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inflatable dalek
2012-03-17, 10:45 AM
Transformers: Prime Issue 1 [Titan]

The Safe and the Failsafe.

Script: Robin Etherington.
Art: Jeremy Tiongson.
Lettering: Rona Simpson.

Synopsis:

At the Autobot base Ratchet unveils the new training room, the “Safe”, where they can cut loose and practice their combat techniques. During the first session the over enthusiastic Bulkhead winds up ripping up the floor enough to reveal an old nuclear bomb hidden beneath it, with the timer now ticking.

To add to their problems the radiation signal has lured in a group of Vehicons thinking it's Energon. Prime leads a team outside to fight them before they discover the base, whilst Bulkhead holds up the collapsing ceiling so Raf can use his expertise in Earth computers to try and defuse the bomb.

The bomb is ultimately diffused in the nick of time, and Bulkhead is left disappointed that the Vehicons have all been destroyed without him getting a chance to smash heads. A somewhat sheepish Agent Fowler arrives and unofficially admits the bomb was probably planted as a military failsafe to allow them to remove the Autobots if they ever proved to be a problem. Prime has them remove it, and Raf starts suggesting ways a new Safe room could be improved upon.

Characters Featured:

Ratchet, Bulkhead, Bumblebee, Arcee, Optimus Prime, Raf, Jack, Miko, Vehicons [All killed], Fowler.

Notes:

With the Movieverse having ended last month, this sees the start of the books fourth volume as a tie in to the new Prime cartoon. It is however, pretty much business as usual, and it's suspiciously easy to imagine the same story set in the film Universe at a NEST base.

As a sign of how the previous book likely ended sooner than expected there's a pull out Dark of the Moon section full of stuff that was likely intended for Dark of the Moon issue 5.

At one episode an issue, it'll take two years for the episode guide to cover just the first season. Now that's optimistic.

The Safe is a fairly obvious steal from The X-Men's Danger Room.

Goofs:

Miko is repeatedly called Mika throughout the issues contents [later issues confirm this as a mistake rather than just a variation between the cartoon and the comic].

Fantastic Free gift!:

A Prime sticker sheet and, that old standby, a Revenge of the Fallen disc shooter.

Extras:

Meet the Autobots Team!, brief character profiles of our heroes;
The Missing Link!, put the missing part of the picture back in place;
Megatron's Favourite Words...Search!, a wordsearch amazingly enough;
Episode Guide Volume 1: Darkness Rising Part 1, which gets five out of five stars;
Dark of the Moon pull out with a Megatron and Optimus Vs. Sentinel Prime Ultimate Smackdown, a Shockwave poster and Starscream's Stumpers;
Competitions for a Nerf gun and Kre-O toys;
Mega-Mouth sees Megatron and Arcee take over the letters page.

Review:

In keeping with the style of Etherington's Movie strips the first Prime issue continues the trend of light, throwaway fun, though as it's specifically tying into a more kid friendly cartoon than the films this feels much more appropriate here.

The story itself is just an excuse to quickly introduce the characters and show off their personalities through an action scene, so in rapid succession we're shown Ratchet is a genius and a bit grumpy, Bulkhead likes violence, Raf is smart, Prime is serious, Arcee is kick ass and Fowler is a bit dodgy. The other humans and Bumblebee don't really get anything to do, but giving as much focus to as many characters as it does in such a short page count is still an impressive feat.

Whilst not a spectacular issue, it's still a solid foundation to build from, especially for uncool kids like me who haven't seen much Prime (for the record, to date, I've seen the first episode, the one with Scraplets and the one where Drift cosplays as Wheeljack).

[Three Cubes out of five]