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Old 2012-01-12, 04:46 AM   #6
zigzagger
There ain't no Sanity Clause
 
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Densely written, stubborn attention to detail, loads of focus on second (and third) stringers. Yep, this is definitely a James Roberts book. There's a lot of set up here. A LOT. And, it does a great job, well, setting up a rather colorful cast.

I enjoyed it, though if I had to fault it for one thing, is that there's a lot more going on than this little ol' issue could contain, to the point where not everyone in this large cast is given the proper introductions they deserve.

Nonetheless, this book was really fun. Worth at least a peek to those, like me, who have been far from impressed by most of IDW's output over the last couple years. Be warned that it's set up, though.

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Notes 'n' stuff...

It's looking like we're getting quite the core cast here, so I'll start with the characters:

Rodimus -- Pretty much what Magnus thinks of him; impulsive and hotheaded. So, yeah, Rodimus is up to being his usual self, and as to be expected, he gets his crew into a mess of trouble.

Ultra Magnus -- He kind of reminds me of Furman's Prowl, but, you know, a little less prickish. He has the strict adherence to protocol and routine, but he's much more personable and actually has a sense of humor (a rather dry one at that). I think he'll make a perfect foil to Rodimus. I'm glad Magnus decided to tag along

Drift -- When did he climb up the ranks? At least, that's my impression. In Death of Optimus Prime he was present during 'High Command's' conferences, and here Drift seems to be Rodimus's right hand along with Ultra Magnus.

My guess? Errr...because he met Dai Atlas and his gang and thus his knowledge is invaluable to the mission? Eh, probably. Can't really complain how he's portrayed here, tempting as it is. He and Magnus make perfect straight men to Rodimus. Honestly, it kinda suits him.

Ratchet -- Okay, first things first; James Roberts is ****ing writing Ratchet!

...Ahem, all fangasms aside, it's a slightly different take on the character. Mind you, this is how I read it, but it's like Roberts took all the more positive aspects from the Prime, Bay-formers and Animated iterations of the character and merged them with G1 Ratchet. So, what we end up with is a still good-humored and adventurous Ratchet who is coming to terms with his 'age'. It's an interesting idea and I'm more than willing to give it a chance. I'm looking forward to seeing how Ratchet's personal quest plays out.

Rewind -- Mmm, my thoughts on him are pretty much the same as they were in the Death of Optimus Prime thread. Adorkable. Loved the banter between him and Chromedome - particularly when the latter is giving the former a hard time about his chosen alt form.

Chromedome -- Aside from his relationship Rewind, Chromedome didn't leave much of an impression. Not yet anyway. Goes back to my earlier concern with the book; there's just not enough room for everyone to be properly introduced. Still, it is kind of neat how all the non-Headmaster Headmasters are popping up again. Even Highbrow got a mention.

Cyclonus -- Ugh, finally someone remembers he's not a Decepticon. He's back to being the patriotic, internal-monologist that was introduced in his so-called 'Spotlight'. Which is fine, it was one of Furman's better works in my opinion (if you ignore that it's part of Revelation).

Cyclonus' initial deadpanned response to Whirl was priceless.

Tailgate -- Now here's a character I wasn't expecting to see. The poor thing. He won me over on sympathy alone...though, his smart-assed systems check probably played a part in that as well ("Preliminary damage report: You're an idiot." )

Prowl -- Getting dangerously close to crossing the line to villainy here. Assuming he's the one that sabotaged the ship. Though the more I think about it, I'm starting to doubt that was his doing. Like we're being thrown off, as there's plenty of other culprits to consider.

Other than that, I've already stated earlier in this thread (and a few times elsewhere) how I feel about Robert's Prowl.

Swerve
-- He was introduced during Chaos wasn't he? Great (re)introduction either way.

Red Alert: "Name?"
Swerve: "Megatron. But you can call me...Death."

Rung -- Loved his narrations in the Last Stand of the Wreckers profiles. Nothing wrong with him, though can already see folks crying 'self-insertion character'. Eh, I guess he is, but at least he's a charming and well written self-insertion character. Didn't do much else for me to really make any other judgements. My guess; aside from playing the role of ship counselor, he'll be keeping an eye on Red Alert. Of course, I'm just going by the nature of their relationship and Robert's has been known telegraph these sorts of things.

Also, are we seeing the beginning of a running gag here? So far, every time Rung shows up, something unfortunate happens to him (eg. Chaos Theory).

Red Alert -- Again, not enough info to make a final judgment, but what I saw was great. I like snarky Red Alert. Snarky Red Alert is funny. Though, if I have one complaint, it's the new design. Aside from the color scheme, I'm not getting much of a 'Red Alert' vibe here, especially with the white sports visor.

Brainstorm -- Yep, he definitely sounds like someone who was stationed at the Kimia facility (read "Bullets" from the LSOTW TPB if you don't know what the hell I'm talking about). And he definitely sounds like someone who worked closely to Ironfist (the "Autopedia" reference, etc). It's a spot on Brainstorm, in my opinion.

Whirl -- He's a psychopath and he's creepy...And, he's an asshole. For anyone that knows anything about him, that more or less sums up Whirl. Have always been impartial to character to be honest. For me, it explains why he was absent from Last Stand of the Wreckers.

...Now explain Roadbuster and Broadside

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Ugh, that damn timeline. With all the 'soft reboots' the title has had to endure over the years, you'd think IDW would do away with this one. Now, it seems like they've made it absurdly longer.

(Bumblebee at Ratchet) - "It's all scripted, you know. Drift writes it for him." -- I could make some pun about how Shane McCarthy writes Rodimus' speeches. But that'd be too easy.

So...The Lost Light experiences a 'malfunction', flinging it halfway across the galaxy, along a path that promises to bring sorrow, death and an assortment of other surprises. Nah, this doesn't sound familiar at all
 
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