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Transformers: War For Cybertron

IDW Publishing (2010)

This was a special promotional comic given away at K-Mart for the Activision video game.

WRITER: Alex Irvine
ARTIST: Don Figueroa
COLORIST: Andrew Dalhouse
LETTERER: Robbie Robbins
EDITOR: Andy Schmidt

According to the credits page, this comic is “based on selected passages from the novel Transformers: Exodus“, written by the same author also in coordination with the video game. The art is well done. Figueroa’s new style is altered to match the video game character models, and this works well. Dalhouse is the rare colorist whose name always seems to get my attention, and favorably so.

It’s Irvine’s story that bugs me. (And since I’ve already ordered the novel I have to get it. Plus the whole sheep thing.) The video game is supposed to be a prequel to the original cartoon*, showing the rise of both the Decepticons and Optimus as leader of the Autobots. However, Irvine takes the opportunity to name drop from every continuity he can. We get the smelting pool from the Marvel comics, Kaon from the UK and Dreamwave stories, “Six Lasers Over Cybertron” from a line in Beast Wars, the former Prime is “Sentinel Prime”, used in numerous comics beginning with Furman’s UK Marvel run, which isn’t the last Prime according to what I’ve heard about the game’s story. We even see the name given to the “autonomous robots”, indicating that they weren’t called Autobots until this moment, which is from the original Movieverse script. Optimus Prime starts out not as “Optimus” as the game implies, but Orion Pax, a clerk, in defiance of the original animated series which I won’t go into here.

(*Update: Aug. 29, 2010> Further research indicates I was wrong, and this is a new continuity. All other complaints still stand, such as the following.)

The worst crime, however, is that Irvine seems to be taking cues from the worst of IDW’s stories, Megatron Origins. I’ve complained before about how that comic goes out of it’s way to make the Autobots look like the bad guys, some offshoot of the ancient Romans but somehow darker. Well, that’s what Irvine went with as well, bringing in the gladiator pits and slave class. I hated it in that comic and I hated it in this one.

If this hasn’t swayed your opinion, know that most of the comic is talking. No transforming. A few battle scenes in the flashback, but otherwise it’s all exposition as Megatron and Orion/Optimus end up having a falling out similar to the Movieverse version as they stand before a governmental council. It’s not even all that interesting as we watch Irvine try to decide which continuity he’s going to take from next while making the Autobots look like someone who SHOULD get wiped out. And it’s not even all that exciting!

Had I paid for this, I would feel ripped off. It’s a free giveaway at K-Mart, although I’m sure IDW will reprint this for pay as they did the Target exclusives for the first movie (which weren’t free, as I recall, unless you downloaded the PDF version from their site). You won’t be saving money, but you will be saving time that could be spent playing the actual game.

Tomorrow’s Comic> Sonic Universe #17

About ShadowWing Tronix

A would be comic writer looking to organize his living space as well as his thoughts. So I have a blog for each goal. :)

2 responses »

  1. Jan says:

    Well, if it makes you feel any better the video game was much,MUCH more faithful to the Transformers franchise ( some slight hiccups aside).

    That and it was fun to blast people with Megatron’s Fusion Cannon. =)


    • ShadowWing Tronix says:

      I just picked it up today, so I’ll be finding out soon enough. 🙂 I do know to play the Decepticon campaign (which is not my norm) in order to get the story in the proper order.


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