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THE TRANSFORMERS: COMICS, BOOKS AND MANGA

IDW Publishing
(2005-now)
Devil's Due
(2003-2007)
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(2002-2004)
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TRANSFORMERS TITLES FROM TITAN BOOKS / MAGAZINES

Revenge of the Fallen #8 [UK]: Back-to-Back
Reviewed by Inflatable Dalek

Issue Review

As a big climax to an eight-issue storyline it has to be said this is a bit of a disappointment. It’s impossible to be sure there’s been some jiggery pokery to accommodate next months relaunch but the most damning thing about the issue is that it certainly feels that way. Important prior plot points like Sideways are forgotten about and characters randomly wander in and out of the plot with little impact.

Sadly this is also the first issue where the normally excellent Davis-Hunt falls down on art duties, it’s a bit of a mess and looks very rushed.

The twin’s at least remain excellently characterised likeable characters, even if their final decision not to say anything is a massive anti-climax. Lets hope that with the move post movie things can pick up again and head back towards the sort of quality we were getting in the first half of last year.

Notes

Several important “Lasts” occur with this issue. It’s the end of the storyline began in issue #1, the last “Prequel” to the film (from #9 we’re post-movie) and the last issue to include IDW reprints for the moment (more on that in a second…).

To counter that it’s also the first issue since #25 of the first series to have an original art cover (spookily issue #8 of volume 1 was also the first to have a drawn cover) and the first post Revenge of the Fallen issue where the title has reverted to just being plain old Transformers. With the short lived Transformers: Universe subheading used for the last four issues of the first volume it’s been close to a year since the simplest title was used.

Ah, the mystery of the sudden truncating of All Hail Megatron. Originally promised to run for a year and seemed likely to last longer once we got into piecemeal reprints everything is suddenly cut short here in a bumper 24 page instalment culled from three original issues. All extraneous subplots are removed to get to the return of Optimus Prime, and there’s even one page made of three original pages in order to get it done. Some of Sideswipe’s dialogue is changed as well in order to having talking about Prime being dead rather than Sunstreaker (who now never perishes).

Why this sudden change was made is unclear at the moment, and it’ll probably be a while before we hear a reason. It could be down to falling sales meaning Titan can no longer afford to pay IDW for the reprints (though you’d have thought the original material would be the first casualty of that, especially as there’s now a backlog of IDW Movieverse stuff they could reprint). It could be that someone noticed that around the issue 6 mark is when the story becomes dependant on having read previous IDW comics Titan haven’t reprinted and that someone thought it would better to cut it off at this point. Hell, it might even be down to extreme negative reader feedback. Tellingly despite being hacked to piece it actually reads OK, the only bits that don’t make sense (such as everyone regarding Prime as finished just before he tango’s into the room) are problems with the original issues.

All that said, it should be noted that the new format from issue #9 (just one, original comic strip) is the same as Panini’s G.I. Joe comic, which seems [at the time of writing] to be doing OK despite that film dying a death in the UK. Perhaps they figured if it’s working for them??

Either way, to encompass finishing off AHM this is another giant sized issue. The reprint ends with an editorial note encouraging readers to pick up the IDW trades for what happens next.

It might be a coincidence or a result of changing things to make #9 a “relaunch” issue but the plot of the main strip jumps a bit as well. The twin’s plan of using Sideways to convince the Autobots they’re good is completely forgotten about (what exactly happened to his is also unexplained) and Grindor has vanished as well. Ravage and Starscream aren’t seen to escape (though dialogue implies they do so off panel) and the twins just randomly decide to stop talking about the Fallen even though people would believe them now.

The cover is, amazingly, different from the “Next issue” box last time.

Goofs
Phobos has a blue sky.

Soundwave is, it would seem, more stupid than the twins, who almost got Ransack to tell them everything just by lying to him last issue. How likely is that? Possibly very considering the complete lack of early warning systems at his base.

The “Last Time” caption describes the twins as having really defected.

Hard to quantify as a goof for sure: Arcee’s robot mode is based on her original first film toy (but as we’ve not seen her Transform in this continuity before you might be able to mentally fudge it as just being what the Titan version looks like).

Probably a goof but works for me anyway: The contents page claims IDW Megatron has an “Unstoppable Arm” at his command. Most likely supposed to read “Army” but those of us who remember how Megatron: Origin gave Meg's fusion cannon more character than him this seems strangely appropriate.

Though they mange to replace “Sunstreaker” with “Prime” in most of Sideswipe’s speech one slips through.

One last time, all together now, “They’re reprinting All Hail Megatron”.

Fantastic Free Gift!

They killed All Hail Megatron. Oh, and some disc launcher thing. To fire at Shane McCarthy no doubt.
Extras
Welcome to Earth!, Starscream hosted quiz on our planet;
Competitions for All Hail Megatron Volume 3 [Not the one you need to finish the story though], a forensic kit, Big Pants Burpy and Bumface and Power Gogo’s Crazy Bones books, A Boy and His Blob game and the ubiquitous Wii, Deluxe Transformer toys, a Pokemon Pokedex’
A cover-based poster;
Way Past Cool computer game reviews;
Jetfire profile;
Sideswipe’s Armoury covers the various helicopters seen in the second film;
Law and Disorder has kids sending in Beast Wars drawings eight months after those reprints finished. Note the total lack of All Hail Megatron feedback. Hmmmm. Also includes Starscream’s Stars.

 
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