Transformers: Infiltration #1 Discussion (spoilers)

Discussion in 'Transformers Comics Discussion' started by BlueFrenzy, Jan 18, 2006.

  1. BlueFrenzy

    BlueFrenzy Decepticons forever!

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    So I just read the first issue of our beloved TF. Interesting set up issue (like #0 but with a little bit more action). Definitely different from the DW comics in that the TF and humans are segregated. TF's are treated like mysteries like bigfoot, UFOs or crop circles ... only crazies believe in them.

    Interesting how they beefed up Rachet (with all his side mounted lasers). Not really a complaint but Rachet has a smokescreen ... WTF! Only Smokescreen should have that, no?

    Can anybody name what Runamuck and Runabout's vehicle mode is? They look a little bit like the 2G Mitsubishi Eclipse ... but not exactly. I can't place their vehicle modes.

    All in all, not bad issue. I just wished that the Don Figuero cover with Starscream power-bombing Rachet WASN'T an super special incentive cover. Guess that's another thing ... I REALLY hate all these different covers ... there's 10 of them! 4 regulars, 3 dealer incentive and 3 exclusives! Sure it's the first issue but it'll be silly if the did that for every single issue.

    Last thing ... I promise, there's a little preview for Beast Wars comic at the end. Art looks great!
     
  2. Shadbot

    Shadbot Heavens to Megatroid!

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    Runamuck and Runabout are both Camaro's. Which I don't care for, as in G1 they weren't both the same model car. I don't have a problem with the Camaro alt-mode, I just wish Su had made one of them a Firebird.
     
  3. JoshBot

    JoshBot Well-Known Member

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    Well...it's a start, I suppose. Not such a good one, but hey, at least it's a start. On the plus side, the conspiracy theorist angle actually manages to make things feel pretty fresh, despite this story having been told about a bajillion times before. The art is pretty good, too. I especially dug the little vehicular rumble; reminded me of something out of the old Spy Hunter arcade game. On the not-so-plus side, however, the human characters are, well...silly. Their dialogue feels very forced and "written". It was kind of a chore to make it through some of the wordier parts, especially the cringe-inducing "funny" parts. I find myself hoping the humans get squished or something in issue #2. On the whole, not a very encouraging debut, but I'll give it the benefit of the doubt and stick around for a few more issues.

    On a side note, the preview of BW looks good. Furman does epic stuff a lot better than he does little character moments or stuff with humans.
     
  4. KA

    KA PENIS GOES WHERE?!!

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    nuh-uh, girlfriend (snaps fingers).

    one was a lotus, the other...i forget. they sucked tho'. sucked bad.
     
  5. Beastbot X

    Beastbot X The Toad Knows.

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    It was fairly good. Not a big fan of all the human focus right now, but that'll no doubt change soon. I rather liked Ratchet trying to play the role of the holographic man.

    "GET INSIDE ME!"
    "What!?"
    "--THE VEHICLE! GET INSIDE THE VEHICLE!"

    And, oddly enough, I think E.J.'s artwork in the actual comic pages is considerably better than his cover artwork.
     
  6. 03Mach1

    03Mach1 Reason Has No Voice

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    I couldn't agree more. That's why I purchased Guido's cover.
     
  7. KA

    KA PENIS GOES WHERE?!!

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    get inside me, lol.
     
  8. Acid Wing

    Acid Wing Senior Alien TF Member

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    I actually quite liked the issue. Su's lineart is definitely getting better and looks great in b & w as shown with the #2 preview pages. Though, I still feel the colors don't quite nicely matchup with his linework. Maybe, because the warm colors make it feel more like the 80's Marvel run, but nonetheless I can still tolerate it enough to not interfere with me enoying the book.:) 

    As for the writing, it was a nice setup issue, basically going deeper with the characterization (such as Verity's "prickliness" and Ratchet's personality) and going further with the RID theme.

    The letters page was a welcome read.

    And the BW preview was of course awesome (way to go Don and Josh!).

    Anyways, looking forward to the next issue. Looks like some bot action is gonig to take place!
     
  9. CripNite

    CripNite That Whack Canuck Dude

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    Still feeling like there's waaay too much focus on the humans. Hopefully things will step up with the next issue.

    I had a thought though... it seems as though IDW is following DW battle plan with Transformers... get as many different books out there was possible and hope some of it sticks, with as many different covers as possible. Maybe it's just be, but I'd like to think that this isn't a great idea considering past results.
     
  10. PopCulturePooka

    PopCulturePooka Longest running avatar

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    I shall give it three issues.
     
  11. Outtsyder

    Outtsyder Well-Known Member

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    Mind if I add my review in this thread?

    I never did get around to writing a review for issue #0 like I hoped, and it doesn’t look like I’ll get the chance to do so. But I did just pick up #1 today, and after a busy day, I got a chance to look through it. Short non-spoiler reaction: quite interesting take in this new approach to the story, trying to retain the aura that the robots really *are* meant to be in disguise on Earth, something that was rarely ever executed in the past this effectively.

    And now, the obligatory Spoiler Space….


    T

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    (cues up “X-Files” theme)


    COVER:

    For the general public, this first issue was released in four different covers, each by a different artist. One features a back-to-back shot of Runabout and Runamuck posing with their guns; by Andrew Wildman. Another has our human stars Verity Carlo and Hunter O’Nion staring agape at the viewer, with vehicle-mode Ratchet’s windshield behind them; by James Raiz. A third one features a jet-mode Thundercracker attacking a transforming Bumblebee from the sky; by Guido Guidi. The fourth and final of the general-public covers shows robot-mode Ratchet rising from some wreckage; by E.J. Su.

    Several other covers were available in much smaller quantities; Raiz’s and Guidi’s covers were also made into foil covers, along with a wraparound cover by Wildman featuring a battle pitting Starscream, Thundercracker, Astrotrain and Blitzwing against Jazz, Ironhide, Prowl and Bumblebee. Three other special covers (believed to be even rarer) are exclusive to three comics services: Graham Cracker Comics, featuring Starscream and Thundercracker in their classic forms, attacking a city; ND Comics, featuring a city battle with Optimus Prime, Grimlock and Springer trying to rescue Arcee from Devastator; and Rupp’s World, showing Starscream suplexing Ratchet into the pavement.


    INSIDE COVER DETAILS:

    On the left vertical half of the page gives the artistic details of the issue (Simon Furman writes, with art by E.J. Su), and a “the story so far” blurb on what happened in issue #0. For those of you who haven’t read the issue and haven’t heard the story yet, Verity Carlo, a runaway, has stolen a pocket computer from someone who appears to be a salesman, and ends up meeting conspiracy theorist Hunter O’Nion (who believes there really are giant alien robots disguised as Earth vehicles, infiltrating the Earth) driving in the middle of the desert, as the pair stumble unexpectedly into a secret Decepticon territory, attacked by a blue F-22 Raptor jet. A white modern-day ambulance appears, with a holographic driver (appearing about middle-age with blond hair, with a permanent grin), and orders the two humans to get inside the ambulance.

    On the right half of the inside cover is a sort of head-shot roll call of the cast set to appear in this series: eight Autobots and eight Decepticons. However, only the faces of Ratchet, Prowl, Runabout, Runamuck, Starscream and Thundercracker appear with their names. The rest are blacked-out silhouettes, with blank nameplates. Their identities won’t be revealed until the issue in which they make their first appearances.


    THE STORY:

    The issue opens with a full-page shot of a laptop and a can of Coke, and the contents on the laptop’s screen show all sorts of data regarding alleged alien sightings on various parts of the US. The site that the computer is on is Mechatopia.com (which IDW has actually created to go along with the comic’s story; you can visit its place-holder page at http://www.mechatopia.com/ ; it even has a blurry photo!), and we read the thoughts of Hunter, who believes that giant transforming robots are on Earth, disguised as Earth vehicles, for reasons he can’t figure out. This scene is a flashback, which leads us to today in southeast California; where Hunter and Verity are in the front seat of this ambulance – seemingly driven by this perma-grinned paramedic – which is traveling at a rather impossible speed, even for an ambulance. Verity is complaining about the whole situation, and when Hunter notices their speed, he also notices a little glitch in the holo-human’s image… and finally notices it IS a hologram, triggering the thought this vehicle really IS one of the robots he was hoping to find out about.

    But the ambulance, the holo-driver, Verity and Hunter find out they’ve got company in the form of two race cars on their sides; one white and one black. The holo-driver – whose expression does not change a bit during this entire incident – asks the humans if he can trust them, saying that they’ve seen more things that they shouldn’t have (during this scene, we get a short flashback to Verity having stolen a bus ticket to get out into the desert in the first place). At this point, the ambulance’s steering wheel retracts inside the dashboard, replaced by a 3-D holographic radar map, showing the ambulance and the two race cars flanking their sides. Hunter asks about the cars, and the holo-driver identifies them as “the enemy”. Hunter asks if they’re like the jet that attacked them in issue #0, but the “driver”says they’re worse. He describes the jet as a “grunt” who follows orders, while the two cars (which have little Decepticon symbols) “like to play”. The cars try to sideswipe the ambulance on both sides, but the ambulance is able to fight back, with retractable defense weapons emerging from its sides. One weapon melts the tires of the white car, causing it to spin out. The other, a small Gatling-type gun, blasts the side body of the black car, but the racer fires back with a pair of grenades popping from its hood. The ambulance pulls out one more weapon, generating an ultra-sonic frequency that shatters the race car’s side window, penetrates the interior, and overloads its dashboard controls, throwing it off-course. All that’s left is the blue jet swooping in on their six, but the ambulance borrows a page from Smokescreen’s playbook, releasing a disorienting cloud of black smoke, forcing the jet to regroup.

    The holo-driver proposes to find a place to hide (and repair the vehicle) while they have some extra minutes of borrowed time. Verity apparently knows a place for both sanctuary and repairs, and pulls out the pocket computer she had stolen before. Hunter is shocked, noticing it’s a really high-end model that’s not easy to get in normal stores, but Verity shoots Hunter down and logs on, demanding some privacy. The holo-driver asks if Verity is “always this… prickly”, which Hunter can’t really answer, since they had only just met. He starts to ask the holo-driver what his story is, giving us a short flashback to the mind of the REAL identity of this ambulance….

    From inside an undersea base (NOT a Decepticon establishment, shockingly), we read an off-screen voice denying Ratchet’s request to protect a human whose life the medic believes is in danger. This off-screen voice says the operation would be a “complete waste of available resources” and eventually signs off. Apparently, this human is the “salesman” from whom Verity had stolen the pocket computer! Returning from the flashback, the holo-driver only identifies himself as “a conscientious objector”, the “ambulance” still concealing his identity behind the holo-driver.

    Verity scores a location in Riverside for the group to hide; a long-time online friend of hers named Jimmy Pink who runs a garage. They reach the place, and after Verity and Jimmy exchange smart-alecky pleasantries, they haul themselves inside the garage. Jimmy absently asks if the ambulance comes with a driver, at which the holo-driver simply appears out of nowhere at Jimmy’s blind side! Still maintaining the disguise of an actual human, the holo-driver notes the structural damage for Jimmy to repair, while Verity and Hunter go inside the kitchen for a soda pop. Hunter asks if Jimmy can be trusted, this being the first time Verity and Jimmy have met in person, but Verity snaps back at Hunter for being so quick to trust the holo-driver. She then explains that, because she doesn’t have a fixed home of her own, Jimmy’s often been around (even if just online) to help her when she needed it. Hunter tacitly accepts, but is not really convinced. They return to the garage, where Jimmy is under the ambulance’s chassis, with the door’s open… and Hunter notices Verity’s open bag inside, with the mysterious pocket computer….

    We take a peek back to the blue jet and the two race cars outside, who are still looking for their prey despite the damage taken from their previous encounter. They know that one of the humans has what they called an “ethergrid profile”, which looks like the pocket computer Verity stole, and figured that, if the computer gets booted up, they can find their target by tracking the signal. Just at the moment when Hunter pulls the computer out of Verity’s bag….

    Back to the garage, where Jimmy is almost finished repairing the ambulance – and the holo-driver almost blows his disguise, but covers up quickly. Just as Jimmy’s about to ask about the ambulance, Hunter cuts in, saying it’s “like nothing on Earth.” An annoyed Verity dismisses his statement, calling his thoughts about disguised alien robots as a “private delusion he insists on sharing.” But Hunter shows the holo-driver the computer, which Verity demands to give it back. Hunter retorts that the computer is NOT hers, and he suspects it may be the reason they were attacked in the desert earlier. Verity is in disbelief, but gets further irritated when the holo-driver spots robotic images showing up on the pocket computer’s screen (which the holo-driver is actually holding; don’t ask). Verity snatches the machine back, and snaps that she’s had enough of the alien conspiracy talks, and storms outside for some air. Hunter figures she’ll be back, and asks the holo-driver if “the enemy” has a name. Just as the holo-driver is about to answer, Verity bursts back inside the garage, screaming the word, “Decepticon!” She had seen something outside, the expression on her face being bigger than frightened, as an explosion outside blows open one of the garage’s walls! The holo-driver demands all three humans get inside the ambulance – actually saying “get inside me!”, forgetting his holographic disguise – but the walls have been torn apart, and we see for the first time, Runabout and Runamuck – the white and black race cars from before – in their robot modes, demanding the humans give them the data storage device!

    To Be Continued….


    COMMENTS:

    This really isn’t so bad. I can see some fans complaining about the story in this new series focusing so much on humans instead of the Autobots and Decepticons fighting each other right off the bat, but in the context of this new story and new continuity, it works. While I usually prefer the focus on a TF story to be on the TFs themselves (I mean, look at the name; it says “The Transformers”), OTOH, I don’t throw tantrums just because a human character is in there (unless it’s a really irritating character, whether human, robotic, alien or otherwise). I can’t say I was hugely overwhelmed or underwhelmed by the portrayals of our new human cast of Verity, Hunter and Jimmy, but in a way, I did find them all to be pretty likeable in their own ways, along with their quirks. You could tell with Hunter’s lines that he must have put in a LOT of thought into not only the secret of alien robots disguised on Earth, but that he knows a good deal of different technologies, from higher-than-civilian computer models to aircraft missiles. Verity, for an older-teen runaway, well, what can you really expect? She’s got no real place to settle to live, so she’ll obviously have to pull some petty crimes here and there just to scratch up a simple existence and stay connected to Jimmy, deftly lifting computer connections (like laptops) wherever she can, and dumping them when they’re spent. But she’s also pretty darn testy most of the time. Or maybe I should use the word that Ratchet’s holo-driver used; “prickly.” We don’t really get too much out of Jimmy, except that he and Verity go way back, but until this issue, their communications have been entirely online. But sometimes, friendships can be strong enough that a bond of trust can be built, regardless of the geographic distances.

    But while Verity and Hunter can be seen as the stars of the story, it’s the ambulance’s holographic projection of a paramedic – the image keeping the same blank grin the ENTIRE TIME through the story – who steals the show. We know right away that it’s Ratchet; the trick to enjoying this story is seeing how well Ratchet can keep his disguised identity secret through this bizarre yet entertaining charade! His array of hidden weapons may seem a little on the plot-convenience side, but then again, that never stopped the original G1 cartoon from being successful. There are moments when Ratchet’s “disguise” slips out of his act, almost revealing this human form doesn’t really exist, as his attempts to stay undercover are hilarious. One really funny bit is where Jimmy is fixing Ratchet’s suspension while the holo-driver is looking on; when Jimmy asks how he doing with the repair job, the holo-driver says “it kind of tickles.” A confused “huh?” from Jimmy prompts Ratchet to cover his mistake. It’s kind of like an incompetent undercover detective with no medical training, investigating a corrupt surgery operation by posing as a doc’s assistant; and when a surgeon asks him for the scalpel, the detective goes, “That’s the pointy thing, right?” And then tries to mask that mistake by saying “Just kidding!” with a chuckle… that is, until he hands over the scalpel pointy-end first. (Fellow fans of “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” will know what I’m talking about. ) It’s not the most Transformer-like story I’ve ever seen… but man, is it funny. You kept getting strung along, waiting for the inevitable moment when Ratchet can no longer hide himself behind the holographic paramedic.

    So far, though, we only get little bits from Thundercracker (the blue jet, obviously), and the Battlechargers. But for now, it seems like Runabout and Runamuck may be given a better chance to shine in this new series. Before in the old G1 cartoon and classic Marvel comic, they really weren’t much more than a pair of common cannon-fodder thugs, although they got much more to do in the infamous Marvel US issue #23. While I don’t expect Runabout and Runamuck to be any more sophisticated in this new series, I figure they were included in this story to give the Decepticons a ground-based presence that wouldn’t attract too much attention, unless they attracted it on purpose.

    The art by E.J. Su is pretty good, too. It’s no Don Figueroa, but still likeable. What may come as a surprise to those who haven’t been paying attention to the older announcements leading up to the release of this series – though with most of you, I doubt anyone has really missed anything – is the new body forms of the TF characters. Because this is a new story and continuity taking place in today’s “modern-day” era instead of the mid-’80s, the robots’ alternate modes are mostly being patterned after the current machinery on Earth, which is why we see the Seeker model as an F-22 Raptor instead of the classic F-15 Eagle, or Ratchet’s ambulance model being a lot more streamlined than his old G1 form’s boxy Nissan van shape.

    After the main story, the first thing we see is an ad for the 10th Anniversary Beast Wars toys, showing a really weird photo of a kid wearing oversized monster fangs, and a caption saying, “Guaranteed to bring out the animal in you.” As expected, the ad shows the 10th Anniversary versions of Waspinator, Cheetor and Rhinox, and also plug the free single-episode DVDs and Transmutate parts that comes with each toy. Next is a two-page black-and-white uncolored spread of a preview look into next month’s issue, plus a rough story blurb about Ratchet uncovering a Decepticon infiltration unit, and the once-secret operations have led to the start of an open war, with Verity’s stolen computer being the key. Following that is a three-page preview of issue #1 of the Beast Wars mini-series set to debut in February.

    Finally, we reach the mailbag section of the issue, called the “Decepticomments” section. Here, we see a caricature drawing of Editor-In-Chief Chris Ryall dressed in an Alternators Windcharger costume (or Binaltech Overdrive, whichever side of the Pacific you prefer). Here, he responds to some of the letters that were written to IDW in response to issue #0. The topics in the letters covered all sorts of topics related to the series, like the positive feedback to this new story actually USING the disguise aspect of the characters, concerns about the cast growing too fast in later issues (which doesn’t seem too likely… yet), a comment on the tie-in with the Mechatopia site, and one question… considering the attempts of the Autobots and Decepticons trying to keep their presences secret from the humans, will Grimlock (or any of the othe Dinobots) ever actually appear in the book, considering he’s Simon Furman’s favorite TF? The “Decepticomments” section closes with a seemingly simple contest. The prize? Almost every different cover-version (seven in all) of issue #0. How to play this contest? Correctly identify all sixteen characters (including the silhouetted ones) on the front inside cover of this issue. While some may look obvious, others are not so easy. The winner will be the first one to enter their e-mail entry with all sixteen robots correctly identified.


    OVERALL:

    Quite a fun ride to start us off. And we just know the action is going to only go higher from here onward, with more of our favorite robotic heroes and villains on the way soon.


    SCORE: 3.75 Matrixes out of 5

    Outtsyder
     
  12. McBradders

    McBradders James Franco Club! Moderator

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    As an issue 1? Nothing to really sink your teeth in to or indeed hook you.

    As a Transformers story? It's ok. Not great. But it's the beginning. Need more robot action to judge the art, but I think the writing is as solid as you can hope for at such an early stage. Simon has really followed through on what he promised with "it's a different take", and it's certainly welcome. If the writing stays as good as it is, I'm in for the long run regardless of what I think of the art.

    Some things that bother me:

    Covers. Sort that shit out. NOW. 2 Covers, tops. There are TEN god damned covers. Dreamwave killed themselves with this. Retailers are *still* stuck with their crappy ass varient bullshit covers. IDW know better already. I hope this stops after the first arc.

    Gundam Legs :p 

    Everything else is good so far. It's going to escalate and it's going to be fun.
     
  13. KidDynamite

    KidDynamite don't know nothing Veteran

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    I liked it for the most part. It was a decent start. If we're still getting issues like this regularly 10 months from now I will be hopping mad, but as an introduction it's fine.

    Did anyone else notice the small parallel with Marvel #1? What with the humans taking the damaged Transformers to a crack mechanic who is amazed and proud of himself for fixing this weird car?

    Oh, and Twin Twist is right on on the covers. STOP IT. Ten covers is lunacy. I thought Dreamwave was out of control when they had four, but this is taking it way beyond that.
     
  14. Denyer

    Denyer Shooty Dog Thing

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    Er, so they're super-advanced transforming robots from another world, with holo-matter projectors, but they're not intelligent enough to think that more than one of them might find a smokescreen useful?

    Hopefully should have #1 in the UK soon...
     
  15. Vangelus

    Vangelus Long Live the New Flesh Moderator Content Contributor

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    I thought it was alright.

    It's trying for the "reveal the robots as the cliffhanger" dealo that DW's first G1 series did, only way better and more entertainingly. Less cryptic military bases, more car chases. -Technically-, we had a TF action scene in the first issue (only, they were in altmode the entire time).

    Anyway, I've got good hopes. It looks like robot modes are ready to go, and stuff should get more into the swing of things starting next issue.

    And yeah. I didn't know about the 10 covers thing. That's awful. I'd go as far as saying they should stop that -now-, before it cacks the Infiltration series halfway through.
     
  16. McBradders

    McBradders James Franco Club! Moderator

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    I have mine. :p 
     
  17. highlander3000

    highlander3000 Jump around!

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    I suspect a lot of curious readers will be disappointed with this first issue. This was not the way to make a big impression.

    1) I find the human characters and their names really annoying. Pink? Verity? O'nion? That one makes my ears and eyes bleed every time I hear and see it. I get that O'nion is a conspiracy theorist but he just comes off as a loser. At least Mulder was cool. Verity is just annoying. I hope these characters fade out after the first arc.

    2) I'm a little tired of hearing that "cosmic stories have to be earned." I've been reading for 20 years now and think I've earned the stories. It is true that they had to be "earned" at first but it's difficult to go back once you've been there. By the way, cosmic does not have to be limited to Unicron vs. Primus. Maybe there is another menace out there. Some kind of expansionist empire competing with the Decepticons. That would be more fresh (in the comics at least). X-men tends to do it well balancing cosmic stories with personal ones but maybe that's because the characters are more human than TFs. Maybe that could be a model.

    3) I don't really like the updated vehicle modes too much. If there is an explanation that they used to have the older modes but "upgraded" I'll like them a little better. That seemed to be hinted at on the computer screen on the first page.

    4) The artwork looks good but nowhere near as good as Beast Wars looks. I'm anticipating BW much more than this TF series because the story looks a lot better as does the art.

    5) Nevertheless, I'll continue to buy ONE copy of each issue depending on which has the best cover. I'll give it a chance but with #0 and #1 so far I'm unimpressed. I miss the Dreamwave stories. At the end of the day though, I am glad TFs are back in comic form. Here's hoping for improvement.
     
  18. onaka pekopeko

    onaka pekopeko Devouring the universe!

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    First, I want to say I'm thrilled to have my favorite giant robots back in print.

    This issue - is it the greatest TF story ever? Well, no it isn't. But it's a good story, and it's way better than Dreamwave G1 #1 (which, while not a great story, wasn't horrible either). I agree that the Ratchet 'human' was hilarious.

    I really like the art. While it doesn't have some of the 'wow' factor that many of the Dreamwave titles had, the art flows well from page to page, and does a great job of telling the story.

    At the end of the day, I hope this marks the beginning of a good, long run of TF comics. I expect that, just like Dreamwave, some stories will be great (like TFG1 Vol 3) and some not-so-great (like Micromasters).
     
  19. Foster

    Foster Super Mod

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    I agree, and I bought the Guidi cover after considering which of the four I liked best.

    What stuck in my craw was the covers page. There were three categories of covers: "fans" for the four retail covers, "collectors" for the foils and incentive covers, and "completists" for the exclusive super-rare ones. I consider myself a collector, but that doesn't mean I'm grabbing all of these. One is plenty. My main TF budget is and will always be toward the toys. If I buy more than one cover, it'll be because I can't decide which artwork I like best. Which I feel might happen with Beast Wars.
     
  20. JunkionExchange

    JunkionExchange Banned

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    10 Freaking Covers Is Tooooooooooooo Much
     

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