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Terome 2015-01-22 02:49 PM

Punishment One-shot
Got this yesterday, avoided it when it was on MadeFire on the grounds that it looked gimmicky and unnecessary.

Though the mystery is not strung out the same way it would have been when serialised, this works just fine in print. Quite impressed by it overall. A very simple, straightforward whodunnit that strikes a classic Chandler vibe by being very hopeful despite the darkness.

I'm not generally a fan of Livio for finicky reasons but the art here was consistent and clear and served the narrative.

Dug the Firecons as baddies, not quite convinced on someone making bullets out of their magic powers but hey ho whatever. Slag was great - I really like Barber's Dinobots to the extent I'd say they might be the definitive Dinobots for me.

Optimus is sufficiently badass throughout - ripping a bullet out of his tummy with his bare hands is one for the books.

Denyer 2015-01-22 08:08 PM

Read and ordered. That was damn good and would welcome more of this style from Barber, rather than the mostly miss of RID.

Red Dave Prime 2015-01-22 10:03 PM


Originally Posted by Denyer (Post 745912)
Read and ordered. That was damn good and would welcome more of this style from Barber, rather than the mostly miss of RID.

Just finished reading this and I'd agree - I'd go as far as to say its the best work barber has done.Reminds me a bit of a Batman story actually, and for once the inner monologue makes sense. Apart from a few panels not being clear and the mystery being fairly straight forward I thought it was a good read in this one shot format.

Terome 2015-01-23 12:10 AM

That's a good observation - it was very Batmanny.

Barber does seem to be going out of his comfort zone with RID at present. That's laudable and might develop into something but 'mostly misses' is a pretty apt description.

I like Varas Centralus as a concept - it's the Flanders of the Autobot/Decepticon war. I hope Barber doesn't fill in too many gaps as it's good to leave all that large scale stuff to the imagination. Same for Simanzi.

Have been thinking of those Autobot victims who burned the planet in retribution for its inhabitants aiding the Decepticons. Admirably unflinching, though I guess the Dinobots probably did a lot of that sort of thing too.

inflatable dalek 2015-01-23 05:06 PM

Nice to hear good things about this. The format is basically the same as the card covered UK specials (such as the Movie adaptation one) right? As there's not an immediately obvious place for it to go in trade I might pump for the physical copy.

inflatable dalek 2015-01-30 03:47 PM

I has now read it! I really like having an old school style Summer special. I've no idea how well it'd work as a motion comic though, I'd have thought the clear cut lines of someone like Guido would work better for that sort of thing.

But as I can't be arsed with motion comics and like Livio I thought the art was mostly very nice.

Plot wise, the character stuff was very, very good and unlike the (otherwise enjoyable) Wheeljack issue of RID I think he got the Starscream/Windblade dynamic bang on. Though once things stated exploding I'm surprised Starscream didn't ask where Chromia was.

Also, Prime calling out Slug was brilliant and it was really nice to see the Dinobots being treated as the scary borderline psychopaths they actually are rather than "Cool". It's a shame it wasn't him what done it rather than him just being an attempt at a red herring that doesn't really work as there's still a good chunk of the book left when Prime accuses him.

Which brings us to the murder plot, which is the weakest part of it, in that I pegged Sandstorm the moment the bullets coming from a battle he was at got a mention. His motivation is well handled, but it's easily guessable. Especially as he and Barricade are the only substantial "Guest" characters to get enough of a substantial role so it has to be one of them (though having an Autobot do it might be more "Edgy", the idea of a Decepticon policeman committing these crimes out of guilt over his peoples crimes would probably have been more interesting as well).

Still, overall very nicely done.

And not really a fair niggle as I wouldn't be surprised if a heavy role for Prime was a requirement from Madfire, but we finally get a dedicated IDW murder mystery and bloody Nightbeat isn't anywhere is sight!

Terome 2015-01-30 08:19 PM

We don't all consume Poirot like you do Dalek so suspects in these kinds of stories aren't quite so obvious.

I didn't really give much thought to whodunnit as I read it. I never do because, hey, they're going to tell me in a few minutes. I am the worst audience.

Hadn't twigged to the lack of Nightbeat - I guess he's not really a P.I. any more, just a weird guy. It does sort of fit this ex-cop Prime that he'd do this sort of thing in his spare time / retirement.

Agree on the good show for Starscream / Windblade and Windblade in general. It's the kind of thing McCarthy was desperately trying to do - give the Autobots a conscience - but he came at it from a nostalgia angle rather than a storytelling one. Windblade works for me because she's this naive onlooker but she's also compromised now, already, but her pal Chromia. It's a good set-up and I hope we see more stuff like this that uses it as a backdrop before the next big status quo change.


Also, Prime calling out Slug was brilliant and it was really nice to see the Dinobots being treated as the scary borderline psychopaths they actually are rather than "Cool".
Absolutely. I keep thinking of Maximum Dinobots, which seemed resolute about having nothing going on upstairs, and those flashbacks to the Dinobots being all commando, doling out the executions. Even Swoops characteristic diplomacy took on a sinister edge here - he's got a guilty conscience a mile wide but is too much of a coward to do anything but pay lip service to another way. Really great handling of the characters. Prime is right to despise them and was probably really glad when they disappeared along with his old friend Shockwave.

Barricade is being set up as an interesting character, isn't he? Didn't really notice that. I wonder how much of all of this will get picked up on by Scott in the next Windblade series.

Barber seems to have picked up Roberts (and TMUK's) habit of categorically mentioning the colour of the robots in dialogue. I find that interesting and encouraging. Because I spend a lot of time thinking about this sort of thing, it would make all of my Christmases come true if we had a six issue miniseries about Transformer optics, sensory transduction and the cultural role of colour to their society.

Maybe I should pitch it along with my 12-part motion comic where Tentakil swims around the Pacific Ocean pointing out interesting things about sea floor ecology.

I'd read it!

inflatable dalek 2015-02-02 09:39 AM

Though let's face it, Barricade's future character development is basically going to boil down to "You know what, I think I'm going to give up on this whole being a relatively decent warrant officer come crime investigator thing and instead I'm going to try glueing myself to Menasor's chest for a living".

Rack 'n Ruin 2015-02-02 12:37 PM

Er, d'y'mean Blackjack?

inflatable dalek 2015-02-02 03:06 PM

Oh, is he not the new chest plate? I'm so used to any new prominent character being a new toy I totally ****ed that up like a tit.

Rack 'n Ruin 2015-02-02 03:19 PM

Hey, no worries. Wait a week or two and a Barricade repaint of one of the Legends cars is sure to be announced. Hey presto - you were right (and incredibly prescient)!

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