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THE TRANSFORMERS: COMICS, BOOKS AND MANGA

IDW Publishing
(2005-now)
Devil's Due
(2003-2007)
Dreamwave
(2002-2004)
Club/Con
(2001-now)
Titan Books
(2001-now)
Marvel Comics
(1984-1994)
Japanese
Manga
Other Books
and Titles

CURRENT TRANSFORMERS COMICS FROM IDW PUBLISHING

Transformers: Movie Target DVD Comic
Reviewed by Inflatable Dalek

Issue Review

Whilst this isn't as enjoyable as the first Target comic (its basic plot of blowing up things in the desert just can't compare to how the film does it), this is still a diverting little romp that makes a nice way to spend the time it takes the DVD to load.

The highlight is the portrayal of Blackout, his slightly OTT loyalty makes an excellent contrast to Starscream- who is also shown in a good light with a more subtle cunning than the character usually has.

Don and Andy's art meshes surprising well for people with such different styles - though in seemingly trying to compliment each other, Don's pages are less that his best whilst Wildman's are above average for him (though not as good as his work on the other Target comic).

It's not worth tracking the DVD down just for this, but the above scans are worth your time. There's a degree of irony that the Movie comics with the smallest audience are amongst the best yet done. Though you do have to wonder how it took three people to come up with an "everything explodes" plot...

Notes

Another exclusive for the American Target store. This was included with their copies of the DVD of the film upon its Region 1 release. It can be read here: http://transformers.target...TransformersComic2.pdf

This was one of two DVD exclusives IDW were involved in. People who brought from Wal-Mart received a "Animated" DVD of the main Prequel comic.

This story is seemingly incompatible with the events of the film, and indeed IDW's main Prequel Comic. In this story, the Decepticons arrive on Earth immediately prior to the film rather than in 2003, and again shows their first reactions to humans and human technology. Despite this subsequent IDW Movieverse comics have picked up on and continued the story of Wreckage following his capture by Sector 7, starting with Reign of Starscream.

No explanation is offered as to why it took them four years to reach Earth after encountering Beagle 2 on Mars, but it should be noted that space is big, really big, and that none of the planets are ever stationary (space travel isn't about launching yourself at the Moon, it's about launching yourself at the place the Moon will be when you get there). In real life, it took the Beagle 2 nearly 7 months to reach Mars and that was launched to reach the planet when it was at its closest to Earth. If the Decepticons don't have some super space travel ability and set off when the planets were on opposite sides of the Sun, then it would have taken them many times longer than that to get here. In fact, depending on the exact position of the other planets in the system it might have even been easier for them to check Venus and Mercury for signs of the Cube before coming to Earth.

The plot here is extrapolated from the minor detail in the film that the helicopter Blackout was based on was shot down three months earlier. There's no indication in the film itself that Blackout had anything to do with this.

Blackout himself gets an interesting characterisation; he's basically the exact opposite of Starscream. Hes overly loyal to Megatron to the point of being a fanatic.

A sure sign that - unlike the film, which is very careful to use real military hardware in a roughly accurate way - there was no military adviser in this comic that could be seen from the soldiers localised EMP guns (complete and utter scientific nonsense if anyone was wondering). There's a remote chance Sector 7 have people stationed at the base with advanced technology, but unless they have them at every American base this seems unlikely.

This marks the first ever (and to date only) appearance of the toy based character Wreckage in a comic. His Mother will be proud. With the events here unlikely to ever be followed up on his final fate after being captured may never be recorded.

Though he isn't seen, it's safe to assume Frenzy is in Barricade having a nice nap.

This is the first IDW comic in which the Decepticon tank is named, and they pump for half his toy moniker of Decepticon Brawl. Whilst the comics relationship with the rest of IDW's Moive output is dubious this naming was confirmed by issue 1 of Reign of Starscream. Titan had used his onscreen name of Devastator, making this really the first point where the two companies' output diverted.

The comic ends with Blackout on his way to the start of the film and his attack on Qatar.

The cover is a deliberate mirror image of the Autobotcentric one for the first target exclusive comic.

When originally published this issue contained hidden messages that, when looked at through red Perspex, would reveal secret codes for the Target website. This, along with its Target stable mate was reprinted by IDW under a new title in the one shot Movie Prequel Special, with the strips arranged in chronological order rather than as originally released. The hidden messages were mostly removed, though a few did slip through the cracks.

Goofs

The Movie claims the helicopter Blackout scanned was destroyed three months before, yet this issue ends with him going straight to Qatar. Did he get lost along the way?

Wreckage can at one point sense the distant Allspark, an ability that Transformers show in either the Movie or the other tie in fiction. If they could detect it that far off through the concrete of the Hoover Dam, then those Transformers in America probably wouldn't need the glasses to find it.

For reasons best know to the two artists, Starscream is consistently drawn with a head that looks almost exactly like that of G1 Powerglide.

 
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