Transformers Spotlight: Sideswipe (Revelation Part 4)

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Transformers Spotlight: Sideswipe (Revelation Part 4)

Post by zigzagger » Fri Oct 03, 2008 8:57 pm

The end has come. Revelation concludes here as the cast makes a mad dash to the finish line! This is your all purpose, no holds barred, Spotlight: Sideswipe - Revelation Part 4 reaction and discussion thread. Come, tell us what you thought.

Due to arrive October 8th according to grahamcrackers.com release schedule.
http://www.grahamcrackers.com/newcomics.htm

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Post by Blackjack » Tue Oct 07, 2008 3:15 pm

Finally! According to Furman's blog, the ending may be unexpected. Riiiiiiiiiiight.

Sideswipe and Sunstreaker have a twist to their relationship... Wonder what it is?

Ooh... Interesting!

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Post by Halfshell » Tue Oct 07, 2008 3:20 pm

Blackjack wrote:Finally! According to Furman's blog, the ending may be unexpected. Riiiiiiiiiiight.
By some. Which is a fair comment, because different people expect different things. ;)
Sideswipe and Sunstreaker have a twist to their relationship... Wonder what it is?
[/has read the 5-page preview, so knows] :(
Image

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Post by Red Dave Prime » Wed Oct 08, 2008 11:08 am

Yeah, I regret reading that 5 page preview. Like looking at your christmas presents before the big day. Plus now theres only 17 pages left! My initial feeling is that this wont be able to go out on a massive high but it could still be a decent enough ending.

And the magnificance still bugs me. The worst plot device ever. Hands down. Even worse than that dallas-bobby-in-the-shower-its-all-a-dream thing.

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Post by Commander Shockwav » Wed Oct 08, 2008 10:51 pm

Huh. That was actually a strong finish to something that held the potential for disaster. Like most, I was very worried about how this would end.

Instead, we get one of the greatest artistic performances in TF comic history and a deftly handled conclusion to a convoluted story that seemed to have no chance of finding a decent finish in the four spotlight issues it was allotted.

E.J.'s performance is spectacular, to say the least, the highlight of not only Revelations but of IDW's stint since tackling the Transformers. Not having been E.J.'s biggest fan, he certainly won me over here and accomplished something artistically that even the Roches and Figueroas of the world have to envy.

And again, as with the first two issues of this series, I have to credit Simon for making this story pallatable in the face of ridiculous constrictions placed upon him. Was it perfect? No. There were many gaps in the story that needed to be filled, and were either inadequately brought to conclusion, or simply ignored altogether. Again, no fault of Simon's.

It just really hurts to know that IDW could have given Simon two more measly issues to work with, and nobody would have suffered in the least from it, yet we would have had a much stronger finish. A finish that would have likely earned it's place amongst the great TF comic epics of the past like Target 2006.

Didn't like to see all the Con bigwigs get wasted in one fashion or other. Here's to hoping IDW gives Simon or Shane a chance to continue with these guys at some point. I guess potentially, we could see them again. None of them really got blown to bits. Granted, Jhiaxus didn't look too hot, but it was clearly stated the guy can't be killed while on Gorlam Prime.

Objectively speaking, without regard to the situation under which this story was presented, I would give this a "B". But despite it's flaws, this issue gets an "A" from me. Primarily because I can appreciate the challenge presented to Simon in doing this event justice and exceeding mine, and probably many others, expectations here. And certainly, with E.J.'s masterful performance, the flaws inherent here aren't even worth discussing.

Yep, an "A".

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Post by Potatobot » Thu Oct 09, 2008 5:34 am

it felt too squeezed together.
the fight between sideswipe and grindcore (worst name ever) and straxus couldve been a whole issue in of itself but instead they're super tuff in one panel and super beat in the other.
it would have been nice seeing sideswipe use skill and stubborness to wear them down forcing them to run out of time(energy?) early since they cant last as long as galvatron.

how did they get past monstructor and sixshot?????
was jetfire supposed to be logged into all three guardians?
that couldve also been an entire issue in of itself with more time spent on the 4 new pretenders and them dealing with the new power....

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Post by Unicron » Thu Oct 09, 2008 7:26 am

Potatobot wrote:how did they get past monstructor and sixshot?????
was jetfire supposed to be logged into all three guardians?
My impression was that they had teams distracting Monstructor, Sixshot and even Thunderwing, while Hound's crew used the spacebridge on Earth to sneak in behind the guardians in order to get at the nega-cores.

And yeah, I agree they crammed a little too much in at the expense of things that should have gotten more time (like the Pretenders, Sideswipe's fight on Earth, The Prime fight and such, Bludgeon even). But they managed to wrap it (almost) all up in a way that wasn't as incredibly stupid or horrible as I had expected. Well, except for the Magic 8-Ball. But atleast that was something they set up in an earlier comic, so its not like they just made up something at the last minute.

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Post by Rossum » Thu Oct 09, 2008 2:27 pm

I'm surprised at the somewhat lackluster reactions from a lot of people so far. I'm inclined to agree with Commander Shockwav that the issue's flaws are largely a result of the shortened arc, and it's worth looking past those in evaluating the story. It was a good read, with a fair share of memorable moments, and the art gave the whole thing a boost.
And yeah, I agree they crammed a little too much in at the expense of things that should have gotten more time (like the Pretenders, Sideswipe's fight on Earth, The Prime fight and such, Bludgeon even). But they managed to wrap it (almost) all up in a way that wasn't as incredibly stupid or horrible as I had expected.
I think I appreciate this more than anything; Simon Furman managed to wrap up the arc and most of the plot lines in a convincing way (with a nod to the Earth events, even), without resorting to any more Magnificence-type devices. Nothing felt quite as epic or exciting as it should have, but again, that's more likely a result of not having time to build things up properly. And for me, there were at least a few unexpected parts - Sideswipe's dislike and abandonment of Sunstreaker and Galavatron taking up the Darkness.

I think Revelation is going to read very oddly as a follow-on to Infiltration, Escalation and Devastation, unfortunately. It almost works better taken as a side story, given that the previous main characters (Ratchet, his pet humans, all the other Autobots from the Earth team) get little or no mention.

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Post by Red Dave Prime » Thu Oct 09, 2008 5:32 pm

Some good, some bad. Everythings so crammed together, I'm just left wondering how things were meant to be played out. Yeah, things were obviously speeded up but how much things changed from the original plan would be enlightening. Was sideswipe really meant to just beat down grindcore and straxus? Bearing that in mind they should have just had one opponent for him because it was a bit unbelieveable.

Was the magic 8-ball really meant to reveal everything? I hope not because it would make me lose faith in Furmans ability to write a story.

Also the way the autobots got around the gaurdians was a bit farcical (sixshot seems to have just sat outside his cave the whole time!), altough the single panl of monstroctur versus the combaticons was excellent.

Credit it where its due, the art is lovely and the story just about holds together but I cant rate the issue as highly as others just because they over did the slow playing of arcs 2 and 3 (infiltration works fine for me).

Onefinal thought, Jetfires monologue at the end opens up some very interesting questions. I originally assumed it that megatron would be defeated once and for all by the autobots in AHM but now I'm thinking that shockwave may take him down. If nothing else the future for the IDW series still looks interesting.

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Post by zigzagger » Thu Oct 09, 2008 11:42 pm

Out of curiosity, how will this be formatted for the trade version? I've managed to miss news on this (edit: I'm going to do some sleuthing). Will it still receive the Spotlight caption, or will the trade simply be referred to as Revelation? Or, as we've read them - both? Just curious is all, though I'd imagine a TPB being called Transformers: Revelation would more...accessible to newer readers. But whatever. I guess it's not that important. At least the lot of us understand the format, right...convoluted as it might seem.

And no, I haven't received my copy yet. The local comicbook shops (the shops near campus) for some odd reason weren't carrying it, though they usually carry the Spotlights :(. So, I ordered mine. Sigh, seems to happen to me when a story arc is about to conclude itself, that I can't seem to get my mits on the final issue. I'm patient though.

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Post by Tornatron » Fri Oct 10, 2008 12:56 am

I must say that I am very dissapointed with revelations, but not with the story telling of Furman, but with IDW, why could this have not been a six part story that way so Furman could actually explain some things

like maybe i missed this but, what was the hole point of expansion, what is the darkness, how was skyfire just able to perfect the pretender process

Im very dissapointed that 2 and a half yr setup was just brisked away into 4 issues, for lack of a better term I feel cheated, it's hard to understand how this gets 4 issues and max dino's gets 5 and all hail gets 12, doesn't make any sense

I hope shane gets it right with AHM, if not I can't see myself staying on with IDW and this is coming from somebody who buys everything IDW puts out TF related, simply because I love having new TF stories, but if there going to do stuff like this I can't hang around

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Post by Red Dave Prime » Fri Oct 10, 2008 1:05 am

I'd guess that the dead universe characters and plot were seen as less mainstream as the Dinobots and the somewhat more regular (i.e. toy based) Scorponok and co. But yeah, this should at least have gotten the six issue arc. Spotlight Nemisis prime and Spotlight Jetfire would seem the most obvious 2 to me.

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Post by Starfield » Fri Oct 10, 2008 3:54 pm

Looks great! Some panels look positively CGI to me. I'm probably demonstrating my ignorance of modern comic books (are they all "computer generated" nowadays?), but some really do have more of a CGI feel to them than normal.

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Post by Vida » Fri Oct 10, 2008 4:06 pm

So I need a bit of an explanation here. Does that mean there are two cybertrons then? The one the Autobots/Decepticons are from and this new one? Also, why didnt Bludgeon murder Jetfire on the spot as compared to just holding his sword near his neck threatingly? All this stuff mashed together really had me confused and I guess I really do need to re-read this one. Also, can someone remind me how that humanoid type world turned 'cybertronian'? Was it from the bots trapped in the deadverse?

Sorry for all the questions that I should probably already know the answers too...

But I have to agree, it did feel like a cheap end and anticlimactic. Could have been soooo much more with a few more issues.

-Tony Vida; TK 3204; Austin, Tx

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Post by Red Dave Prime » Sat Oct 11, 2008 12:09 am

Ok, I cant say this is exactly what happens but I THINK...

Jet fires end speech is coming after quite a few years. He talks of the machination empire (maximum dinobots), Megatrons full on assault (All Hail Megatron) and the return of Shockwave (an as-yet untitled series I assume). During this time golorin prime (sorry about the spelling) evolved from organic to full on cybernetic (it was half way through this stage when spotlight:nightbeat occured)

At some point the planet went into a sort of down stasis to complete the change over (spotlight:hardhead). While its never stated, the involvement of the micromasters and possible the dead universe crew themselves seems to have helped the evolution along. Its possible the micromasters are the result of Jhiaxus interfering or some of the natural populace helping/ in thrall the the dead universe bots.

My guess is that this interference/ assistence has sub-counsciously affected the evolution of the planet and its possible thats why it has ended up as cybertron mark 2 if you will.

Again, its a bit unclear so this is only how I see it. Hope that helps.

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Post by inflatable dalek » Sat Oct 11, 2008 2:57 pm

Stunning, absolutely stunning art. EJ's very best work and a good contender for the best stuff IDW have done to date. It really did hold things together in a better way than last months did.

As for the story, well, pretty much every page had a great moment on it, the reveal of the Pretenders, Hardhead Ex Machina and Jhiaxus' final fate all amongst them. The problem was it felt like there was about 50 pages missing between each one in the issue. hugely disjointed and frequently confusing. Arcee and Banzaitron's alliance being reduced to one panel with them and some random Decepticons fighting Monstructor, Galvatron just showing up out of no where, the other Dead universe cast being pointless, no explanation of what happened to Hardhead next (if he can't die and thr Dead Universe has been destroyed does that mean he spends the rest of time having to watch Arcee get her kicks?), no real explanation of what The Darkness was nor what its goals were (basically Furman might as well have done the full on evil Matrix again. Speaking of which, does Optimus have the Matrix or not? I'm still not sure), Cyclonsu taking far to long to destroy an underarmed science vessel...

Lots of these problems can be put down to the rushed ending but the biggest can't, and that is that the last two issues were Spotlights on the wrong people. Dealer and Sideswipe's arcs were irrelevant to the Dead Universe plot and should either have been delt with in Maximim Dinobots or simply left behind so that the stuff that did get focused on got enough attention. As said above, it should have been Spotlight Nemesis Prime and Jetfire.

EDIT: And Machination Empire really doesn't gell with hardly anyone in AHM being aware of the evil terrorist controlled robots and mistaking them for film stars does it?

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Post by Rossum » Sat Oct 11, 2008 5:17 pm

inflatable dalek wrote:
EDIT: And Machination Empire really doesn't gel with hardly anyone in AHM being aware of the evil terrorist controlled robots and mistaking them for film stars does it?
Nnnnope.

More and more I wonder why they decided to have AHM be in continuity with the -tions. Not only does it dampen the effectiveness of the events of Revelation and Maximum Dinobots, but it's placed a burden on AHM to stay consistent with them, something that obviously wasn't expected when the story was thought up.

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Post by Denyer » Sat Oct 11, 2008 5:42 pm

Beautiful, and by comparison a lot of other art that's been seen on Transformers over the years is doodling on the back of highschool notebooks. Something that's emphasised by going from Khanna to Su in the last two issues. If the whole thing was done in this style, most of us would probably be too slack-jawed to poke at the plot, even as compressed as it's been in Revelation.

This issue, far less than the previous one, felt dense and fast-paced rather than actually rushed. The six pages or so that are devoted to Sideswipe aren't a bad character spotlight, though with similar ratios in the other three issues and retailers being set against ordering Spotlight comics... the decision to run this arc as Spotlights seems likely to have have a main outcome of diminishing support for them even more. People can't just pick up a comic about a character they like and expect to know what the hell's going on. In that sense, quite a number of the Spotlights are self-limiting their appeal. Maybe the next series of them will be genuinely standalone and pull sales back, I don't know, but things don't look good on that score.

Stuff I really liked... not too much dwelling on fights and the 'new' grunts from the Dead Universe. The sense that dealing with Nova and the rest is, to an extent, another threat du jour, business as usual and that the Autobot army is stunningly effective at working together once mobilised -- which they'd have to be to have survived these many millennia. Arcee confronting Jhiaxus, and the comic relief of the scene later on in the issue. The feeling of threads coming together. Sideswipe's reassessment and "I Just Don't Care" -- everyone's had one of those type of realignments of values at some time or other.

The Magnificence is something I felt should really have been addressed more on-panel last issue. The fact it's a device that can apparently interrogate space-time and read current events, possibly past ones (and in all likelihood read minds) isn't really the problem. We get stuff like that all the time in Star Trek and Doctor Who. It's the unbalancing effect of leaving this part-explained and open-ended...

...I mean, considering how many panels of Spotlight: Doubledealer were dedicated to climbing a rock, with art that was functional at best, would it'd've killed to throw in brief speculation from Hot Rod as to what the thing is, and a "whoops, it seems to have [turn to camera] blown itself out querying events half the galaxy away"? Just a bit of closure on the insanely powerful macguffin and some guess as to what it was / how it worked within the context of the story, y'know?

This needs dealing with before any other storylines in which it would be the deciding factor take place. As it stands, there's no good reason at all why the Autobots wouldn't see coming anything that could result in a large-scale Decepticon victory and it makes AHM feel even more out-of-place and barely in continuity.

"The Machination Empire" makes me hopeful that Maximum Dinobots won't be too Earth-centred... and that maybe we'll get a Shockwave story that does justice to the effect his actions have had upon the plot as a whole. Jetfire's talking some time in the future, so it's even possible the Shockwave strand could come up in AHM (what I assume's being alluded to with "Megatron's all-out assault" and the Shockwave bit follows it in the sentence.)

Hardhead would benefit from some follow-up, but I suspect is going to be stuck in a lonely vigil on Gorlam Prime (something else that also richly deserves follow-up and defence, as it should be a very attractive target -- not to mention something that the inhabitants of other planets in the area would be rightly nervous and concerned about.)

Anyway, solely on the basis of this comic, rather than what's gone before, this is the best TF stuff to come out of IDW. 10/10.

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Post by Commander Shockwav » Sat Oct 11, 2008 6:16 pm

Despite the compact nature of this issue and the frantic wrapping up of plot threads, there are still so many open-ended questions remaining from this that one thing is absolutely essential to the future of IDW's Transformers success.

And that is, Shane and Simon have to be on the same page.

They have to communicate. In no way does Revelations provide all the answers, yet it has impacted just about every bot in the TF universe in some way or another.

Shane has no choice now but to at least acknowledge what Furman has done, and work off of that. If he wants to take things in that new direction, that's all well and good. But work from what Furman's given him.

Otherwise, there's going to be chaos.

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Post by Denyer » Sat Oct 11, 2008 6:21 pm

I can see how a few things could work out, but mostly I'm with Sideswipe in not particularly caring... we'll see what Max Dinos comes up with, but if that's the wrap point for collecting I'm not going to be too upset. Having mixed feelings about a company that's done a great many good things but also presented some severe editing difficulties (not just typos and production problems, things like Megatron: Origin getting to press without changes, shortchanging this series after over two years of build-up, etc... there's been a waste of potential.)

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