Transformers Spotlight #2: Nightbeat
IDW Publishing (October, 2006)
WRITER: Simon Furman
ARTIST: MD Bright
COLORIST: John Rauch
SELECTED COVER COLORIST: Josh Burcham
LETTERING: Sulaco Studios
EDITORS: Chris Ryall & Dan Taylor
Nightbeat is an Autobot who loves a good mystery, and he has access to a huge one: the disappearance of the first Ark-class ship, lost on a scouting mission. However, when he meets with his contact he finds him dying and the flight recorder from Ark-1 he had found missing. Nightbeat follows back to where it was found, a planet called Gorlan Prime, only to find it’s a trap. He does hear a few words like “dead universe” but it doesn’t matter because he’s brainwashed and pre-programmed for some future event. Back on his ship with no memory of what happened, he receives a summons to come to Earth, while unnoticed on his computer is proof he went to Gorlan Prime, a message update he transmitted to himself before getting caught.
What they got right: Furman can set up a good mystery (like in the “Matrix Quest” storyline back in the Marvel days–it’s the follow-up he had problems with), and this has the makings of a good one. The art is pretty good.
What they got wrong: Too bad this is another example of Furman having too many story ideas going on at once, just hidden a bit due to being a separate title from the main series. This was set-up for a later story arc, the “Dead Universe” storyline. Meanwhile he’s still setting up his own take on the Transformers, which includes evil Micromasters and some goo-like portal beneath the planet. He just can’t finish one story at a time, and the Spotlight issues are just another source for his “drug”.
Recommendation: It’s is important to later events in the IDW TFU and an interesting story to begin with. It’s worth checking out.
It’s interesting how you refer to Furman’s “drug”. lol. On another note, today I saw in my local mall that a comic book by IDW called First Strike just came out. This comic is a mash up of the Transformers, G.I. Joe, MASK, Micronauts, and ROM (all Hasbro controlled properties now). So I imagine that it is only a matter of time before we start seeing some movie mash ups of these creative properties in the cinema. Maybe such movies can save the sagging sales of movie theaters?????????