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-   -   Transformers Spotlight: Trailcutter (http://tfarchive.com/community/showthread.php?t=51722)

zigzagger 2013-04-01 10:51 PM

Transformers Spotlight: Trailcutter
 
Transformers Spotlight: Trailcutter Trailbreaker preview @ Issuu.

Written by James Roberts, art by Matt Frank.

Cliffjumper 2013-04-01 10:56 PM

Trailcutter? Bwahahahaha...

zigzagger 2013-04-01 11:21 PM

Yep. The name's ****ing stupid, all right. More vexing, the name Trailbreaker is still used, several times in the preview.

Anyway -- I think I'll actually read this one. Looks lighthearted and fun. Like a filler story for More Than Meets The Eye. It may as well have been.

Cliffjumper 2013-04-02 01:42 AM

I'm kinda curious - he's Trailbreaker in the comic but not on the cover or blurb? How? I'd have guessed Hasbro had some sort of hand in it (seeing as there's nothing to stop them using the name in a comic, cf. Spotlight Shockwave before they got the trademark back) to promote whatever Generations abortion they've got coming up (TFP Bulkhead retool? Shared mould with FoC Joyride?)... so why is the script seemingly ignoring it? Have they just assumed the book's only selling to people who read the Waki?

zigzagger 2013-04-02 05:10 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cliffjumper (Post 728306)
so why is the script seemingly ignoring it?

Well, not entirely. Whirl, while giving Trailbreaker terrible advice, suggests that he change his name :o Still referred to as Trailbreaker during the first quarter of the issue, though.


To all those following MTMTE -- The big, ogre-ish Decepticon in Whirl's flashback; is he holding...a wand? Is that supposed to be that 'Killmaster' fellow we've been hearing about?

Knightdramon 2013-04-02 07:46 AM

Yup, that's Killmaster. I thought he was one of the Heavies until I saw the wand.

Neat and rich preview.

inflatable dalek 2013-04-02 11:01 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cliffjumper (Post 728306)
I'm kinda curious - he's Trailbreaker in the comic but not on the cover or blurb? How? I'd have guessed Hasbro had some sort of hand in it (seeing as there's nothing to stop them using the name in a comic, cf. Spotlight Shockwave before they got the trademark back) to promote whatever Generations abortion they've got coming up (TFP Bulkhead retool? Shared mould with FoC Joyride?)... so why is the script seemingly ignoring it? Have they just assumed the book's only selling to people who read the Waki?

It's been set up in advance at least, back in the Annual the Magnusvision established Trailcutter was a known alias of his.

Indeed, I don't know if it was done deliberately to make things like this a bit smoother than the whole Blue/Silverstreak SNAFU but Roberts has, right from the off in MTMTE, established Transformers can and do change their names regularly for all sorts of reasons. Sometimes Deep And Significant ones (Ambulon and Chromedome), sometimes throwaway silly ones (that chap who used to be a Prowl until he got sick of the comparisons to the Prowl).

Terome 2013-04-02 03:25 PM

Looks like fun. I like the art! A few cluttered panels but all forgiveable. Kind of Ben Edlund-y. The script is in silly mode so I imagine by the end of it someone will have their arms and legs pulled off or something.

A good showing for Killmaster at last!

Denyer 2013-04-02 06:08 PM

I'd forgotten these two were Roberts... here's hoping Hoist will also be a MTMTE tie-in.

Bucquoy 2013-04-02 08:50 PM

Whirl... gotta love that bot!

Warcry 2013-04-02 10:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cliffjumper (Post 728306)
I'm kinda curious - he's Trailbreaker in the comic but not on the cover or blurb? How? I'd have guessed Hasbro had some sort of hand in it (seeing as there's nothing to stop them using the name in a comic, cf. Spotlight Shockwave before they got the trademark back) to promote whatever Generations abortion they've got coming up (TFP Bulkhead retool? Shared mould with FoC Joyride?)... so why is the script seemingly ignoring it? Have they just assumed the book's only selling to people who read the Waki?

The most recent series of Spotlights were commissioned directly by Hasbro to be used as pack-ins with a series of Generations toys. I'm less surprised about the comic using the toy's name on the title than I am by the fact that the issue is using "Trailbreaker" at all. Surely that's going to confuse all the kids they're hoping to turn into comic buyers with the pack-ins?

Both of your ideas for what the toy actually looks like would be more Trailbreakery than the real thing, by the by. It looks more like Skids. At first I was sure it was mistransformed in the stock photos, but no.

Denyer 2013-04-02 10:29 PM

Kind of a disturbing thought that the Megatron spotlight is likely to end up in the hands of kids, as it's pretty dark.

Terome 2013-04-03 01:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Denyer (Post 728336)
Kind of a disturbing thought that the Megatron spotlight is likely to end up in the hands of kids, as it's pretty dark.

Yeah, I thought that. It's the story of an abusive relationship that can only be resolved by a murder.
Hopefully it will at least give some kids living through such a situation a bit of context along the lines of, 'this kind of thing happens to robots too, but at least your parents aren't immortal.'

Red Dave Prime 2013-04-03 07:01 PM

This isn't a bad issue at all. It takes a lot of liberties with credibility (even in a book about big alien robots) but if you dont mind that, its a fun read. There are lots of nice touches in the art and the script and quite a few niggles too but the humour keeps it on the right side of things.

Terome 2013-04-03 07:06 PM

Yes, just finished reading it. Lots of fun. There's a beat straight out of The Venture Bros at the end with Hoist showing up, having had his own wacky adventure. Only real criticism I can muster is that nothing interesting was attempted with the characterisation of Chop Shop and friends. There was the squeal, I suppose. Lockdown could really have been any Decepticon with a mercenary bent.

Bonus points for the big silly Rodimus plaque and 'Why can't we all do that?' The colouring of the frozen Autobots was effective and Brainstorm's fixed expression of terror was neat.

So is this the genesis of the Thumb Quest?

zigzagger 2013-04-03 07:17 PM

I dunno, this did it for me. Not brilliant, but I was thoroughly entertained. I think it worked because More Than Meets The Eye's episodic structure and occasionally lighthearted tone lends itself well to the Spotlight format.

It's a simple premise. Basically, the issue does precisely as solicited; the resident 'one trick pony' is out to prove his worth, and as luck would have it, the opportunity to do so drops right in his lap. It's cliched, sure, and a touch convenient, but, meh, the setting keeps it fresh. Roberts was clearly having fun with it.

Oh, oh, and there's a hook! It's a tale that's kinda, sorta split into two chapters, the second half being Spotlight: Hoist. If the Spotlight series was formatted into something like, say, Chronicles of the Lost Light - like this was and presumably SL: Hoist - I'd be picking them up more often. It's piqued my interest, at any rate. I want to see more spotlights like this.

Whirl was frickin' brilliant, by the way. When Hasbro is finished plugging their cheap wares, can he have his own spotlight? C'mon, the skinny little prick is due one. Practically hogs every panel he's in, anyway.

Quibbles -- Mmm, I'll have to share Terome's criticism that the Decepticons really didn't bring much to the book. I also agree that Lockdown was pretty indistinct character wise and could've easily been transposed with just about anyone.

inflatable dalek 2013-04-03 08:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Denyer (Post 728336)
Kind of a disturbing thought that the Megatron spotlight is likely to end up in the hands of kids, as it's pretty dark.

Nah, I think for a young kid Megatron beating up Starscream is just going to be fun, the subtext will whizz over their head.

As for Trailcutter (and I think only a very dim child will be confused by the name thing as presented, it's interesting that Brainstorm and Highbrow are nicknames as well): Just a fun, fun issue with a lot of great gags. My favourite one being the piss take of the whole "Plot" of this series of Spotlights with Lockdown and his crew not being able to go anywhere without tripping over a Titan.

It's not especially deep or essential but as a bit of daft standalone fun it's hard to beat.

Terome 2013-04-03 08:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by zigzagger (Post 728359)
Whirl was frickin' brilliant, by the way. When Hasbro is finished plugging their cheap wares, can he have his own spotlight? C'mon, the skinny little prick is due one. Practically hogs every panel he's in, anyway.

Couldn't agree more. This standard grunt just keeps getting more and more to him. A craftsman turned heretic turned criminal turned enforcer turned poster child for Autobot mercy turned black-ops heavy turned suicidal nutcase turned annoying shipmate. Who just so happened to have started the war.

Who knows what could be done to him with a whole Spotlight to explore?

Quote:

My favourite one being the piss take of the whole "Plot" of this series of Spotlights with Lockdown and his crew not being able to go anywhere without tripping over a Titan.
Yeah, that bit did stand out as a reversal. Lockdown and crew were not zealots hunting down a relic, they were... poachers.

Denyer 2013-04-03 08:26 PM

So, do we know if the figures will be available separate from the comics? Or are the comics not going to affect the pricing of the figures they're released with too much?

Because this makes me want to pick up the plastic crack.

(Or are they being done as mini-comics, perchance?)

Suppose I can always find someone who'll appreciate the spare, if there is one...

"How come we don't all have one of those?" -- yep, we've all asked that about glass gas and a thousand other TF weapons/abilities. The issue improves on re-reading, too: titans are a whole lot more interesting as a concept than gestalts... could easily have been a regular issue (well, after things become a bit less sombre than the last MTMTE issue.)

Red Dave Prime 2013-04-03 08:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Denyer (Post 728362)
could easily have been a regular issue (well, after things become a bit less sombre than the last MTMTE issue.)

I'd be very happy with Spotlights that fill in the gaps for lesser characters in RiD. Being able to place things in context is great. Little touches like Rodimus giving out to Rewind over the discs give a nice sense of placement in Roberts overall world.


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