Two reprints and two regular comics. A couple of them are a bit late, but that’s ok. Click the titles to go to the relatively spoiler-free reviews I’ll put up at ComiXology. And no, I don’t plan to make a logo at this time for the Pull List and reviews. Maybe later.
Transformers Timeline #3: Shattered Glass (Fun Publications)
STORY: Pete Sinclair and Benson Yee (writer)
APRIL FOOLS STORY: Pete Sinclair, Grek Sepelak, & S. Trent Troop
ARTIST: Don Figueroa
COLORIST: Espen Grundetjern
LETTERER: Jesse Wittenrich
OTHER ARTISTS: Alex Milne, Makoto Ono, and Trent Troop
Every year, Fun Publications releases a comic during Botcon that comes packed in that year’s special redecoed toys. Sometimes old characters, sometimes new, they’re based in the TFU presented in Master Collector’s bi-monthy Transformers Club newsletter. This year offered up a “mirror universe” story, where Decepticons wage a battle to destroy the evil forces of the Autobots. (Kind of like certain Decepticon apologists in the fandom. I’m not making that up.) Cliffjumper, from a universe seen in a previous Timelines, finds himself in this world, not knowing who to trust when his friends are his enemies and his enemies are his friends.
Being a reprint from the summer convention, I’m not willing to put this in the “Best Scene of the Week” category, but I had to show off “Mirror” Hot Rod.
What they got right: Don’s art is as good as always, as is Espen’s coloring. The world created by the story opens itself for a potential series, and using Cliffjumper (a repaint of Bumblebee in the Universe line) to bring us into this flipped reality was a better idea than simply dropping us in and showing us everyone backwards. It could have ended up like the “April Fools” comic seen at the end of the story. (In fact, if the preview hadn’t been released on April 1, I would have thought this was what the comic was going to do. So did a few others, which is why the joke worked.) There is an attempt to give the characters a bit more depth than being just the mirror versions of their counterparts.
What they got wrong: That, however, is not easy in a one-shot story. Perhaps in a series, or mini-series, which I hope they do at some point. Perhaps they will, since the Club Magazine comic seems to be using a mirror character very well. He even seems to be mentioned here, but I may have only caught it because he was revealed in the last mag. Plus the whole mirror universe story has been done and redone so often, another entry isn’t exactly being clamored for.
Recommendation: Still, I’d say pick it up, especially if your part of the club and getting the magazine. It is a good story overall, and there are sequel text stories on the member site, plus a potential connection to the current Transtech story arc in the magazine.
WRITERS: Fred Van Lente, Jeff Parker, Paul Benjamin, Paul Tobin, and Margot Blankier
ARTISTS: Matteo Lolli, Juan Santacrus, James Cordeiro, David Nakayama, Alvin Lee
(see inside cover for full credits, my posts are too long as it is sometimes)
I mostly picked up this digest for “Iron Man: Golden Avenger”, the final Iron Man story set in the Marvel Adventures universe. (Not to be confused with the spin-off of the animated spin-off of the 90’s–confusing, isn’t it?) However, this also collects the final official issue of Marvel Adventures: Iron Man and 2007 and 2008 Free Comic Book Day stories. The first one is an introduction to the MA IM and Hulk; the latter has them team-up with Spider-Man to take on the Mandarin.
MA:IM #13 had Happy Hogan’s only appearance (and come to find out I didn’t miss him), as he’s a bit jealous of Iron Man and wants to prove himself to Stark. He’s also in trouble with the same mob who is causing Tony grief this issue. In Golden Avenger (who’s cover made it look like it was connected to the movie, but wasn’t), Pepper is kidnapped by a rival who wants to be Employee of the Month. Her plan is to use some of Iron Man’s old enemies, trick them into letting her defeat them, and earn Tony’s respect so that *she’ll* be Employee of the Month.
I won’t be doing a normal review here, since these are collected reprints. (I won’t even be doing one for ComiXology.) I’ll just tell you now I recommend getting this book if your missing these stories. This will be the last time that you see a good solo Iron Man story for a long time, as old Joey Q. seems to hate Stark as much as he does the Spider-Marriage. What I do want to say here, however, is that it annoys me that I had to spend about $9.00 to get the one 2.99 book I missed out on and one other, plus two freebies that I already own. Had Golden Avenger been promoted right, like having Marvel Adventures on the title, rather trying to make look like a movie tie-in, maybe the stores would have ordered a few more, and I could have gotten one then. This was not the case because allegedly Marvel Adventures Iron Man didn’t sell well, due to those readers who think kid-friendly stories aren’t “mature” enough. And yet the Marvel Adventures stories have been more fun than the current series. Granted, I miss the sense of continuity that used to set Marvel apart from the “distinguished competition” until DC wised up on that front, but at least here there is respect for the characters, a little bit of fun, and plenty of action instead of blood-spilling violence, excessive cursing (censored or otherwise), and characters being treated like dirt in order to push the “shock value” forward. This isn’t good writing. The MA comics, however, are, and I miss MA Iron Man. He wasn’t as screwed up as the 616 Tony Stark has been for the past few years.
Marvel Adventures: Spider-Man #46 (Marvel)
WRITER: Todd Dezago
PENCILER: Roberto Castro
INKERS:Greg Adams & Kris Justice
COLORIST: A. Street
LETTERER: Dave Sharpe
ASST. EDITOR: Jordan D. White
CONSULTING: Ralph Macchio
EDITORS: Mark Paniccia & Nathan Cosby
It’s Christmas time, but Peter’s not feeling the Spirit. He wants to get a special present for Aunt May, but without bad guys to film Spider-Man fighting, he can’t make any money. Then he learns of a serial thief dressed as Santa Claus, and ends up attacking the wrong Santas until he finds the right one. Will he get Aunt May’s present in time?
What they got right: I do like how the comic opens with a splash page worthy of the classic Spidey stories. Adding the freezing web stuff is a new use of the “malfunctioning web shooter” plot device, or at least new to me, and he finds a way to use it to his advantage later on. The ending is very believable and heart warming. Even Jonah comes off as having the Christmas spirit.
What they got wrong: Sadly, everything else. The art is my biggest gripe. Peter just looks plain awful in this art style, and Iron Man in that one shot even worse. None of the others come off much better, but IM and Hulk most come off as something you’d see in Mad Magazine, not in a regular comic. Then there’s how Peter is written. Sure, he later realises that it’s wrong for him to WANT to have a crime happen at Christmas so he can make some cash filming himself kicking the bad guys around, but it doesn’t change the fact that he’s doing it, and does it some more after this reveleation. But aside from the art, the worst part is the reveal of the Santa thief. I mean, the Chameleon? Really? He’s just a two bit crook in the MAverse? And why was he wearing a Doctor Octopus mask under his Santa beard? And frozen or not, using his web goo to fix Aunt May’s angel rather than real glue should end up being a bad idea in a couple hours when the formula should break down once it thaws and is exposed to the air.
Recommendation: This might not have been the best comic to introduce me to Spidey MA style. It’s too different from the Iron Man, Avengers, and Super Hero comics that makes me love the MAverse. And the story and art are not the best. However, Spidey’s current life makes more sense here than in the BNDified Marvelverse Proper. I may give it another chance.
WRITER: Simon Furman
ARTIST: Nick Roche
COLORIST: Josh Burcham
LETTERER: Chris Mowry
EDITOR: Denton J. Tipton
Continuing on from Transformers Spotlight: Grimlock, and set between the “Revelations” arc and the current “All Hail Megatron”, Grimlock finds his old ship, but not the other Dinobots. That’s because the Sector Seven knockoffs called Skywatch have them. However, the Machination has an agent in their midst and they’re ready to cause trouble, since Scorponok wants Grimlock back among the deactivated–perminately. Plus we get to see what Sunstreaker and Hunter are up to. Previously, Hunter was forced to be the test pilot for IDW’s version of the Headmaster process, with Sunstreaker as a fellow guinea pig. Now they’re trying to find Sunstreaker’s original head so they can go back to being two seperate lifeforms.
What they got right: I have my issues with Furman (as you’ll see in a moment), but when he limits his focus to one or two events you can see what good he can do. Not that I agree with all of it, but it’s better potential than I usually see. This is mostly about him tying up loose ends from his run, as IDW decided to go in a new direction, as seen in McCarthy’s “All Hail Megatron”, and perhaps “Spotlight: Blurr”. He also writes some good action scenes, which is his greatest strength. Besides, who else is going to write a Grimlock story? I think if anyone tries, Simon gets insanely jealous and the results aren’t pretty.
What they got wrong: I’m just not a big fan of Roche’s art. I can see how someone can be, but as for me, the opening splash page has Snarl looking less berserek and more Jonny Bravo-style panic. Other scenes have the “Dynobots” looking a big stiff. He does ok on the big fight scenes, but only ok. The B cover scene looks better, and I’m sorry we didn’t get Marcelo Matere for the inside. However, my biggest problem is still Furman. While I gave him credit where it’s due, he wouldn’t have had to tie up three different storylines if he didn’t have five running already. At least by tying in the Machination and Skywatch he has a better chance of keeping his focus (and ours) in place, but the best way to deal with a mess is not to create one in the first place.
Recommendation: Since this is possibly the last of Furman’s direction, and I hate to see unresolved cliffhangers before the new writer comes in (that rarely ends well), I say pick it up. Otherwise, if you’ve been following the IDW G1verse up until this point you won’t know what happens with these remaining threads.
Best scene of the week: Transformers: Maximum Dinobots #1
That was a hard choice. The art is just awful in Spidey, and the other two are reprints. Otherwise that pic of Shattered Glass Hot Rod would have won, with Pepper’s rival arguing with her mom a close second.
So there’s your Transformers and Marvel sandwich. (Odd, considering Transformers used to *be* a Marvel Comic.) Until next time.