CURRENT TRANSFORMERS COMICS FROM IDW PUBLISHING
The Revenge of the Fallen Movie Prequel: Alliance #1
Reviewed by Blackjack
"Wrap it up though... We have to get going."
A nice lead-in, but rather than feeling like a prequel to a movie Alliance issue one wraps up the loose ends of the Movie and Reign of Starscream
. The pacing is rather slow, and there's hardly any action. Too much information dumping and wrapping up, but a suitable lead-in to a story arc. Is it really necessary to use five pages for the little intro on Wreckage, though? It's really unnecessary, and could've been covered in three. In fact, with a little compacting, the events in this issue could be fitted into the Reign of Starscream arc, replacing the unnecessary flashbacks in issue one. Still, the Lennox-Simmons interchange is played out well, and it's nice to see dangling plot threads like the Allspark mutants and Jazz being resolved. Milne manages to draw pretty well this issue; he does do better with the movie stuff. This isn't really that bad, but could be better.
Some timeline infodump now. The part with Wreckage took part four months before the first movie. The part in Mission City takes part in the aftermath of the Mission City battle about the same time where Starscream talks to Barricade and invades Hoover Dam in the Reign of Starscream issues 1 and 2. The Sector Seven part in the Nevada Desert takes place after the Reign of Starscream part 2; Starscream attacks Hoover Dam at night, this is the next morning. Then, finally, we jump one month later where Prime and Lennox have the chitchat. This happens nearly immediately after the Reign of Starscream, and Starscream's already on Mars.
Salazar is killed by Starscream in the Reign of Starscream
arc. The same arc also told the events regarding Wreckage, Barricade's survival, Starscream's 'reign' and the Sector Seven base on Nevada.
The Sector Seven scientist working with Salazar, while unnamed here, is called Dr Vine in subsequent issues.
A pair of F22 Raptor jet escorts Wreckage's remains to Nevada. One of the cockpits has the lettering 'Lt. M. Hardin' on it, and the pilot's helmet has 'Bossman' on it. Whether this is some reference or just random lettering is beyond me. The pilot's codename is a definite TF reference, though -- Leader One.
The X-Box creature in the movie has been changed into a Y-Box due to legal stuff. It's still trapped in its package, except for the four dangling robot legs shown in the movie and two beady eyes. It tries to hide in a red minivan that really looks like G1 Ironhide. The van gets blown up by the movieverse Ironhide, though. Dispensor, the Mountain Dew robot, has changed brands into... well, IDW of course. An IDW symbol could also be glimpsed inside one of the shops during the scene with the Y-Bot. The steering-wheel robot is mentioned to be destroyed by Epps, but not shown.
Ratchet complains about the Mountain Dew drink, saying it in a very Perceptor-esque way. He's also interested in soil samples, a la G1 Beachcomber.
Optimus Prime drives a trailer (which contains Jazz's body) that's identical to his G1 trailer. His hologram is also an identical match to Peter Cullen, his G1 and movieverse voice-actor. With a fedora, similar to the Voyager Class toy. And the fans rejoiced.
Lennox's and Epps' cell phones are very similar to the Real Gear Robot Highline 1070 from the movie toyline. Odds are it's not coincidental. Speaking of cell phones, Lennox's phone is 555-555-1984. 1984 is the year Transformers debuted.
The construction vehicles that clear up Brawl's and Blackout's bodies are G1 Bonecrusher and G1 Hook, but without the purples. *cough* This is no foreshadowing, no sireeee. *cough*
This issue confirms that there's a one-month gap between the battle and the depositing of the Decepticon bodies in the sea. Also, Longarm, Salvage and several Landmines are in the custody of Sector Seven, but so far only Landmine had been shown to be a Transformer (back in Reign #2).
Simmons and Lennox sort of hate each other in that 'grudging respect' kind of way. Also, Simmons' line to Lennox and Epps, "I want you both. No, not in that kind of way, I mean for the group. Sector Seven." is a possible
reference to a unused scene in 2007's movie, where Simmons questions his sexuality. No, really. This scene was mentioned in Bay's commentary on the DVD. It's best if you don't think too much about it.
An ice cream truck could be seen in the junkyard. This would later be used by the Twins as their alternate mode.
Starscream has covered himself with tattoos, similar to his ROTF toy. Starscream places Dreadwing's decapacitated head on a makeshift throne, similar to G1 Megatron in War Within. Starscream is angered by the Decepticons' treachery. In his words: 'There's no sense in being a leader to a group willing to betray their commander with any given chance'. In my opinion, this gives the Movie Starscream some credit. He isn't a hey-I'll-betray-Megatron-and-sieze-command-at-every-turn character, but rather a more intelligent and realistic one. Being betrayed once, he learns from his mistakes, being cautious against Barricade. The irony is so thick you could cut it with a knife.
Oh, and Barricade still has that radar dish that pops out from his police lights. It was first seen when he was spying on the Nevada base in Reign of Starscream. The radio waves that emitted from his radio dish are very similar to the G1 cartoon's animation of radio waves.
What the hell happened to the communications blackout from the first movie? All that's left is a bad signal on the part of Sam, but cell phones can still work. But, hey, since their cell phones are probably robots...
How come the Autobots, who have scanners and are aware that Barricade survived, didn't recognize him? I mean, he still has that Decepticon insignia, for crying out loud!
How does Epps know about the soda machine? Dispensor was destroyed by Ratchet and he weren't there.
As usual, the humans look nothing like their real-life counterparts, though owing to Milne drawing all of Alliance, there's consistency in the Alliance arc. In some shots of the humans (mainly from the distance), their eyeballs are coloured white. Some of their expressions are weird as well.
What happened to all the Sector Seven agents and other soldiers that came with the Autobots? They, especially the Sector Seven agents, would've reported to Simmons directly, which would've negated the need for Lennox to report to Simmons. Then again, Simmons is a jerk, so he might be lying to Lennox to get him into Sector Seven.
Is there any conceivable reason for Starscream to tattoo himself? Other than to be toy accurate? Is he bored? I mean, to be similar to 'the powerful and fierce warriors of our history' isn't much of a reason, as Screamer was among the first Decepticons. Of course, he might be referring to Transformer history in general, but still...
Block-colouring is used here, but only on silhouettes, notably: Brawl and Blackout's corpses. To be fair, the area way dusty, and the characters did get some shading in. The pencils don't have any details, so it's almost excusable. In the scene where Barricade observes the Autobots, the Autobots and humans are block-coloured, though again there's some shading. Not Nel Yomtov bad, certainly.
Ironhide: -blows up his G1 counterpart, Lennox complains- "Just showing you humans what real
firepower is, that's all."
Ratchet: -on Mountain
IDW- "This substance is loaded with stimultants and ingredients that are harmful to your human structures. Absorption could lead to decay of necessary formations in your oral cavities, as well as increased weight gain."
Epps: -on Prime's Peter Cullen hologram- "I think it's perfect."
Simmons: "Ah, captain Lennox. Long time... no talk. Still want to ooint a gun at me?"
Lennox: "Well, my short-term memory still works. What do you think?"
Lennox: "I don't know where he went. One minute we were fighting aliens, then the next minute we were fighting more."
Simmons: "Come on. Do you really expect me to believe that, captain?"
Epps: "Man, you should've seen it! There was a soda machine, and a game system, and a steering wheel that-"
Lennox: -shuts Epps up- "He gets it, Epps."
Lennox: "You're late. Stopping to take soil samples again, Ratchet?"
Ratchet: "The mineral deposits contained in them are most interesting, Captain Lennox."