CURRENT TRANSFORMERS COMICS FROM IDW PUBLISHING
Transformers Spotlight: Hot Rod
Reviewed by Inflatable Dalek
A fun read but a very slight one. The big problem is that if you're familiar with the toys, the ending is blatantly telegraphed and comes as a bit of an anti-climax. Even if you're not familiar with Doubledealer it's still all very linear and straightforward despite the flashback narrative. You never get any sense that Hot Rod could fail in his mission even before you learn there was no way it would go wrong.
However, the more bitter Hot Rod is well-developed, and Roche's art is fantastic — it could so easily have wound up visually confusing with the flashbacks and characters disguised as other characters, but flows wonderfully. And fans of 24
will find it impossible not to hear the closing beeps as Dealer's mole nature is revealed.
Whilst this is the weakest Spotlight
to date that mainly shows how good the preceding two issues were. It's still well worth your time.
Simulacrums first appeared in Infiltration
. Presumably the same technology is responsible for Hot Rod's hologram generator, which he uses to disguise himself as a Decepticon.
There's no indication of who built the Magnificence. The presence of ancient Omega Guardians on the planet might indicate a Cybertronian connection, or alternately the Autobots are just using a term of their own to describe something alien that's similar.
Gutcruncher and Banzaitron have their first speaking roles in an official Transformers
comic. The latter’s toy name was two words — we won't know until he appears again if this is an intentional change or a minor mistake. And speaking of names — though Banzaitron makes a joke along the lines of "We'll have to call you Doubledealer" there's no indication the dodgy double agent intends to adopt his toy moniker.
The other Autobots on Hot Rod's team are all new characters created for this comic, and as per tradition serve the red shirt duties here. "Backbeat" should tell you which Autobot detective Furman has just written for and still had on the brain.
When this title was first announced, long serving Transformers
Andrew Wildman was down for art chores. He ultimately plumped to do a more substantial body of work for Devil's Due on their forthcoming Transformers/GI Joe
volume four crossover instead.
In the week this comic was originally released IDW announced at least one more spotlight would follow the initial five-issue line up: Soundwave.
Hot Rod's team consists of three brand new cannon fodder characters and Dealer. The guy whose entire bio is about his dual Autobot/Decepticon nature. That makes the last page about fifty billion times more obvious than it would have been if the team had been made up of all toy-based Autobots.
Why does Dealer call Banzaitron at the end? Other than to give exposition? It's a highly dangerous thing for a deep cover agent to do and it's not as if he really needed to check in. He already had his orders and the Decepticons would soon have known if he'd been found out.