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Old 08-19-2012, 06:41 AM   #1
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Transformers: Regeneration One #81

I decided to review the first two issues of IDW's Transformers Generation One relaunch this week, as the original series was one of the first monthly books that captured my attention and imagination as a young boy. I know this series and all of it's mythos like the back of my hand, so when I heard the news months back (thanks Omar ) that there was a movement to get the original creative team, messrs Furman, Wildman, Senior, Baskerville to all return and reignite the magic, I was quick to jump on board.

After what seems like an eternity all itself, that pipedream has become a reality and while the relaunch was given a finite lifeline even before it began (set to culminate with issue #100), this was a ride I was never going to miss.

So the first issue back, picking up where the original series ended both in plot, and issue numbering, sees the Autobots and Decepticons having called an armistice to their eons old war. They have departed Earth, and find themselves on a reborn, repopulated Cybertron.

Of course if the series is back, you just know the truce between the 'Bots and 'Cons aint gonna last long

It appears Furman is taking the logical approach to center the relaunch around the same core group of characters he ended the series with, but is also going to introduce some new names and strike teams, such as "The Wreckers", who if the first two issues are any indication, are gonna have a part to play in the months to come.

We finally get to the main man, Optimus Prime mid issue, and it seems that he is having an internal crisis in regards to his death and ressurection in the latter stages of the orginal run, which I'm sure will also be a focal part of the series. I personally, love the humanity (for lack of a better word) than Furman has always been able to instill in his Autobots, especially in Optimus, and although he's barely seen or heard from in either of the first two issues, I just know he's gonna be able to deliver on that front the same way he did in the past.

There's a few other significant beats in issue one that are direct throwbacks to the original run, but to spoil them would ruin some pretty cool moments, so I wont, but overall this is better than solid starting point for what should be a great ride.

My only minor "problem" with anything in this issue was that IDW seem to be using a color scheme that almost pops TOO much for what is being depicted in the panels. I don't think it's the colorists fault but more a printing issue? The writing, art, inks, everythings FEELS the way it used to, but the high quality paper of 2012 combined with much cleaner printing abilities make the book seem a little.....too sterile? I don't think it's anything that could be done differently unless they have a factory they can print the book in that hasn't been upgraded since the 80s but it was certainly something that stood out. And thinking of it now, it certainly wasn't as apparent in either Devil's Due or IDW's GI Joe relaunches.

Transformers: Regeneration One #82

Issue #82 ties into "Dinobot Month" a play on Shark Week which IDW is doing across the Transformers titles, and as such much of the book features another fan favorite and leader of the Dinobots, Grimlock.

When last we saw him, Grimlock was still stuck in "robot" mode after taking Nucleon, and attempting to find and reactivate his Dinobot team. I'll again avoid as many spoilers as I can, but the biggest revelation made, is quite notable. It seems the Autobots depature from Earth didn't make it safer. In fact, it doomed the planet entirely:

As you can see from the scan below, Wildman's art is all but exactly as it was all those years ago, his interpretation of the "weathered" Transformer, was such a groundbreaking, hyper realistic approach and to see it again is such a nostalgic joy.

The other big reveal of the issue is a cliffhanger ending, and doesn't have the same impact the decimation of Earth did. I actually think this one should have been mid issue and the state of Earth should have closed out the issue. Remember the human known as Circuit Breaker? Well meet Circuit Smasher....

So yeah, a passable but limp ending to the issue, but yet another very solid month.

This book isn't gonna be for everyone, heck it's not gonna be for many, but that was always the case, with the only real target audience, the readers who were still around when the book hit cancellation numbers back in the day. I guess that's why IDW set the run to go to only #100 even before it hit the presses, this feels more like a gift for the long term fans, than an attempt to start anything longer that what has been promised, but strangely I'm ok with that. A self contained arc, with a solid destination is a welcome prospect and I'm in it for the long haul.

If you were a fan of the original run, I suggest you do the same

Last edited by Rocket; 08-19-2012 at 06:45 AM.
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Old 08-19-2012, 06:44 AM   #2
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Blacksad: A Silent Hell HC
Written by: Juan Diaz Canales
Art by: Juanjo Guarnido
Published by Dark Horse

John Blacksad is back on the case.

Actually, he’s been back on the case since 2010. Just not in English.

Shortly after Dark Horse published an anthology edition of the first three anthropomorphic detective stories, the fourth story L'Enfer, Le Silence (to give it its original title) was published, but only now has it made it into English.

This time, Blacksad is in New Orleans investigating the disappearance of a piano player by a former record producer, in the last stages of terminal illness. As with all good pulp stories, Blacksad is quickly warned off (more than once) and resolves only to push deeper into a world of jazz music, drug addiction, estranged families and voodoo. With a good helping of actual and threatened violence.

On the writing front, this is another excellent noir tale. Full of a good range of sleazy characters, double and triples crosses that keep you guessing until the end (and quite some time thereafter, as I’m still slightly puzzling over what happened).

Again, the real star of the book is the outstanding watercolour artwork of Guarnido. Painstakingly, detailed in sleazy clubs, busy high streets and shade covered cafes. Brilliantly dynamic in characters and looking exceedingly painful when someone starts swinging a baseball bat.

The book is rounded off with a couple of short stories and a large section of the fabulous artwork to give you a bit more bang for your buck.

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Old 08-29-2012, 03:00 PM   #3
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Finally got around to reading the first 2 issues and I gotta say I'm hooked again to the world of the original Marvel Transformers! Wildman's artwork immediately took me back to the last issues of the original run. For the record, I havent been able to get into the other IDW Transformer books as much as I tried. Just putting it out there in case some think I have a biased opinion on all things Transformers

I cant believe Grimlock is still an Action Master but it looks like that issue will be resolved soon when he makes his way to the Headmaster homeworld.

As soon as I saw that last page I immediately thought "Circuit Breaker" and thought how much more of an intact it wouldve been if she showed up again. I still remember how freaky it felt to see her origin in issues 6-9 (was it?) in the 1980s. I have a feeling she belongs exclusively to Marvel so perhaps this was IDW's way to get a similar character going.

Looking forward to seeing what Megatron does with his lobotomized army!

By the way, did you know CC made an appearance outside of Transformers back in the day? Met the Beyonder in Secret Wars II which is one of the reasons why I think Marvel has rights to her.

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