CURRENT TRANSFORMERS COMICS FROM IDW PUBLISHING
The New Avengers/Transformera #1 (of 4)
Reviewed by Inflatable Dalek
The bulk of crossover comics involving Transformers -- mostly with GI Joe -- are staggeringly bad.
Ancient Relics is fun, the last two Devil's Due Joe crossovers have been entertainingly daft but the rest
are as entertaining as a Jodie Marsh reality show. Sadly, Man and Machine does not buck this trend.
Plotwise, it's identical to 98% of these crossovers, the heroes meet and have a misunderstanding and
fight (before no doubt realizing their mistake next issue). Deeply dull and padded out with an uninteresting
sequence of the Avengers wandering down a hall of mirrors whist Spider-Man talks like a cock. Hopefully Megatron
will dissect him before they can rescue him.
Art wise things are very mediocre, along with the odd chins the Autobots are sprouting,
Wolverine seeming to have borrowed J-Lo's arse, and Optimus Prime doing a Pat Lee pose on the
splash page. Tellingly the pre-publicity has focused more on the cover artists than the chap
actually drawing the comic, with good reason it would seem.
All in all, the rubbishness of this can be summed up by Prime calling Wheeljack "'Jack" at one
point. Frankly, a crossover with Steed and Mrs. Peel would have been more fun...
For The Transformers
, this purports to take place between Infiltration and Escalation,
whilst it's between Breakout and Sentry for the Marvel heroes. All the pre-publicity
has emphasized that this is "canon" is for both franchises, but at the
moment this seems... dubious. For starters, it looks like overkill on Megatron's
part to be setting up both the aggression plot seen here and the facsimile business
we see in Escalation at the same time. Also, there doesn't seem to have been any
contact between the Autobots and Decepticons between the two mini's. Prime's attitude
towards Earth authorities is also drastically different here. Compare how he attempts
to explain himself and his mission to Captain America to his attitude of keeping
the humans out of it even when they're next to the fighting in Escalation. Not
to mention on a more general note, Verity's initial refusal to believe in aliens
in Infiltration seems silly if they're supposed to be living in the Marvel Universe
where there's buggers of the things. This isn't going in goofs yet as it's early
days yet and they may well come up with a contrived way of tying it all together,
but if they don't expect this paragraph to be referenced later (but till then,
these reviews will be assuming this is set in the main IDW Universe). There's
no mention of placement within the issue itself. And speaking of canon; Spider
Man previously meets the Marvel version of the Transformers in US#3. This is being
ignored here due to the different continuities (apparently the main Spider-Man
comics retconned the meeting out some time ago anyway, with Peter Parker claiming
he's never been to Oregon in one issue). At one point Captain America claims not
to recognize the type of jet making the raids on Symkaria, so despite the blue
colour scheme it's presumably not supposed to be Thundercracker who's already
in his Earth mode by this point. Where each New Avenger first appears we get a
box giving their name, secret identity and special powers, the Autobots just get
a name box (whilst Megatron has to introduce himself). The introductory text page
uses the silver version of the Autobot logo from the 2007 Movie posters.
Both Symkaria and Latveria are stock made up countries from the Marvel Universe.
The (so far off-screen) involvement of Latveria's dictator, Doctor Doom, is
presumably due to his presence in the Fantastic 4 sequel, effectively tying
this comic into two of the summer's Big Movies. Stuart Moore's most recognizable
writing credit is probably for Justice League Adventures. This is the first
Transformers title to be published by Marvel since issue 12 of the Generation
2 comic back in 1994. IDW also get their logo on the cover and a thanks on the
credits page, but don't seem to have actually been involved in the production
of the comic beyond giving some advice on how it can tie into their own titles.
S.H.I.E.L.D's cunning plan to stop the war: Have the New Avengers walk around a strange building in
Latveria on the off-chance Doctor Doom is in it. Why not just have them blow up the base launching the jets?
When we have the group shot of the Autobots in shadow, Jazz is taller than Optimus Prime.
On one panel Prime claims that what they're seeing is a new tactic for Megatron, then Prowl claims
"He's right, it's their usual strategy."
The Autobots have blue-framed speech bubbles; in Infiltration, they were red. Which is what Megatron has
here despite the Decepticons having purple ones in the first IDW comic. Mind, they'd dropped the colours
by Escalation, so perhaps there's a exciting missing adventure where everyone’s voice changes and this
is in the middle of it (or it is simply taking its cue from faction colour schemes used for the 2007 Movie merchandise? –ziggy)
Wolverine's reaction upon hearing a voice coming from a cab is to shout "A talking truck!",
rather than just assuming there's a microphone relaying the words of the person inside.
Why doesn't Prime just have his simulacrum talk for him rather than reveal himself? He could probably
make it in the form of a US General and order the Avengers out of there.
On the splash page the Autobots have Jimmy Hill chins. Ratchet is the only one bothering to look
at the Avengers, everyone else is staring off in different directions. Even Prime, who's doing the
talking, seems to be looking behind them.
Luke Cage: Doom's Robot army. Someone did a full drive-by on 'em...
Spider-Man: in their own 'Hood. What? I can talk "Street".
Wolverine: That's the second time [Captain America's] told me to shut up. If it happens a third time we've got a problem.
Megatron: Merely a crude prototype... But sufficient to reduce all humans in the vicinity to the mindless clawing animals you truly are.