Tag Archives: alex milne

Review: Transformers: Unicron #4

Unicron sets his sights on Earth… but is anyone left to defend it?

The end nears. Transformers: Unicron is THE story bringing together years of plotlines together. With references to G.I. Joe, Visionaries, the comic reads like concepts explored too little. Written by John Barber, the event brings the doombringer Unicron into the Transformers universe as part of a plan by Shockwave to rule all. With the Transformer colonies destroyed, Unicron has set its focus on Cybertron. And, with the results of this issue, it’s clear that we may be looking at the end of what we’ve known about IDW’s Transformers or the end of IDW’s run of Transformers.

There’s death. Lots of death. There’s destruction. Lots of destruction. Characters we love are killed off and everything is on the table as to what goes. It feels like everything is by end.

The issue is crammed packed with so much, much of it feels like cut scenes of a movie giving us 30 second bites as to what’s going on. Those cut scenes still give opportunity for heroes to be that and for fans to mourn their loss. Barber, along with art by Alex Milne, color from Sebastian Cheng and David Garcia Cruz, and lettering by Tom B. Long, are delivering a cinematic event. It’s an update on the classic animated film incorporating the Hasbro Universe concepts. Some of that isn’t given enough to shine with so much thrown at us.

The art is jawdropping with scenes that evoke my memory of Unicron raking his hand across Cybertron so many years ago. There’s lots here, lots packed in, and the artistic team pulls it off giving nothing short shrift.

The back-up story features the Micronauts and it’s ok, an bonus to the main feast. It’s ending of a “thanks to all of you” has me wondering if the Hasbro Universe’s time at IDW is up? That simple line along with the epic changes happening within the main story point to nothing being the same.

The comic continues an epic event that lives up the promise and shows you can do big budget popcorn event comics and make them work. The team taps into the emotion of it all giving us deaths that feel heroic and remind us “till all are one.”

Story: John Barber Art: Alex Milne
Color: Sebastian Cheng, David Garcia Cruz Letterer: Tom B. Long
Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25 Recommendation: Buy

IDW Publishing provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: Transformers: Unicron #4 (of 6)

Transformers: Unicron #4 (of 6)

John Barber (w) • Alex Milne (a & c)

Unicron sets his sights on Earth… but is anyone left to defend it?

FC • 32 pages • $4.99

Preview: Transformers: Lost Light, Vol. 3

Transformers: Lost Light, Vol. 3

James Roberts (w) • Alex Milne, Brendan Cahill, Jack Lawrence (a) • Jack Lawrence (c)

Crammed into a dead Decepticon astropod that’s 10 sizes too small, the displaced crew of the Lost Light faces their most serious threat yet: each other. No worries though, Rodimus can save the day! Or maybe they’ll all die… Plus, the Scavengers have never had it so good. The war is a receding memory, their patchy service records have been forgotten, and the five of them can roam the galaxy as they please. All’s well that ends well? Not quite. Collects issues #13–18.

TPB • FC • $19.99 • 144 pages • ISBN: 978-1-68405-331-5

Preview: Transformers: Unicron #3 (of 6)

Transformers: Unicron #3 (of 6)

John Barber (w) • Alex Milne (a & c)

Unicron approaches Cybertron, so Windblade enacts a desperate plan—one neither Optimus Prime nor Starscream agree with! Has Windblade outmaneuvered Shockwave’s machinations—or played right into his deadly hand?

FC • 32 pages • $4.99

Review: Transformers: Unicron #2

Bumblebee investigates a dark corner of Cybertron’s past, searching for answers: what is Unicron, and why does it want to destroy Cybertron? Meanwhile, Windblade scrambles to figure out a plan as Chromia makes her return-with a Decepticon fleet in pursuit!

Things look desperate and in desperate times there’s an opening for despots to make a play for rule. Transformers: Unicron #2 picks up from the previous issue as Starscream makes the case that he should be leading the Transformers against Unicron and the Maximals. Optimus Prime’s willingness to plan and be pragmatic is exploited as a weakness and in that way, it feels like the issue mirrors our reality. Writer John Barber continues to do what IDW Publishing‘s Transformers comics do best. Roberts includes political undertones in what is giant robots battling each other.

The past series have discuss politics with no issue at all weaving them seamlessly into the narrative. Here, while leadership is discussed, the concept of taking advantage of fear to gain power is present but not overt. It’s clear though that Starscream’s boisterous claims echo the fears post 9/11 and current ones such as Isis and undocumented immigration. The fear of the unknown and the other exploited to manipulate the masses with empty promises, shows of force with little depth, all in the name of personal gain. Starscream will fail and Optimus will rise, so goes the logic, but the series in the past has shown to never get settled on the expected.

The art by Alex Milne is fantastic as always. The characters and design of everything is fantastic and the overwhelming force of the Maximals suffocating in a way. There’s that moment of dread and fear just as you realize the actual reality that’s evoked amazingly in the art and comic, slowly teased out for maximum impact.

The issue is a solid second one. The first evoked our childhood and this second one evokes our adulthood and the reality we now live in. As usual, when it comes to Transformers comics, there’s more than meets the eyes.

Story: John Barber Art: Alex Milne
Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

IDW Publishing provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: Transformers: Unicron #2 (of 6)

Transformers: Unicron #2 (of 6)

John Barber (w) • Alex Milne (a & c)

Bumblebee investigates a dark corner of Cybertron’s past, searching for answers: what is Unicron, and why does it want to destroy Cybertron? Meanwhile, Windblade scrambles to figure out a plan as Chromia makes her return—with a Decepticon fleet in pursuit!

FC • 32 pages • $4.99

Review: Transformers Unicron #1

The end is nigh! The Darkest Hour has come. Optimus Prime stages a desperate gamble as the world-eater, Unicron, approaches Windblade’s homeworld-but that’s just the appetizer. The main course is Cybertron (with a side of Earth)… and it’s starting to look like no force in the galaxy can stop the end from coming.

If you were a kid in the 80s, there’s a good chance that Transformers: The Movie left an impression on you. Beyond the death of Optimus Prime and the rise of Rodimus, Unicron was a villain that seemed unstoppable. A literal force of nature, the character felt like pure destruction and created dread in my young self. Transformers: Unicron #1 sets the stage for IDW Publishing‘s end game for their Transformers line of comics… with who knows what coming next.

Unicron is devouring planets focusing on the colonies of Transformers and clearly heading for Earth and Cybertron next. Transformers: Unicron #1 dumps us into the middle of the action as Optimus and his united Transformers attempt to take a stand against Unicron and figure out a way to stop it. Writer John Barber has focused on the chaos, creating a situation that feels desperate and hopeless in so many ways and by issues end, that’s only enhanced. This first issue picks up from the Free Comic Book Day teaser comic, which feels like required reading to enjoy this issue. It’s not so much a first issue in that way and is one of my few dings against it.

The other major issue with the comic is that the various story threads in the current two Transformers comics aren’t done. We’ve just been introduced to the Maximals in Transformers: Optimus Prime and now they’re on the side of Unicron? Shockwave is in prison? There’s some spoilers for that series’ current story arc and in that way, this first issue feels a bit rushed. That could also explain my feeling like I’m missing something. Perhaps that will all be explained in Optimus Prime or in Transformers: Lost Light (where are they in this comic for instance?) but we still have a bit to go. The fact this first issue is forced out now, and not delayed to better coincide with the other series’ arcs wrapping up, fuels my theories as to what’s next.

Artist Alex Milne does an impressive job fitting in so much on every page and what feels like every panel. There’s so much packed in and there are times it feels like there’s too much. Reading this on an iPad, there’s some issues picking up everything fit into the spreads. The art harkens back to early art from the toys that feels like it fits in dozens (or hundreds when you were a kid) of characters doing battle, each with their own story.

This is the beginning of an epic. One that feels like a desperate battle, one you don’t know who will survive and how it’ll end. For an epic story, IDW and its team have brought so much together to throw it in a pot delivering more than enough for fans to be excited about. As much as I have fond memories of the original animated film, this first issue feels like it’s attempting to recreate that magic (and we even have a sacrifice already!) and by issue’s end, it’s pretty damn close.

Story: James Roberts Art: Alex Milne
Story: 8.15 Art: 8.05 Overall: 8.15 Recommendation: Buy

IDW Publishing provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: Transformers: Unicron #1 (of 6)

Transformers: Unicron #1 (of 6)

John Barber (w) • Alex Milne (a & c)

The Darkest Hour has come. Optimus Prime stages a desperate gamble as the world-eater, Unicron, approaches Windblade’s homeworld—but that’s just the appetizer. The main course is Cybertron (with a side of Earth)… and it’s starting to look like no force in the galaxy can stop the end from coming.

FC • 32 pages • $4.99

The Transformers Face Their Greatest Enemy Ever in this Summer’s Event Series Transformers: Unicron

The fate of all worlds are at stake, as the world-eating menace Unicron has set his sights on Cybertron, home of the Transformers robots, and next in line… EARTH! In what’s being descried as a “grand finale to the past 12 years of Transformers comics,” IDW Publishing has announced Transformers: Unicron. The event series arrives this July and will bring about the end of the Transformers universe as we know it. As Optimus Prime gathers his defense against this monstrous threat, it might be too little too late.

Veteran TRANSFORMERS creators John Barber and Alex Milne are joined by colorist Sebastian Cheng to tell the epic conclusion to the current Transformers comic book universe.

In the announcement Barber said:

Transformers: Unicron is a culmination of the years of Transformers comics I’ve been a part of… and the conclusion of one of the longest continued narrative in Transformers history. This is a story of heroism in the face of impossible odds; of a reckoning for an entire universe. I couldn’t be luckier than to have Alex [Milne] right here with me on this—if you know Alex, you know nobody puts more into the Transformers than he does, and nowhere before has he drawn drama, action, and pathos at this scale. Tying it all together is the incredible palette of Sebastian Cheng. We’ve never held back before on our Transformers comics, but this time we’re pushing ourselves—and each other—harder than ever.

Transformers mainstays from the past 12 years will be providing variant covers for the series, including Andrew GriffithNick Roche, and many more. Additionally, legendary comic artist Bill Sienkiewicz will be reinterpreting his classic cover to Transformers #1 as a special variant, along with a new cover by Francesco Francavilla.

The action kicks off on Free Comic Book Day, May 5th, with the #0 issue by the series creative; available for free at comic shops across the country. Don’t miss the world-ending first chapter of the summer’s cataclysmic event!

Preview: Transformers: Lost Light, Vol. 2

Transformers: Lost Light, Vol. 2

James Roberts (w) • Jack Lawrence, Priscilla Tramontano (a) • Alex Milne (c)

Rodimus and his Autobot crew continue their adventure as they chase the starship Lost Light—and its mutinous new captain! A witty, smart, emotional take on fan-favorite Transformers characters in a sci-fi world unlike any other! Collects issues #7–12.

TPB • FC • $19.99 • 144 pages • ISBN: 978-1-68405-148-9

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