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Old 2012-02-21, 05:51 PM   #21
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"Doesn't quite work" sums up the title, though. There doesn't seem to be anything new or exciting in this book. Maybe that's the point, a slow by-the-numbers stroll through stock situations for people who bought the previous ongoing.
Being easily pleased, I quite liked the visual of Ratbat hanging upside down on that double-page spread.

Maybe all the characters should be cute animals? It would up the readership.
 
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Old 2012-02-23, 01:02 AM   #22
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It is now out.

And ho ho ho - the shadowy figure is out of the shadows and Ratbat turns out to be a big fat red herring. Bumblebee patches things up with Metalhawk, which means embracing Starscream to his chunky yellow bosom. And then Skywarp gets stabbed in the tits and electrocuted, kind of worryingly reminiscent of American Psycho.

Yuks all round.
 
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Old 2012-02-23, 03:28 PM   #23
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Read it and like it very much.
SPOILER! (select to read)
Starscream finally be like a Starscream. But just wonder how far he can go since Shockwave and Soundwave are behind running things.

Also kind of disappointed that Prowl is not working with a Decepticon but that psycho. But that's a reasonable choice I think.

 
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Old 2012-02-23, 06:02 PM   #24
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Vocal chords: The hardest part of any Transformer to fix.
 
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Old 2012-02-23, 08:43 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Terome View Post
Ratbat turns out to be a big fat red herring.
Plus point. Any indication the next four issues are going anywhere fast?
 
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Old 2012-02-23, 09:35 PM   #26
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Some plus points and bad points to this issue, and overall its got enough to keep things interesting. But I feel it will be how Barber deals with the events of this issue and last issue will show if this comic can live up to its promise.

First point is Bumblebee and his actions dealing with the decepticons. Last issue he kills Horri-bull at the touch of a button and here he assaults Starscream with little provocation. Now if we see how he deals with the repercussions of those actions especially as at the end of this issue he makes the big peace play.

Similarly with
SPOILER! (select to read)
Arcee and the fact that she slaughters Ratbat despite it being clear that Prowl was just looking for an arrest
Again its how this is dealt with (or if it is dealt with at all) that could turn Barbers book from a simple comic with an awkward premise to an interesting look at how wartime minds adjust to working within limits again. Which could also tie in with events at the end of LSOTW, especially regarding how Prowl deals with these issues - although nothings linked yet.

We also get a nice take on starscream - hopefully he is shown as a proper manipulator even if its just to be a publicity savy political figurehead

Also I liked Skywarps comment on Bumblebee - a sly nod to what was the worst 4 parter I think IDW put out yet.

It's not all good though. Some of the dialogue seems just a bit too cheesy (decepti-toast). Soundwaves voice box problems seem silly and I hate that his face plate is still busted. I'm also not 100% sold on the colouring. It Everything seems to feel like its set in a permanent blue-grey night.
SPOILER! (select to read)
And much as I liked how she destroyed Ratbat, I hate the way her face is drawn


There's some good potential here, with some interesting plotlines possible and although I expect Barber to follow a more standard good vs evil approach, a slightly more adult insight into some of the fractured personalities on show could make this a great read.
 
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Old 2012-02-24, 04:32 AM   #27
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Plus point. Any indication the next four issues are going anywhere fast?
Quite possibly. If anything, this issue announced that Barber's not terribly interested in a slow burn and will actually move the pieces around before you've lost interest in them.
 
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Old 2012-02-24, 03:50 PM   #28
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For me at least, this series hasn't been anywhere near as bad as everyone expected. It might be my lack of experience but this relative peacetime seems really fresh.

Also, thanks to a combination of looking really cute here and being brilliant in the old Marvels, Ratbat's becoming a favourite.
 

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Old 2012-02-24, 05:20 PM   #29
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Similarly with
SPOILER! (select to read)
Arcee and the fact that she slaughters Ratbat despite it being clear that Prowl was just looking for an arrest
I'm not sure that's true. I read it as Prowl saying, "get your story straight, for when the questions start coming." Not that he actually wanted it done.
 

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Old 2012-02-24, 07:25 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by Terome View Post
Quite possibly. If anything, this issue announced that Barber's not terribly interested in a slow burn and will actually move the pieces around before you've lost interest in them.
Sensible. Slow burn's something you either need goodwill to start with or to make the setup very interesting getting there.

Will probably give it the first arc, have a read, and if that's any good order the trade and the singles from #7 or whatever.
 
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Old 2012-02-26, 06:32 PM   #31
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I'm not sure that's true. I read it as Prowl saying, "get your story straight, for when the questions start coming." Not that he actually wanted it done.
That's how I read it too.

I'm not sure how I feel about this issue, to be honest. Ratbat was my favourite Decepticon leader in the comics, and I was hoping he'd get a decent run as the lead villain here. But the arrogant, corrupt senator we saw here really doesn't really have anything in common with the banal, pencil-pushing bureaucrat portrayal that made him so much fun in the old Marvel comics, so it's really no great loss.

I definitely enjoyed Starscream's portrayal, which is probably a first when it comes to G1 Starscream. Ironically enough I think his personality and skill set make him ideally suited to thrive and maybe even become a good guy in this environment, insofar as it'll be in his best interests to prevent violence and help Bumblebee and Metalhawk keep the peace.

Bumblebee, on the other hand, felt like a kid throwing a tantrum when he didn't get his own way. A big part of the point of this series obviously is that he's just not cut out to be leader (yet) but that doesn't mean I like to see him written as petulant and unlikable. Bumblebee will always be the happy kid-friendly character to me, and seeing him become a hugely unsympathetic jerk without any real lead-up (since in spite of being 'leader' he was rarely an important character in Costa's run) makes it hard for me to care about him here. And weaponized or not he really needs to get rid of that idiotic 'walking stick'. It was stupid when Costa came up with it and it's still stupid now.

Shockwave not giving a **** about what's going on was a nice touch, and fits in well with his previous IDW characterization of just wanting to be left alone to do mad science. I don't know if that was a deliberate twist they decided to put on the character or if that's just how it's worked out as he's been passed off from Furman to Roberts to Costa to Barber, but it's a nice synthesis of all the previous takes on the character (Marvel, the cartoon and DW) distilled into a single personality.

Soundwave not being able to talk annoys me though, and whether it's Barber being 'cute' by referencing the current cartoon or Hasbro ordering IDW to make the character more like he is in TF:Prime I think it's a bad idea. Furman always did a great job writing Soundwave back in the 80s, but other than a short interlude in Spotlight: Soundwave I don't think anyone's ever even tried to explore the character in modern fiction. He was promoted as a major character in this series and I was hoping to see some character development, but so far at least the best we can hope for is him being a plot device and silent sentinel toward whoever becomes leader now that Ratbat's gone.

Oh, and I know this one is Furman's fault rather than Barber's...but Psycho Transsexual Arcee is still ridiculous. I read this issue right after watching the latest episode of TF:Prime, and the contrast between the comics' one-dimensional bloodthirsty crazy person and the relatable, sympathetic, intelligent and caring (and much more 'badass' for all of it) Arcee in the cartoons is just painful. IDW Arcee is just embarrassing, frankly, and the sooner someone puts a laser beam through her head the better.
 
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Old 2012-02-26, 06:35 PM   #32
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Sensible. Slow burn's something you either need goodwill to start with or to make the setup very interesting getting there.

Will probably give it the first arc, have a read, and if that's any good order the trade and the singles from #7 or whatever.
That's probably wise. There is a lot of potential in this book, but there's also an awful lot that can go wrong with it. Those things seem to be pretty obvious, so hopefully Barber knows about them too. He's a seasoned editor and probably has one of the most impressive resumes out of any Transformers writer so far, besides Abnett and Lanning, although they had the mother of all false starts.

My chief worry on this is that if the book goes the way it seems to want to go, there might be a judicious application of the Hasbro Hammer. They seem to be getting far more active in the comics, nixing certain character deaths and acting especially nervous about things like side-swapping and details that conflict with whatever they consider important on any particular month. They've been obsessed with that Thirteen Primes nonsense for years, for instance. I wouldn't be surprised if Soundwave's silence came from Hasbro's suggestion.

At least, that's the overall impression I am getting from interviews, which were all worded very carefully and diplomatically, so I might be getting the wrong end of the stick. But now that Hasbro is gearing itself to be more of an IP holding company than a toy manufacturer, they are putting far more resources into centrally managing their brands.
 
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Old 2012-03-20, 12:01 PM   #33
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Preview of RID #3
 
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Old 2012-03-21, 09:24 PM   #34
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To whom it may concern; word has it that this one will not be out until next week, March 28.

---

Heh, I gotta love the blatant retcon of Dirge's fate from AHM. His explanation read a little stilted, though.
 
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Old 2012-03-24, 09:28 PM   #35
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After a bit of a stock delay at One Shall Stand I'm caught up:

Yeah, another nice solid issue. Torn on Ratbat, though he really wasn't anything like the Marvel version he was still good vain fun. The fact that consequences come and bite you on the arse quickly in this book is a nice touch though. And Prowl actually gets to be competent and cool for once (loved the twist on the real reason he wanted a word with Wheeljack).

But, as Warcry notes, Bumblebee is being written terribly. He's gone off the edge too quickly and is doing worse in a similar situation than Grimlock did post Edge of Extinction. Killing Horri-Bull made sense, attacking a Decepticon who hasn't actually done anything yet in full view of everyone is just stupid and wrong on every level.
 
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Old 2012-03-31, 01:05 AM   #36
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3 issues in and there is just something not quite clicking with me and RID. It's not bad at all by any means and I quite like an issue where the story is self contained but feeding into the overall arc. But there is a feeling that maybe it's trying just a little to hard to be different and maybe suffering for that.

In this issue the following things struck me:

1 - Dirge. I appreciate that Barber is trying to show that he has read the previous issues and is keeping continuity in-line but I found Dirge still being alive a bit of a non-event. I get that they wanted to show how the decepticons feel mistreated too but it's never really explored with Dirge. Minor quibble but its one of those things that struck me as trying too hard.

edit: Oh and double thumbs up for the cover with Starscream in a "Superman" pose. Well drawn and it got a laugh out of me.

2 - Metalhawk (and the nails) - for a guy who seems to be a main player we really know nothing about him - or any of the nails in fact. A bit more of a focus on these cybertronians would help establish them into the story. With the next issue focusing back on Prowl and Bombshell, it makes the nails feel more like background issue when they should be a main focus, at least for the first few issues to establish them.

3 - Starscream - I really like Barbers take on Starscream but it seems to have jumped a bit. If this was straight after AHM it would make sense, but the last time we saw Starscream in any great deal, he shot Thundercracker in the back because he didn't want to overthrow Megatron and conquer the universe with him. I may have missed something but it seems a little bit of a stretch that he suddenly sees things as they are and is happy to gain power purely through political means (and if there is going to be a traitorous turn from Starscream than Barber, I am disappointed...)

4 - Arcee Face - Sort this one out because it just looks like some weird transvestite.

5 - Ratbats death - I get that the autobots are trying to cover up the murder of Ratbat but his body was discovered by one of the constructicons nailed to a wall by a spike with his legs sliced off. There is no way that it can be covered up as a suicide. It simple isn't believable.

Another minor blip in the issue is when the aerielbots turn to leave. They walk away. Think about that for a second

But its still not a bad issue and there's still potential. Its just that while MTMTE seems to have found its flow and style, RID seems to still be searching for its appeal. Certainly its no Costa tragedy, and its worth a few more issues - although issue 6 may be a real tester...
 
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Old 2012-04-03, 06:48 PM   #37
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Still continues to be generally solid stuff, not pants wettingly exciting which perhaps it really needs to be to kick up the pace a bit, but, apart from the deeply stupid Barrel Roll the never before mentioned Arielbot (seriously, they couldn't have set him up in one of the first two issues to make that less blatent? I certainly wasn't up enough on my European exclusive Mini-con sets to even know he ever had a toy without checking) being especially grating.

Starscream continues to be very well written though, he and Prowl are really the stars of the series aren't they?

And yet another little knock of AHM with the revelation Dirge alone managed to avoid the supposedly deadly Swarm all by himself.
 
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Old 2012-04-03, 11:13 PM   #38
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Yeah, 'solid' is definitely the word. I really enjoyed this one. Didn't care much about Barrel Roll redshirting it up. He's as much of an Aerialbot than Slingshot or Fireflight at this point.

Wheeljack gets more character here than he's ever gotten, Starscream is interesting for the first time I can remember and guys like Dirge and Silverbolt finally got some lines. Silverbolt isn't such an odd choice for 'guy who snaps under the pressure' since he's a nutcase when he isn't horribly bland. He's gone from a zero-dimensional character to a one-dimensional character which is a step in the right direction.

I also like Prowl getting more and more out of his depth. That 'suicide' line is going to come back to haunt him. I grew up in South Africa, where recent history has a great many examples of clever, capable people in authority who never let anyone forget how strong their contempt could be. I could see Prowl in one of those Truth And Reconciliation hearings talking about the people he suicided.

Worst bit was the painful roll-call of Starscream's buddies, which shrinks the world for no reason and makes very little sense for the continuity but that's small potatoes. Would like to see the story jump forward a bit for the next issue, but this was a nice way to flesh out the world and the subsidary characters for a bit while the plot spinned its wheels.
 
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Old 2012-04-03, 11:45 PM   #39
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I liked the role-call of all the inactive seekers - it kinda cemented Starscreams isolation and gives him some motivation to change his ways. I'd love to see him start up a heroic (or at least neutral) group of new seekers - Acid Storm, Sunstorm and Slip Stream could all make an appearance.

I agree that Wheeljack gets a nice bit of time here. I think he could work well as one of the main cast, maybe even being the heart of the group compared to the more political likes of Prowl, Bumblebee, Metal Hawk etc. I also really liked his chunky design.

SPOILER! (select to read)
One thing that is worrying me is that the setup here is interesting and needs time to establish to get the most out of it. I feel the return of Orion Pax in issue 6 is going to undo much of that good ground work and we could slowly slip into the same problems which blighted Costas early work - Other Bots are in charge but everyone still looks to Prime/ Pax as the real head guy

 
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Old 2012-04-04, 01:12 AM   #40
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Just had a thought - what's with all the fake maths on the cover? Wheeljack's problem is a straightforward electrical circuit but on a grand scale. We have mathematics for those.

Quote:
Red Dave Prime:
SPOILER! (select to read)
Yeah, I am dreading that development. Though from the solicits, it seems that Orion is going to be hunting down Shockwave off-world. Still, probability of it being a bum note could be high.


 
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