Spotlight: Kup

Comics, cartoons, movies and fan stuff.
User avatar
Denyer
Articles: 2
Posts: 32392
Joined: Sun Sep 17, 2000 4:00 am
Contact:

Spotlight: Kup

Post by Denyer » Tue Apr 10, 2007 7:03 pm

http://tfarchive.com/comics/idw/preview ... potlights2

Due out on the 25th April. :)

In the meantime, you can chat with Kup: http://myspace.com/lostkup

User avatar
another tf fan
Articles: 0
Posts: 1692
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2004 7:08 am
Location: USA

Post by another tf fan » Wed Apr 25, 2007 9:40 pm

This issue was a bit of a surprise. Much twisting of the story, yet in the end it ties to the IDW universe, as well as adds new characters to the fight.

SPOILERS START HERE


Of course there is Kup, who has been driven insane by heavy radiation doses while marooned on some wayward planet. He has the remains of Outback as his only friend. An autobot rescue team comes every night to recover Kup, but his warped brain fends them off as a threat.

We are introduced to Springer, Perceptor and Trailbreaker in this issue and I would expect them all, including Kup, to come into play in Devestation.

The issue itself is quite fun, if a bit confusing at first. Kups new design takes some getting used to, but is actually a better look that his g1 self. And that gets us to my only gripe with this issue. Nick Roche, artist and author here, has a thin line scratch style that is contrary to everything else in the IDW universe. The scenes aboard the ARK 17 are in the same style as the rest of IDW, but the on planet scenes are completely odd.

I bought the cover by Alex Milne because I like his art better.

a very good story, and the thickening IDW plot is quite intriguing.
Come on and wind me up.

User avatar
Commander Shockwav
Protoform
Articles: 0
Posts: 808
Joined: Tue Feb 04, 2003 5:13 am
Location: Virginia, USA

Post by Commander Shockwav » Thu Apr 26, 2007 4:01 am

That was quite simply one of the greatest Transformers comics of all time.

I got the same feeling reading it anyway, that I got with the Shockwave Spotlight, the feeling that I was reading something that I will remember for a long time.

Nick outdoes himself artwise, taking the concept of "artistic license" to the extreme while taking us for a visually stunning ride through the mind of a crazed old bot. It's really something I have yet to experience artistically with the Transformers. Sometimes, artists can get carried away by trying to be too different, sacrificing clarity in their work. Not so here. It was different in a good way. And how about the way he was able to change styles mid story! Fantastic! In the scenes dealing with Kup, the art reflects his insanity, dark and grainy, and in those scenes with Perceptor and Springer, Nick's work is clean and crisp, very Don-like.

I read one of Nick's interviews a while back and felt right off the bat this guy has potential to be a good writer. He proved it to me today. It's no longer a surmising on my part, this boy can write a story! It must be an incredible feeling to be able to see something in your mind, and reproduce it exactly as you imagine it on paper. To date, I don't remember ever having the opportunity to read a comic where a single person wrote and pencilled the issue. It's nothing short of a real treat for TF fans.

This comic is unforgettable, the single best issue out of IDW with the possible exception of the Shockwave Spotlight. I can only hope that IDW gives free reign to Roche, as he has yet to disappoint me in any way with the things he has done at IDW so far.

Roche is supertalented, and it would be a damn shame to lose him to other pursuits. I think he's good enough to tackle almost any property out there. We need this guy on Transformers!

Easily, an "A+" in my book.

User avatar
Neuronutter
Protoform
Articles: 0
Posts: 789
Joined: Tue Sep 14, 2004 9:24 am
Location: Halifax, NS

Post by Neuronutter » Thu Apr 26, 2007 8:25 pm

Hey everyone. Here's my review of Kup's Spotlight.

The seventh Spotlight has finally fallen on Kup and it’s a superb comic. Portrayed in difficult circumstances, Kup’s turn in the sun is written and drawn by Nick Roche, the artist behind such inspired comics as the Shockwave and Hot Rod Spotlights. This time, however, Roche gets to write as well as draw the comic.

The first thing I loved about this comic is the introduction at the beginning of the book. Featuring such memorable references as “Igyaks” and “Shrike bats” (but no Petrorabbits!) this had me laughing before I’d even got to the first page. There’s no doubt about it: Nick knows (and obviously loves) his Transformers. The story of this comic is portrayed in two halves: one from Kup’s perspective showing the nightmare he’s living through, and the other from Autobots trying to help him out of it. Both halves are very well drawn and make for a nice contrast in the way the story is told.

The art conveys the two sides of the story admirably and really demonstrate Nick’s talents as an artist. On the one side you have the dark, sketchy nightmare Kup is living through, while on the other you see his ability to drawn clean and crisp lines reminiscent of his other Spotlights. The contrast is stark and really highlights a talented artist who should be offered his own series (or at least some more spotlights!). The panels showing Springer arguing with Prowl show the contrast perfectly. Prowl looks as if EJ drew him: superb attention to technical detail and the perfect proportions of an Alternator, while Springer looks like the TFs in the other Roche books – exaggerated proportions, a wonderful ability to convey emotions and motion. It’s a wonderful contrast all on one page.

Yet another aspect of the comic that shines is the characters. We get to see a few more additions to the IDWverse, as well as some great Springer and Prowl moments, and the respect that the Autobots display for Kup is just fantastic. I love his portrayal as a wise teacher and who wouldn’t go all out to help someone who’s been so instrumental in shaping the lives of so many important Autobots. I hope that we get to see Kup reappear in the ongoing, and seeing as how everyone else seems to be making an appearance it may yet happen. Kup is the kind of ‘bot that could swing a conflict, inspire the troops to victory and even lend the voice of wisdom to the inexperienced and with the way things are headed in the ongoing he may be needed.

There is a lot to love in this comic. From the presence of Outback, to the art and the characters Nick has produced something special. This spotlight is right up there with the likes of Shockwave and Soundwave and makes it even more important to keep Nick involved with a TF project for as long as possible. I really hope this opens the door for him to something bright and shiny in the immediate future! Oh and the inclusion of sketches at the end was a great bonus too that I wasn’t expecting. Thanx IDW!

User avatar
inflatable dalek
Articles: 0
Posts: 23996
Joined: Sat Apr 03, 2004 3:15 pm
Location: Kidderminster UK

Post by inflatable dalek » Sat Apr 28, 2007 10:42 am

Well, that just rocked didn't it? The switch in art styles between Kups world view and the Shuttle was an inspired bit of shorthand. About the only thing I'd have done differently would have been to show Outback from Kup's POV (as the rest of the first half of the comic is) and leave the reveal of his fate for latter on. Was anyone else reminded of Kryten (the episode, not the character) by that?

I'm not 100% sure why they didn't just lock onto Kup with their transporter and beam him up though. And whilst there was an explanation for them not being able to use weapons, and that Kup seems to be getting powered up by the crystals, and they don't really want to hurt him which must be holding them back a bit... Kup still manages to beat lots of fully sane and healthy autobots in unarmed combat (or Outbacks arm in his case) and even killing a fair few of them. If he's the one who trained most of them he musta trained them really badly. And once bots do start dying why on Earth doesn't Prowl relieve Springer of command and put Perceptor in charge?
REVIISITATION: THE HOLE TRUTH
STARSCREAM GOES TO PIECES IN MY LOOK AT INFILTRATION #6!
PLUS: BUY THE BOOKS!

User avatar
Denyer
Articles: 2
Posts: 32392
Joined: Sun Sep 17, 2000 4:00 am
Contact:

Post by Denyer » Sat Apr 28, 2007 11:16 am

Prowl doesn't outrank Springer, they're talking as top brass to top brass. I think the deal with the radiation is that they can only beam down a distance from where Kup's holed up (he's built his shelter right on top of a concentration of crystals) and the suits greatly interfere with their mobility.

Generally... wow. Densely written, plenty of text -- you can tell the writer comes from a fan comic background because of the stubborn insistence to fit more in. And it's all good stuff -- characters who're invested in each other, three-dimensional, fallible (that point about Prime going in after Kup sounds spot-on; he would, indeed, Find A Way) and Prowl is, unsurprisingly, a dick. ("...a shambling relic of unrepairable, incompatible junk?" Harsh, dude.) The characters speak their minds far more openly (and more believably, at times) than in the main book. (Siren's "Brief you? Oh, allow me..." is superb.)

Art, characterful without being too exaggerated (in the "normal" pages) and brilliantly atmospheric in Kup-o-vision. Plot a bit pyrrhic, but it's a mission gone bad and we need that sense of risk/consequence for stories set in this warring universe. Package is great -- nice job on the colours to whoever did they (don't recognise your name) and from the shock opening to sketches in the back it all comes off.

I'm reminded a lot of old drop-in Marvel stories, and this is certainly at least equal to Spotlight: Shockwave. Deserves almost a perfect score, IMO -- but so's this doesn't go to Nick's head entirely, would suggest as some others have that it could've/should've been a little clearer Springer didn't knowingly send anyone to their death; he expected more competence and nous from the Ark-19 team, and the same level of commitment he'd get from the Wreckers. With the situation uniquely as it was, even that wouldn't have been enough in the absence of Trailbreaker.

Oh! Oh! And the neat touches tying this into Stormbringer... sparkcores (before we see the Prime/Megs fight in Escalation) explaining that glint of light through Prime's chest, the reference to stealth armour...

More please dammit.

4.5/5

User avatar
inflatable dalek
Articles: 0
Posts: 23996
Joined: Sat Apr 03, 2004 3:15 pm
Location: Kidderminster UK

Post by inflatable dalek » Sat Apr 28, 2007 11:26 am

Originally posted by Denyer
Prowl doesn't outrank Springer, they're talking as top brass to top brass.


I'd assumed that the only reason Springer contacted Prowl at all (as this would normally be out of the Earthbound Autobot leaders authority) is that whilst Prime is on Earth Prowl's acting as his second in command for the duration (I'm placing this during three three day gap between Infltra and Escala for that reason). Even allowing that Springer wasn't expecting the Ark-17 bunch to be so useless all those deaths still happened due to his orders and Prowl should really have put his foot down a bit harder really. I'm not sure Springer's belife in Prime really tallies with what we've seen in the main title (unless Optimus really doesn't like Sunstreaker) either.
I think the deal with the radiation is that they can only beam down a distance from where Kup's holed up (he's built his shelter right on top of a concentration of crystals) and the suits greatly interfere with their mobility.
So why not lock onto him when he's out and about during the day?

I also liked the subtle way we're told that Perceptor wan't trained by Kup ("The values he installed in all of you..." rather than "All of us" explaining his more pragmatic attitude).
REVIISITATION: THE HOLE TRUTH
STARSCREAM GOES TO PIECES IN MY LOOK AT INFILTRATION #6!
PLUS: BUY THE BOOKS!

User avatar
Denyer
Articles: 2
Posts: 32392
Joined: Sun Sep 17, 2000 4:00 am
Contact:

Post by Denyer » Sat Apr 28, 2007 11:38 am

Originally posted by inflatable dalek
I'm not sure Springer's belife in Prime really tallies with what we've seen in the main title (unless Optimus really doesn't like Sunstreaker) either.
Mmm. Roche is possibly writing a slightly different Prime (by proxy) here -- though we can argue that Prime is much more wary of consequences on Earth when Megatron is involved; he certainly didn't mind plunging into the action and personally risking himself in Stormbringer.

Loved that bit about Kup being just too damn old to repair easily (if at all), too -- very much a TMUK take on the character.
Originally posted by inflatable dalek
So why not lock onto him when he's out and about during the day?
Kup's still moving amongst the crystal fields. The relief unit would need to be quite some distance off, beaming in where there's a patch of land not interfering in ways that could cause them to materialise inside stuff.

User avatar
inflatable dalek
Articles: 0
Posts: 23996
Joined: Sat Apr 03, 2004 3:15 pm
Location: Kidderminster UK

Post by inflatable dalek » Sat Apr 28, 2007 11:48 am

Originally posted by Denyer
Mmm. Roche is possibly writing a slightly different Prime (by proxy) here -- though we can argue that Prime is much more wary of consequences on Earth when Megatron is involved; he certainly didn't mind plunging into the action and personally risking himself in Stormbringer.


That was with much higher stakes though (as was his involvement on Earth)- I don't think he'd sanction what Springer's been doing when its cost the lives of half a dozen Autobots to rescue one, whoever it was. I think Springers bluffing on this point, taking advantage of the fact he's been interacting with Prime a lot more than Prowl has recently, and that Prowl should have called that bluff.
l moving amongst the crystal fields. The relief unit would need to be quite some distance off, beaming in where there's a patch of land not interfering in ways that could cause them to materialise inside stuff.


That really could have done with clarifying in the comic itself, there's no indication in it that the crystals are having any impact on the orbital bounce thingey (Siren gets beamed up when he's righ outside the shack, so I'm not sure why they couldn't simply beam Kup up in the same way when he's a similar distance away from it).

Is it Roach who's writing the blog? Odd to see paul Cornell amoungst his friends...
REVIISITATION: THE HOLE TRUTH
STARSCREAM GOES TO PIECES IN MY LOOK AT INFILTRATION #6!
PLUS: BUY THE BOOKS!

User avatar
Denyer
Articles: 2
Posts: 32392
Joined: Sun Sep 17, 2000 4:00 am
Contact:

Post by Denyer » Sat Apr 28, 2007 12:16 pm

Originally posted by inflatable dalek
That was with much higher stakes though (as was his involvement on Earth)- I don't think he'd sanction what Springer's been doing when its cost the lives of half a dozen Autobots to rescue one, whoever it was.
Equally, Perceptor appears to be the ranking commander of Ark-17, which would place him in the same echelon as Prowl, Springer and Hot Rod -- Springer said he pushed for / sanctioned the mission going ahead sooner, not that he overruled through rank. He knew that Autobot teams had been down there able to observe Kup, before they actually made a first attempt to pick him up.
Originally posted by inflatable dalek
That really could have done with clarifying in the comic itself, there's no indication in it that the crystals are having any impact on the orbital bounce thingey (Siren gets beamed up when he's righ outside the shack, so I'm not sure why they couldn't simply beam Kup up in the same way when he's a similar distance away from it).
Telemetry -- getting a lock on Siren if he's sending out a signal to facilitate it would be much easier than getting a strong lock on Kup, who's stripped to the endo-skeleton and wasn't carrying up-to-date equipment in the first place.
Originally posted by inflatable dalek
Is it Roach
Roche! He's not a ****ing reefer stub! :p

Yeah, the Myspace was Nick's idea, I think... hopefully it should've attracted some extra attention, 'cause this issue was definitely worth it.

User avatar
inflatable dalek
Articles: 0
Posts: 23996
Joined: Sat Apr 03, 2004 3:15 pm
Location: Kidderminster UK

Post by inflatable dalek » Sat Apr 28, 2007 3:36 pm

Good point about the telemetry. I'd have also liked it if they'd have made it 100% clear that this was the first time there's ben fatalities. else it makes Perceptor look a bit of a General Melchet: "Right chaps, tonights plan is you all walk very slowly towards Kup and let him beat you to death with the soggy end of Outbacks arm, just like the last six weeks".

Having said all that, most oddities in this can be put down to the fact we're seeing most of the events through Kup's barking viewpoint.
REVIISITATION: THE HOLE TRUTH
STARSCREAM GOES TO PIECES IN MY LOOK AT INFILTRATION #6!
PLUS: BUY THE BOOKS!

User avatar
MikeB
Articles: 0
Posts: 201
Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2003 12:38 pm
Location: Solihull, England

Post by MikeB » Tue May 01, 2007 8:30 pm

Originally posted by inflatable dalek
I'd have also liked it if they'd have made it 100% clear that this was the first time there's ben fatalities. else it makes Perceptor look a bit of a General Melchet: "Right chaps, tonights plan is you all walk very slowly towards Kup and let him beat you to death with the soggy end of Outbacks arm, just like the last six weeks".


It was only on the second read through that i twigged onto the comment about how they have previously just stood outside calling his name, and then it started to make more sense.

Thoroughly enjoyed it, definitely a highlight of the IDW tf comics for me. I liked the way he was portrayed as someone who was actually highly regarded by all the other autobots (or at least most of them!) and a genuine veteran with a lot to offer, instead of the "crazy old kup" from the cartoons or the (to me at least) unmemorable but much better "grizzly old kup" of the comics. It gives the impression of him being a legend, possibly even more of a xaaron/alpha trion type character, teacher, mentor, veteran, but getting closer to the end now...

Also, the way I read his ability to decimate an entire troupe of autobots even though his energy was all but depleted as more of an indication of why he is held in such high esteem than anything to do with the crystals. Maybe I'm wrong, maybe it's both, but it seemed like a scenario featuring his ability to continue in spite of all odds, never giving up, never stopping, the kind of spirit some of the characters seem to attribute to him throughout the comic.

Oh yeah, and the final thing that actually made it utterly cool for me on a personal note was bloomin Trailbreaker! Not just appearing, but being a "specialist", actually having a use, being a sought after autobot instead of the "we need someone with strength/a forcefield/gimmick for this panel" followed by nothing whatsoever because nobody really sees him as interesting enough to use. So he was still only in about 3 pages, and was still "the guy with the forcefield" but he must have had about as many lines in that comic as he did in the whole of the marvel/dw comics and the cartoon combined.

Oops, bit of a fanatical rant there... I guess I just always wanted the toy, and missed out on him at the time which gave him the kind of mythical impression on my mind to have caused that. Kind of like swoop, only Furman actually used him a fair bit...

User avatar
zigzagger
Articles: 0
Posts: 3448
Joined: Wed Oct 25, 2006 12:40 am

Post by zigzagger » Wed May 02, 2007 5:19 am

thunderous applause

Wow, that was simply brilliant. So, where to start?

The story within Kup's Spotlight is emotionally charged, even touching at moments, and just plain memorable. The characterizations are rich and believable. Kup's soliloquies, though chilling, are also quite sad, I could easily imagine Kup's psychological turmoil that allowed him rationalize that what he was doing is what he perceived as surviving. His conversations with (a very dead) Outback through out the book are, of course, the best example of this - a situation that is made all the more grim when you realize Kup has been using Outback's arm to ward off his fellow comrades, who he perceives as a threat rather than there to rescue him. Can't help but chuckle at the irony of it all!

Equally notable, Springer's conversations, first with Siren (I think that's Siren) then followed by Prowl, have some beautiful exposition. Roche managed to develop the main characters well enough, giving them each unique personalties (as well as clear social standings), that allowed fascinating character dynamics to form. For example, when Springer and Prowl butted-heads, demonstrated this clash of personalities. Wonderful!

On another, more playful, note - I have been aching to mention this, Kup's interactions with Outback's corpse, first when he casually banters with him, later when Kup gets angry at him for not helping him fight off the zombies, reminded me of the film Cast Away. The setting of the deserted island is replaced with a deserted planet covered in hallucinogenic crystals, with Kup playing the part of Tom Hank's marooned character, and Outback filling the role of the football named Wilson. I found it kind of amusing that Outback, who is dead and has no dialogue that is visible to the reader, could be such a memorable character!

....I'm just saying.....:o

Er...umm....yeah....In short, the overall Kup Spotlight experience can be summed as fan-****ing-tastic! Arguably one of the best offerings IDW has thrown in the fandom's general direction. Love to see more works like this. I am anxious to see how this story, specifically Kup, will tie into the main continuity - if the current writers choose to bother, that is. Don't see why they wouldn't. Move over Ratchet, looks like you'll have to make room in my heart for Kup. I give a Kup Spotlight an A (not quite a plus), because I said so.

User avatar
Sir Auros
Articles: 0
Posts: 12980
Joined: Sat Sep 16, 2000 4:00 am
Location: Virginia, USA
Contact:

Post by Sir Auros » Thu May 03, 2007 4:18 am

Man, that was so great. The difference in art styles used lead for a fantastic reveal. Anyone else think Kup's visuals were similar to DiTerlizzi's style?

Nothing else to really add, except the only two things that keep me from framing every single page of this issue and using it to decorate my hallway are: A - Did the radiation suits really have to look like demonic zombots? Were they expecting those to have a positive reaction with the looney? B - Hallway's too short.

User avatar
Zisteau
Articles: 0
Posts: 2069
Joined: Thu Feb 24, 2005 8:49 am
Location: Italy until December

Post by Zisteau » Fri May 04, 2007 2:49 am

:up:

Probably my favorite Spotlight so far. Makes me wonder if they're going to work this into the main storylines the way Sixshot just got worked in.

Did anyone else see shades of I Am Legend in this? The whole survival horror theme with the twist seems like they used it as a template.
Image

User avatar
Clogs
Articles: 0
Posts: 4235
Joined: Thu May 25, 2006 10:00 pm
Location: Leicester, where King Dick is buried

Post by Clogs » Tue May 08, 2007 12:55 pm

Please see all of the above...

Finally got my copy and I herewith declare it awesomely awesome! The two contrasting art styles were a bit of a shock at first, then made more sense; this is indeed Kup's POV vs the 'normal' one. Dialogue was brill. Seeing Outback gone like that (boom!) was nasty, but no indication of how the others... er... died... The very end scene is pure, pure horror and it made me catch my breath, I'll tell you, even if I was expecting Kup to still be holding on somehow.

Looking forwards to this whole business being developed in the main story threads.

Are those crystals supposed to be the same kind that Megatron uses against the Autobots on Earth in 'A Prime Problem'? Coronium Crystals? If not, they're certainly similar.
[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

User avatar
StoneCold Skywarp
Articles: 0
Posts: 6240
Joined: Sat Sep 16, 2000 4:00 am
Custom Title: Best Served Chilled
Location: UK

Post by StoneCold Skywarp » Mon May 21, 2007 7:37 pm

One of the finest examples of the depth allowed by IDW to it's artists and writers to give us an "on-going" series that's worthy of surpassing the Marvel run.

I love the spotlight issues and the way they all bob and weave into each other, into the main story arc & leave us with questions that are continued into other books.

I can't remember if it mentions who else was aboard the shuttle or how it came to be on the planet, but the matters are open to be shown in another spotlight (possibly a REALLY creepy Outback spotlight) or some such? Is it something with Ore-13 perhaps and one of Shockwave's experiments...?

How many Ark-## shuttles have been mentioned now?
:) Twitter - @stncldskywarp :) PS5 - StoneColdSkywarp :)
Image

User avatar
zigzagger
Articles: 0
Posts: 3448
Joined: Wed Oct 25, 2006 12:40 am

Post by zigzagger » Mon May 21, 2007 9:28 pm

Oops! Must of clicked while writing. Feel free to delete this.

User avatar
zigzagger
Articles: 0
Posts: 3448
Joined: Wed Oct 25, 2006 12:40 am

Post by zigzagger » Mon May 21, 2007 9:31 pm

How many Ark-## shuttles have been mentioned now?


Five, if I recall.

....shoot, let me double check that...

1 (Galvatron), 17 (Kup), 19 (Infiltration), 27 (Stormbringer), 32 (Escalation)

http://forum.idwpublishing.com/viewtopi ... 81&start=0

User avatar
Zisteau
Articles: 0
Posts: 2069
Joined: Thu Feb 24, 2005 8:49 am
Location: Italy until December

Post by Zisteau » Tue May 22, 2007 2:23 am

Originally posted by StoneCold Skywarp


I can't remember if it mentions who else was aboard the shuttle or how it came to be on the planet, but the matters are open to be shown in another spotlight (possibly a REALLY creepy Outback spotlight)


:up: Damn fine idea, IMO.
Image

Post Reply