Spotlight: Hot Rod

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Denyer
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Spotlight: Hot Rod

Post by Denyer » Wed Nov 15, 2006 10:52 am


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Commander Shockwav
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Post by Commander Shockwav » Thu Nov 16, 2006 3:24 am

Read it.

Wonderful stuff all around.

To make a Hot Rod hater like myself thoroughly enjoy this story, well, a lot of things had to go right, and they did.

Simon continues to impress with this well-written, self-contained tale. If ever there were a comic to take us back to the UK Marvel days, this story did just that. Simon has taken a naggingly annoying pubescent character, and made him kickass cool this time around. This ain't the Hot Rod we have all loved to hate. Nope, this is a Hot Rod that I look forward to seeing a lot more of, a Hot Rod who strikes a nice balance between being impetuous and being altruistic. Moreover, I can actually start to believe that this is a bot that some day would deserve to inherit the Matrix as his own.

But as good as Simon's writing is here, on this issue, Nick takes the gold medal. The guy can draw. And by draw, I mean he can tell a story. We have seen some fantastic artists in the past few years, Don Figueroa most notable among them. But can anyone convey movement and action, can anyone tell a story, as well as Nick Roche? I am hard pressed to come up with one.

A solid "A" comic, a conglomerate of #### good art and a #### good story. Out of IDW, only the Shockwave Spotlight is better.

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Post by another tf fan » Sat Nov 18, 2006 4:39 am

indeed this comic gave me anew respect for hot rod.
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Post by Transfannabeel » Mon Nov 20, 2006 5:05 pm

I haven't read too much of the IDW comics, but decided to give it this book a shot.

I was impressed by the art. Roche did a fantastic job with this issue, nothing like Dreamwave style. Glad to see a change. The story itself was just meh for me. I found it boring at times, but the art made up for that.

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Post by inflatable dalek » Mon Nov 20, 2006 8:28 pm

The main bad point: Hot Rod's team is three no ones and [Double]Dealer. That made the last page about 50 million times more obvious than it might have been.

Still a great read though. I want Gizmo to have his own comic.

Oh, and Furman's love of 24 shone through again. It's hard not to read that last panel without hearing those beeps.
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Post by Halfshell » Mon Nov 20, 2006 9:18 pm

Originally posted by inflatable dalek
The main bad point: Hot Rod's team is three no ones and [Double]Dealer. That made the last page about 50 million times more obvious than it might have been.


Aye.

I spent the entire book thinking "gosh, I wonder what the big finish is going to consist of..." and that was before we discovered that the purpose of Hot Rod's mission was to bust out Dealer.

Shock shock horror horror shock shock horror.

It's like the completely unexpected and leftwing arrival of Spike at the end of Conviction. That was slightly ruined by him being in the opening credits and spending the entire episode thinking "right... when does Spike turn up, then?"

I suppose as part of a TPB it'll work better, as it's just a brief segment. As an issue on its own, I felt a bit cheated storywise. Though if I didn't know the character of Dealer already, I'd probably feel differently.

Huge points for Banzai-Tron, though.
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Post by inflatable dalek » Mon Nov 20, 2006 9:23 pm

Originally posted by Brendocon
Huge points for Banzai-Tron, though.


I love the fact that after writing Bludgeon out in Stormbriger Furman goes and introduces a character whos prfile is basically "Wants to be Bludgeon".

I do think peeps not so familiar with the latter comics/toys will not find the twist so obvious. It would have been nice if they'd all been toy based characters though...
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Post by Halfshell » Mon Nov 20, 2006 9:38 pm

To be honest, I spent the whole thing thinking "he's playing with my expectations... he wouldn't be so blatant... there's going to be a twist... it's all an elaborate double bluff and he's not going to end it how I think he is..."

Then BAM, big time deflation and sense of "oh... right, okay then."

Reading the issue felt like treading water waiting for the inevitable sting, with the only tension being derived from the hope that it wasn't all going to be so predictable.

And yeah, if the other characters had been ones we'd heard of, it wouldn't have been so obvious.

It's like Jamie in the first series of 24. The only thing we know about her is that we've been absolutely assured that she's the one person we can trust. Therefore it's unexpected when we find out she's the mole - we've got no reason to think she's anything other than on the level.

The only thing any of us know about DoubleDealer is that... well... he's a doubledealing swine. Therefore the shocking revelation that he's a doubledealing swine doesn't quite pack the cliffhanger punch.

Still, at least Furman's doing a better job at "cram as many characters into the continuity as possible" than McDonough managed. Even if it means telegraphing things.
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Post by Potatobot » Tue Nov 21, 2006 6:21 am

as someone who didnt know who [double]dealer was i found it to be a pleasant read.

also what kind of name is banzaitron???

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Post by optimusskids » Tue Nov 21, 2006 7:28 am

Continuing the Marvel tradition of hi then die characters.

Wasn't too sure about the orange bus grounded heli alt mode.

A good story a different spin on Hot Rod

and another piece in the bigger picture hopefully
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Post by Halfshell » Tue Nov 21, 2006 8:49 am

Originally posted by Potatobot
also what kind of name is banzaitron???


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banzai_%28 ... guation%29

Banzai literally means 10,000 years. Also associated with a last ditch attack.

With "Tron" on the end because it's a Transformer and some TFs have Tron stuck on the end for that roboty feel.

Like it makes any less sense than half the names TFs have been given in the past... like, f'rinstance... Galvatron?
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Post by Denyer » Tue Nov 21, 2006 2:40 pm

Very satisfying. Yes, the story proceeds according to expectation, but the wealth of incidental information and characterisation are what provide the interest -- holomatter disguises, projections, virus espionage, Doubledealer at the start of his career, and a bevy of (sadly short-lived) new characters. Plus a couple of formerly-known-as-Actionmasters, generic 'Cons and Grecian-looking golems, and I'm sure I should recognise what Backbeat transforms into...

Did find some of the details and expressions on Hot Rod himself a little OTT, which only added to the feel of it being an immaculately presented fan effort -- which I mean the nicest possible sense; you can tell that everyone putting this together had fun doing so. Enjoyed it as much as the Shockwave one. Limabean's big on glow highlights, and it fits the environments the story takes place in very well. Wouldn't know that this is a first piece of pro work (and second full issue for Nick) if not otherwise aware. Solid work.

Digging a little deeper, I'm curious why the Decepticons keep prisoners, unless it's a general practise "we can trade them back in exchange for some of our own" thing. And considering the purported power of the device (possibly a database or relay rather than the almost-magical artifact it's described in revering tones as) getting in to snaffle it was quite straightforward; maybe it's the TF elevated tech level that makes it so, or maybe it's been a well-kept secret up until now? Anyway, I don't reckon this spotlight is going to tie into events in Escalation directly, only in the general sense that Hot Rod is a special ops, derring-do type. He's also more competent than a lot of US comic-only/cartoon fans will be familar with, without sacrificing any of the bravado that makes the character. Keen on the idea that the Decepticons are counter-monitoring the Autobots and could feed them misinformation about Dealer convincing enough to prompt a rescue mission... intel warfare adds layers and intrigue, and it's one I hope will be kept up with elsewhere -- who knows how many longterm sleeper agents there are?

My only (tiny) complaint is that the paper/cover stock isn't quite as good as that used for the Shockwave and Nightbeat ones.

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Post by optimusskids » Tue Nov 21, 2006 3:07 pm

Gizmo's Alt reminds me a bit of Countdown

The tank one not sure if it's Backbeat or Download without my copy at hand reminds me some of Demolishor.

Who was the other Actionmaster will have to go back and reread my issue
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Post by Denyer » Tue Nov 21, 2006 3:17 pm

Gutcruncher. He's running security at the prison.

http://tfu.info/1990/Decepticon/Gutcrun ... uncher.htm

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Post by Halfshell » Tue Nov 21, 2006 3:42 pm

Was Hot Rod's disguise meant to be Treadshot? I'm rubbish at Actionmasters...
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Post by Denyer » Tue Nov 21, 2006 3:52 pm

Nah, it was a copy of the generic 'Con trooper manning the shuttle. That design had wings and air intakes.

Treadshot's legs suggest he transforms into an Earth gun.

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Post by Cliffjumper » Tue Nov 21, 2006 3:54 pm

Originally posted by Denyer
Treadshot's legs suggest he transforms into an Earth gun.


I mean, he could at least add liquid to the mix and be a Mud gun. What does he do, tow a dumper-truck trailer full of soil around with him? Treadshot = TEH L@M3.

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Post by Halfshell » Tue Nov 21, 2006 3:55 pm

Cool. Was just flicking through the TFU mugshots and comparing from memory.

Wasn't sure if it was a cipher or an actual character. Not that there's much difference where Actionmasters are concerned. ;)
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Post by Cliffjumper » Tue Nov 21, 2006 4:01 pm

Watch it, Krok's AWESOME and DEEP. He spent the last six months of the US run asking Blugeon what he was doing so Bludgeon could provide exposition. Now that's character.

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Post by Halfshell » Tue Nov 21, 2006 4:16 pm

Seriously, I love the Actionmaster line. If only for the wacky proportion of characters in the range of "robots who lost their transformation" who we'd never even heard of.

The whole thing's split about 50/50* between "classic" characters and ones who've blatantly been made up on the spot. I just love the awesome polarity of it - rather than a spread of characters from throughout the series, we get the cherry pickings from the pre-movie years... filled out with Krok, Gutcruncher, Kick-Off and Axer.

Awesome.

* - a guess. somebody with less of a life than me can check that.
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