ZacWilliam's Comic Reviews 3/8

Discussion in 'Comic Books and Graphic Novels' started by ZacWilliam, Mar 8, 2006.

  1. ZacWilliam

    ZacWilliam Well-Known Member

    Jul 9, 2002
    News Credits:
    Trophy Points:
    Comic Reviews 3/8

    Transformers #3
    G.I.Joe Vs Transformers: The Art of War #1
    Teen Titans #33
    The Pulse #14

    Transformers #3 – The current IDW series has been a major departure from the previous DW TF ongoing in a lot of ways. It’s just a step in a whole different stylistic direction both in terms of writing and art. The results so far are a mixed bag IMO, with the writing generally working out more favorably than the art.

    This issue Ratchet gets a good scolding for going against orders and involving our three human cast members in the TF’s secret cold war. The only thing saving him from the brig is the potential that he might really be on to something. Despite his commanding officer Prowl being a total dick (which is in character), Ratchet gets clandestine help from Ironhide (who sends a message back up the command tree) and Bumblebee (who helps him sneak out with the humans to find more evidence). Meanwhile Starscream sends the Con’s clean-up crew to cover their tracks the way only a Decepticon would think to, by very publicly blowing it all up in huge explosions. :) 

    The Good: The writing here is nice. Good characterization on all the main players so far, human and robot. Even a funny line or two (mostly from Verity). The idea of making the Transformers tag-line “robots in disguise” actually MEAN something is very nice for a change, as is the very military feel brought to their units. For once it actually feels like these guys are part of a much larger army on both sides, with rules, regulations, orders, command hierarchies, etc… Well done.

    The Bad: I wanted to like the art here but it just isn’t working for me much. Part of the problem is the uber-Gundami-zed redesigns for the TFs. I’ve nothing against redesigning them in theory, but these particular designs just don’t sing. They’re awkward and they just don’t look enough like TRANSFORMERS. They look like the product of a TF/Gundam crossover miniseries. The coloring also feels rather weak this issue: too simplified, too washed out, and too overly dark all at once. The Guido Guidi cover (the classic-design Blitzwing vs. Jazz one) is the best artwork here and I’d love to see him take a shot at the series itself.

    Overall: The story’s still cool and deep enough to keep me involved, and I’m still enjoying seeing where this new and different take on the TF war is going, but the art is keeping me more removed from things than I’d like.

    Grade: Story: A-
    Art: C+
    Overall: B-

    G.I.Joe vs. Transformers: The Art of War #1 – I havn’t been overly impressed with either of the previous DDP crossover volumes but bought them anyway, because… well that’s how big a Transformers fan I am. This one has the advantage, however, of Joe Ng on art, which visually sets it heads and shoulders above both the previous series.

    We open sometime after the close of V2 with G.I. Joe retroengineering the captured and disassembled Decepticons to build themselves giant mech suits and a home grown super soldier codenamed “Serpent. O. R.” (The idea of making Serprentor’s name “mean something” would work better if they ever bothered to tell us WHY he’s named “Serpent O. R.” What do the O and R stand for? Why Serpent?) Anyway, a team of Autobots show up to help protect Earth by decommissioning this stuff just at the same point Cobra attacks with some Cybertron-tech of its own. Cobra Commander releases the unfinished Serpentor who wakes up with Megatron’s memories in his head (uh oh). Serpentor kicks everyones tail with his Omega Red cosplay tentacles and then kneels before Megatron’s head, calls him father, and vows to conquer Earth.

    Not bad. Not award winning, but a stronger start than either of the previous series and with nicer art. The Serpentor as Megatron’s “son” thing actually comes off pretty cool. I’m really interested to see where it goes. This could be fun. (My only question so far is why the heck Soundwave has memories of Optimus Primal? That doesn’t really make any sense).

    Grade: B - (tempted to give it a “plus” for Serpentor, who I’ve never found cool except in this issue).

    Teen Titans 33 – I really want to really like this issue, because I like Johns, I like Wolfman, I liked Nauck on Young Justice, and I firmly believe that what the Infinite Crisis main story really needs most is some more room to do all the stuff it’s trying to do. This issue spoke to all of that, so I was hopeful, but unfortunately still fell a bit flat for me. While Nauck’s art worked nicely on the often goofy and… well just plain young folks in Young Justice it doesn’t work as well with the older characters here, nor with the more serious nature of this story. It was kinda cool to see Nightwing and Superboy bond and all, characterization is always appreciated and it was nice to see where Cassie is as well and the offer Aries makes to her is pretty interesting. Oh, by the way, her and Superboy “did it” at some point during all this??? When? Where? Was it in the Titans Secret files? (Did I miss that?) That was the biggest surprise for me this ish. Some good stuff here, don’t get me wrong, just not quite the awesome issue I was hoping for. Though it’s great to see Conner back on the horse at last.
    Grade: B-

    The Pulse #14 – I’m not a Bendis Junkie. I didn’t read Alias or Daredevil, ever, and I only jumped on this book for the last storyline because it was a New Avengers tie in with the baby and Luke and the others and all. That said I really did like this issue (and the whole storyline really) a lot. This issue succeeds in making Jessica and Luke a great couple that you really want to be together and happy. Introspective and dramatic rather than superheroic and action-packed, but in the strongest way possible. Can’t wait to see where things go from here in the pages of New Avengers.
    Grade: A
  2. KidDynamite

    KidDynamite Do good recklessly Veteran

    Jul 9, 2002
    Trophy Points:
    I still think Infiltration has been a pretty good series thus far, but as we get clearer looks at the redesigned characters, a lot of them are just crap from where I'm looking. The Gundam legs are HORRIBLE. And it isn't just one character, every damn one of them has them in some form. What bothers me more than that is that the redesigns just don't seem very well thought out. Most of the Autobots have the aforementioned Gundam legs, and then the entire car mode is just hanging off their back. One of the great things about good design like, say, Don's War Within stuff is that the bits of the alt mode are incorporated throughout the whole figure. It strikes me as lazy and sloppy to just have 3/4 of the alt modes hanging off their backs. It almost makes the G1 characters into shellformers, which just isn't a design aesthetic I can tolerate well, especially with characters I love so much. I'm also wondering why Bumblebee got such a drastic redesign when he's still an old VW bug.

    Having said all that, I'm really liking the writing of this series a lot. Simon Furman has surprised me with this one. I was getting tired of his pumping out the same old epic shit every series, and the subtelty here is a refreshing touch coming from him.

    GI Joe vs. Transformers didn't do anything for me. I actually liked the first two DDP series, but this one didn't grab me at all. The art was fantastic though, and I'll keep buying it for that.
  3. Chrono Grimlock

    Chrono Grimlock Buttstuff Werewolf

    Jul 27, 2003
    News Credits:
    Trophy Points:
    About the Cassie and Conner doing it, I'm gonna hazard a guess it's in the annual that hasn't been released yet; but should have. And based almost solely on this review, I'm gonna pick up TF Infiltration again.
  4. Xcandescent

    Xcandescent TRUKKS are the new MUNKYS

    Dec 19, 2003
    Trophy Points:
    TF Infiltration #3 was pretty good, though it's still annoying to see the humans having to be used at all -- much less being Our Only Hope To Avert Doomsday (tm)!!!!

    I don't mind most of the redesigns, but Bumblebee bugs the hell out of me. Ugly trunk as chest ... why?!? Apparently, if it ain't broke, break the hell out of it and call it better.

    Loved Teen Titans. I'm a pretty huge Todd Nauck fan, but I didn't pick up on the fact that he did the art, which had an old-school Titans feel to it (and not just because of Nightwing's costume). I can see bits of his style in there, but it's not obvious like with Young Justice or Wildguard. Also a nice (and unexpected) moment between Cassie and Ares. And yeah, I'm guessing they're referencing the unshipped Secret Files issue.