And loved it.

From start to finish, this story kept my attention, and as the story unfolded whilst reading it, I think a congratulative smile kind of crept onto my face.

So yeah, congrats to you guys for putting this together. I found it to be just the kind of tale that got me into Transformers in the first place, full of heart and spirit with just the right amount of suspense, action, and humor. What a spotlight should be, really.

In particular, I applaud the decision to include a two-page spread of Jazz going at it with Razorclaw. Some might find this wasted space, but I have found that these kind of battles have been somewhat neglected of late. I think Prime vs. Megs in Escalation was maybe the last time such focus had been put on a fight.

And let's face it, these are the kind of battles that cemented our love of Transformers in our youth, and it's nice to rekindle a bit of that now and then.

Also, nice use of 'tech'. These are robots, after all, so it's nice to see the use of a cable-toted camera retracting from Jazz's wrist, for example, and the static-like vision from Tracks damaged optics. Nice touches.

I am hardpressed to find something I didn't like, but if put to the task, i would say the Predacons were too easily taken out. One could still rationalize this, though, by saying they had not faced an opponent with the cunning, guile, and heart of Jazz. So it still works on some level, IMO.

One of the best Spotlight yet to see print.

Strong work.

Give it an "A".

With MD #4, twas a great day to be a TF comic fan.

2009-04-02, 07:32 AM
It was fine. It was a charming tale with a nice message - really it was - but, without coming across too harsh, it kind of reads like an extended mosaic piece. It’s a “take it or leave it” kind of affair. The plot wasn’t lacking per se, but there’s nothing really distinctive about it. And since its Tracks providing the narrative, who can apparently tell lovely stories judging by how captivated his audience is, we don’t get much insight as to who Jazz is either. It's passable but not essential reading, which is really disappointing to me.

I'm sorry, really I am, but I'm just not feeling this. Maybe I'll have a change of heart upon subsequent readings.

3 out of 5

Still waiting for my MD #4 to arrive :(.

2009-04-02, 09:48 PM
where to start, well I must say I enjoyed this spotlight

I've never been one who feels like spotlights should be stand alone stories, but should be used to inhance what particular arc is going on at the time and SL jazz does this nicely, we actually get a understanding why in such critical times jazz would be in command and sorta how he has gotten the reputation he has, nicely done

So im guessing that this story falls inbetween ahm #1-4 or actually it could be right before #1, with cliffjumper acting like the betrayal is still fresh on his mind

You gotta love the way the story is told as it actually was, just jazz outwitting the predacons, to being told by tracks as jazz being a super autobot who took down the predacons singlehandedly, very good way of showing how jazz has this reputation, very believeable concept, I never liked the idea of jazz as just being a hardnosed you can't mess wit me because I'll kick your expletive kinda bot, the battle between jazz and razorclaw was done so well, you know that in the end razorclaw would get the best of jazz, just very well done I must say about that battle

I loved the predacons in this issue as well, show how being over confident will always be your downfall, also loved the cameo's, bout time we get brawn, good idea E.J., oh yea and the art was dead on btw

Commander Shockwav
2009-04-03, 12:33 AM
you know that in the end razorclaw would get the best of jazz, just very well done I must say about that battle

Actually, this was one of the more crucial elements to the story.

Had Jazz defeated all of the Predacons, it certainly would have impacted the credibility of this story, and read very much like some fanwank dream.

But he was about to lose. And that made all the difference in the world to me.

inflatable dalek
2009-04-04, 03:39 PM
That was nice, very Mosaic on a large scale but not bad for it. Good to see the Autobots being ignored by AHM getting to do just more than stand in the background as well.

And as a bonus the need to have Tracks not instantly recognise Jazz' voice when next they meet means he gets to talk in a perfectly normal fashion for a change as well.

2009-04-04, 03:51 PM
The Spotlight series has continued, issue for issue, to hold interest at times the main series have lost focus on pacing or simply an an ability to gel with existing books. This wasn't any exception... even though a lot of it's essentially fight, there's plenty of dialogue in there -- some of it a bit "generic Autobot", but only in the way Superman written well is still "generic Superman". A few of the good guys have to be inspirational if we're meant to believe that a war can go on for millennia.

It's also pretty naturalistic, even chatty in places. This is something other books could learn from -- by this point Furman has become rather locked into certain phraseologies, McCarthy seems determined to characterise everyone as either emo or badass, etc. The writers may have done overdone it with the faction names somewhat (who else but the Decepticons would have wiped out Tracks' squad? and give the 'Cons some other invective to use; personalise the taunts a bit -- they obviously know who Jazz is) but dialogue is the biggest strength of the issue; the last page says more about Jazz, effortless seniority and the respect others have for him than throwing in a pissing match / brawl to try to make a point. Getting into character's heads and friendships doesn't happen much in Transformers, but there are hints of it here.

Nice to see technical touches being observed, such as being able to cannibalise parts to use as weapons, fingers with micro-tools, transformation as an integral part of fighting, built-in diagnostic hardware, etc.

Looked great too. Not quite a perfect score for either writing or art because there are always things to tweak, but all-in-all up there with the best of the Spotlights. More from everyone involved would be welcome.

The one thing I didn't like was the leader text -- "For most, the word AUTOBOT is simply a faction or title. But for one individual" -- nah, 'cause if that were the case, they'd have ****ing lost centuries ago. There's a limit as to how much you can make good guys apathetic or anti-heroes and get a storyline out of that which'll satisfy. And if anyone's looking for ideas, how about a little more emphasis on characters appreciating what they're saving by putting themselves on the line in inifiltration squads? Culture, politics, the achievements of other civilisations, etc. This does, of course, require building characters up to have some of those things themselves -- a bit of invention, philosophy, personal habits that define, favourite colours, anything to pull Transformers out of genericism. For all that most characters are given to do, they could compose symphonies in the middle of battle with the processing power at their disposal.

inflatable dalek
2009-04-04, 07:00 PM
I think that the nicest thing about the issue was that it showed fresh writing blood from the fan community can work, and work well. We've had some fantastic artists get the chance to make the move upwards to paid work and now we need more writers to folow them. That fresh blood is essential to keep the quality up, and no, Shane McCarthy isn't it.

2009-04-07, 08:21 AM
Decent little story, nicely done.

Not sure about EJ's art, though...

inflatable dalek
2009-04-07, 08:24 AM
I think the colouring was slightly off in some way, cam across as a bit felt tip-ey.

2009-04-07, 08:38 AM
Some of it seemed a bit too "rough sketch"y. I had serious trouble believing those Predacons were drawn by the same person who brought us all those lovely blocky-robot models in the -ations. (When I say blocky, I mean it in a good sense - they always looked like robots... these ones looked like an Andy Wildman man-in-robot-suit).

Not sure what Tracks' face was meant to be doing in those last panels either. Nor Prowl's, tbh.

Do love the notion that the Spotlight is actually told from a different character's perspective, though.

Auntie Slag
2009-04-20, 10:17 PM
I really enjoyed this story. A proper ruck between someone who wasn't Optimus Prime, Megatron, Shockwave or the Dinobots.

I'm comparing this with the Marvel G1 comics, in that the most any character who wasn't one of the above could hope for, was a single panel of successfully hitting someone and getting out a Bond-lite quip, or getting mashed in a panel alongside his colleagues (specifically giant mash-ups & group cullings in Club Con, early Underbase Saga etc).

Jazz appears very much in the mould of Willem Defoe's Elias from 'Platoon', very upbeat, almost paternal to Track's Charlie Sheen. Whether that was the author's intention or not, I liked the similarities.

Jazz himself seems to come across as one of those 'teach a man to fish and he'll feed himself for life' kind of guys, rather than a more standard ultra-hard loner hero type that populates so much of the TF universe.

Maybe there's a Tracks of my tears ref in this story somewhere! Very enjoyable. Should melt a few hardened TF bastards hearts. It's not all about the Prime's you know. It never was.

*to the mirror* Kill Spiderman you say?

Catalyst Dragon
2009-08-03, 02:44 AM
Of the Spotlights I've read, (admittidly very few) this is my favorite.

It seems to show a proper interpretation of Jazz's skill level which the marvel comics and cartoons both lacked.