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Transformers Free Comic Book Day 2006
Reviewed by Bombshell

Issue Review

So... Free Comic Book Day has come and gone, and one of the issues was from IDW Publishing, who put out a Transformers comic. Unlike the Transformers Armada Free Comic released three years ago, however, this is not a self-contained story. Instead, we are given four snippets from IDW’s current Transformer comic titles (Infiltration and Beast Wars: The Gathering), along with a sneak peek from their upcoming titles Evolutions: Hearts of Steel and Stormbringer. As the stories from Infiltration and The Gathering have already been reviewed, this review will focus on the two titles yet to be released.

From the press releases, Stormbringer is being shaped as a massive story arc with potential to become a fan favorite. The preview certainly does a lot of good in setting up the story, as Jetfire and the Technobots return to a devastated Cybertron that apparently has been declared off-limits after some sort of natural disaster (apparently caused by Thunderwing, as hinted about in the early press releases and finally confirmed in #2’s preview summary.) Fan favorite Don Figueroa once again shows why he is the master of Transformer art, giving a new design to Jetfire (one that resembles the toy in so many ways that it's almost eerie) and showing the devastation of Cybertron in vivid detail (especially the lightning bolts.) The preview serves to justify the status of Stormbringer as a well-executed story arc that I am willing to put my money towards.

Unfortunately the same cannot be said for Hearts of Steel... but, in all honesty, my feelings are more of a double-edged sword in this case. Whilst I was particularly enamored of the concept and liked the design of the characters, there’s very little in the actual preview that jumps out at me — and whilst I know a lot about what the concept is all about, the average reader (who is the target audience for Free Comic Book Day) is not likely to find anything of note in the story. It certainly doesn’t help that it gets the short end of the stick, having only three out of the twenty two non-ad pages in order to tell the story (the majority of the page space being given to Infiltration, which at time of publishing was already two thirds of the way complete. If anyone wasn’t reading it by then, I consider it very unlikely that this will get the title any new readers.)

In the end, since it’s a free comic, I really can’t fault it for doing little more than what it set out to do. And while I would have preferred a new story (or even a complete reprint of an existing story), what they’ve done is sufficient to give casual fans a sampling of some of the good Transformer work that IDW will no doubt become known for.

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