CLUB AND CONVENTION TRANSFORMERS COMICS
Reviewed by Blackjack
Well, a simple stand-alone story to promote the toys. This was when OTFCC was still on shaky grounds after obtaining the license from 3H enterprises, but while not really going anywhere, at least it is straightforward and tells a simple story, unlike 3H where they make too large a cast by trying to fit all the toy-only characters currently out on stores into their stories. Now this issue was released during the time of Transformers: Energon, and promotes G1 characters made by redecoing Energon toys with new heads to represent G1 characters. It's like Classics, but a couple years before it.
Now the story itself... well, the four-man Autobot team, as well as Dirge and Buzzclaw, never got any much characterisation. They are just... there. Flareup, in particular, for being a demolitions agent, didn't do much but watch as
Fallback and Chromia gets tossed around by Deathsaurus. Ironhide and Ratchet are... well, basically their cartoon personalities, but that's a given. Ironhide gets a nice moment when Deathsaurus is monologuing and he simply breaks the General's weapon. Deathsaurus himself is quite interesting, being a Decepticon warrior trying to cling to the old ages while the rest of the Decepticons are entering an age of subterfuge and cold war. Flamewar is a like-it-or-not kind, really. Another agent working for the Tripredacus Council smacks dab of Ravage in Beast Wars, and Flamewar doesn't have that much personality to make it work out. The Clone army also doesn't have much of a threat; it's pretty obvious that any non-character can be killed by the Autobots without breaking a sweat, even Ironhide notes as such.
The plot. Well, not highly original, but it seems like something that would've happened during the Pax Cybetronia, rogue Decepticon warlord trying to restore the Decepticon empire but is thwarted. And Bumblebee gloating and basically saying 'hi, you're about to die' is pretty badass. But the story is just too dull to be interesting. And big idiot ball for Deathsaurus for not killing the Autobots outright. Ricochet suddenly popping out of nowhere after being forgotten is also quite unprofessional. Not bad per se, but could do better with more engaging characters.
The events of this issue take place during the Pax Cybertronia, during the lengthy gap between Season Three of the original cartoon and Beast Wars, when the Autobots and Decepticons are starting to fade and their descendants, the Maximals and Predacons enter a period of cold war. However, old guys from the Great War (Ironhide, Ratchet, Chromia, Bumblebee,
Fallback) all still operate. Presumably this is set in the same continuity as other Pax Cybertronia-era Timelines stories, such as 'Theft of the Golden Disk', 'Dawn of Future's Past' and 'the Razor's Edge'.
Here are the guys that got new toys. Might as well as list them and their backgrounds here:
-Flamewar: repaint of Energon Arcee. New character, Decepticon agent of the Tripredacus Council. She can kick your ass.
-Deathsaurus: retool of Robots in Disguise Megatron with a new head. Supposed to represent the similarly-named Deathsaurus, the lead villain of the Japanese Victory cartoon. This story places Deathsaurus to be one of the Decepticon Generals.
-Dirge: Not the G1 Conehead, but a new Insecticon. A repaint of Beast Wars Buzzclaw. Dirge can generate pain, like how his Conehead namesake can generate fear.
-Buzzclaw: Also another Insecticon, a repaint of Beast Wars Buzzclaw.
-Virulent Clones: While not exactly characters, since they are just Clones, they also received toys during BotCon as army builders. Mighty ugly army builders.
-Ironhide: Retool of Energon Tow-Line to represent Ironhide in a new body.
-Ratchet: Retool of Energon Tow-Line to represent Ratchet in a new body.
-Chromia: Repaint of Energon Arcee, supposed to represent G1 Moonracer but Hasbro couldn't secure the name. Fun Publications considers the Chromia here to be Chromia, although later stories would use this design as Moonracer. Confused yet?
-Fallback: Repaint of Energon Strongarm. Supposed to represent G1 Outback but again Hasbro couldn't secure the name due to Outback Steakhouse and all. Afterwards all homages to Outback would be renamed Fallback.
-Ricochet: Repaint of G2 Hooligan based on Ben Yee's fancharacter when he was young.
-Flareup: Repaint of Energon Arcee. New character. Originally she was supposed to be a homage to G1 Firestar, but like Moonracer and Outback Hasbro couldn't secure the trademark and she was transformed into an all-new rookie character.
Flamewar drinks coffee from a cup with the Hasbro logo.
When Ironhide sees Deathsaurus knocking down Fallback, Chromia and Flareup, he says 'Leakin' lubricants!', which is his catchphrase in the original cartoon. Well, not exactly a catchphrase since he didn't say it a lot, but his original toy bio has that, and people kept thinking it's his catchphrase.
Ironhide can combine with his battle platform to form an awkward Demolition Mode.
Ironhide's fingers can still shoot acid sprays like he could in G1.
Likewise, Bumblebee is not exactly in his G1 cartoon character model, or resembling any of his toys. Presumably like Ironhide and the rest, he has also upgraded.
Apparently Deathsaurus' twin blades come out lightsaber-esque from the generator... but when he first transforms to face Fallback's squad, the blades are attached in both his jet and dragon modes.
Why didn't Deathsaurus kill Fallback and company?
Why didn't Deathsaurus (or super-agent Flareup, for that matter) notice Ricochet is missing?
After his scene where he causes fear in Fallback's crew, Dirge disappears for the rest of the issue. We have no idea if he died fighting the Autobots or is safely with Deathsaurus. Presumably it's the latter.