Chapter By Chapter features me reading one chapter of the selected book at the time and reviewing it as if I were reviewing an episode of a TV show or an issue of a comic. There will be spoilers if you haven’t read to the point I have, and if you’ve read further I ask that you don’t spoil anything further into the book. Think of it as read-along book club.
I know I keep harping on this after the last book but the prologue was so long I keep thinking I’m a chapter further than I am. The epilogue is about the size you’d expect, and this week we have one chapter, 9 pages (10 if you count the illustration). I’ve missed decent length chapters, and it’s in a book for seven-year-olds. Go figure.
So far we’ve seen the Mini-Cons kicked off of Cybertron as if that would stop the war (I’m betting it didn’t), and met our main human characters. Based on the chapter title for this week’s meeting of the book club I’m betting we’re meeting at least one of our Mini-Cons. How will it happen in this version? The three important characters–Alexis, Carlos, and Rad–went one way and our supporting humans–Fred and Billy–went the other so I bet we won’t see them meet the Mini-Cons yet. But I’m guessing someone will.
Chapter 3: Mini-Con Robots Revealed
Our first scene…scene breaks! Holy cow there are scene breaks in the same chapter rather than just starting a new chapter to move five feet for 10 seconds of in-world time. I miss that so much. Sorry, I’ll try to stop that.
Anyway, our first scene is back with our trio as they further study the cave paintings and realize they couldn’t have been made by the duo, but are curious how they got there. They also find a series of paintings depicting the war on Cybertron, and during this I started wondering if they needed the prologue. Imagine kids not having seen the show (lucky them) or the comic and unfamiliar with the Transformers concept. It would be as much a surprise and learning experience for them as it is the Cosmo Trio. Then they find one particular set of drawings of three “cute robots”, as Alexis calls them, and are suddenly drawn to them (no pun intended), which causes an earthquake as the door opens. More on this in a moment.
We shift over to Fred and Billy just so we know they got out okay, thinks the trio went off for a walk somewhere, and just leaves without making sure. Classy, guys.
Back with the trio they find themselves in the Earthbound portion of the Mini-Con shipwreck, where they stumble upon three panels. As in the cartoon these are stasis panels holding the three Mini-Cons that our heroes pal around with, but unlike the show (where the panels just had the Mini-Con logo on them) there is an image of the Mini-Con within, which I think makes more sense. My question is if the Mini-Cons are all in these panels then who made the cave paintings? When the Street Action Team awakens they were the first to awaken since the crash, when they all got into the stasis panels. I suppose they could have woken up, made the drawings for some reason, and went back to sleep, but considering their awakening sends out the signal to everyone where the Mini-Cons are (seen in all the versions) that seems off.
Like the cartoon, only one kid can understand one Mini-Con. In short they can only understand their Mini-Con partner, the kids only hearing R2-D2 talk from the other two. I wonder if that was the case for the larger Transformers and their partners? Also, this is the first time I had heard Sureshock, Alexis’s partner Mini-Con, listed as a girl but apparently listing her as male was another screw-up from the US dubbers. Why not, they messed everything else up. Half the cast was called Leader-1, Megatron’s partner Mini-Con, before the series was out. Even High-Wire, Rad’s partner, was called Leader-1 once. Rounding out the cast is Grindor, Carlos’s partner. Fun fact for later: the gimmick for the toy was that these three combined into a…slightly larger robot named Perceptor, not to be confused with the G1 scientist microscope. The girl forms the legs and torso while Grindor forms the arms and body and High-Wire forms the head. The girl is on the bottom of the two boys and supports them. Make of that what you will, folks. I’m not going there either way. Just keep it clean in the comments, please. Remember that I have deleting, editing, and comment-blocking powers and I only use them in emergencies. We’re PG around here.
The last thing of note is the image of the Street Action Team has them drawn as if they can already transform into their Earth modes. The other main media didn’t (I don’t think the UK comic did) but frankly this has been inconsistent across the entire franchise since the first episode and issue back in the 1980s so nothing new here. This was a decent chapter, and I wonder if this has been an older book maybe they could have kept the prologue’s information until this chapter, when the Mini-Con trio gave their backstory to the human trio? At least they only gave the cliff notes version. As for next time let’s see what Cybertron’s been doing for the past few million years? Given this multiverse’s history I’m going to say they’re still fighting. Place your bets now.
Next time: Arrival